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Monday, January 15, 2018

Zita Rajcsanyi, Bobby Fischer's Girlfriend

    Zita Rajcsanyi (born 1972) is the young Hungarian girl who brought Bobby Fischer back to the board in 1992.  She was able to do it because she had the nerve to write a letter to Fischer, her hero.
     Raiczanyi was a 17-year-old fan and Hungarian junior champion when she sent a letter to Fischer, care of the American Chess Federation. A year later, he wrote back and they entered into a correspondence that quickly led to Fischer's inviting her to stay with him in Los Angeles. It was generally assumed that she and Fischer were lovers because during their relationship Fischer referred to her as his fiance, but Raiczanyi denied that their relationship was sexual. 
     She described her first meeting with him at the Los Angeles airport by describing Fischer as “very kind,” adding that he was friendly with strangers and often got into conversations on the street. Raiczanyi said she stayed with a male friend of Fischer's in Los Angles who shared Fischer's beliefs about Jews, the same guy who forgot to pay the rent on Fischer's storage space. She later added that at the time the man was not aware that "officially" Fischer himself was Jewish. 
     Fischer had collected what he claimed was millions of dollars' worth of personal memorabilia which was stored in a ten-by-ten-foot Bekins storage room in Pasadena, California. 
     When Fischer left for Yugoslavia in the summer of 1992 to play the rematch with Boris Spassky he entrusted his friend Bob Ellsworth, who was not a chess player, with making sure the payments on the storage space were kept up to date. The two had met in the early 1970s when both were involved in the Worldwide Church of God. See my post on Fischer and the World Wide Church of God HERE
     In 1998 the storage facility changed ownership and Ellsworth learned of the change after a payment had been missed and Fischer’s stuff was put up for auction. Ellsworth attempted to buy it all back, spending over $8,000 of his own money, but was unable to buy everything. Fischer was devastated and said Ellsworth was worthy of death. In a radio interview in the Philippines, Fischer claimed Ellsworth was in cahoots with Bekins and it was all orchestrated by the Jewish world governments. Fischer never got over the "theft." 
     In a 2002 radio interview in Reykjavik he described the "robbery" as one of the biggest, if not the biggest robbery, in the history of the United States. He also encouraged Iceland to close the US military base and if the US refused to leave then they should be sent letters laced with anthrax. 
     In reality, according to Ellsworth, Fischer's material was not worth hundreds of millions. A lot of it was things that were of value only to Fischer: old magazines, books on conspiracy theories, pornographic Mexican comics, etc. 
     Harry Sneider, Fischer’s former physical trainer attended the auction with Ellsworth and arranged to have twelve boxes of Fischer’s stuff they had rescued sent to Budapest where Fischer was then living. Later, after Fischer's death, collector David DeLucia bought much of this material from Pal Benko, who somehow had managed to remain Fischer’s long-time friend. Fischer claimed his property was stolen in a secret plot involving the Rothschilds (Jews), Bill Clinton (whom he called a secret Jew) and Bekins executives whom he called CIA rats who work for the Jews. 
     At a 1996 press conference Fischer claimed he was being persecuted night and day by the Jews, for telling it like it is. They wanted to put him in jail, were robbing him of everything and continuously lying about him. He added that the “God-damn Jews in America have just gone and grabbed it all.” 
     When Raiczanyi was asked if Fischer ever explained his hatred of Jews she stated that he had told her that in his childhood his mother had lots of Jewish friends who hung around the apartment talking a lot and to a 12-year old, such activity seemed abnormal. Of course that never prevented Fischer from taking advantage of the kindness of Jewish people. For years Jewish “friends” allowed him to stay with them for weeks or months at a time and when he was in Hungary he stayed with Lazlo Polgar and even in Polgar's home, Fischer ranted against the Jews. Polgar put up with it because he allegedly made money selling Fischer autographs and his company benefited from Fischer's presence. 
     While she was in California, Raiczanyi met Fischer's mother, Regina, whom she described as a “very nice, a strong lady.“ When Fischer started ranting against Jews, his mother asked him why he thought he was so “pure.” 
     Raiczanyi said Fischer, using the pseudonym Robert James, had a one-room apartment in downtown Los Angeles and she described him as being very poor and she occasionally loaned him money. At that time she persuaded Fischer to return to play by suggesting that she would find a sponsor. 
     After returning to Hungary Raiczanyi met Janos Kabut, a newspaper publisher, who put her in touch with Serbian millionaire Jezdimir Vasiljevic. Between them, they worked out a deal with Fischer despite his outrageous demands. He wanted 15 bodyguards and insisted that the nose of the Knight should be a certain length. A couple of months later Rajcsanyi, along with Kubat and two of Vasilyevich's attorneys, returned to Los Angeles where it took four or five days to discuss details of the rematch with Spassky and get a contract signed. 
     In 1992 Raiczanyi attended the Fischer-Spassky rematch which took place in Belgrade and Montenegro. She rarely saw Fischer, but after the match he began calling her in Budapest and saying they should get married and have children. At that time she was seeing the man whom she eventually married, but Fischer told her to dump him. She refused and when Fischer persisted, she broke off contact with him in 1993. 
     Then on his birthday in 1998 she called him and arranged a meeting. And, as it was right after the sale of his possessions, a badly upset Fischer was ranting about the sale of his stuff in Pasadena. At that time he was also under the threat of a jail sentence and a $200,000 fine if he returned to the US as a result of an indictment for breaking the US embargo on Yugoslavia. Of course, to him it was all a Jewish conspiracy. It also intensified his already virulent hated of the United States and he told Raiczanyi that the American soldiers held captive in Yugoslavia should be executed. He also complained that a new edition of My 60 Memorable Games published by Batsford had deliberately given his moves incorrectly in yet another Jewish plot.  Editor Graham Burgess conceded that there had been one particular error, but that he had corrected many others that appeared in the first edition. Burgess was sympathetic to Fischer and suggested the conversion to algebraic was partly responsible. Burgess also advised that he was not Jewish. 
     Raiczanyi, studying to be a psychologist, thought Fischer's persecution complex was due to the fact that because he could not confess his own mistakes he projected them on others. She described Fischer by saying, "He's like a child. Very, very simple." 

