nov 11
Här publiceras en artikel på det engelska språket om Bobby Fischer Center signerad Gunnar Finnlaugsson. Han har även haft vänligheten att bifoga en teckning som relaterar till mjölk och schack då han själv är mejeriingenjör och jobbat i över 30 år på Alfa Laval och Tetra Pak i Lund. Finnlaugsson är född i Selfoss på Island och där finns numera Fischers grav och ett museum som Finnlaugsson varit med om att sponsra och bygga upp. Här följer artikeln i sin helhet:
The story how the Soviets lost the most extraordinary Chess Match of All Time in Reykjavik 1972 has been fascinating. But first, why does chess have such high status in Iceland with only 0.3 million inhabitants ?

Before the match in 1972 Iceland had a national hero in Friðrik Olafsson. Having in mind that Iceland was a Danish colony until 1944, Iceland was a very young republic in 1953 when Friðrik won the Nordic Chess Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark. At that time all the strongest chess players in the Nordic countries participated. The following has been translated from Skakbladet:

“The island of Saga has, as previously mentioned, obtained the last two titles, and there was a justified wish to reclaim the title for the continent. Although Friðrik´s strength was well-known, the belief was that one of the more experienced players would win the title. The first round followed that plan; Axel Nielsen beat the Icelander. But then he started a race with six victories in a row, in a surprising and mature style, to finalize with a draw, one win, one draw (to secure the tournament win before the last round! He had the better position against Vestöl) and one win: 9 out of 10! A finish which has only a few examples in chess history – for instance Alekhine in San Remo 1930 and Kotov in Saltsjöbaden 1952. The new Nordic Champion doubtlessly deserved his victory. His play was of a high international class. His approach was exact and sharp. The interplay between the pieces was exemplary and devoided of unnecessary complications. He  played on small advantages and had a beautiful and simple treatment of the endgame and – when it was necessary – an elegant execution of attack with well-aimed combinations. With the exception of his loss in the first round, he never had a lost position. He worked enormously and utilized his time to the last second. Friðrik was highly praised by his competitors.”

It was Baldur Möller who won the Nordic titles in Örebro Sweden 1948 and Reykjavik 1950.


The first time the name of Robert James Fischer was mentioned in SKÁK was when Bobby at the age of 13 defeated Donald Byrne in great style. At 14 he won both the US junior and senior championship , at 15 he became the youngest ever candidate taking fifth place in Portoroz. Our hero Friðrik shared fifth place with Bobby.

Why did the match 1972 take place in Reykjavik ? The living legends Guðmundur G Þorarinsson and Friðrik Olafsson have given the following explanation: Iceland is located between the two superpowers USA and USSR so why not play on neutral ground in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? The diplomatic effort started after Bobby’s victory over Petrosian in Argentina 1971. Friðrik travelled to Moscow and played in a strong tournament. Together with the Icelandic ambassador he convinced Spassky and the Soviet sport committee that Iceland would be the best alternative. In the background were Guðmundur G Þorarinsson and Johann Þorir Jonsson. When Max Euwe asked for the list from both parties the Soviets always had Iceland as first choice. Fischer was very popular in Yugoslavia and wanted to play there. After long and complicated negotiations Iceland got the whole match. ”Only a hard working and stubborn young man like Guðmundur could organise such a match” wrote the legendary Danish grandmaster Bent Larsen in his excellent book on the match.

Fischer won the match and went back to the US. After his death in January 2008 several books have been published, mainly in the US. Some has published long theoretical investigations about Bobby’s mental health,  copies of his personal things. It is obvious that several people in the US were waiting for Bobby’s death to be able to benefit on his story.

The Center in Selfoss is concentrating on the most fascinating chess player in history and his story 1972 as well as his exile in Iceland 2005 to 2008.

When the stalemate occurred in Japan the Icelandic chess lovers helped him out. Davið Oddsson from Selfoss was foreign minister in 2005 and the Icelandic parliament gave Fischer Icelandic Citizenship. Good move by Davið !

Fischer’s grave is in Laugardælir is only few hundred meters from Selfoss.

During his last years in Iceland Fischer visited Laugardælir several times. He liked the quiet environment and the good food like skyr, fresh milk and delious salmon from the nearby river Ölfusá. The 11th of July 2012 was the 40 years anniversary of the start of the match and a contract was signed with building contractor Sigfus Kristinsson, the owner of the old bank building in the heart of Selfoss. Austurvegur is part of the ringroad. The whole second floor of 140 m2 has been renowated and opened in july 2013 as the first chess museum in the Nordic countries! Aldis Sigfusdottir is the manager of the center. Bobby Fischer Center is also a clubhouse for the local chessclub. During summer it is open for visitors. A group of local pensioners are working as guides. During winter tournaments are organised as well as chess lessons with Helgi Olafsson and others. The board includes grandmasters Johann Hjartarson and Helgi Olafsson as well as local people. Ingimundur Sigurmundsson in Selfoss is the chairman of the board.

The author of these lines is registered as the founder of the center. List of all volunteers and supporters would be too long, but here are a few names: Guðni Agustsson, Guðmundur G Þorarinsson, Friðrik Ólafsson, Einar S Einarsson, Rikharður Sveinsson, Guðmundur Buason, Magnus Matthiasson, Bjarni Harðarson, Kjartan Björnsson, Edgar Guðmundsson, Calle Erlandsson, Guðmundur Geir Gunnarsson, Björvin S Guðmundsson and Helgi Olafsson.

The home page is More information is to be found at A  visit can be recommended! Selfoss is only 54 km in the south east from Reykjavik.



Läs de 3 kommentarerna till “The Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss Iceland”

  1. Thomas Engqvist säger:

    Apropå denna högintressanta artikel vill jag passa på att rekommendera den utmärkta och mycket givande boken av Helgi Olafsson: Bobby Fischer Comes Home – The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illustions.

  2. Skyr säger:

    Om man ska vara lite rolig kan man säga att Bobby i första partiet klagade på att apelsinjuicen var för kall och att det saknades skyr, men efter att islänningarna letat upp lite skyr så skyr Fischer inga betänkligheter att spela Lxh2! Sedan när han kommer tillbaka till Island 2005 blir första frågan från journalisterna ”Vad tycker du om Island? Och svaret blir givetvis ”Great I got skyr for breakfast this morning!”.

  3. Pingpong säger:

    Fischer hade humor och ett gott minne. Han var inte heller så självupptagen man kan tro. När han i returmatchen 1992 mot Spasskij såg den åldrige Lilienthal i publiken hälsade han honom med orden ”pawn e5 takes f6!” – det starka och överraskande draget i partiet då Lilienthal slog Capablanca 1935.

    Det bästa beviset på Fischers humor var när ryssarna bjöd ut honom en kväll och Bobby intog scenen och sjöng med ett lokalt ryskt rockband i några låtar. Alla blev imponerande av hans sångröst och runt bordet fanns bland andra ”operasångaren” Smyslov. Återkommen till bordet säger Bobby Fischer till den samlade ryska eliten i schack som redan då förstått att han skulle bli mycket bra: ”Jag är en bättre musiker än schackspelare”. (Källa ngt av numren i Tidskrift för Schack)

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