I, Robert James “Bobby” Fischer, undefeated Chess Champion of the World, issue the following statement to chess match organizers and chess fans the world over, to the World Chess Federation (FIDE), and to all interested media.
Last Tuesday, while shopping at my local Mandarake’s in Tokyo for a pair of mentalist-proof sunglasses, I found a hand-held chess computer in the toy aisle. Labeled in English as the “Saitek Chess Samurai, Ages 7-12, 2 C-cells not included, 130 yen,” it impressed me at once as a powerful opponent worthy of my skills. I therefore propose to come out of seclusion and play a match against this fighting chess machine, provided the following conditions are met:
The Japanese release me from the holding cell where they put me last Friday due to my expired passport, and stop threatening to deport me to the U.S.
The match will be billed as the Fischer-Saitek Chess Samurai Match to Determine Once and for All: Who is Smarter, Man or Computer?
It will not be a title match. I, Robert Fischer, Chess Champion of the World, retain this title regardless of the outcome of the match. Nor does the match have anything to do with my being without a country or having no money at this time.
The winner of the match receives 10 million U.S. dollars and political asylum in the Philippines. The loser gets some replacement batteries and a carrying case with a strap.
All games must end prior to 3:00 p.m. (Japanese time), so that Robert Fischer may watch his favorite TV show, Hal & Bons. The World Champion refuses to miss an episode of these two amazing clay dogs talking to a rice cake.
Neither player will make whirring, clicking, or humming noises during a game. If this occurs, the Referee will warn the offending player. If the player ignores the Referee’s first warning, that player forfeits the game. Note: A player may use the optional plug-in power adapter (not included) and plug himself into a wall outlet instead of using batteries. However, the same warning rule applies if the plugged-in player then issues smoke or bursts into flames.
In the event that either player becomes ill, the match is postponed until both players are in good health. However, if World Champion Fischer drops the hand-held Samurai chess computer, and the flimsy machine breaks, the match continues without pause. If the broken Samurai is unable to play on, it forfeits all scheduled games until it is repaired. Note: Only the original chess-playing toy may continue the match. At no stage of the match may a new toy take the place of a broken toy. World Champion Fischer promises to do his best to hold the Chess Samurai tightly during play.
It would disrupt World Champion Fischer’s concentration if the Samurai’s batteries were replaced during the course of a game. Therefore, in the event that the Samurai’s batteries wear down or die during a game, these are not to be replaced and the power-depleted computer must finish the game in progress without batteries as best it can.
There will be no TV cameras and no spectators in the playing area. I, Robert Fischer, Chess Champion of the World, will describe every move and every psychological ploy via live satellite hookup, so there is no need of other witnesses. I will also function as Referee, since I’m human, and the Referee should probably be human.
The winner of the match will be the first player to achieve two wins. Draws will not count, and since World Champion Fischer has not played in a while and needs to warm up, neither will the first 10 games count.
For the duration of the match, Gary Kasparov is not allowed to play Deep Blue, Deep Junior, X3D Fritz or any other chess-playing program to divert the world’s attention away from the Fischer-Saitek Chess Samurai Match.
To ensure quiet and privacy, the match will take place in an orbiting space station. There must be plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit aboard the station, as well as chilled Evian bottled water. Also, send sandwiches. I’m hungry.
With these rules in place the match should be a chess event to remember. Those interested in sponsoring such a match may reply to:
c/o Department of Immigration, Holding Area
P.S. You’re next, X-Box Tournament Paintball.