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Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness | [Frank Brady]

Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness

From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the best-selling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.
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Publisher's Summary

From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the best-selling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.

What motivated Fischer from such a young age, and what was the source of his remarkable intellect? How could a man so ambivalent about money and fame be so driven to succeed? What drew this man of Jewish descent to fulminate against Jews, and how was it that a mind so famously disciplined could unravel so completely? From Fischer’s meteoric rise, to an utterly dominant prime unequaled by any American chess player, to his eventual descent into madness, the book draws upon hundreds of newly discovered documents and recordings and numerous firsthand interviews conducted with those who knew Fischer best. It paints, for the very first time, a complete picture of one of America’s most enigmatic icons. This is the definitive account of a fascinating man and an extraordinary life, one that at last reconciles Fischer’s deeply contradictory legacy and answers the question, who was Bobby Fischer?

©2011 Frank Brady (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The Mozart of the chessboard is inseparable from the monster of paranoid egotism in this fascinating biography. Brady, founding publisher of Chess Life magazine and a friend of Fischer, gives a richly detailed account of the impoverished Brooklyn wunderkind’s sensational opening…Brady gives us a vivid, tragic narrative of a life that became a chess game.” (Publishers Weekly)

“I learned something new on nearly every page of this wonderful book. Frank Brady is the perfect biographer for Bobby Fischer, and Endgame tells the full and fair story of Fischer’s astonishing rise and heartbreaking fall." (Christopher Chabris, author of The Invisible Gorilla )

“Fischer is America’s greatest antihero. This fascinating biography is filled with hope, Cold War intrigue, the fulfillment of genius, and an explosive fall from grace that is both deeply moving and, ultimately, profoundly sad.” (Jeremy Silman, author of The Amateur’s Mind)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (443 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Fayette, Missouri, United States 09-23-12
    Mark Fayette, Missouri, United States 09-23-12 Member Since 2012

    Mark Gandy

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    "A Gifted Mind Gone to Waste"

    I enjoy reading biographies and have always wanted to know more about Bobby Fischer. I suppose I've been living under a rock as I had no idea regarding his viscous antisemitism and his anger toward the U.S., especially after 9/11.

    While you will learn about the young genius and how he became a champion at such an early age, on the flip side, you will learn about his paranoia about imagined Russian conspiracies, medical procedures and practices, and from being taken advantage of financially.

    Ray Porter, in my opinion, has a gift at reading these long books and again, he turns in another strong performance (Ghost in the Wires was the first time I heard him).

    Not a great book in terms of entertainment, but factually compelling, and if I were a chess player, I would probably say this is must reading to learn more about the history of championship chess during the late 50s through the early 70s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 09-11-12
    Robert Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 09-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Details, and lots of them"
    What did you love best about Endgame?

    This book gives you a better overall picture of Bobby's life from early childhood until his death, much more focused on Bobby himself as a person as opposed to Bobby the Chess Champion.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Endgame?

    Details about Bobby's wilderness years were very memorable, his quest for a normal life out of the spot light drove him to be a recluse.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea L. Whitcomb 09-10-12 Member Since 2012

    Stunning

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    "compassionte look at chess badboy"

    This was a pick for my husband. He found some flaws in a few facts but overall he enjoyed the book. As a non-chess geek, I too had a good time listening. The narrator was fine but might have needed a little boost of caffeine now & then.
    Fisher's is a sad story but this book brought a lot of light to his tale.
    Highly recommended for anyone interested in Bobby Fisher. It felt like a complete, fair, and loving tribute to a brilliant, broken man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 09-08-12
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 09-08-12 Member Since 2015

    I have a DLitt and Phil Degree which must imply a level of discernment? I just clocked over at 60. The significance is that I have read a whole lot of books. I'm now revisiting some of my all time favourites - and enjoying some first time round books. Books are my friends. Audible is JUST AMAZING - takes me back to pre -TV days, with my ear pressed to a crackly transistor radio - but now SO MUCH better and more 'classy' from a Kindle!

