Fischer protests against film documentary

by ChessBase
5/8/2007 – World Champion Bobby Fischer is upset about the production of a documentary film about him. It is entitled Vinur minn Bobby (“My Friend Bobby”) and is being prepared by Icelandic cinematographers and Saemundur Pálsson, a former bodyguard and friend of Fischer. The material used in the film, according to the Fischer support group, was obtained by fraud.

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This is the letter we received from the Icelandic Robert James Fischer Campaign Group:

Board: Einar S. Einarsson, Chairman; Gudmundur G. Thórarinsson, Vice-Chairman;
Garðar Sverrisson; Helgi Ólafsson; Magnús Skúlason


Re: A film on Bobby Fischer

Robert James Fischer, world champion in chess, has sought the assistance of the RJF Campaign Group because of his dissatisfaction with a "documentary film" that cinematographer Fridrik Gudmundsson and Kristinn Hrafnsson have been producing in cooperation with Saemundur Pálsson and other parties.

Mr. Fischer wishes the group to draw attention to the fact that the manuscript and structure of the aforementioned "documentary," of which he is the main subject, are grossly inconsistent with former discussions and that the material has been obtained by fraud.

The primary theme of the film now, which working title is "My friend Bobby", is in his opinion, quite contrary to the ideas that were proposed in the year 2005 concerning a possible news program for Icelandic televison on the US organised kidnapping and imprisonment of Mr. Fischer in Japan, his being granted Icelandic citizenship and release from prison.

On this occasion, the RJF Group wishes to reiterate that Mr. Fischer has never signed any form of contract or release for this television program. All use or broadcast of any material that was recorded by these parties concerning Mr. Fischer´s case or personality is not authorized. No such material may be used, broadcast, or otherwise displayed without his consent.

For this reason, it is absolutely against his wishes that parties in Iceland or elsewere should provide financial subsidy for the production of this film or should show it once completed.

Reykjavík, May 4 2007

On behalf of the Board of the RJF Campaign Group

Einar S. Einarsson, chairman

Who is Saemi Palsson?

The driving force behind the documentary is Fischer's former bodyguard and friend Saemi Palsson. The name of the documentary, "My friend Bobby", is a reference to Saemi, who is the main source of information for the producers.

Saemi Palsson talking to Fischer on the phone

Sæmundur Pálsson, a.k.a. "Saemi Rock", is a former police officer (since 1969) and former competition rock dancer – which brought him the names "Rock and Roll Champion of Reykjavik" and "Dancing Policeman". Saemi was one of eight policemen who were assigned to protect Bobby Fischer during the World Championship match against Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972. After Bobby had picked up the title Saemi visited him in New York and, he says, spent a couple of months with him in Pasadena, California.

Bobby and Saemi on the plane from Japanese detention to Reykjavik Airport

During Fischer's imprisonment in Japan Saemi tried to convince the Icelandic government to help his friend. He went to Japan and attempted to get Fischer out with an Icelandic passport. This did not succeed, and it was only when Iceland granted Fischer full citizenship that he was free to move to his new home country.

Fischer with Saemi Palsson after his 24-hour journey from Japan

Feeling better, a few days later after a much-needed trimming of hair and beard


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