Iceland approves Bobby Fisher citizenship

March 21, 2005 at 10:55 PM

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, March 21 (UPI) -- Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, currently being held in a Japanese jail, was granted Icelandic citizenship, Monday.

Fischer has been wanted for more than 10 years by the United States for violating economic sanctions for playing a chess game in the former Yugoslavia in 1992, the BBC reported.

Japanese officials has said it will not deport the 62-year-old chess player to the United States if Iceland granted him citizenship.

Fisher beat Russia's Boris Spassky for the world chess title in Reykjavik in 1972, and it was a rematch in 1992 in the former Yugoslavia against Spassky that was considered a violation of sanctions by the United States.

Iceland's Parliament voted 40-0 to grant citizenship, with two abstentions.

Icelandic officials said a passport could be ready for Fisher as early as Tuesday.

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