To be reopened? Fischer paternity suit

by ChessBase
9/16/2010 – It seems all fairly conclusive, but Jinky and Marilyn Young's Philippine lawyer Samuel Estimo continues to fight on – despite some fairly compelling DNA evidence, provided by a University Clinic in Germany, against the plaintiffs. Estimo cites circumstantial evidence, including an expensive house Fischer bought for his "daughter" in an exclusive suburb of Manila. Evidence and arguments.

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.


Press release

Icelandic court reopens Jinky's case

The District court of Reykjavik, Iceland has reopened the case of Jinky Young, the Filipino child of the late Bobby Fischer, to allow her to adduce further evidence in support of her claim to the estate of the chess legend.

In a ruling during the hearing on September 10, Judge Ms. Ingiridur Ludviksdottir reset the case to October 6 to allow Marilyn Young, Jinky's mother, to engage the services of another lawyer after their counsel in Iceland, Thordur Bogason, had a falling out with Jinky's local lawyer, Sammy Estimo.

Estimo has theorized that Mr. Bogason had prematurely closed the case without consulting his client after the DNA tests in Germany allegedly showed that Jinky was not the child of Fischer. He said that there were post-DNA remedies available like a request for a similar test to be conducted on the DNA samples of Fischer's nephews who are also claimants to his estate. If the result thereof proves negative, then the seven tissue samples which were taken from the coffin supposedly containing the remains of Fischer during his questionable exhumation in July, were not genuinely his. The DNA examination in Germany would then be a hoax.

Estimo had also discovered a provision of Icelandic law which would have won the case for Jinky but which was not used by Mr. Bogason. This law, plus the bank deposits, post cards signed by Fischer admitting that he was Jinky's daddy, incriminating photos taken in a hotel in Hong Kong and the expensive house which Fischer bought for Jinky in Davao City could have clinched Jinky's claim to the estate of her father.

Jinky and Marilyn Young

But even if Jinky loses at the District Court, she can still appeal to the Supreme Court where she will have a better chance. Mr. Bogason admitted in his letter to Marilyn dated September 11 that a losing party at the District Court can go to the Supreme Court within two weeks from receipt of the lower court's ruling.

Sensing that Marilyn had already lost trust in him, Mr. Bogason had also withdrawn from Case. No. Q-1/2010 during the hearing on September 10.

Samuel Estimo
National Chess Master and Two-Time Chess Olympian
Four-time Philipine Team Captain to the Chess Olympiad

The house that Fischer bought, in Davao City, southern Philippines, for Jinky in 2005

Sammy Estimo tells us that Bobby remitted the down payment for the house in 2002, and later paid monthly instalments thereon until it was fully paid in 2005. Marilyn Young says Bobby had planned to visit and stay with them in this house in March, 2008 but his plan was aborted when he died on January 17 of the same year. He was calling Marilyn the night before but she failed to receive his call, only to find out the following day that he was already dead. "If Jinky was less than a child to Bobby," Esposito writes, "do you think the chess genius would spend a very big amount to buy her an expensive house in an exclusive subdivision?"

DNA paternity test results

Inga Reynisdóttir, Ph.D. of the Landspitali-University Hospital, Department of Pathology in Reykjavik, Iceland, sent Thordur Bogason on August 26, 2010, the following report:

"Paternity analysis was performed on DNA from Jinky Felonia Young, born 21.05.2001, her mother Marilyn Felonia Young, born 23.02.1979 and Robert James Fischer, born 09.03.1943 deceased 17.01 2008, in order to test whether he was the child's father.

Blood samples were drawn from Jinky Felonia Young and Marilyn Felonia Young al the Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik on December 2nd. 2009. The bodily remains of Robert James Fischer were exhumed on July 5th, 2010 and biological samples were taken."

Dr Reynisdóttir attached a report with the results of the paternity analysis from the Institute of Legal Medicine, University Clinic in Münster, Germany. It says:

In the case of Bobby Fischer a DNA-ancestry analysis was performed to answer the question if Mr. Bobby Fischer could be the father of Jinky FeloniaYoung.

The DNA-samples (blood spotted on cotton) of the child Jinky Felonia Young, born 21.05.2001, and the mother Mrs. Marilyn Felonia Young, born 23.02.1979, were sent to our laboratory by the Dept. of pathology, House 9 at Baronsstigur, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland. Teeth of Mr. Bobby Fischer, born on 09.03.1943, were shipped to our Institute 09.07.2010.

The sample material was used for DNA extraction and PCR-based amplification using the Identifier reagents kit (Applied Biosystems). The PCR products were determined by high resolution capillary gel electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection and visualisation. All the DNA-systems are highly validated, the analysis is secure, the accuracy (precision) is extremely high. The local laboratory has successfully participated in relevant quality controls.

