Chess legend Bobby Fischer dead at 64

Jan. 18, 2008 at 8:07 AM

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Bobby Fischer, a former world chess champion famous for a 1972 match against a Soviet champion, has died in Iceland after a long illness. He was 64.

Fischer rose to fame when he defeated Boris Spassky in 1972 and later became a controversial figure when he violated international sanctions by traveling to Yugoslavia for a rematch against Spassky in the former Yugoslavia in 1992, Iceland News reported Friday.

The rematch caused Fischer to become wanted by U.S. officials but he renounced his citizenship and was granted status as a citizen of Iceland to avoid deportation.

The chess grandmaster dropped a lawsuit last year that claimed he was tortured in Japan on behalf of the U.S. government.

Fischer was born Robert James Fischer in Chicago on March 9, 1943. He dropped out of high school in New York after becoming the world's youngest grandmaster at age 15.

"The stuff they teach you in school, I can't use one way or the other," he said. "I couldn't waste my time with all those stupid kids" and with teachers "even stupider than the kids."

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