Endgame

World-renowned chess player Bobby Fischer is currently being detained by Japan's immigration authorities, with possible deportation to the United States. Fischer is being charged with violating international sanctions against Yugoslavia in 1992 by attending a chess match in that year there.

Now, I'd like nothing more than to see the Fischer crouched and rotting away in the corner of a prison cell, routinely 'roughed up' by fellow inmates. The man, after all, is a Nazi sympathizer known for his ferocious anti-Semitic remarks (never mind that his own mother was Jewish). A man who enjoyed humiliating his chess opponents, and admired Hitler for "imposing his will on the world". A man who openly cheered the 9-11 attacks, claiming the US should be "wiped out".

But, in spite of all this, I'm having trouble classifying traveling to Yugoslavia for a chess tournament in 1992 as a "crime". I have to disagree with a federal government dictating where an individual can and cannot travel. No doubt Fischer's Hitleresque viewpoints have landed him in far hotter water than if, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger had competed in a weight-lifting competition in a travel-embargoed nation. However, the free movement of non-criminals across borders would seem to be the least of the federal government's worries right now, with time and resources better left to other matters (although it wouldn't hurt to keep a watchful eye on this head case who shouted "Death to the US" in a 2001 radio interview overseas).

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Interestingly, recently

Interestingly, recently released FBI documents provide fairly strong evidence that Fischer's biological father was also Jewish.

Apparently, the FBI has always known who Fischer's father was (from spying on his communist-sympathizing mother), even though Fischer himself didn't know.

This is also detailed in the book "Bobby Fischer Goes to War".