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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The end game of Bobby Fischer

I wrote Bobby Fisher: Grand Master, Iconoclast and Legend and later on added Was It Only a Game? Dick Cavett and here is another interesting article in the Observer/Guardian that confirms Bobby was married.

The end game of Bobby Fischer

He was said to have an IQ greater than Einstein's, and he won the world's most famous chess duel. But when he died last month in Reykjavik, Bobby Fischer was a shuffling recluse, consumed by paranoia. John Carlin pieces together the grandmaster's last moves

Sunday February 10, 2008
The Observer

At 8pm on Monday 21 January, under cover of darkest night, a hearse slid stealthily out of the snowy streets of Reykjavik, followed by another car. In the hearse was a coffin containing the body of Bobby Fischer, the American chess virtuoso, who had died four days earlier, aged 64; in the car were an Icelandic couple who had been his neighbours and a French Catholic priest whom Fischer, born and raised Jewish, had never met.

They drove 45km east of the Icelandic capital and stopped at a Lutheran country church near the small town of Selfoss. They were met there by a Japanese woman, a Buddhist, who had flown in from Tokyo the night before and who said she was his wife. The farmer who owned the land on which the church was built, and where Fischer would sometimes go for walks, had dug a grave overnight in the plot's ancient cemetery. The small group huddled around the grave, and the priest said a prayer. It was bitterly cold and the black of the night sky contrasted with the whiteness of the icy ground. By 10pm, as the dull glow of morning began rising from the east, the ceremony was over. The coffin had been lowered into the ground and Fischer's wife and neighbours, the farmer and the priest walked silently away.

The news of Fischer's death on 17 January had spread far and wide, but no one beyond the burial party had any notion that the controversial, Uncle Sam-hating, Jew-bashing former world chess champion was already underground until four the next afternoon, when the neighbour who had been present, Gardar Sverisson, phoned a friend to let him know. So closely held was the secret, so hastily arranged the funeral, that even the Lutheran priest whose church this was did not get to hear about it until after the event; even Fischer's American brother-in-law (the first husband of his dead sister) did not know about it, which was especially galling since he had flown in from America for the funeral (and for a cut of Fischer's €2m fortune), oblivious to the fact that the ceremony was taking place at the very moment his plane from New York touched down. Nor had Fischer's most loyal Icelandic friend, Saemi Palsson, been told. [for more click on the heading]


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