Sainthood for Bobby Fischer?

by ChessBase
4/1/2013 – It has come to our attention that an application for Sainthood has been made for the late World Champion Bobby Fischer. This was initiated by Stan Vaughan of the World Chess Federation. The application cites six postmortem miracles that were prayed for and verified as having occurred – normally only two are required.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The "notification of verifiable postmortem miracles and request for sainthood for Icelander" was addressed to Father Jacob Rolland, as the Catholic minister who sanctified Bobby at his secret and speedy 10-minute burial in 2008. The letter, written by Stan Vaughan of the "World Chess Federation", was sent to Father Rolland and twelve further writers, journalists and chess personalities, including Fischer's friend Einar S. Einarsson of Reykjavik, Iceland, who passed it on to us (we were not on the list).

Fischer's grave in Selfoss, a small town about 40 miles from Reykjavik

"We have become convinced after five years of prayers made to Bobby Fischer that we thus notify you of these postmortem miracles in responses to our annual observations to remember his death January 17, 2008," the letter begins. It is declared an "application for Sainthood for Bobby Fischer" and a request "to declare the anniversary of his death January 17, 2008 as his day of sainthood". The miracles prayed for and verified as having occurred include the following (we quote verbatim):

  • In 2009 Prayers were made for middle east peace to Bobby Fischer and on January 17 Israel declared unilateral withdrawl and ceasefire from Gaza during Gaza war and later same day Hamas also declared cease fire.

  • In 2010 Prayers to Fischer to help 1 million victims of Haiti earthquake victims led to overwhelming amounts of aid arriving at Haiti airport on January 17, 2010

  • In 2011 Prayers to Fischer to help Christians gain relief from Sudan oppressors led to referendum and Jan 17 declaration that 99% vote in favor independence and oppressors recognized South Sudan independence

  • In 2012 prayers for peace led to Jan 17, 2012 first time in history India and China declaring plan to resolve long time border disputes

  • In 2013 prayers for release of Algerian hostages led to 100 plus hostages freed on Jan 17, 2013

We refrain from commenting on the viability of the application, and from reproducing the portrait picture of Father Jakob Rolland. We also do not wish to judge whether all this is in good taste or not. We are just reporting the facts.

Feedback and mail to our news service
Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register