Former chess champion Bobby Fischer won a major battle
in his fight against deportation to the United States when a court
ruled Wednesday he can stay in Japan until his lawsuit against the
deportation order has been heard, his supporters said.
The Tokyo District Court granted Fisher an injunction, meaning he
can stay in Japan until the court rules on the lawsuit, according to
a statement by Fischer's de facto spokesman, John Bosnitch. The
statement said it could take as long as a year to hear that case.
Fischer has been in Japanese custody since he was detained on July
13 after trying to board a flight for the Philippines on an invalid
passport. He has claimed, however, that U.S. officials had revoked
his passport without following due process.
Fischer's lawyers declared the injunction a "big win."
They also urged the Immigration Bureau not to appeal to a higher
"If they do, it would be impossible to see their treatment of this
individual as anything but highly political," they said.
Immigration officials had no immediate comment.
Fisher, believed by many to be the best chess player ever, has
fought against deportation in a battle that has been full of
Wanted by the United States for violating international sanctions
against Yugoslavia in 1992, Fischer has, through his supporters,
denounced the deportation order as politically motivated. He has
said he wants to renounce his U.S. citizenship and is threatening to
apply for German citizenship or political asylum in a third country.
Since his detention, he has also announced his engagement to
longtime companion Miyoko Watai, acting head of the Japan Chess
His wedding plans have been stalled by his passport woes - a valid
passport is generally required of foreigners filing for marriage in
But according to Wednesday's statement, Fischer's application to
marry Watai has received provisional acceptance by local
Fischer rose to chess stardom by defeating Boris Spassky
of the Soviet Union, in a series of games in 1972 to claim the world
championship. After bickering over conditions, he refused to defend
that title and became increasingly erratic and reclusive until
returning to the spotlight for the 1992 rematch.