Bobby Fischer: ich bin ein Icelander!

by ChessBase
3/21/2005 – At 5:06 p.m. today the Icelandic Althingi, has granted former world chess champion Bobby Fischer full Icelandic citizenship. Despite stern U.S. diplomatic warnings, the world's oldest existing democratic parliament voted 40 in favour and two abstentions to make Fischer a full citizen. The readings took just 12 minutes.

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The RJF Committee informs us that Robert James Fischer, former world chess champion became an Icelander today, March 21st at 5.06 p.m., when he was granted Icelandic Citizenship. I took Althingi only 12 minutes to pass the legislation bill (attached) through three sessions by special variation from the statues of the Icelandic Parliament.

The above picture shows one of Fischers strongest supporter at the Althingi, MP Össur Skaprhedinsson, leader of the Icelandic Democratic Party, at the rostrum. Seated to his right are Prime minister H. Asgrimsson; Minister of Foreign Affairs D. Oddsson (who granted Fischer a residence permit for Iceland last December); Minister of Justice B. Bjarnason. Only half of the Parliament hall can been seen. There were 42 members of parliament present, 21 absent. The voting went: 40 in favour, 2 abstentions 0 opposed.

131st Legislative Session 2004-2005

Parliamentary Document 1007 — Case no. 66

Legislative Bill

respecting the granting of citizenship

From the General Committee

Article 1

Icelandic citizenship shall be granted to:
Fischer, Robert James, b. 9 March 1943 in the United States.

Article 2

This Act shall enter into force at once.


The General Committee recommends that Robert James Fischer (Bobby Fischer) be granted Icelandic citizenship. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Icelandic Citizenship Act, no. 100/1952, Althingi [the Parliament of Iceland] may grant citizenship by statute.



Respecting the Granting of Citizenship

Article 1

Icelandic citizenship shall be granted to:
Fischer, Robert James, b. 9 March 1943 in the United States.

Article 2

This Act shall enter into force at once.

Approved in Althingi [the Parliament of Iceland] on 21 March 2005

Translated from the Icelandic

News links

  • CNN International: Iceland offer for fugitive Fischer
    March 21, 2005, 18:21 GMT: Iceland's parliament has voted to grant citizenship to fugitive U.S. chess star Bobby Fischer. The legislation, passed Monday with 40 lawmakers voting "aye" and two abstaining following a brief debate, became law immediately. "I am very pleased with this, and I think that the dignity of the parliament has increased," Fischer's supporter Saemundur Palsson said, adding that Fischer would be informed Tuesday morning Japanese time. "I hope that he will stop cursing the Americans now. It has gotten him into so much trouble," Palsson told reporters. Einar S. Einarsson, another of Fischer's key supporters, said he had spoken to the mercurial chess genius earlier in the day. Fischer hoped the process would be quick, and "I don't think it could have been much quicker," Einarsson said. The bill went through the required three readings in 12 minutes.

  • New York Times: In Step Toward Freedom, Iceland Grants Citizenship to Fischer
    March 21, 2005: Iceland's parliament voted today to grant Icelandic citizenship to the American chess champion Bobby Fischer, laying the groundwork, his supporters said, for his release from the Japanese prison where he has been detained since last summer. "We are most happy," said Einar S. Einarsson, spokesman for a committee that has been fighting to allow Mr. Fischer to leave Japan, where he is being held in prison while he fights deportation to the United States. Mr. Einarsson, who called Mr. Fischer "part of our modern saga and part of our recent history," said that the 62-year-old chess champion might be released "in only a few days" and that an Icelandic delegation planned to travel to Tokyo to escort him back to Reykjavik.

  • Japan Today: Iceland grants Fischer citizenship
    March 22, 2005 at 05:43 JST: The Icelandic parliament made its definitive vote Monday to grant fugitive U.S. chess star Bobby Fischer citizenship. Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the General Committee, said, "Today the parliament voted on the proposal and agreed by 40 votes and two abstentions in favor of granting citizenship." A top Japanese immigration official reportedly confirmed last week that Fischer would be released and deported to Iceland if he was granted citizenship. Whilst Iceland's role in the legal process is complete, it remains to be seen whether Japan will fulfill its part of the bargain and release the detained chess star. (Kyodo News)

  • BBC News: Iceland grants Fischer passport
    21 March, 2005, 19:12 GMT: Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer has been granted Icelandic citizenship after a vote in the country's parliament. Mr Fischer, 62, has been on the run from the US for more than 10 years for violating economic sanctions in a match he played in former Yugoslavia in 1992. Japan, where Mr Fischer is being held, has said it will not deport him to the US if Iceland grants him citizenship.

