BobbyArrive1972 FischerChampIceland


BobbyArrive2005      BobbyJeanJacket

To Orwell Today,

Dear Editor,

I'm an Editor at Jen Reviews. I was doing research on things to do in Iceland and just finished reading your wonderful blog post: FISCHER MAN AGAINST MACHINE

In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I've read in the past: Remembering Bobby Fischer

I just finished writing a guide that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive on the 100 best things to do in Iceland. It is over 10,000 words and packed with practical tips and advice. You can find it here:

100 Best Things To Do In Iceland

Land of the Vikings, craft beers, and jaw-dropping scenery, Iceland has really come to the forefront of hipster and iconic-photographer's attention in recent years as a hotspot (pun intended) for all things cultural, tartan-patterned and artisan coffee-orientated. With views and natural beauty to impress even the most underwhelmed of more party or sun-seeking travellers, Iceland caters for all and has experienced a surge of economic growth in the past 15 years, welcoming over 1,000,000 visitors in 2015. With this wide variety of interests and nationalities in mind, we've compiled a comprehensive list of 100 of the best things to do in Iceland, from scenic walks and nature tours, to the best craft beers and bars to visit, too. Here goes our list of 100 things to do in Iceland!...

If you like the guide we'd be humbled if you cited us in your article. Of course, we will also share your article with our 50k newsletter subscribers and followers across our social platforms.

Either way, keep up the great work!

Jean, June 2018

Greetings Jean,

Your list of 100 things to do in Iceland makes me want to hop on a plane and go there. I have an Icelandic wool poncho acquired during a stop-over in Reykjavick when flying from England back to Canada about twenty years ago. And lately I've been hearing about people who've travelled to Iceland on vacation and you are so right -- it's becoming a go-to destination.

I do notice, however, a glaring omission in your list of the best things to do in Iceland -- ie follow in Bobby Fischer's footsteps there.



Back in 1972, when the United States won the World Chess Championship against Russia, Bobby Fischer put Iceland on the map. Before that, Iceland wasn't a place anyone really knew anything about -- other than that Vikings arrived there thousands of years ago.

BobbyArrive1972 FischerChampIceland

BobbyIcelandSweater BobbyHorseIceland BobbyBlanket

Above are iconic photos of Bobby in Iceland in 1972, before, during and after him becoming World Chess Champion.

BobbyArrive2005      BobbyJeanJacket

Then in 2005 -- thirty-three years later -- Bobby returned to Iceland to escape extradition to the USA and lived for three years in Reykjavik until reports of his death and burial there in 2008.

BobbyPicsIceland BobbyPicsTombstone

Above are photos of Bobby in Iceland during those years, scanned from the 2012 book by Helgi Olafsson, an Icelander who was a member of the chess group who arranged for Bobby to be granted citizenship and brought to live in Iceland.

The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions
by Helgi Olafsson

BobbyComesHomeCvr BobbyComesHomeCvr2

...Olafsson first met his childhood hero here shortly after his return. In the following years, the two spent countless hours together. They made trips, went to restaurants, watched movies, played games, spoke on the phone almost every day, had fun and quarelled...

For me the best thing to do in Iceland would be to pay homage to Bobby Fischer. There's a Bobby Fischer museum in the village of Selfoss next to the graveyard where a headstone for Bobby was erected. I'd like to lay some flowers there.

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The Bobby Fischer Centre

This centre houses memorabilia of the 11th World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer and the Selfoss Chess Club. The American Bobby Fischer became the World Chess Champion when he defeated the Soviet grandmaster and reigning World Champion Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in the summer of 1972. The match is generally referred to as the Match of the Century. It took place at the height of the Cold War, mirroring the tense relations between the two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Since 1948 Soviet chess players had held the World Championship title -- uninterrupted for 25 years. On display at the Bobby Fischer centre in Selfoss are among other things Spassky's and Fischer's scoresheets, a printout from the radiation measurements demanded by Spassky's delegation after the 17th game and a replica of the chess board used during the match, which was staged in Laugardalsholl in Reykjavik. In addition there are many curious items related to Bobby Fischer's stay in Iceland during his last years (2005-2008), for example his chair from the antiquarian bookshop Bokin in Reykjavik. He died on 17th January 2008 at the age of 64. Bobby Fischer's final resting place is at Laugardaelir cemetery, a few hundred metres away from the Bobby Fischer centre. Open from 13:00-16:00 every day.

Thanks for sending your list of 100 things to do in Iceland and perhaps, reminded of Bobby Fischer, you'll consider making that 101.

