Le 5 octobre 1972, Robert James Fischer, un mois et quatre jours après son sacre à Reykjavik, passa à l’émission de télévision de Bob Hope et fut salué comme ce qu’il était : le nouveau héros du rêve américain. On y découvre un Bobby sachant encore rire de lui, loin du barbu hirsute et échevelé, éructant sa haine contre son pays et les Juifs.
HOPE. — Ladies and gentlemen since the time is about to expire, I’m declaring myself the winner, which I’ve just done by laying down my opponent’s king. This symbolically says ‘The king is dead !’
FISCHER. — Not yet, he isn’t!
HOPE. — You are too late. I’m the new champ !
FISCHER. — Oh, you are funny !
HOPE. — Ok, I’ll give you a break, I’ll let you lose gracefully.
FISCHER. — There are no cameras, are there ?
HOPE. — No, it’s just as we agreed… Are you comfortable ?
FISCHER. — Yes, thank you.
HOPE. — How about the noise, does it bother you ?
FISCHER. — No no, that’s why I like it here, the audience is so quiet.
HOPE. — Bob you’re incredible, you know, you’re world champion you’re only 29, you beat men a lot older than yourself.
FISCHER. — It’s not because a man is older this means he’s smarter.
HOPE. — Now I know why Spassky got sick… Is it true Bobby that chess develops the mind ?
FISCHER. — I suppose so, but you don’t need it, you have one of the sharpest minds I’ve ever encountered.
HOPE. — Oh really? Where did you get that idea ?
Well I read the contract.
HOPE. — Bobby you’ve made it to the top. How does it feel to be up there ?
FISCHER. — It’s been a long tough battle, but it’s a great thrill to be the best in the world at what you’re doing, to be the king, to wear the crown.
HOPE. — I know!
FISCHER. — Really? How do you know ?
HOPE. — Well I once did a margarine commercial… I guess you were always destined to be a chess wizard.
FISCHER. — Probably, but you know how it is. You couldn’t have been anything but a comedian. I bet you were the high school clown.
HOPE. — Oh yeah, for ten years… I guess you have to be really dedicated to master chess.
HOPE. — That’s true, you have to give up everything. Make chess your whole life. What about girls ?
FISCHER. — I had a date last night.
HOPE. — No kidding, how did you do ?
FISCHER. — Great, I beat her in four moves !
HOPE. — There was a lot in the paper about you holding out for a bigger cut of the purse ; were you misquoted ?
FISCHER. — All that talk about money, money, money. The important thing to me is what a person gets out of playing the game.
HOPE. — And what’s that ?
FISCHER. — Money !
HOPE. — Bobby I heard that all through you match you were getting advice from Henry Kissinger. Is that true ?
FISCHER. — That’s right.
HOPE. — Did it help ?
FISCHER. — It will if I’d meet Jill St John.
HOPE. — Well how did you and Boris Spassky get along ?
FISCHER. — He’s a nice guy, Bob, but we spoke very little to each other. In the morning he’d say ‘you’re late’ and in the evening I’d say ‘checkmate’.
HOPE. — Alright, shall we start the game ?
FISCHER. — I’m ready.
HOPE. — Ok, my move.
HOPE. — That’s the way I play! … I hate a slow player.
FISCHER. — Hey, this is an interesting position. I’d like to study the move…
HOPE. — Go ahead, study. … Say is it true that some players tried to destroy your concentration with noisy distraction ?
Who would do a thing like that ?
HOPE. — Oh I don’t know, I’ve just heard that there are some spoilsports who want to win at any price.
FISCHER. — If you’re properly trained you don’t hear it.
HOPE. — Really ? Where do you train ?
FISCHER. — At the Laura Sccuder potato chip factory. It’s your move…
FISCHER. — Congratulations !
HOPE. — You mean I’ve got a checkmate ?
FISCHER. — No, you’ve got Gin !