Fischer’s remains to be exhumed?

by ChessBase
4/1/2010 – After his death on January 17, 2008 an Icelandic court awarded Bobby Fischer's estate to his wife Miyoko Watai. Then Marilyn Young, Fischer's "Filipina live-in partner", filed a claim on behalf of her eight-year-old daughter Jinky, who she says was fathered by the former World Champion. Now it appears the case will be settled by the disinterment of Fischer's remains for DNA testing. Press release.

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Press release

Fischer’s remains to be exhumed

In a bizarre twist to the battle for the estate left by the late chess legend Bobby Fischer, lawyer Sammy Estimo revealed that the remains of the chess icon will be exhumed soon.

Estimo, lawyer of Fischer's Filipino child, Jinky Young, said that Judge Sigrun Gudmundsdottir of the Icelandic probate court found no DNA samples of Fischer at the National Hospital in Iceland, where the ex-world champion died on January 17, 2008 of renal failure. Because of this development, Estimo and his collaborating Icelandic lawyer,Thordur Bogason, were left with no other recourse but to request the court to issue an order for the exhumation of Bobby's remains for DNA samples to be tested with the blood samples extracted from Jinky when she went to Iceland in December last year.

Jinky, Fischer's nephews and the Japanese Miyoko Watai, who claims to have married Fischer in 2004, are claimants to the PHP 140 million [three million US$] and gold deposits left by the chess genius at the Landsbanki in Reykjavik. Fischer also purchased real estate properties in Iceland, where he became a citizen after his release from a Japanese airport prison in 2005.

Bobby Fischer with Jinky Young and "live-in partner" Marilyn Young in 2004

In a decision issued by the Supreme Court of Iceland in December last year, Watai's marriage to Fischer was invalidated because of the failure of the Japanese to present the original of their alleged marriage certificate.

On April 16, Judge Gudmundsdottir will resolve the request of Jinky for the disinterment of her father's remains in a cemetery in Selfoss town, south Iceland.

Lawyer Estimo, Jinky, Marilyn, GM Eugene Torre at Fischer's grave

Estimo had predicted before that this saga would reach this far – for Bobby Fischer to rise again and provide the solution to this puzzle on his estate!

Lawyer Samuel Estimo
Counsel of Jinky Young, Fischer's daughter

DNA testing with 23andMe

It occurs to us that there is an inexpensive and uncomplicated alternative to digging up the remains of Fischer to extract DNA samples for testing against those of Jinky Young. The company 23andMe, a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company (co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, who is married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin) provides a service that genotypes DNA samples and can map the ancestry of a subject.

A single sample – in the form of saliva – taken from Jinky Young will provide a map of her DNA family tree, going back many generations. If the map shows ancestry in Hungary and the US, where Fischer's parents originated, then further tests are justified. If they are only in Asia or the Philippines then it would be clear that Fischer is not the father of Jinky – without having to extract DNA from an exhumed body.

The cost of a 23andMe is $399 for ancestry. The DNA mapping can also be conducted by many hospital facilities.

Related ChessBase reports

Bobby Fischer dies in Iceland
18.01.2008 – One of the world's greatest chess geniuses, Bobby Fischer, has died at the age of 64. A spokesman for Fischer said the former world chess champion passed away in a Reykjavik hospital yesterday. The US-born former world chess champion, who became famous around the world for beating the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky in 1972, had been seriously ill for some time. Rest in Peace, Bobby.

Bobby Fischer – his final weeks
25.01.2008 – One of the greatest chess legends, the eleventh world champion Robert Bobby Fischer, passed on January 17, 2008. The cause of death was renal failure. He was quietly buried by his closest friends at a cemetery in the countryside he loved. Controversy is arising due to the secrecy of the burial, but we are convinced it was conducted according to his personal wishes. Report and tributes.

Bobby Fischer buried in Iceland
22.01.2008 – 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.

First anniversary of Bobby Fischer's death
17.01.2009 – Exactly one year ago a great chess legend died, at the age of 64. Bobby Fischer was buried without ceremony in a private cemetery in southern Iceland, which now has a simple headstone – a reader sent us a picture. In a commemorative article we remember Bobby with an inspiring story from his childhood – "The Sicilian Vespers" and with links to his Sixty Memorable ChessBase Reports.

Iceland: Fischer's estate, his final resting place
10.11.2009 – The chess legend Bobby Fischer died in Iceland on January 17, 2008. He was buried in the compound of a church in Selfoss, 60 km from the capital Reykjavik. Since then there has been a battle over his estate, which is claimed by his nephews Alexander and Nicholas Targ. Now the Reykjavik Discrict Court has ruled in favour of Fischer's lawfully wedded wife, Miyoko Watai. Pictorial report.

Fischer's daughter Jinky files claim to his estate
11.11.2009 – Yesterday we published a report on an Islandic court awarding Fischer's estate to his lawfully wedded wife Miyoko Watai. Today we received a message from Marilyn Young, Fischer's "Filipina live-in partner", who is seeking justice for her and Fischer's eight-year-old daughter Jinky. The two are on their way to Iceland to file their claim. Marilyn has sent us some fairly compelling photographic evidence.

Marilyn and Jinky visit Fischer's tomb
05.12.2009 – As we reported some weeks ago, Marilyn young, Bobby Fischer's "Filipina live-in partner", is claiming rights to the late champion's estate for their common daughter Jinky. The claim has been filed with Icelandic courts, and during their visit a blood sample was drawn from Jinky and submitted for DNA ananlysis. Marilyn's lawyer Samuel Estimo sent us the following report from Reykjavik.

On Fischer and Miyoko Watai

'Fischer and Miyoko were indeed married'
27.01.2008 – Did Bobby Fischer marry the president of the Japan Chess Association, Miyoko Watai, with whom he lived for some years in Japan? This question moves out of the gossip columns and requires serious investigation as questions are raised in the press about the legality of Fischer's "secret burial" – and the fate of his estate, estimated at about £1.5 million. We have received a letter from a close associate.

'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.

'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.


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