It was a long walk to get there, across the wide, open fields. Only in the distance could you see the mountains, here it was all flat. No shelter for the wind, which was really strong here. Blowing hard against me, making it harder to walk, even hard to breathe some times. I kept on walking, could see the end in front of me, getting ever so closer. A few houses, a barn, a small church.
From a small point in the distance at the start of my walk, I could now see it clearly, distinguish the different buildings from each other. Only a few hundred more meters to go. As I arrived I walked past the farm, towards the church.
Opened the gate in the small wall that surrounded the church and cemetery, stepped inside. It was the first grave on my left. I walked up to it. Someone had left a chess piece on the grave, some flowers. The grave was well tended. The grave of Robert James Fischer. Bobby Fischer was born in Chicago in March and in he moved Bobby fischers grav oppnas his mother and sister to New York, first staying in Manhatten, then in Brooklyn.
He did not come from a rich family, his mother struggling to make ends meet at times. Already as a little boy Fischer Bobby fischers grav oppnas interested, if not obsessed with chess, spending most of his availiable time with the game.
He was quickly recognised as some sort of chess prodigy, and was the first child accepted into both the Brooklyn Chess Club and the Manhatten Chess Club. In he won the US Junior Chess Championship and the following year he was invited to play in the United States Championship, an invitational tournament and the first step to qualifying for the World Chess Championship.
The fourteen year old boy went through the tournament, playing the strongest American players, without a single lost game. He was now the youngest ever US Champion. In the following Candidates Tournament, the qualifying tournament for the world championship, his play was not good enough to win, something he blamed on the Russian players colluding against him and playing mind games with him.
He did not get his chance to play for the world title. Disappointed he returned to the US. For the next years, Bobby Fischer drifted in and out of the international tournament cycle.
He kept threathening to stop playing, coming up with allegations of cheating and collusion among the Russians, but in the end he always returned to what he loved, chess. In he was once again qualified to play the Candidates Tournament, this time with some rules changes implemented at his request, aimed at reducing the opportunity for Russian collusion. From a chess star in America, then the world, to a small lonely grave in the middle of nowhere, Iceland.
The cemetery is tiny, twenty graves at most, surrounding a small church, more like a chapel, next to an old farm outside Selfoss in Iceland. On the windswept plains, far from everywhere. This remarkable man, a chess genius, now all alone in this lonely place. Finally qualified to play the World Championship, one would expect Fischer to be eager to get to Reykjavik. Things did not go so easy with Bobby Fischer, always a person difficult Bobby fischers grav oppnas deal with.
As the opening ceremony was
Bobby fischers grav oppnas in Reykjavik, Fischer had not yet turned up in Iceland, always finding new complaints to keep him from playing. Now he wanted a portion of the gate receipts as well. As the Icelandic organisers needed the gate receipts to Bobby fischers grav oppnas for all their expences they refused to this demand, and as the first game was supposed to start, Fischer was still Bobby fischers grav oppnas New York, refusing to travel to Iceland to play the match.
It would take a phone call from National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, with a message from President Nixon telling Bobby Fischer he should go, that the country depended on him, to get Bobby Fischer to finally travel to Iceland.
Bobby Fischer had finally arrived in Reykjavik. The World Championship Match was ready to begin. There is not much to see really, after a few minutes I head back out through the gate, past the farm, down the road towards Selfoss.
The wind is still as strong, but this time coming from behind, pushing me along. The road back feels a shorter.
I am sure I was much quicker as well. I return to the bus station on the outskirts of the town where the bus from Reykjavik dropped me off, I have no plans of returning yet. I walk past the bus station, down the road into Selfoss. When I am here, I have to take a look at the place.
Bobby fischers grav oppnas chruch and the cemetery. The grave is surrounded by the beautiful Icelandic nature.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Stefan Fischer, Manfred Hallschmid, Anna Lisa Elsner, and Jan Born. PNAS September 3, 99 (18) ; ellen-otto.info Legacy of human-induced C erosion and burial on soil–atmosphere C exchange. Kristof Van Oost, Gert PNAS November 20, (47).
PNAS July 14, (28) ; ellen-otto.info. Organic carbon burial rates at the sediment surface in the brown clay-dominated sites of .
Howard Goldstein, William Griffith, Hannah Halm, Robert Harris, Benjamin Harrison. Fischer JP,; Ferdelman T,; D'Hondt S,; Wenzhoefer F.