Bobby Fischer buried in Iceland

by ChessBase
1/22/2008 – Chess legend Robert James Fischer, eleventh world champion, was laid to rest in the cemetery of Laugardalur Church outside the town of Selfoss, 60 km south of Reykjavik. Fischer, who died of kidney failure, had requested that only a handful of people be present at the funeral – amongst them Fischer's companion, Miyoko Watai. We bring you the wire reports and a statement by Garry Kasparov.

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AP: Chess master Bobby Fischer buried
Reclusive chess genius Bobby Fischer has been buried in a private ceremony at a churchyard in southern Iceland, a television station has reported. Fischer, who died of kidney failure on Thursday at the age of 64, was interred at Laugardalur church outside the town of Selfoss, parish priest the Rev Kristinn Agust Fridfinnsson said. The funeral was attended by only a handful of people, including Fischer's companion, Miyoko Watai, and his Icelandic friend and spokesman Gardar Sverrisson. Full dispatch...

Fischer's grave in the Laugardalur churchyard outside Selfoss. Photo: Euruchess

Reuters: Chess champion Bobby Fischer buried in Iceland
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. He died after an unspecified illness on Thursday in Reykjavik. Media reports have said he died of kidney failure. Full story...

Garry Kasparov statement on the death of Bobby Fischer

With the death of Bobby Fischer chess has lost one of its greatest figures. Fischer’s status as world champion and celebrity came from a charismatic and combative personality matched with unstoppable play. I recall thrilling over the games of his 1972 Reykjavik world championship match against Boris Spassky when I was nine years old. The American had his share of supporters in the USSR even then, and not only for his chess prowess. His outspokenness and individuality also earned him the quiet respect of many of my compatriots.

Fischer’s beautiful chess and his immortal games will stand forever as a central pillar in the history of our game. And the story of the Brooklynite iconoclast’s rise from prodigy to world champion has few peers for drama. Apart from a brief and peculiar reappearance in 1992, Bobby Fischer’s chess career ended in 1972. After conquering the chess Olympus he was unable to find a new target for his power and passion.

Fischer’s relentless energy exhausted everything it touched – the resources of the game itself, his opponents on and off the board, and, sadly, his own mind and body. While we can never entirely separate the deeds from the man, I would prefer to speak of his global achievements instead of his inner tragedies. It is with justice that he spent his final days in Iceland, the site of his greatest triumph. There he has always been loved and seen in the best possible way: as a chessplayer.

Garry Kasparov
Moscow – January 18, 2008

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