Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bobby Fischer 1943-2008

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Bobby Fischer, the reclusive chess genius who became a Cold War hero by dethroning the Soviet world champion in 1972 and later renounced his American citizenship, has died. He was 64.

Fisher died in a Reykjavik hospital on Thursday, his spokesman, Gardar Sverrisson, said Friday. Icelandic media reported that he died of kidney failure after a long illness.

Born in Chicago and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Fischer was wanted in the United States for playing a 1992 rematch against Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia in defiance of international sanctions. In 2005, he moved to Iceland, a chess-mad nation and site of his greatest triumph.

Garry Kasparov, the former Russian chess champion, said Fischer's ascent in the chess world in the 1960s and his promotion of chess worldwide was "a revolutionary breakthrough" for the game. But Fischer's reputation as a genius of chess was eclipsed, in the eyes of many, by his idiosyncrasies.

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