[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 09:08 GMT
Fischer demands to go to Iceland
A photo from 1992 of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer was on the run for more than 10 years
US chess player Bobby Fischer has asked the Japanese government to release him from detention so can move to Iceland, which granted him residency last week.

The chess genius said he would accept deportation if Japan's authorities refused to simply let him leave.

Mr Fischer has been in detention since July, and is wanted in the US for violating international sanctions against Yugoslavia in 1992.

Mr Fischer's 1972 match against Russian Boris Spassky took place in Iceland.

In recognition of that landmark match, Iceland offered to take in the chess genius last week.

Mr Fischer has been in detention since being stopped at Tokyo international airport on 13 July.

He is currently applying to have his deportation order reversed, and is also applying for asylum in Japan.

But in a handwritten appeal to Japanese authorities on Friday, Mr Fischer said he would drop these applications if he was allowed to move to Iceland.

On the run

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.

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

Mr Fischer became a chess 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 the game, which Washington said violated a US and UN ban on doing business in the country.

He could face 10 years in jail if prosecuted in the US.

While in detention, he has become engaged to the head of the Japan Chess Association, Miyoko Watai, but the authorities are still studying their marriage application.

Fischer begins legal challenge
02 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Court delays Fischer deportation
08 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer fails to halt deportation
20 Aug 04 |  Asia-Pacific

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific