I love the game of Chess and have played it pretty much my entire life. There’s a nice Chess app for the iPhone that I play multiple times each day. So when my Extreme Iceland tour drove past the Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss during my first trip to Iceland, I knew this was a place I had to visit on my next trip. And indeed I did return.
The Bobby Fischer Center features memorabilia of American Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer who famously defeated the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky at the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik in 1972. Fischer defeated Spassky 12 1/2 to 8 1/2 games, cementing his place as one of the greatest Chess players of all time.
Fischer spent the last four years of his life in Iceland, most of it in and around Selfoss (about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik). Prior to this, Fischer had run afoul of U.S. authorities, and Iceland had granted Fischer asylum and full citizenship for his role in putting Iceland on the map in 1972. His simple grave is approximately a mile away from the Bobby Fischer Center at Laugardælir Lutheran Church.
In addition to the memorabilia, there is a room with several tables for Chess games that is meant to facilitate and promote the game of Chess to Selfoss and the surrounding area.
Admission to the center is ISK 1000 kr (about $8 U.S.). Be sure to note the hours of the center. During the summer months the center is open daily 13:00 – 16:00. All other months the center is open by appointment only. See the center’s website for details.
The entrance is in the back. The center is upstairs.
Do you dare challenge an opponent at the Bobby Fischer center? The game in the foreground looks evenly-matched and unfinished.
There are a few items for sale at the front desk. I bought a few postcards.