A table of results of 17 individual DNA characteristics is given for all three subjects and the following conclusions are drawn:

The DNA characteristics of the child are inherited by the laws of heredity (Mendelian rules). The child receives both a characteristic feature of the mother and one from the father. It can result in two different traits (heterozygosity) or two identical characteristics (homozygosity) for the child.

The distribution of the DNA characteristics in 17 independent systems clearly point out, that Mr. Bobby Fischer cannot be considered to be the father of Jinky Felonia Young. There is an exclusion in 10 DNA-systems.

The remains of the saliva and DNA samples will be stored adequately until the notification by the client that the present procedure is completed. We will send back the rest of the sample materials.

The report is signed by Prof. Dr. med. H. Pfeiffer, who certifies that he has given it impartially and to the best knowledge and belief in consideration of the guidelines of the Bundesärztekammer and the Robert Koch Institute.

As a reaction to the above report, Thordur Bogason, the Icelandic lawyer of Jinky and Marilyn Young, advised his clients as follows:

As this fact and proof is binding for the court it is evident that no other circumstantial evidence, such as postcards, money transfers, purchase of estates of affidavit's of persons would lead to another conclusion according to Icelandic law than to rule that Mr. Fischer is not the father of Jinky. I strongly warn against those that insinuate that the exhumation of the bodily remains of Mr. Fischer was in some way not properly done. I was present as your representative and I can assure you that the procedure was professional and proper. I also warn very strongly against making any allegation that there was some wrong doing on behalf of certain parties opposed to the claims of Jinky, like switching bodies. I am ashamed of reading such allegation made in public and I do not believe that such reactions are in the best interest of Jinky.

I recommend, in light of the outcome of the DNA-test, that you, as Jinky's custodian, order me as your attorney to announce that you withdraw from the case. If you however decide to continue with the case, I will attend and appeal to the court to postpone the matter until you have found a new legal representation here in Iceland, as this will be my last court appearance for you and indeed mark the end of my services to you. Please note that the instructions must come from you personally and not from Mr. Estimo.

I must also warn you that carrying on with the claim of Jinky before the Icelandic courts might be regarded as contempt for the truth and as such contempt for the court. This might lead to decisions on behalf of the court, such as to decide that all cost regarding the case should be borne by you or your attorney, even decide penalties, all according to Article 131 or 135 of Act no. 91/1991, regarding civil court process.

All of the above information was sent to us and to the New York Times by Samuel Estimo. The story of the reopening of the Fischer paternity case can be found here:

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 District 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 Icelandic 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 analysis. Marilyn's lawyer Samuel Estimo sent us the following report from Reykjavik.

Fischer’s remains to be exhumed?
01.04.2010 – 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.

Icelandic Court: Fischer’s remains can be exhumed
18.06.2010 – On April 1st of this year we reported – and it was not a tasteless April Fool's joke – that the remains of former World Champion Bobby Fischer could be exhumed to settle a paternity dispute. The District Court of Reykjavik did not allow it, but now the Iceland Supreme Court has overturned this ruling after receiving new evidence from the claimant Marilyn Young. The story is in the international news.

Breaking news: Tissue sample obtained from Fischer's grave
05.07.2010 – We have been informed that the remains of former World Champion Bobby Fischer were "exhumed" on Monday in the early hours of the morning. This was done on the order of the Icelandic Supreme Court, to settle a paternity dispute. Everything was done in a professional and dignified manner, with a priest and doctor present. The grave was left in its original state.

Pastor in Iceland: Fischer not 'exhumed'
11.07.2010 – A week ago we broke the news: tissue samples had been taken from chess champion Bobby Fischer's grave, on the order of the Icelandic Supreme Court to settle a paternity dispute. Most news sources reported that the body had been "exhumed", and our version – a hole dug in the ground next to the grave – was disputed. Now the Pastor in charge of the procedure provides clarification.

DNA test results prove: Fischer was not the father of Jinky Young
17.08.2010 – This morning informed sources in Iceland told us that the results of the DNA tests that were conducted after the extraction of tissue samples from Bobby Fischer's grave have revealed that the paternity claim of Marilyn Young is without basis. "It is completely ruled out" that Jinky Young can be the biological daughter of the former World Champion. Now the story is out in many leading news sources.

Details of Fischer's exhumation revealed
20.08.2010 – "I will give you a report but stress that we keep all details confidential as we have strict orders from the authorities not to reveal any such detailed information to the media," wrote Thordur Bogason, the Icelandic lawyer representing Jinky and Marilyn Young in the Fischer paternity suite. But their Philippine lawyer Samuel Estimo did pass it on – to us and the New York Times. Detailed description.

Fischer's DNA – still no final closure
31.08.2010 – The DNA test in a paternity lawsuit filed by Marilyn and Jinky Young was negative for the claimants. The Icelandic representative declared the case closed, but Philippine lawyer Samuel Estimo is demanding that DNA samples of the former World Champion be verified against Fischer's blood relatives. He sent new pictures. Meanwhile chess correspondent Bobby Ang has published additional details.

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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register