Chess champ Bobby Fischer dies at 64

Bobby Fischer, the reclusive chess genius became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, has died.

updated: January 20, 2008 11:57 IST
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A day after Chess phenom Viswanathan Anand was named NDTV's Indian Sportsperson of the Year. The mindsport has lost former world champion Bobby Fischer has died in Iceland according to media reports.

The American Fischer was 64 and had been unwell for a while.

US-born Fischer, a fierce critic of his homeland who renounced his US citizenship, moved to Iceland in 2005.

Fischer first rose to fame as a teenager and in 1972 became the first US born player to become the official World Chess Champion. He unwittingly surrendered his title to Anatoly Karpov in 1975.

Fischer resurfaced in 1992 to challenge Boris Spassky for a match in Yugoslavia challenging US embargoes. And since winning there, he had been living in Iceland to avoid arrest.

In his final years, Fischer railed against the chess establishment, alleging that the outcomes of many top-level chess matches were decided in advance.

Instead, he championed his concept of random chess, in which pieces are shuffled at the beginning of each match in a bid to reinvigorate the game.