Iceland: Fischer's estate, his final resting place

by ChessBase
11/10/2009 – 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 District Court has ruled in favour of Fischer's lawfully wedded wife, Miyoko Watai. Pictorial report.

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According to MBL the District Court of Reykjavik has made a ruling in the legal case of Alexander and Nicholas Targ, Bobby’s nephews, vs Miyoko Watai, over his fortune, where their claim for official distribution of his estate was rejected. Still it is expected that the findings will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Iceland for final ruling. They were made to pay legal fees of €1200 to the defendant.

This lengthy lawsuit has twice earlier been remitted to the Supreme Court over formalities. The bottom line of the verdict which has now been published is that the claim of Mrs. Watai for private distribution of Bobby’s Estate is confirmed on the grounds that they were a married couple according to a confirmation issued by the Japanese Embassy in Reykjavík January 30 2008. It is further stated that their marriage certificate, issued on August 17 2004, was registered at the Ota Ward region town authorities in Tokyo on September 6 2004, after it had been certified by special means that the groom was the person he claimed to be, as his passport was not available, and nor was the necessary information from the US Embassy. Later, confirmation papers were forwarded to the Japanese Department of Justice. After thorough investigation by the authorities and a visit by their representatives to the Ushiku Detention Center on 5 November 2004, where Mr. Fischer was kept in custody, the registration of their marriage was finally certified on January 28 2005 by the Japanese Minister of Justice. It is further stated that Bobby and Miyoko had lived together “de facto” for several years.

Bobby Fischer’s artifacts presented to Laugardaelachurch

Shrines with some artifacts related to Bobby Fischer’s memory were recently delivered to Laugardaela Church, his resting place, for preservation. One of the shrines includes the In Memoriam book, which many people – chess players, the public and officials alike – signed after his death.

The shrines being delivered to Pastor Kristinn Agust Fridfinnsson by Olafur Thorarinsson of the parish committee and Einar S. Einarsson on behalf of the RJF Committee.

The other contains cards, messages of condolence, and souvenirs received by the RJF Committee, among them two chessmen, kings made of lead, one silver the other sable.

Although his grave is rather isolated and off the beaten track, many tourists keep visiting it, both by bus and individually. Among recent visitors were the film director Milos Forman and Dr. Frank Brady. The former said that he had be planning to make a Hollywood movie about the Fischer-Spassky match several years ago, having both of them play themselves. Spassky agreed right away and Bobby too, after a while. But he had some reservations, not regarding money. He only wanted to be on location after 2 p.m. and not for more than a a maximum of three hours per day, which made things impossible for Mr. Forman.

Dr Frank Brady in Iceland

Dr. Brady is working on Bobby's complete biography, his third on him. There is an interest in opening some kind of chess facilities for tourists at Laugardaelir or at Selfoss the town close by to honor the memory of the 11th world champion.

Bobby Fischer's Grave

Photos by Panos Andriotis

Panos, who lives in Volos, Greece, went to Iceland in the June 2009, and sent us "with a lot of love" photos of the grave of chess legend Robert James Fischer. This is located in the village of Selfoss, 60 km from Reykjavik.

A view of Iceland when approaching by air

Selfoss, a small village 60 km from Reykjavik [View Larger Map]

Travelling around Reykjavik by ferry

Nordic houses on the banks of the Ölfusá River, the largest in Iceland

Panoramic view of Selfoss with the Church and the Ölfusá River Bridge on the right (scroll horizontally).
This photo by Simsa was stitched together from 14 individual photos.

Selfosskirkja – the church in Selfoss [Photo Jóna Þórunn Ragnarsdóttir]

Inside the church

The front of the church with Fischer's grave

That's me, Panos Andriotis, and the view from the church spire

Where the chess legend lies buried

His final resting place...

Copyright ChessBase

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