I remember a few months back when 'Sis first mentioned to me the possibility that Fischer's body might be exhumed I told her it was an April Fool's joke perpetrated by chess gadfly Sam Sloan and dismissed it.
Just goes to show - 'Sis knows all.
For those who do not follow the game of chess, Robert James Fischer is American's greatest chess hero. He became the only American in the modern era of chess to become the World Chess Championship, by defeating Russian opponent Boris Spassky (or is that Spaasky?) in 1972 in a World Chess Championship match held over the course of weeks in Raikjevik, Iceland. I'm tired and I'm not checking my spelling, hope you can figure out the correct versions of the names. Fischer was probably already half insane back then, but by 1975 he was totally over the bend and for various reasons decided not to defend his title. The Russians promptly reclaimed the title by default when Fischer did not appear for the scheduled match, and it went to GM Anatoly Karpov, who held it until he was, in turn, defeated in a match by GM Garry Kasparov, a Russian by citizenship but a renegade at heart.
Anyway, to make a long story short, Fischer died in 2008 while living in Iceland. His heirs were (1) a Japanese woman who says she is Fischer's wife (2) a young girl purported to be Fischer's daughter of a woman of Philippine descent and (3) the two sons from the legitimate marriage of Fischer's older sister, who predeceased him. Oh, and I believe the U.S. Government is claiming probably all of the money in whatever Fischer's actual estate is value wise, for back taxes, plus penalties, plus interest -- long story. For those of you interested in more back-story, just google Bobby Fischer and the 1992 Yugoslavia 're-match' against Boris Spassky (or Spaasky).
Hocus pocus beanie focus, etc. etc. The Icelandic version of the U.S. Supreme Court has come down with a ruling that says the parties may have Fischer's body exhumed to extract DNA for testing to determine paternity of the alleged Filippina daughter.
I don't understand why they couldn't have just tested DNA in items that survived Fischer's death. Surely Fischer left some personal articles after he died that had sufficient DNA of his for testing. I mean, come on - a comb, a hairbrush, or a toothbrush? For that matter, what about scraping for skin flakes from his bed sheets? What about his used underwear? He died wearing something, after all. Come on, folks. We have the tchnology to "grab" that DNA today.
So what is with this exhumation baloney? Is this just a grab for publicity by a bankrupt country? It sounds pretty stinky-cheesy to me.
Best headline about the whole brou-ha ha: Body of chess champion Bobby Fischer to be exhumed to check if he mated. From Daily Grail, Daily News Scan, posted by Turner Young, June 18, 2010.