Bobby Fischer’s longtime companion still angry over treatment of chess icon

The Associated Press

Bobby Fischer is still living the quiet life in Iceland, the home he adopted after being held in Japanese custody for nearly a year. He still refuses to play chess, at least the version that everybody else plays. And he’s still a wanted man, as far as the U.S. government is concerned.

Beyond that, there are many things the world may never know about the reclusive chess icon — and Miyoko Watai, Fischer’s longtime companion, says she isn’t going to break the silence.

“I prefer not to talk about private things,” said Watai, who is in Qatar to manage Japan’s chess team at the Asian Games.

Watai got swept up in the Fischer saga after he was detained — “kidnapped” is the word she and Fischer use — by Japanese authorities at Tokyo’s Narita airport in July 2004. He ended up staying in a Japanese immigration detention center for nine months fighting extradition to the United States before fleeing with Watai to Iceland.

While he was in Japanese custody, Fischer and Watai, who is also head of the Japan chess association, were engaged to be married. At a news conference before leaving Japan, she denied allegations the engagement was just a ploy to confound the Japanese immigration officials, saying Fischer was her king and she wanted to be his queen.

So did they ever tie the knot?

“I’d rather not say,” Watai said Thursday in a rare interview with The Associated Press. “I live in Japan now. But I go back and forth.”

She does not hesitate, however, to say how bitter she remains over the way Fischer was treated.

“It’s very sad,” she said. “He can’t travel anywhere. He’s still on their list. He can’t go back.”

The full article can be read here.
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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