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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Japan to deport Bobby Fischer
A photo from 1992 of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer
Fischer is widely regarded as a flawed genius
Japan has decided to deport former world chess champion Bobby Fischer.

"A deportation order was issued today," said an immigration official, as the courts rejected Mr Fischer's latest attempt to prevent his departure.

Mr Fischer is wanted in the US for violating international sanctions against Yugoslavia in 1992.

The controversial player was detained in Japan last month while trying to travel to the Philippines on a revoked US passport.

Mr Fischer has tried to fight his deportation by applying for political asylum in Japan and renouncing his US citizenship - both of which have now been rejected by the Japanese courts.

He also recently confirmed plans to marry a Japanese woman, Miyoko Watai, the head of the Japan Chess Association - but analysts say this is unlikely to help him stay in the country.

His lawyer is said to have immediately filed another appeal to block the deportation order, and his supporters are vowing not to give up.

"We will definitely go to the Supreme Court if necessary," said John Bosnitch, head of the Committee to Free Bobby Fischer.

Brilliant but controversial

Mr Fischer has been on the run from the US authorities for more than a decade, after being accused of breaking international sanctions by visiting Yugoslavia to take part in a chess match in 1992.

Close-up of Bobby Fischer

Before his detention, he had managed to live undetected in Japan for three years, sometimes travelling abroad.

A brilliant but mercurial player, Bobby Fischer became a grandmaster at 15 and shot to fame in 1972 when he beat Boris Spassky of the then Soviet Union.

He held the title of world chess champion until 1975, and resurfaced in Yugoslavia for the dramatic 1992 rematch against Mr Spassky.

He won the game, but disappeared when the US authorities announced they wanted to prosecute him over the $3m he earned for playing, which Washington said violated US and United Nations bans on doing business in the country.

Fischer fails to halt deportation
20 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer plans to marry in Japan
17 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer to renounce US status
06 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Chess great seeks Japan asylum
02 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific

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