A chess genius and icon during the Cold War for his win over the Soviet World champion in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1972. He was Americaâs first world chess championship player in over a century. Fischer was the American chess champion at 14 and a grand master at 15. After refusing to defend his world title in a 1975 match against Anatoly Karpov, he became a recluse. In 1992, he defied international sanctions and played a rematch against Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia. Fischer moved to Iceland, a chess-mad nation, in 2005.