Helgi Ólafsson, an Icelandic chess Grandmaster and a good friend of the late Bobby Fischer, has released a book about his encounters with the American chess genius who held Icelandic citizenship.
The book, titled Bobby Fischer comes home – The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions, talks about numerous aspects of Fischer’s life including his final years before passing away in Reykjavík in early 2008.
Ólafsson, who is six times Icelandic chess Grandmaster, took an active part in the struggle to free Fischer after he was arressted and imprisoned in Japan in 2004. Following Fischer’s bid for asylum in Iceland, he was granted full citizenship by the Icelandic Government in 2005 and consequently Ólafsson and Fischer became close.
The book discusses Fischer’s career around 1970 when he began a new effort to become World Champion. Ólafsson also strives to capture the mood around the “Match of the Century” – the 1972 defeat of Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in the World Chess Championship, which took place in Laugardalshöll arena in Reykjavík.
The book includes stories from many distiguished characters and also features events in Icelandic history, such as the eruption in the Westman Islands in 1973, which are woven into the narrative.
Furthermore, the book raises some serious questions about the life of this extraordinary man who gave up his U.S. citizenship and died an Icelandic citizen.
This certainly looks like a very interesting book. Fischers life continues to be of great interest, not only to the chess community.
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