Chess champion Bobby Fischer buried in Iceland

Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:14pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Kristin Arna Bragadottir

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Chess legend Bobby Fischer, who died in Iceland last week aged 64, was buried on Monday in a private ceremony near the city that hosted his famous victory over the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky 35 years ago.

Fischer's spokesman, Gardar Sverrisson, said the American-born world chess champion was buried on Monday morning at a quiet ceremony attended by a few friends and his companion, Japanese chess player Miyoko Watai.

The Catholic burial was held on a cold, bright day at a small country church near the southern Icelandic town of Selfoss, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Reykjavik.

One of the attendees, who declined to be identified, said Fischer had requested that only a handful of people be at his funeral.

The quiet end of Fischer's life contrasted with the fiery nature of his life, both at and away from the chess board.

The former child prodigy became America's only world chess champion by humbling the Soviet Union's best but spent his last years as a fugitive from U.S. authorities.

He died after an unspecified illness on Thursday in Reykjavik, the site of his 1972 victory over Boris Spassky at the height of the Cold War. Media reports have said he died of kidney failure.

Once feted as a national hero and seen by some as the greatest chess talent ever, the Chicago-born Fischer handed his title to the Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov three years later by refusing to defend it.   Continued...

 
<p>In this file photo former world chess champion Bobby Fischer departs for Iceland from Narita international airport in Narita, northeast of Tokyo following his release from detention March 24, 2005. Fischer, who died in Iceland last week aged 64, was buried on Monday in a private ceremony near the city that hosted his famous victory over the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky 35 years ago. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>