Reporter tracked elusive Fischer, then let him go
Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:56 AM

Bobby Fischer’s aversion to the media was legendary. He once famously asked a friend — while knocking on his hotel door at 3 a.m. — whether it was legal to kill journalists.

It was thus with no little emotion and trepidation that Bill Nack, a writer on assignment for Sports Illustrated, sighted Fischer at the Los Angeles Public Library in the spring of 1985.

It was more than the usual journalist work for Nack, as he admitted in his account. It was a “crazy and delirious obsession.”

He had been on watch for weeks; now, he had found him. Fischer’s long face, brown eyes and half-inch beard were unmistakable.

Following his quarry for more than five minutes through the streets of Los Angeles to a corner bus stop, Nack debated what to do.

But it was all in vain. At the end, his awe and respect held sway as he watched Fischer board a bus and did not approach him.

Several years later, Nack told me that he wasn’t able to bring himself to violate Fischer’s desperate need for privacy.

His reluctance had been reinforced by Madame Lulu, a clairvoyant he had consulted for help in finding Fischer.

“Have you ever thought he might want to be left alone?” she had asked.

“My editors were not happy with my decision,” Nack recalled.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

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