Il giocatore Bobby

Poem by Dr. Alfredo Pasin (English version added)

On 1st September 1972, Boris Spassky resigned the adjourned 21st game of his match against Robert Fischer, which meant an overall 12.5-8.5 win for the American Grandmaster, who was then declared 11th World Chess Champion.

On the exactly same date 20 years later, a returning match had started in Sveti Stefan (today in Montenegro) and concluded later in Belgrade. Fischer won that match, 10 wins to 5 losses, with 15 draws.

Remembering this date, Italian poet Dr. Alfredo Pasin wrote beautiful lyrics to honour the great champion. Professor Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize winner and initiator of the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, commented “It’s a beautiful poem. I’m sure Bobby would have liked it.”

With help from Mr. Adolivio Capece, Italian Chess Federation.

Il giocatore Bobby

Vi prego non relegate me

Bobby, il giocatore di scacchi,

il piu’ grande che il mondo conobbe

al solo ruolo

di pazzo paranoico alienato

fui questa la verità

un genio un artista uno scienziato

vincitore feroce ma cortese

perdente raro cupo ma dignitoso

privo di lusinghe ed inganni

un artista guerriero

che viveva ancora

secondo le leggi dei samurai

in quel gioco più di tutto cercai

bellezza armonia e verità

lo innalzai a vette infinite

ma non trovai mai

quiete e ristoro

alle mie pene di uomo

forse non fu la pazzia

a portarmi via

ma il vento nero e gelido


e della sua malinconia


I beseech you, do not confine me,

Bobby, the chess player,

the greatest one the world could ever know

to the only role

of alienated psychic paranoid.

This was indeed the truth:

I was a genius, an artist and a scientist;

a winner ruthless but chivalrous

a rare loser, somber but still stout;

a warrior artist

free from flattery and cheats,

a warrior still living

according to the laws of Samurai.

In that game, what I have sought at most

’twas Beauty, Harmony and Truth:

I raised it to almost boundless heights

but I never encountered

quiet and refreshment.

Maybe it was not Madness

to bring me away

from my human sufferings;

’twas rather the dark and icy wind

of Iceland

and of its melancholy.