One of the conundrums of the 1972 chess explosion was Richard Nixon’s failure to invite Bobby Fischer to the White House.
Fischer, of course, had dealt an embarrassing blow to Soviet chess supremacy by defeating Boris Spassky.
Washington Post humorist Art Buchwald wrote a column imagining a phone conversation between Fischer and Nixon.
The chess master, as you might have guessed, presented a potpourri of demands to the president.
Among them, Fischer wanted a limousine, a suite of rooms, a tennis court with a swimming pool and a coterie of 10 Secret Service men – as well as a guarantee of no conversation during a black-tie dinner at the White House.
After acceding to most of the demands and telling Fischer he was an “inspiration to the young people of America,” Nixon hung up and called Richard Helms of the CIA.
“Dick,” he said, “I’m sending the presidential plane … to pick up Bobby Fischer. Do me a favor: After he’s on board, will you see that it’s hijacked to Cuba?”
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