Need a unique essay?
Order now

History Research Paper: Chess Champion During the Cold War

8 pages
2101 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The main participants of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union expressed their mutual hostility through a variety of forms, such as propaganda and threats.. Given that these two countries behaved like foes and rivals for the entire Cold War epoch, their relationship can very well be defined by the game of chess. The Cold War can be seen as a game of calculated tactics for two entities, played on a global front. We can look at the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as the kings on both side of the chess board, and then the states that were in support of them can be regarded as pawns.

However, chess was not simply a metaphor for the Cold War, as international chess competitions during the period were drawn into the rivalry. When the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America were on the brink of war, there was a need for heroes on both sides of the divide. Bobby Fischer was an American Chess grandmaster and also the eleventh World Chess Champion. To many in the game he is referred as the greatest player of all time. was one of the people deemed as a hero in the United States. Concerning a Cold War lens, Bboth Bobby Fischer and the entirety of many other Americans felt they were winning the entire war if an American happened to defeat a Russian in the sport. Russians felt the same way with their champion Boris Vasilievich Spassky who was a Russian chess Grandmaster and the tenth World Chess Champion. For Bobby Fischer, beating the then celebrated world chess champion Boris Spassky and winning was an event worthy to give the United States bragging rights. Bobby Fischer played a critical role during the Cold War as a media personality earning him the title of a hero in the propaganda battle against the Soviets.

One reason Bobby Fischer was portrayed in the American media as a national hero in the Cold War is that as young as he was (age 154) the year 1972 he managed to defeat Boris Spassky making him the youngest international chess grand master, he managed to defeat Boris Spassky. There hasnt been another world chess champion ever since Bobby Fischer clinched the title. After the match in Reykjavik, Iceland, Fischer talked about his personal victory in a very brash manner, an indication that he was involved in chess for the sake of the game and not to pass across political undertones. Be that as it may, Hhe was a chess player first and a political figure second.

All the same, there is no denying that Bobby felt like he represented America in the Cold War and won against the Russians. Bobby believed that the Russians are the ones that began all of this and have been making use of chess as a weapon for propaganda, using the tricks they can to maintain the title. The tables had eventually turned against them, leading them to probably wish they never even began to play the game. With a tale such as the Bobby Fischers we can look at how the Cold War influenced the game and vice versa.

Firstly, Fischer was born on March 9th, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois he after his parents divorced he grew up with his mother, and started learning chess at the age of six, even though his mother supported him she objected to his passion and wanted him to pursue something different. He, however, obtained support from his sister who bought him a chess player pack which mainly consisted of the chess board and the chess pieces. The hero dropped out of school and followed his passion for chess. At a tender age, he joined the Brooklyn and Manhattan chess clubs. At the age of 14, he set a world record of being the best youngest player to win the chess championship in the United States of America. In 1958, he became the international grandmaster by winning a tournament in Yugoslavia. He made a name for himself by playing matches across the world and produced strong and influential commentaries such as I object to being called a chess genius, because I consider myself to be an all rounded genius, who just happens to play chess, which is rathr different. A piece of garbage like Kasparov might be called a chess henius but he is like an idiot savant, outside the chess he knows nothing. which were filled with paranoia which later instigated the Cold War.

In 1972, Fischers encounter with Russias world champion Boris Spassky, in Reykjavik was in what would be a showdown which was the most memorable and significant in the era of Cold War. The match was referred to as the match of the century and a lot was expected from him although his age was a thing of concern but by the end of the match he had managed to make America proudBeing referenced as the match of the century meant what the name suggested, only at a young age, he managed to make America proud. The match was the most symbolic confrontation of the Cold War between the two countries.. He was indeed a hero of the Cold War, in America the pawn describes Fischer as a young but intelligent player who puts America on top of the world. The game that encompassed two serious men who stared at a board for hours was the epitome of the Cold War. It put Fischer on the TV screens such as Bobby Fischer Against the World by Liz Garbus, and on the front page of the newspapers and in films for instance in Edward Zwicks Pawn Sacrifice which nuanced created a clear picture of the historical moment which happened later on in the year 2014. The film explained the ideologies and contradictions that under lied the aggressiveness of the Cold War.

The game played by Fischer and Spassky raised political temperatures within the region, warfare, ultimatums and tensioned heightened. The defeat of the Soviet Union by Fischer symbolized the collapse of communism by democracy by the Americans while the loss of the Americans would have clearly depicted the opposite image. Further, it made America to embrace chess as a favorite game. The Soviet Union viewed the game of chess as one of the ways of depicting the superiority of communists over the capitalist society, it even supported Spassky in playing chess although he played out of love for the game his opponent Fischer played it out of several demands that he wanted to put across. Everything that Fischer did that was controversial, was an indicator of his rude and complicated behavior.

