Chess legend Bobby Fischer was freed Thursday after nearly nine months in a Japanese detention center and immediately headed for the airport to board a flight to his new home, Iceland.It's nice to know that both Japan and Iceland are doing everything they can to keep Fischer out of U.S. hands. According to Section IV, Article 53 of Japan's Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, a person is supposed to be deported to a country of which he or she is a national.
Fischer, sporting a beard and a baseball cap pulled down low over his face, left the immigration detention center in this city on Tokyo's outskirts early Thursday.
He was accompanied by his fiancee, Miyoko Watai, the head of Japan's chess association, and officials from the Icelandic Embassy. He was scheduled to catch an afternoon flight to Denmark en route to Iceland.
Iceland voted to give Fischer citizenship only this past Monday, months after he got nabbed. Why wasn't he treated as an American for purposes of deportation, instead of being detained just long enough for another country to claim him?
One more ironic point: Because Iceland has an extradition treaty with America, Fischer may yet end up headed for the States, if the U.S. presses criminal charges of tax evasion against him.