Bobby Fischer Comes Home: The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship
and Lost Illusions by Helgi Olafsson (published in 2012 by New in Chess)
This book's a moderately interesting account (full of anecdotes) about Iceland's
chess culture and what it was like for the author to be Bobby Fischer's friend.
While he had admired Fischer from afar, GM Helgi Olafsson never had spoken with
Bobby Fischer until he arrived in Iceland in March 2005. During the course of their
friendship, they spoke to each other (by phone) nearly every day, but by May
2007, their friendship (like nearly all of Fischer's friendships) had run its course.
Helgi Olafsson had no further contact with Bobby Fischer until the latter's death on
17 January 2008. Still, Helgi Olafsson remembered Bobby Fischer as his friend.
Here are some Bobby Fischer quotations (as recalled by Helgi Olafsson):
"I am a difficult person."--Bobby Fischer
"I am a very forgiving person."--Fischer
"You never get what you deserve. You only get what you negotiate."--Fischer
"I am only interested in money, women, and the Jewish conspiracy."--Fischer
According to Helgi Olafsson, Bobby Fischer aimed to play 'FischerRandom' chess
matches (for tens of millions of USD) with Anand (who once had met Fischer in
Iceland) or Kasparov (who had retired from chess in order to enter politics).
Fischer insisted on not playing classical chess presumably in order to negate
Anand's or Kasparov's greater knowledge of modern opening theory. The only
person with whom Fischer still would play classical chess was Miyoko Watai,
whom an Icelandic court recognised as his wife and the sole heir to his estate.
Bobby Fischer also assumed that it should have been easy to raise ample money
for a chess match between himself and Britney Spears! Given his professed range
of interests in 'money, women, and the Jewish conspiracy', Fischer seems to have
been covering two of his three bases. Presumably Bobby Fischer's interest in
Britney Spears aimed at something other than her abilities to play chess or to sing.
It does reveal, however, that while Bobby Fischer loathed the US government,
he remained influenced by American popular culture. When their friendship came
to an end, in his parting shot, Helgi Olafsson referred to Bobby Fischer as an
American, not as the recent citizen (by decree) of Iceland that he had become.
Bobby Fischer seems to have regarded Iceland both as a sanctuary and a place
of exile (he hardly learned to speak Icelandic). Helgi Olafsson seems to have
suspected that if Bobby Fischer had not been afraid of being arrested and then
extradited to the United States, he would have preferred to live in East Asia
(Hong Kong, Japan, or the Philippines), though Fischer seems to have admired
the Germans more than he admired any other people (including the Icelanders).