TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s immigration officials granted chess legend Bobby Fischer an extension Friday to appeal a deportation order to the United States, a supporter said.

Fischer, wanted by U.S. authorities for playing a 1992 chess match in the former Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions, previously had until Friday midnight to fight a decision to hand him over for traveling with an invalid passport.

That deadline was extended to Monday in order to give Fischer time to prepare the necessary documents, his supporter, John Bosnitch, told The Associated Press by telephone.

“Mr. Fischer is going to fight this unlawful detention all the way,” Bosnitch said, after visiting Fischer at the detention center to review the case with him.

Fischer was detained at Narita airport, just outside Tokyo, after trying to board a plane for the Philippines on July 13. Officials said he was using a passport that had been revoked by the United States.

As Japanese officials prepared to deport him, Fischer appealed, claiming the passport was revoked without due process and was still valid.

That appeal was rejected Tuesday after a closed, two-day hearing.

His next appeal would go to Japan’s justice minister.

The 61-year-old chess legend became an American icon when, at the height of the Cold War, he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a series of games in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1972 to claim the world championship.

Increasingly erratic and reclusive, he largely vanished from the public eye until reappearing to play a fateful rematch against Spassky in Yugoslavia.

Fischer won the rematch and took home more than $3 million in prize money, but he played in violation of United Nations sanctions and has been wanted in the United States ever since.

Since his detention, Fischer, whose father was German, has also been attempting to obtain a German passport or win political asylum from a third country.

AP-ES-07-30-04 0826EDT



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