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    "IT IS WHAT IT IS - A BOBBY FLOP"

    I can't say that I developed any feelings towards Bobby - maybe irritation and a desire to give him a lecture about pride in his country and a need to count his blessings and respect his talents....However, I would have felt better about this book if I could empathise with Bobby, understand what made him so 'dysfunctional', feel sad and sorry for him, appreciate his grievances and prejudices. But that is not the case. I was unmoved by his tantrums, disinterested in his achievements and uninspired by his wierd ways. The tragedy is that this book could have been about a fictional character. In fact I feel a whole lot closer to a dozen fictional characters than I do to the 'real' world famous Bobby Fischer. Is it Bobby (so cold and unable to connect); is it the author of the biography - or just me? I certainly won't be listing it for a must re-read before I die...I also won't be rushing off to sharpen my chess skills. This book could be a prescribed text book. It simply reported events and lacked'insights', interpretations and depth. I almost feel it did a disservice to Bobby. Maybe I'd brave another Bobby book - written from a more humanistic perspective. I think this failed...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick BRADENTON, FL, United States 08-22-12
    Nick BRADENTON, FL, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story with very good details"
    Would you listen to Endgame again? Why?

    Yes. Very interesting story of a very odd character.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The description on Fisher throughout different times in his life.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. It was very compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is well researched and well narrated. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aussieGeorge68 Sydney Australia 08-14-12
    aussieGeorge68 Sydney Australia 08-14-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Oh dear this is a story I did not need to hear."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I think Frank Brady is too much of a fan of Mr Fischer's chess and side steps the negative parts of his character and behaviour.

    In the end however Mr Fischer's life is too petty and the story of his life will never make a 5 start listening experience. Hearing time and time again about how one stubbornly sabotages his own life, largely because he want's and bigger piece of the fame and money than others is not going to make good reading.


    What was most disappointing about Frank Brady’s story?

    I think the most tragic aspect of this book is how others were willing to tolerate appalling bad behaviour and in some cases apologise for it all because of his beautiful chess playing.

    During a time in Yugoslavia when the USA and other countries had trade sanctions in place because of ethnic cleansing and genocide Mr Fischer breaks economic sanctions and in effect helps to promote government who's key members later go on to war crimes trials. He was also openly is a tax evader.

    The tragedy is that Mr Fischer largely escaped jail and punishment.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    None, however the narration job by Ray Porter was quite good.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn SEFTON, Australia 08-14-12
    Kathryn SEFTON, Australia 08-14-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Makes me want to play Chess again"

    I had heard of Bobby Fischer but didn't realise how little I knew about him. He is indeed an interesting person but even more interesting is the world of chess. There is a thriving community out there full of real characters, politics and gamesmanship. Who knew?

    I loved being transported into this world full of intellects so superior to mine yet so able to be related to.

    I just wish the story told more - I was left with the feeling that so much more could have been said about Bobby, yet I still really enjoyed the book and it did make me get out the chess board again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 08-01-12
    Tebbe Asheville, NC, United States 08-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Tebbe

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    "What a Nutcase"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The intense and almost psychotic hatred for Jews, I had no idea.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was okay. The Russian accents were nothing to write home a bout.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The 1992 comeback against Spassky. I felt like he had come full circle.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade T. Brooks Portland, OR, USA 06-25-12
    Wade T. Brooks Portland, OR, USA 06-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A Great Life Portrait"

    The first book I ever read on Chess was Bobby Fisher teaches chess published in 1966 which inspired me to join the chess club in junior high school and follow Bobby'€™s rise and eventual fall.

    This book is an amazing life portrait of a chess genius who lived a life of both poverty and wealth but was always troubled and self-destructive. It is insightful and riveting and gives context to the chaotic series of events that was Bobby Fishers life.

    If you have any interest in chess or how excessive genus has its own inherent problems, especially when coupled with poverty, this is a great read. If you have read Malcome Gladwell’s book Outlines and his discussion on genius and success (or lack thereof) especially in the life of Christopher Langan (IQ 195) there are some staggering similarities. Bobby'€™s IQ was 180 and he had a number of the same problems Gladwell describes in the life of Langan, especially when it comes to authority figures and paranoia of the '€˜system'€™. As a reference point Einstein's IQ was 150.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Free Portland, OR, United States 07-31-12
    Scott Free Portland, OR, United States 07-31-12

    Avid student of reality.

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    "Bias mars the fasinating story of Bobby Fischer"
    What did you love best about Endgame?

    Endgame revealed the more public timeline and details of Fischer's life and that by itself was interesting. But, holes in the narrative called into question the objectivity and research depth of the author.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Frank Brady again?

    I was not too impressed with Brady. Where was the interview with Fischer's wife? What about Fischer's sister and brother in-law. For that, you will have to go to the internet.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Ray Porter did fine, that wasn't the problem.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, but I did finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    Fischer is a very public and controversial figure. His true story was not revealed in this biography, far from it. My brief additional research showed that Brady was carrying an agenda in this book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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