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Bobby Fischer's Remains Exhumed Upon A Filipina's Request

Updated on March 19, 2011

What does chess, DNA, USA, Iceland, Japan, the Philippines and two million dollars have in common?

Let us start in January of 2008.

In that month, a great US world chess champion died in Reykjavik, in Iceland.

And as any normal person who passed away, people hope that former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer, the very reclusive chess grandmaster would rest in peace. Although nobody would ever consider Bobby as anything normal.

But I guess, he too deserve to rest in peace. But, this rest was short-lived, as today (05 July 2010) his remains was exhumed by court order, to determine if the claims of the Filipina mother (Marilyn Young) of Jinky, who her mother is claiming to be the daughter of Bobby.

And all this was because the chess great passed away without a will.

And ever since the day he died, his estate worth over two million dollars, has been up for grabs. Among the claimants, Japanese Miyoko Watai, who claimed she was married to Bobby in 2004, Marilyn, in behalf of Jinky, and the nephews of Bobby.

What can I say, even geniuses could forget to take care of their most basic requirements before leaving this world of ours. Well, Bobby has always been erratic and eccentric. But geniuses and rich people can get away with that kind of thing. Poor people will always be labeled as loony, if they act similarly.

And talking about loonies, reports say that it would take some time (even months) before the DNA samples exhumed today could be matched with the DNA sample provided by the alleged love child of Bobby with Marilyn. And so now, the wait begins.

Jinky and Marilyn both live in the Philippines. They flew a long way to Iceland to provide a sample of Jinky's blood in December of last year. They were accompanied by their lawyer and Eugene Torre, probably the most well known of the Philippine Chess Grandmasters.

Fischer, was born in Chicago and raised in Brooklyn, New York.

He became a world wide name in 1972 when he beat Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union for the world championship they took part in Reykjavik.

Yes, a match that brimmed with Cold War symbolisms, among other things.

As expected after that win, Bobby Fischer became an instant American hero. Although, he gave up his world title in 1975, because he refuse to defend it against another great Russian chess player, Anatoly Karpov.

Bobby then became a recluse, dropped out of chess and out of the limelight. He spent last years in Europe and in Asia.

And yes, in case you are wondering, Bobby spent considerable time in Iceland, in Japan and in the Philippines, among other places.

Bobby Fischer with Jinky Young and live-in partner Marilyn, dated March 26, 2004  Chessbase.com
Bobby Fischer with Jinky Young and live-in partner Marilyn, dated March 26, 2004 Chessbase.com

Footnote

The paternity test ordered by the Icelandic Supreme Court to determine if the chess champion Bobby Fischer was the father of a 9-year-old Filipino girl came back negative on August 17, 2010, according to people involved in the dispute over his estate. (see latest news below)

Biography of Bobby Fischer

Robert James Fischer (1943 - 2008)

Born on March 9, 1943, American-born chess master who became the youngest grandmaster in history when he received the title in 1958. His youthful intemperance and brilliant playing drew the attention of the American public to the game of chess, particularly when he won the world championship in 1972.

Fischer learned the moves of chess at age 6 and at 16 dropped out of high school to devote himself fully to the game. In 1958 he won the first of many American championships. In world championship candidate matches during 1970-71, Fischer won 20 consecutive games before losing once and drawing three times to former world champion Tigran Petrosyan of the Soviet Union in a final match won by Fischer. In 1972 Fischer became the first native-born American to hold the title of world champion when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a highly publicized match held in Reykjavík, Iceland. In doing so, Fischer won the $156,000 victor's share of the $250,000 purse.

When playing White, Fischer virtually always opened with 1. e4. His victories commonly resulted from surprise attacks or counterattacks rather than from the accumulation of small advantages, yet his play remained positionally sound. In 1975 Fischer refused to meet his Soviet challenger, Anatoly Karpov, and the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE; the international chess federation) deprived him of his championship and declared Karpov champion by default. Fischer then withdrew from serious play for almost 20 years, returning to defeat Spassky in a privately organized rematch in 1992.

After defeating Spassky, Fischer withdrew into seclusion, in part because he had violated U.S. restrictions on participating in events in Yugoslavia. On July 13, 2004, he was detained at Narita Airport in Tokyo after authorities discovered that his U.S. passport had been revoked. Fischer fought deportation to the United States, where he faced criminal charges for violating sanctions against the former Yugoslavia. On March 21, 2005, Fischer was granted Icelandic citizenship and within days was flown to Reykjavík, the site of his world-famous encounter with Spassky.

Bobby Fischer died on January 17, 2008, in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Copyright © 1994-2009 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

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