“MY BODY AND FLESH ARE STILL IN PAIN AND AGONY FROM THIS GRUESOME AND CRUEL EXPERIENCE”: CHESS CHAMPION BOBBY FISCHER’S “I WAS TORTURED IN THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE!”
FISCHER, Bobby. “I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse!” (Pasadena: Bobby Fischer, 1982). Octavo, original stiff paper wrappers; pp. 14. $450.
First edition of Fischer’s pamphlet about receiving brutal treatment at the hands of the Pasadena police.
Chess prodigy and world champion Fischer wrote this pamphlet after being detained at the Pasadena, California jailhouse for 48 hours in May, 1981. He details being choked by a police officer, being held naked in unheated cells, and being refused food, water and phone calls. Fischer, who won the world championship against Soviet player Boris Spassky in 1972, forfeited his title to Anatoly Karpov in 1975 by not playing a single competitive chess game since becoming world champion. In 1992, Fischer came out of retirement by playing a rematch against Spassky in Yugoslavia. The U.S. Treasury Department warned him that playing in Yugoslavia would violate U.N. sanctions and that any fees from the tournament could be seized and Fischer himself could be jailed. Fischer has lived outside the United States since this 1992 tournament.