"Bye," she said sweetly. Click.
I paid a call on Mokarow on March 9, Fischer's 42nd birthday, knocking on her door on San Remo Road in Pasadena. I knew the house well, for I had staked it out on several occasions in the past months, hoping to see Fischer come or go. A woman's voice answered from behind the door.
"Who is it?" Claudia asked, in her telephone voice. I told her who I was. "It's Bobby Fischer's 42nd birthday, and I would like to talk to you, please!"
"I'm not interested in talking to you," she said.
So it was with Claudia and all of those still known to be in touch with Fischer. I ran into Miguel Quinteros one day at a chess tournament in New York, and Fischer's closest friend among the grandmasters only smiled and said, "We have a deal. The only thing I can tell you is he is in very good shape. He hasn't lost anything."
So, too, came the word one day from Joan Fischer Targ, Bobby's older sister, who lives in Palo Alto. Asked for help, she replied very politely, "Sorry, I can't."
"Have you seen him lately?" I asked.
"I guess what you're asking are personal questions," Joan said.
"I'm in Palo Alto," I said. "Could I see you?"
"There wouldn't be much point in it," she said.