Despite his mother coming from the Jewish origin, Fischer talked very cynically about the Jewish people. During the time of the Cold War, the Russians who viewed themselves as being liberal wanted although research indicates a small percent of them existing wanted Fischer to win so badly and would do anything to see him win. On the other hand, the Americans were taking pride in Fischer for fighting to oppose communism and promised anything good to Fischer if he only brought victory home. The arrogant talk spiked animosity and tension between the Russians and the Americans. From his controversial statements and moves that he made the chess champion supported the world trade center attack that left many dead and others injured this depicts his sooty heart and maligns him to the role, he plays in heightening the tension of Cold War. Fischer is described as a person who internalized the chaotic state of the Cold War with individual elements in a disastrous way. From his childhood, his rebellion starts and the Cold War begins right from his mother who they differed when he was still very young.His rebellious nature is seen from an early age as he had many differences with his mother as seen from his life history. Before going into a match with Spassky, he joined a sect, known as the worldwide church of God which was against the ideologist of communism, Judaism and the state of Israel. Due to his acknowledgment of the Jewish race, it seemed that he rejected his motherthis seemed to fuel his fight against communism.

Fischer's character is what made him a tool for the Cold War, being aggressive, arrogant and a go-getter made him be American pride by defeating Russia and its communism. His role in the Cold War came as a result of chess that made him appear a hero for the Americans look like a mad person, and people thought of him as a genius even though he was a dropout. The after the win different aspects were perceived to try and portray the nature of his victory in the perspective of cold war. A good example is the how his win was perceived in the televisionswar is referred to as a war of perceptions on the television screens, and it is described , aas victory brought by a poor boy from Brooklyn through the defeat of the mighty Soviet Union.

Fischer is celebrated for his achievements in breaking a record that had long been accorded to the communist society for 24 years. As scholars argue chess was not just a mere game in Fischer's time and the Cold War era but a political element that was used by the communists to show their superiority and pride. Russia used chess as a political ideology to crash the satisfaction of the decadent west the defeat the Russia champion by Fischer was consider as a political crush down for the Soviet Unions communism.

Fischer was an intelligent young man who was said to be having an IQ of 181 with remarkable powers of memorizing several books when he was only 13 and became a champion in the U.S for his excellence in chess. He views his games through the Cold War from different perspectives firstly his talk and arrogance in the game make him a real icon of anti-communist society. Throughout his games against the mighty chess nation, Russia dislikes every aspect of his interaction in the field with the chess player. It is depicted when he almost lost a game due to the high and nearly impossible demands he placed on Russia. Fischer made claims to the Federacion Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) before he started the match, but only one request was granted but insisted that he would not play until the demands were met. Further, he complained that all the cameras be removed because he did not want to be televised. The controversial life made him a crucial individual in the propagation of the Cold War.

He views himself through the lens of the Cold War by his rebellious and aggressive behavior, for instance, rejecting the Jewish ideologies and culture regardless of his mother being a Jew. He played chess, not for the love of the game but to prove points. His psychology is inclined towards bringing down the communist ideology, a position he showed in the course of time. Besides his controversial public remarks is what he uses to instigate the Cold War for instance in one of his famous quotes he says he derives much fun and joy when he brings the ego of a man down. In the pawn sacrifice movie by Edward Zwick Fischer is portrayed as a random character who screams all overstays in a cheap hotel and a time accompanied by a lawyer and a priest. It is how Fischer carried himself in real life and this how he portrays himself in the lens of Cold War. The antagonistic nature that he depicts speaks volumes of his desire for confrontation and need to be dominant in this context he has the desire to put down the Soviet Union through playing chess.

He views his games through the lens of the Cold War when Hhe makes demands that seem impossible to be fulfilled during a match he was supposed to play against Spassky the applications indicates the need to create controversy in the Soviet Union Republic. The rebellion in the game rules is what Fischer uses to view himself through the lens of the Cold War. Being a capitalist he wants his own rules to apply meaning, he is defying the commands and controls of communism, and this creates a tug of war which eventually makes him not play the game. He wants to make his own rules that are supposed to be followed contrary to what has been set and applied in the Soviet Republic. Besides, he commits a crime which sees him expelled f...

Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: