Saturday, November 14, 2009

Family feud over Fischer’s inheritance

Thursday, November 12, 2009
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Frank “Boy” Pestaño

CHESS legend Bobby Fischer died in Iceland on Jan. 17, 2008 of renal failure. In death, as in life, he left a legacy full of controversies. This time, it’s mainly the battle over his estate, estimated at $1.12 million cash deposited at an Icelandic bank. In addition, there are allegedly some gold deposits and a possible fortune in royalties from the making of the movie “Bobby Fischer goes to war.”

There are three claimants to this fortune, or four if you include the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The three are his nephews Alexander and Nicholas Targ who are the children of his late sister Joan; his Japanese wife Miyoko Wataihi; and his Filipina daughter, Jinky Young, who is now eight years old.

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Here is a short background of where this money came from and why it is controversial.

After disappearing from public view for 20 years, Fischer returned to play a chess match with Boris Spassky in 1992.

It was held in Sveti Stefan, a resort in Montenegro, and Bobby was warned not to join since Yugoslavia was being sanctioned by the United Nations for the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The prize fund was $5 million with $3.65 million going to the winner.

The sponsor was Jezdimir Vasiljevic, the President of Jugoskandic Bank. Eugene Torre served as Fischer’s second, while Cebuano Eric Gloria was also part of the team of Fischer, who won the match.

The other day, the Supreme Court in Iceland rejected the claims of the Targ brothers and awarded the inheritance to Miyoko Watai, recognizing his marriage to Fischer as legal.

I have been following this drama since the very start thru an Icelandic contact, Alfred Gudmundsson, who is married to a Cebuana, Mae, and Samuel Estimo, Jinky’s lawyer.

Unfortunately, Alfred, who was a very good man, passed away.

I immediately sent an e-mail to NM Samuel Estimo, and he informed me that Jinky’s claim is still valid.

Jinky, her mom Marilyn Torre and Sammy will be joining a shoot for a documentary by BBC HBO on the life of Bobby on either Dec. 6 or 7 in London, and then will proceed to Iceland.

In Iceland, Jinky is sure to be DNA-tested and Marilyn has agreed as she is sure of Bobby’s paternity. I have a picture of Marilyn and Jinky, together with Bobby.

Under Icelandic law, the child gets two-thirds of the estate, while the legal wife gets one third.

Bobby, in an interview, claims that he was never married to Watai (Bobby was in jail in Japan then and the marriage would have set him free). Also Eugene Torre claims that Bobby never wished to marry Watai but only wanted her as a companion.

Bobby preferred young and beautiful women.

Let us wish them good luck when they go to Iceland. As Sammy says “Bobby will turn in his grave if Marilyn and Jinky will not be given their due.”

MABOLO AND LAPU-LAPU TOURNAMENTS. The first is open to Class B Mabolo residents only. It will be held on Nov. 17 to 19 and format is seven rounds Swiss with 25 minutes time control.

Venue is at Kawayan Grill, in front of Persimmon. Games start at 5:30 p.m.

Registration is P150 with the following prizes: Champion (P1,500), second (P1,000), third (P500), and fourth P(300.) The fifth to eight placers will receive P200 each. For details call 4129283 and 4129018.

The Lapu-Lapu Fiesta competition will start on Nov. 14, at the Auditorium and will have two divisions-- Kiddies and Juniors/Seniors. The Kiddies division begins at 8:30 a.m. and the seniors will be at 1:30 p.m.

Format for kiddies is five rounds Swiss and 30 minutes time control. Confirmed players are the Balbona brothers, boy wonder Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and Lapu-Lapu’s Allan Pason, Raffy Bensi and Gil Gelig.

The Juniors/Seniors section is open to Lapu-Lapu residents and people who work there. The sponsor is the Lapu-Lapu City Government through Mayor Arturo Radaza. For details contact Jun Olis at 09103476907.


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