Bobby Fischer’s Body Exhumed Skip to content

Bobby Fischer’s Body Exhumed

Preparations regarding the exhumation of chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer are under way, reports. A tent will be raised over the grave during the process of it being opened and a biological specimen retrieved. This will be done to test the validity of claims of a paternity suit against Fischer’s estate.

Bobby Fischer’s Grave in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The project’s supervisor will be Árnessýsla District Commissioner Ólafur Helgi Kjartansson. Earlier this week, accompanied by the police, he visited Fischer’s grave and examined the circumstances.

News of the impending exhumation has resulted in an increase of visitors to the grave. Ever since Fischer’s burial, the small churchyard, located between the towns of Hveragerdi and Selfoss, has received a stream of visitors.

“It varies. Sometimes nobody comes, but sometimes two or three buses arrive in a given day,” says grounds keeper Haraldur Thórarinssson, adding that since the news broke regarding the exhumation, more Icelanders have visited than before.

Thórarinsson took part in secretly burying Fischer in January 2008. According to him, not everyone approves of disturbing the burial site’s sanctity.

“It is said that once people have been placed in the cemetery, they are somewhat safe from that. In my opinion, only the most urgent cause can justify exhumation. But this is the way it is and things will now have to take its course.”

A tent will cover the grave. In addition to the district commissioner, a pastor, a physician, a forensic examiner, lawyers and police officers, who will seal off the area, will be present. The remains will probably not be moved from the site; a biological specimen will be retrieved in situ. The process is hoped to take less than two hours.

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