Body of chess champion Fischer exhumed in Iceland

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer during his match against his archrival Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union, in 1992. REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - The body of former chess champion Bobby Fischer, who died in Iceland two years ago, has been exhumed to provide forensic evidence in a paternity suit, the police said on Monday.

Iceland’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the exhumation in mid-June, overturning the decision of a lower court to deny an earlier request.

In its ruling, the top court said tissue samples were needed to determine the paternity of Jinky Young, the Filipina daughter of Fischer’s former lover. Young provided a DNA sample last year during a trip to Iceland.

“This (exhumation) was performed this morning in accordance with the order from the Supreme Court,” said Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, chief of police in the southwestern town of Selfoss, where the chess champion was buried.

Fischer, who spent his last years as a fugitive from U.S. authorities because he defied international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia, spent time in the Philippines and Japan before moving to Iceland, where he was offered citizenship in the mid-2000s.

The former child prodigy became the United States’ only world chess champion by defeating Soviet masters, but refused to defend his title and relinquished it to the Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov in 1975.

His estate, estimated at around $2 million, has been the subject of a long-running inheritance dispute involving claims by a former wife, two nephews and the U.S. tax authorities.

Fischer died in Reykjavik at the age of 64 after an unspecified illness and was buried near the town of Selfoss, about 60 km (40 miles) east of Reykjavik, in 2008.

Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson in Reykjavik and Nicholas Vinocur in Stockholm