  • Aljezeera: Iceland offers chess master asylum
    22 March 2005, 2:16 Makka Time: Former world chess champion and American fugitive Bobby Fischer has been granted citizenship by Iceland. Currently in detention in Japan fighting a US deportation order, the citizenship enables the 62-year-old chess master to settle in the tiny North Atlantic republic where he won the world title in 1972. Iceland's single-chamber assembly approved citizenship for Fischer by 40 votes in favour and none against, said parliamentarian Bjarni Benediktsson. He said the decision would enter into force within the next few days.

  • ABC News: Iceland Grants Citizenship for Chess Star
    Mar 21, 2005: Iceland, the country where Bobby Fischer won the world chess championship a generation ago, granted citizenship to the 62-year-old recluse Monday a boost to Fischer's efforts to fight deportation from Japan to the United States. Fischer, who is wanted by the United States for violating economic sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing a highly publicized match there in 1992, has been in Japanese custody since July 13. He was detained while trying to board a flight with an invalid passport. Immigration officials in Iceland said a passport for Fischer could be ready as early as Tuesday.

News Release By John Bosnitch
Chairman of the Committee to Free Bobby Fischer, Tokyo, Japan

Bobby Fischer wins Icelandic Citizenship!

Chess Legend Sets World Record in 12-Minute Vote, Preparations in Progress to Leave Japan

Bobby Fischer has succeeded in his quest for Icelandic citizenship! The Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, has granted World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer full citizenship as an Icelander. The Althingi, which is the world's oldest existing democratic parliament, has made history by standing up to the earth's sole superpower and demonstrating that it can no longer bully individuals or nations around. Despite a stern U.S. diplomatic warning, the parliament of Iceland at 5:06 PM on Monday local time voted by 40 in favor to 0 opposed, with only 2 abstentions, to make Bobby Fischer a full citizen. The name of this tiny North Atlantic island has become synonymous with human freedom! Despite the danger of U.S. retaliation, the brave legislators proved their Viking roots by setting a world record of 12 minutes to complete the three parliamentary readings of the citizenship bill for persecuted U.S. national hero Bobby Fischer!

With Icelandic citizenship, Bobby Fischer has now met the conditions explicitly set last week by Japanese Immigration Bureau chief Masaharu Miura and Justice Minister Chieko Nohno, who both stated that he will be free to end almost nine months in detention in Japan and to leave for freedom in Iceland.

The United States had tried to seize Bobby Fischer by secretly and illegally claiming that his U.S. passport had been revoked in an effort to have him deported to the United States. They had accused him of the "crime" of playing chess in Yugoslavia in 1992 without U.S. government permission. Bobby Fischer had rightly spat in the U.S. presidential dictate and has spent the last 13 years as a so-called "fugitive" from U.S. injustice, not justice. He has traveled the world under his own name, freely, never hiding and always ready to defend his freedom against U.S. dictates. As he did when he won the world chess championship in 1972, Bobby has shown that individual freedom will always win.

The Committee to Free Bobby Fischer is holding two urgent news conferences on Tuesday in Tokyo. At 11:30 AM there will be conference at the Japanese Ministry of Justice. This conference will be held in Japanese and no cameras or video equipment are allowed into the ministry building. This conference will be to review the ministry's response to the demand for immediate release that the Committee will be submitting to the Justice Minister as soon as the ministry opens in the morning.

At 2 PM on Tuesday, March 22, 2005, the Committee to Free Bobby Fischer will hold its main news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan at the Yurakucho Denki Building at Hibiya/Yurakucho Station in central Tokyo. This conference is open to all and full video and camera coverage is allowed.

If Bobby Fischer is free by then, he will conduct the news conference himself.

If Bobby has not yet been released, the news conference will be conducted by Free Bobby Fischer Committee Chairman John Bosnitch and Bobby Fischer's lead lawyer Ms. Masako Suzuki. John Bosnitch has spelled out the committee's immediate objective as, "getting Bobby Fischer onto a plane to freedom as soon as humanly possible." Masako Suzuki will explain the procedures taking place to obtain Bobby's immediate release and departure for Iceland. John Bosnitch will outline the steps that the Committee will take from this point forward to protect Bobby from further unlawful seizure by the United States, as well as new legal action being filed on Tuesday in the United States for declaratory relief against the U.S. government, including a binding order of habeas corpus against all U.S. officials and actions for compensation for false imprisonment and for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"This is a historic battle pitting the world's sole superpower-bully against one lone man who had the courage to fight for his own freedom to think and speak as he chooses. Bobby Fischer is standing up as a hero of every oppressed individual in the world," said John Bosnitch. "Freedom of belief and human rights will triumph over tyrannical persecution."