All the best,
Jackie Jura, June 2018

FischerChampIceland BobbyJeanJacket
(world chess champ 1972; Icelandic citizen 2005)
BobbyComesHomeCvr BobbyComesHomeCvr2
(Bobby Fischer's final years in Iceland)
visit The Bobby Fischer Center, Iceland
Email, Jun 14, 2018
45.The Chestnut Tree Cafe

FischerBensonCvr FisherBensonCvr22 BOBBY FISCHER, photographic compilation by Harry Benson, 2012 (...Benson met Fischer in Argentina during the qualifiers for the match, and followed him through his training and conditioning in New York, during the many weeks of the match, and was there in the winning moment to document Fischer's historic victory. Fischer was a known recluse, and Benson was one of the very few people he would talk to throughout these defining moments of his life...)

(...My website ORWELL TODAY is cited in the latest Bobby Fischer book, ie ENDGAME by Frank Brady, published 2011. It IS amazing to be quoted on PAGE one, CHAPTER one, and LINE one. I'm feeling appreciative toward Brady and honour-bound by Bobby to search for "the truth about how he was murdered."...)

(...In 2002 the United States Chess Federation tried to vaporize Bobby Fischer from chess and make him an Orwellian "refs unperson" -- even to the point of removing his name from the title of his own book...)

(...Another symbolic parallel of the forfeiture of Iceland to Russia is that Bobby Fischer - the first American to beat the Russians and become World Chess Champion, in Iceland in 1972 - had all of his money -- millions of dollars -- invested in an Iceland bank, having been forced to transfer it there by a Swiss bank in 2006, after being persecuted by his own country, America, for 35 years. If, after his recent death nine months ago, his heirs have not got Fischer's money out of the Iceland bank, then the Communist-Capitalists in Russia, his arch enemy, have it now...)

(...We would like to inform you that the new DGT960 clock is available for delivery now.... This idea of former World champion Bobby Fischer, who recently passed away, has been the most important improvement in chess since 500 years....)

(...The International Chess Federation, Fide, today, April 4, 1975, declared Anatoly Karpov, the Russian challenger, to be world chess champion after Bobby Fischer, of America, had failed to meet the extended deadline given by Fide within which he had to agree to meet Karpov to defend his title...)

(...Bobby Fischer, America's first and only world chess champion, who beat the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky in a blaze of Cold War publicity in Reykjavik in 1972, has died in Iceland today, January 17, 2008, at the age of 64...)

(...He lived in an apartment in the center of Reykjavik. He was so often in bookstores, he was buying all kinds of books, about everything. He wasn't only a genius in chess, he was following all what was going on. He was listening to an awful lot of radio. He mainly read international political works. He also read about the First and Second World Wars. He was becoming a historian"...)

(...Bobby Fischer was finally 'nabbed' in July this year, 2004, at Tokyo's Narita airport, as he was boarding a flight for Manila, his 1997-issue US passport, valid till 2007, having earlier been revoked by Uncle Sam, apparently unbeknown to its bewildered holder...)

(...There are many similarities between what happened to Winston Smith in 1984 and what is happening to Bobby Fischer in our present day 2004... In 1984 Winston was sent to Room 101 and in 2004 Bobby was sent to Room 202...)

(...In 1984 England imprisoned Winston Smith because he had "unorthodox" thoughts about BIG BROTHER, the totalitarian organization that ruled all the world's governments. In 2004 the USA, using Japan, has imprisoned Bobby Fischer because he has "politically incorrect" thoughts about the UNITED NATIONS, a totalitarian organization that rules all the world's governments....)

(...Fischer was one of those rare individuals who took on the Soviet empire pawn by pawn..."I was never invited to the White House", he said in one of his radio interviews. "They invited that Olympic Russian gymnast -- that little Communist, Olga Korbut"... What the elusive Fischer is being charged with is violating USA travel restrictions to Yugoslavia in 1992... Fischer was there to face off against the same Russian he defeated in 1972 in a chess match. Fischer won and took home more than $3 million... Fischer is currently being held in Japan after he was nabbed in transit to the Philippines...)

44.Room 101 (...At each stage of his imprisonment he had known, or seemed to know, where abouts he was in the windowless building. The cells where the guards had beaten him were below ground level. The room where he had been interrogated by O'Brien was high up near the roof. This place was many metres underground, as deep down as it was possible to go. It was bigger than most of the cells he had been in. There were two small tables straight in front of him, each covered with green baize. One was only a metre or two from him, the other was further away, near the door. He was strapped upright in a chair, so tightly that he could move nothing, not even his head. A sort of pad gripped his head from behind, forcing him to look straight in front of him. For a moment he was alone, then the door opened and O'Brien came in. "You asked me once," said O'Brien, "what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world"....)

45.The Chestnut Tree Cafe (...Winston had grown fatter since they released him. His features had thickened, the skin on his nose and cheekbones was coarsely red, even the bald scalp was too deep a pink. A waiter, again unbidden, brought the chess board and the current issue of The Times, with the page turned down at the chess problem....)

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~