Mr. Kasparov said he had followed the 1972 clash of the U.S. and
Soviet titans closely. "Fischer's chess was so fresh and so new and we
all grew up under the strongest impression of Fischer's victories," he
told Sky News television."From an ideological stance it was the
fight of an individual against a totalitarian system. He had a lot of
supporters even in the Soviet Union. No one viewed him as an American
fighting Soviets, it was more a great man fighting the mighty machine,"
Mr. Kasparov said.Mr. Spassky, who now lives in Paris, was less
eloquent on the subject of his old adversary. Asked by Reuters for his
reaction, he replied: "It's bad luck for you. Bobby Fischer is dead,"
then hung up without further comment.The brilliant and
unpredictable American abandoned his world title without moving a pawn
by failing to defend his crown in Manila in 1975. World chess
authorities reluctantly awarded it to challenger Anatoly Karpov of the
Soviet Union, who was to hold it for the next decade.Mr. Fischer
withdrew into himself, not playing in public and living on little more
than the magic of his name, although millions of enthusiasts regarded
him as the king of chess.He made headlines when he came out of
seclusion to play Mr. Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992, at a time when the
country was the target of sanctions during Belgrade's war with
breakaway republics.He vanished after the match, for which he
won US$3-million, and resurfaced after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on
America. In an interview with a Philippine radio station, Mr. Fischer
praised the strikes and said he wanted to see America "wiped out".