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Death of Fischer

Last updated: 2008-01-20

Chess

Chess

Bobby Fischer, the Jewish-born chess master who thrilled Americans when he won a dramatic Cold War showdown, has died. Fischer, 64, died in Reykjavik, Iceland on Thursday.

The 1972 match in Iceland between Fischer, who had been a child prodigy, and Boris Spassky, a Russian who was then the world champion, captured the world's imagination. Fischer stumbled in the first two games but went on to beat Spassky, becoming the first American to win the world title.

His behaviour over the years became increasingly eccentric, and he travelled around the world denouncing the United States and the Jews, threatening at times to sue those who pointed out that his mother was Jewish.

Dogged by a number of US warrants for arrest - one for playing in Yugoslavia in 1992 despite a ban against dealing with the repressive Milosevic regime - Fischer settled recently in Iceland, the nation he helped make famous with his 1972 match.

(c) JTA