Former chess World Champion, legendary Bobby Fischer, died on Thursday, the Iceland public radio announced, quoted by BBC. The US-born player, who became famous for beating Cold War Soviet rival Boris Spassky in 1972, died after a long time of suffering from an unspecified illness, his spokesman said.

According to BBC, he was granted Icelandic citizenship in 2005 as a way to avoid being deported to the US.

"Mr Fischer was wanted for breaking international sanctions by playing a match in the former Yugoslavia in 1992. He also had alienated many in his homeland by broadcasting anti-Semitic diatribes and expressing support for the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York. The reclusive player - who had renounced his US citizenship - had lived undetected in Japan for a number of years before moving to Iceland.

The nature of the illness was unknown but Mr Fischer had been reportedly seriously ill for some time, BBC adds.