From Iceland — Bobby Fischer's Grave A Tourist Attraction

Bobby Fischer’s Grave A Tourist Attraction

Published August 7, 2012

The grave of former chess grand champion Robert James “Bobby” Fischer has become a major attraction for tourists, some of whom complain about the lack of souvenirs.
Bobby Fischer, as many know, was granted Icelandic citizenship while he was still in detention in Japan for traveling on a false passport in 2005. He arrived in Iceland in March of that year, living a quiet, mostly reclusive life in Reykjavík, before succumbing to renal failure in January 2008. He was buried in the small churchyard of Laugardælir, just outside of Selfoss.
Vísir reports that the grave has become an unwitting tourist attraction, with long lines often forming to visit it.
Locals in the area have reported that the tourists have treated the grave respectfully, and that at times there have even been several tour buses waiting to deposit visitors to the grave. However, there have been complaints that there are no souvenirs available at or near the gravesite, such as postcards or photos of Fischer.
Halldór Þórarinsson, an Icelander who lives in the area, believes though that the spot should not be developed for tourism. “He chose this place because it is peaceful. It would not be in the spirit of that wish to do something [like that], unless it would be with full respect and consideration for those closest to him.”

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!