Helgi Olafsson was fifteen years old when in 1972 Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky to become World Chess Champion. Breathlessly, young Helgi followed the Match of the Century and even attended a number of games in Reykjavik’s Laugardalshöll.
Little could Olafsson suspect then that 33 years on, having become a chess grandmaster himself, he would be a member of the committee that successfully worked to free Fischer from a Japanese detention centre.
On March 24, 2005 Bobby Fischer returned to the country where he had achieved his greatest triumph. He was never to leave again until his tragic death on January 17, 2008.
Olafsson first met his childhood hero 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 quarrelled.
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