The Free Bobby Fischer Committee extends its deepest congratulations and most sincere thanks to the Icelandic Robert James Fischer Committee, the Icelandic Althingi and the courageous people of Iceland. "We dream of a world brave enough to follow your example!"

Previous ChessBase articles

Fischer to receive Icelandic citizenship
19.03.2005 "Iceland has just got its tenth grandmaster – Robert James Fischer," rejoiced the RJF Committee. The country's parliament decided unanimously a few hours ago to grant Fischer Icelandic citizenship. Japanese authorities have confirmed that in such a case they would release the detained former world champion. Long read.

Playing the Al Capone Gambit against Fischer
15.03.2005 It's a strategy that worked well on leading mob figures: if you can't get them, let the IRS do the job. Former world champions Fischer was initially detained in Japan because of invalid travel document, then we were told it was for breaking sanctions in 1992. Now it looks like the US government will use tax evasion and money laundering to bring him down. Reports and video.

Bobby Fischer: five days in solitary confinement
08.03.2005 We had just reported about Fischer's new passport, which an Icelandic delegation had carried to Japan. A minor mystery was why it had not been handed over to him last Wednesday, as planned. Now we learn that Japanese authorities had put the former world champion into solitary confinement. For five days. Over a hard-boiled egg. We are not joking.

Fischer's passport – to freedom?
08.03.2005 March 9th is Bobby Fischer's 62nd birthday. By chance a very special gift has arrived in Japan for the former world champion: an Icelandic passport with which he may be able to travel to freedom after more than six months in a Japanese detention facility. We have exclusive pictures of the new passport.

Fischer receives an Icelandic passport
2/23/2005 Immigration authorities in Iceland have decided to issue full travel documents for former world champion Bobby Fischer, who is being held in Japanese detention for not possessing a valid passport. Fischer's new passport will be sent to Japan by diplomatic mail, and a delegation is traveling there to escort him to Iceland.
Fischer's lawyer Masako Suzuki speaks out
02.02.2005 Is Japan buckling under pressure by the US? Bobby Fischer, 61, former World Champion of Chess who has been jailed in Japan for six months now, is applying for Icelandic citizenship. But Tokyo seems to be balking at a constructive solution entailing his release to Iceland. Fischer's lawyer Masako Suzuki has given us an exclusive interview.

Bobby Fischer applies for Icelandic Citizenship
25.01.2005 After the Japanese authorities last week refused Fischer's request to be extradited to Iceland the chess legend, who is being held in a Japanese detention facility, has today written to the President of the Icelandic Althingi (picture), applying for Icelandic citizenship. A special law would have to be passed to grant Fischer's request.

Bobby Fischer – immigration plans on ice
22.01.2005 His supporters filed a petition that Fischer might be released from detention in a Tokyo jail and allowed to travel to Iceland, where he has been granted refuge. But Japanese Justice Ministry lawyers said they were not prepared to change Fischer's deportation destination to Iceland, and that he would have to remain in detention. A harsh blow for the chess legend.

Bobby Fischer – six months in jail
1/17/2005 On July 13, 2004 he was arrested at Narita Airport in Tokyo, for attempting to leave the country on an invalidated. Since then the greatest hero of Western chess has been languishing in a Japanese detention facility, now physically exhausted and suffering from dizzy spells. His Icelandic friends, who are offering him refuge, have launched another appeal to the authorities.

US threatens Iceland, Fischer Committee appeals
22.12.2004 Iceland is under US pressure to drop plans to offer a home to fugitive former chess champion Bobby Fischer, the Reuters news agency tells us. But the Icelandic government has stated that its offer "will not be withdrawn despite pressure from the United States." How do we know that? Among other things we read it in Aljazeera, would you believe? Here's the latest on this international confrontation.

