REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - An Icelandic court said on Thursday the widow of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer should inherit his estimated $2 million estate, which has been in dispute since his death in 2008.
Fischer spent the last years of his life as a fugitive from U.S. authorities because he defied international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia, spending time in the Philippines and Japan before moving to Iceland, where he was offered citizenship in the mid-2000s.
Miyoko Watai of Japan had claimed before the court she was Fischer’s wife and heir while two of the chess master’s nephews had questioned the legitimacy of the marriage.
In 2009 Iceland’s Supreme Court overturned a municipal court decision that Watai was the rightful heir, saying definite proof of the marriage had not been made available.
On Wednesday Reykjavik’s municipal court judge Ingridur Eiriksdottir ruled the marriage was legal and declared that Fischer’s nephews must pay Watai 6.65 million Iceland crowns ($57,520) in costs. Fresh documentation was provided for the latest judgment.
Fischer, a 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. He died in Reykjavik at the age of 64.
The nephews’ lawyer told Icelandic state radio they would appeal the court ruling.
Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson via Stockholm Newsroom; Editing by Matthew Jones