     The Original Toiletgate
     At the pre-match press conference, when asked if he was worried about the threat of the US government, Fischer pulled out the Treasury letter and spit on it. He then announced that he hadn't paid taxes since 1976, was going to write a book that would prove that Russian players, whom he described as “some of the lowest dogs around,” had destroyed chess through “immoral, unethical, prearranged games.” Fischer added that he wasn't really an anti-Semite, because he was pro-Arab and Arabs are Semites too. He also explained that that Soviet communism was a mask for Bolshevism which was a mask for Judaism. 
     There was also a Toiletgate of sorts when Fischer informed tournament officials that he wanted the toilet in his bathroom to be elevated. This may seem a weird request, but probably not so much in Fischer's health conscious mind. 
     Like may people, Fischer probably got some of his best ideas while sitting on the throne. And, getting up from a regular toilet is not much different than getting up from a squat and squats are bad for your knees. Also, being a tall fellow (6 feet, one inch) it makes sense; if he didn't already have knee problems, a taller toilet would help prevent future problems.
     Generally referred to as “handicap” toilets, some call them “comfort” toilets. Advocates claim they have a preventive effect on our kneecaps and over a lifetime it might reduce the number of visits people make to orthopedic surgeons.  On the downside, they are uncomfortable to really short people. 


  1. Um, that's a picture of Hillary Clinton.

  2. http://ajedreztenerife.blogspot.com/2012/01/pase-srleontxo-v.html




  3. Apparently the picture was copied from the Tenerife chess blog...the girl shown on the Fischer site does look very similar.


  4. Are all chess players as delusional as Bobby Fischer? That's absolutely a photo of her and Fisher has said all of this stuff on tape... what is a lie?

  5. The girl in the picture is a young Hillary Clinton. Just google "young Hillary clinton" and it'll show up as one of the first pictures. Someone else mentioned it as well.

  6. I find it amusing that this post has generated so many comments and even a couple of emails. In the past on those rare occasions where someone pointed out a factual error, I corrected it immediately. When it was pointed out that the photo is actually Hillary Clinton I didn't bother to change it because the post was three years old and I figured it was buried in obscurity...I was wrong, but concluded that changing the picture now would only lead to more confusion because if the right picture was posted, future readers would claim it's not Hillary Clinton, it really is Zita Rajcsanyi.

  7. I want to try to answer Unknown, no not all chess players are delusional like Bobby. It is rather unwise to generalize for chess players, because they are as different as all people can be. I've read some stuff on Fischer and I think he really was unique even among chess players. Unquestionably he is very intelligent, this you can easily verify by seeing some interviews with him. However he had a strange affection for marginal ideas, such as the jewish conspiracy, all kinds of conspiracies toward him, in this regard he alienated himself from others, the media intensifying his flaws but never recognizing his high intelligence.

  8. As Spassky once said, Fischer is "a big child from kindergarten", which correctly sums up his behavior. Firstly, he didn't want to fly to Iceland to play the world championship match, then he was late for the first game, didn't show up for the second game, demanded that the rest of games be played in a back room, which Spassky could easily refuse and forfeit Fischer. It is true that Fischer eventually won the match for what he deserves credit. Then, seeing how strong the challenger Karpov was, he chickened out. He started arrogantly putting up demands after demands, it was clear that he was afraid to lose like a man and decided to make it look as if the unjust officials robbed him of the title.
    The guy never knew how to take responsibility, always managed to blame others for his failures, Jews, Americans, Russians, match officials, cameras.

    1. Karpov was not close to the strength of Fischer. Just compare Karpov's record against Korchnoi, a player that Fischer used to beat like egg whites.

  9. Baillie DonaldsonMarch 9, 2021 at 11:07 AM

    Let's compare:
    Fischer vs Korchnoi +2 -2 =6
    Karpov vs Korchnoi +31 -14 =63

    By that metric you're right, Karpov was not close to the strength of Fischer - he was immensely stronger.