Iceland passage call by Fischer
Maverick US chess genius Bobby Fischer, who faces jail if he
returns to his native country, has made a handwritten appeal to Japanese
authorities from his detention cell to be allowed to move to Iceland,
his lawyers said on Friday.
Fischer said he would drop the lawsuits he brought seeking to stay in
Japan if he is allowed to move to Iceland, which offered him residency
three decades after he played his most famous match there.
In a letter dated from Ushiku, the immigration lock-up in central Japan
where Fischer is being held, the former chess grand master said: "I
hereby demand an autonomous departure from Japan to Iceland," meaning he
would leave of his own accord.
"However if that's too difficult then I accept that I be deported to
Iceland," said the appeal in large printed letters signed "R.J.
"I also agree to withdraw my lawsuits pending at the Tokyo District
Court once the destination of my deportation order is changed to
Iceland," wrote Fischer, in a phrase in which he appeared to have
crossed out several words.
Still no ruling on deportation
Fischer (61) was detained in July for trying to fly out of Japan on his
revoked US passport.
Fischer faces up to 10 years in prison in the United States for playing
chess in Yugoslavia in 1992 in defiance of US sanctions against Belgrade
over the Balkan wars.
The game was a rematch against Boris Spassky, then a Soviet citizen, who
Fischer dethroned of his grand master title in 1972 in Iceland at the
height of the Cold War.
Japanese authorities have yet to rule on Fischer's case, but noted that
under normal circumstances people are deported to their countries of
Fischer's supporters say he is being singled out because of his
political views and that the United States is pressuring Iceland to
withdraw its offer of residency made earlier this month.
Fischer is known for his anti-US and anti-Jewish tirades and went on
Filipino radio after the 9/11 attacks to hail the "wonderful news".
Deportation would bar Fischer from returning to Japan for at least five
In detention, Fischer became engaged to Miyoko Watai, a Japanese woman
heading the Japan Chess Association, although Japanese authorities are
still studying their marriage application.