The complicated legacy of Bobby Fischer

Chess legend Bobby Fischer, who died on January 17th, was recently buried at a country church in Iceland during a Catholic funeral service. Though the service itself may have been peaceful, the legal wrangling over Fischer’s million dollar fortune may be about to turn nasty.

In a Visir report published in Iceland last week, it was claimed that the £1.07 million estate of the late chess champion would pass to Miyoko Watai, Fischer’s supposed widow.

The report said: “It has been confirmed that Watai was Fischer’s wife, not his girlfriend as has been argued so many times.”

Russel Targ, Fischer’s brother-in-law, has flown to Iceland in order to pursue legal investigations into the matter of inheritance which he feels should belong to his two sons, according to

Another possible beneficiary is a seven year old girl, said to be Fischer’s daughter from a country club romance in the Philippines.

Arni Vilhjalmsson, who is representing Watai in the matter, said that he had an official document from Japan documenting her marriage to Fischer. “It’s a copy and I am waiting for the original,” he said.

However in 2005, during a radio interview in Moscow, Fischer denied being married to Watai, though John Bosnitch, a Canadian media consultant and civil rights activist, says he was there for the wedding ceremony.

“During the course of his defence, Bobby agreed that it was time to publicly recognise his de facto marriage with Miyoko Watai, with whom he had been living in common law for years,” he said.

“I was the male witness to that marriage and the marriage certificate bears my name.”

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