RJF Committee mobilizes pro-Fischer forces
18.12.2004 While Bobby Fischer remains incarcerated in a Japanese prison a special committee in Iceland is moving to get him free and find him a home on the North-Atlantic island country. Iceland's foreign minister and a prominent political scientist have spoken out. Here's a report on Fischer's Iceland Connection...
Fischer to get refuge in Iceland?
12/16/2004 The news today on Bobby Fischer, who is currently being held in a Japanese detention facilities pending extradition to the US, is that the Icelandic government has offered to grant him a residence permit. In a telephone interview Fischer speaks about his plight in Japan and reacts to statements by Garry Kasparov on Fischer Random Chess. Full details...
Returning to the 'scene of the crime'
30.11.2004 Twelve years ago Boris Spassky played a match against Bobby Fischer in Yugoslavia. That got Fischer into a lot of trouble, while for Spassky, a French citizen, there were no repercussions. Now the tenth world champion returned to Belgrade to open the Belgrade Chess Trophy. Quick interview...
Fischer to Bush and Koizumi: 'You are going to pay for this!'
18.10.2004 Bobby Fischer, still in detention in Japan, has spoken out again in an interview, this time threatening the Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and US President Bush: "You are going to pay for this, and you are going to pay for your crimes in Iraq too." His new lawyer, Richard J. Vattuone, plans to release documents to prove US government involvement in a plot against Fischer.
'We want to live together forever'
01.09.2004 She collected pictures of her chess hero after his match with Boris Spassky in 1972. One year later they met in Tokyo – the start of a romance spanning decades. Since four years the two have lived together in downtown Kamata in Tokyo's Ota Ward. In an exclusive interview for ChessBase Miyoko Watai tells us the story of her life with Bobby Fischer.
Listen to Bobby Fischer
26.08.2004 In emotional phone calls from his detention cell in Tokyo ex world champion Bobby Fischer gave a Philippine radio station two lengthy interviews. Fischer is facing deportation and incarceration in the US, and voices his nightmare fears: "I will be tried, convicted, sentenced, imprisoned, tortured and murdered." We have summary transcripts and audio files.
Dramatic moments around Fischer's deportation
25.08.2004 First the Japanese Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa issued a deportation order against former world champion Bobby Fischer's, then Fischer's lawyers filed a lightning appeal on the grounds that physical deportation would be a flagrant violation of Fischer's right to full legal recourse and protection under Japanese law. Here's the full story by Fischer's legal coordinator.
'Bobby Fischer and I have decided to marry'
17.08.2004 Bobby Fischer, the former world chess champion, plans to marry the president of the Japan Chess Association (and four-time Japanese women's champion) Miyoko Watai. This was reported in newspapers and wire services last night. Now Watai-san has sent us a statement explaining the background of her personal relationship with Fischer.
Fischer renounces US citizenship
15.08.2004 Bobby Fischer has been moved to a new detention facility in Tokyo, pending a decision on his deportation to the US, where he faces a 10-year jail sentence. A lot of new material has surfaced, including Fischer's handwritten renouncement of his US citizenship and a blow-by-blow description and picture of his arrest at Narita Airport. Harrowing stuff...
Spassky to Bush: Arrest me!
10.08.2004 Boris Spassky, who played the contentious return match against Bobby Fischer in Yugoslavia 1992, for which the latter is currently facing deportation and incarceration in the US, has appealed to President Bush to show mercy and charity for his tormented successor. If for some reason that should be impossible, Spassky suggests a very imaginative alternative...
Fischer's appeal rejected
28.07.2004 Bobby Fischer's appeal against his deportation was rejected today by Japanese authorities. Meanwhile the Icelandic Chess Federation has appealed to US president Bush to pardon Fischer and set up a petition web site to collect signatures. In Tokyo a "Free Fischer Press Conference" is scheduled for Thursday. More...
Fischer a sacrificial pawn?
25.07.2004 Bobby Fischer is still in detention at Narita Airport in Tokyo, traumatised but stubborn, "behaving like a Samurai". At the same time news outlets all over the world are covering the story, with Fischer's brother-in-law Russell Targ assailing the Bush administration for playing election year politics with the former chess champion's freedom. There's a lot to be read...
Game of Life: Kasparov on Fischer – in full
20.07.2004 The news of Fischer's arrest in Japan came as a shock to Garry Kasparov, who was in a holiday camp working intensely on the games of his greatest American predecessor. In today's issue of The Wall Street Journal Kasparov assesses Fischer's chess career – for a public that was being exposed to his current situation. We now bring you Kasparov's full article.
Will Fischer be extradited?
19.07.2004 Chess legend Bobby Fischer, the hero of millions, languishes in the detention facilities of Narita Airport in Tokyo, waiting for a decision by Japanese Immigration authorities on his deportation to the US. We have collected all the documents and reconstructed a timeline to his arrest. Fischer, who has no legal counsel, is appealing for international assistance.
Bobby Fischer detained in Japan (updated)
16.07.2004 It's the latest twist in the sad tale of American former world champion Bobby Fischer. He has been detained in Japan and faces possible deportation to the US to face charges for playing in Yugoslavia in 1992. Fischer's website says he was "very nearly killed" in Japan. The story has been picked up by news services all over the world.

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