Ex-American Chess Legend Bobby Fischer Dead at 64

US Chess Legend Bobby Fischer photo
Bobby Fischer, (pictured here, credit: AP), the controversial former American chess legend, has died of long illness in a Reykjavik hospital, Iceland. He was 64 of age. 

Born in Chicago and raised in Brooklyn, Bobby Fischer--original name Robert James Fischer, was a U.S. chess champion at 14 and a grand master at 15. His heyday came as a Cold War icon in America when he dethroned the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972.

But soon after, Bobby's life was full of controversies and quirks:
Fischer's reputation as a chess genius soon was eclipsed by his idiosyncrasies. He lost his world title in 1975 after refusing to defend it against Anatoly Karpov. He dropped out of competitive chess and largely out of view, emerging occasionally to make erratic and often anti-Semitic comments, although his mother was Jewish.

Fischer lived in secret outside the United States but emerged in 1992 to confront Spassky again, in a highly publicized match in Yugoslavia. Fischer beat Spassky 10-5 to win $3.35 million.

The U.S. government said Fischer's playing the match violated U.N. sanctions against Yugoslavia, imposed for Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic's role in fomenting war in the Balkans.

Over the years, Fischer gave occasional interviews with a radio station in the Philippines, often digressing into anti-Semitic rants and accusing American officials of hounding him.

He praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying America should be "wiped out," and described Jews as "thieving, lying bastards." His mother was Jewish. [...]

In July 2004, Fischer was arrested in Japan and threatened with extradition to the United States to face sanctions-busting charges. He spent nine months in custody before the dispute was resolved when Iceland — a chess-mad nation and site of his greatest triumph — granted him citizenship.

Fischer told reporters that he was finished with a chess world he regarded as corrupt, and sparred with U.S. journalists who asked about his anti-American tirades.

"The United States is evil. There's this axis of evil. What about the allies of evil — the United States, England, Japan, Australia? These are the evildoers," Fischer said.
Source: Ap & BKP

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