Chess master Bobby Fischer dead at 64

Friday, January 18, 2008 File:Bobby Fischer cropped.jpg

Fischer in his younger days.
Image: Collinskids1912.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Dubbed as one of the world's greatest chess players of all-time, Bobby Fischer has died at the age of 64 from kidney failure, according to his spokesman Gardar Sverrisson. He died in Iceland at a hospital in Reykjavík.

Fischer is most known for beating his opponent Boris Spassky from the then Soviet Union in 1972, to become the first and so far only American world champion chess player. He became a Grandmaster in August of 1958 at the young age of 15.

Fischer was also a fugitive of the U.S. after violating the terms of United Nations sanctions by going to an island of the former country of Yugoslavia in 1992 to play Spassky in a rematch, and won. He was detained in Japan for nine months through 2004 and 2005, accused of trying to leave the country on a revoked U.S. passport. After his detainment he was granted Icelandic citizenship and moved to the country in 2005, instead of being deported to the U.S. by the Japanese government.

"[Fischer was] the pioneer, some would say the founder, of professional chess. [His death is] very sad news," said Garry Kasparov, a former world champion of chess.

Fisher was born on March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois.