American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer passed away Friday at a Reyjavik hospital at the age of 64. Fischer’s spokesman Gardar Sverrisson confirmed the chess genius’ death, but did not provide the cause of the death, although Fischer has been ill for some time.
Fischer is best know for beating world chess champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in 1972. His victory occurred at the height of the Cold War. The chess matches were ironically held in Reyjavik, which led to Fischer being proclaimed the U.S. first world chess champion in over 100 years.
The chess prodigy was born in Chicago, raised in Brooklyn and became a U.S. chess champion at 14 and grandmaster at 15. You can try your skills using this Chess Grandmaster Game or at the Grand Master Corner if you are so inclined.
Controversy hounded the American chess champion over the years. Fischer lost his title when he refused to defend it versus Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union. He became a recluse afterward and was only heard whenever he made political statements, centered on anti-Semitism.
In 1992 Fischer reemerged by wining an exhibition match against Spassky at Sveti Stefan, a resort island in Yugoslavia. But he violated an international sanction to punish then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. He became wanted in the U.S. for violation of the sanction, renounced his American citizenship and was naturalized by Iceland in 2005 to avoid deportation to the U.S.
Before he moved to Iceland, Fischer lived undetected for several years in Japan.
If you are thinking about a pilgrimage perhaps stop in at Travel Iceland - “…not only closer than you think, but far different than you ever imagined.” Or maybe you should read through the Iceland forum over at the ODD friend Trip Advisor.
~~The ODDones for OurDailyDead.com
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