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DNA tests on chess champion's corpse exclude paternity

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - A DNA test on former chess champion Bobby Fischer’s corpse has shown that he was not the father of a Filipino girl, as claimed by his former lover, an Icelandic paper reported on Tuesday.

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer gestures during his match against his archrival Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union, in the Yugoslav resort of Sveti Stefan in this September 1992 file photo. REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

Fischer’s lover had claimed that he fathered her daughter, Jinky Young, while living in the Philippines in 2001. Iceland’s Supreme Court agreed in June to her demand that his remains be exhumed to obtain tissue samples and settle the paternity suit.

Morgunbladid quoted a lawyer representing Fischer’s two nephews, who are also involved in the inheritance dispute, as saying that Fischer was not the biological father.

Among evidence produced during the court proceedings was a 2004 photo of Fischer with Jinky and her mother and a postcard to Jinky from Fischer, signed “Daddy.”

The lawyer said that the dispute -- over who will inherit an estate estimated at around $2 million -- was now between Fischer’s nephews and a Japanese woman who claims she was his wife.

The court case over the long-running inheritance dispute is still before a Reykjavik court and proceedings are expected to continue next month, the paper reported.

In December 2009, the Supreme Court overturned a municipal court decision which had declared the Japanese woman the rightful heir, saying definite proof of the marriage had not been made available.

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.

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.

Editing by Ralph Boulton