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Friday, March 4, 2011

Icelandic court rules chess genius Bobby Fischer's Japanese wife as legal heir

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

The Iceland Review Online has carried a press report about the Reykjavik District Court having ruled that Miyoko Watai, late chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer's wife, as his legal heir.

Fischer’s nephews, Alexander Gary and Nicholas William Targ, had doubted that Watai and Fischer were legally married and claimed to be his closest relatives. Fischer’s nephews are to pay the widow over ISK 6.6 million (USD 57,000, EUR 41,000) in legal costs, the paper reports.

After Fischer’s death in 2008, Watai demanded that she be recognized as his legal heir. The case has been circulating through the Icelandic courts since then and has been taken to the Supreme Court more than once. Fischer became an Icelandic citizen a few years before his death. He died in Iceland and is buried in a cemetery in the southern part of the country.

In addition to his widow and nephews, a woman who claimed her daughter was Fischer’s legal heir was also involved in the legal battle until Fischer’s body was exhumed and a DNA analysis confirmed that Fischer wasn’t her daughter’s biological father.

Reykjavík District Court’s verdict has concluded that the document submitted by Watai confirmed that she and Fischer were legally married on September 6, 2004. She is said to have submitted sufficient proof to that account at the time of his death and is therefore his legal heir. Watai is a pharmacist and the chairperson of the Japanese Chess Association. She said she and Fischer met in Japan in 1973.

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  • At March 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Anonymous Andrew Perkis said...

    I think they were a happy couple. You can tell by the many photos that can be viewed on line. I doubt the tale of Fischer's last years will ever be sympathetically told. He may well have been a lot less "tortured" than was generally thought- even if his contributions to chess became minimal and some of his fixations made him say outrageous things.


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