US-Chess Clubs: Checkmate for chess whiz Bobby Fischer
AMERICAN justice may have finally caught up with Bobby Fischer.
Wanted for defying an American ban on doing business with Yugoslavia in 1992, the one-time world chess champion was arrested by Japanese immigration officials this week as he tried to fly out of Tokyo's Narita airport. Fischer, who was headed to the Philippines, stands accused by the Japanese of travelling on a revoked American passport.
He now sits in an airport jail facing deportation and arrest by US marshals as early as today.
Returning to the United States in handcuffs would mark a bitter homecoming for the Brooklyn-raised exile. In the 1960s and 1970s, Fischer transformed chess from nerdy to sexy and became a Cold War-era hero by vanquishing Boris Spassky, the Soviet Union's best, in the legendary 1972 world championship.
He has been a recluse almost since then. Now 61, Fischer has emerged in public only fitfully in recent years, usually to berate the US government for what he regards as its evil foreign policies.