Four claims on Fischer’s legacy

chess piecesChess legend Bobby Fischer died at the age of 64 in Iceland, was buried almost secretly and left behind him a legacy of confusion that echoed the controversy he sowed about him while he lived.

According to the Times Online, Fischer was buried on 21st January in a churchyard in southwest Iceland. Priest Jakob Rolland presided over the last rites, having been informed of the location only hours prior to the service.

“Like [Mozart and Jesus Christ], he was buried with few present,” said Rolland about Fischer. “And like them he had an intelligence that could see what others could not even begin to understand.”

Although many understood Fischer to be a genius, particularly when it came to chess, they found it harder to understand his vocal stances against America and against the Jewish religion, especially considering Fischer was himself a Jewish American.

Also confusing was Fischer’s lack of legal will. Under Icelandic law, the lack of any will or any offspring means that a person’s spouse will receive the estate. Miyoko Watai, Fischer’s Japanese wife, was present at his funeral and stands to receive the chess legend’s GBP 1.5 million fortune.

Only hours after Fischer had passed away from kidney disease, ownership of his fortune was already being disputed. Fischer’s brother-in-law has made a claim on behalf of his two sons for the fortune and a third claim has also surfaced, from the mother of a 7-year old Philippine girl who may be Fischer’s daughter.

In addition, the government of the United States may want a piece of Fischer’s pie, claiming that he owes unpaid taxes to the state.

The ministry of justice in Iceland is accepting claims on the estate by all parties until May 17th and will rule on the matter after that time.