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Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How a Lone American Star Defeated the Soviet Chess Machineby David Edmonds and John Eidinow
"Bobby Fischer's 1972 chess match in Reykjavik, Iceland against world champion Boris Spassky is as iconic and intrigue-filled as Ali's fight in Zaire....The War Against Bobby Fischer presents a richer Soviet perspective than has been offered before, and it's a page-turner for grandmasters and neophytes alike." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 1972, with a presidential crisis stirring in the United States and the cold war at a pivotal point, the Soviet world chess champion, Boris Spassky,and his American challenger, Bobby Fischer, met in Reykjavik, Iceland, for the most notorious chess match of all time. Their showdown, played against the backdrop of superpower politics, held the world spellbound for two months with reports of psychological warfare, ultimatums, political intrigue, cliffhangers, and farce to rival a Marx Brothers film. Thirty years later, David Edmonds and John Eidinow have set out to reexamine the story we recollect as the quintessential cold war clash between a lone American star and the Soviet chess machine. A mesmerizing narrative of brilliance and triumph, hubris and despair, Bobby Fischer Goes to War is a biting deconstruction of the Bobby Fischer myth, a nuanced study on the art of brinkmanship, and a revelatory cold war tragicomedy.
"Tsoutsouvas turns in a steady, suitably understated performance of this eminently engrossing account of the 1972 world championship chess match between the eccentric American challenger Bobby Fischer and the then-reigning Soviet title holder Boris Spassky. Edmonds and Eidinow (Wittgenstein's Poker) explore not only the widely variant backgrounds of each of the players, but also the nuances of the Cold War societies that produced them. The political wrangling on both sides — coupled with Fischer's outrageous, often petulant demands — turn what might have been a humdrum tale of logistics and chess analysis into a vibrant carnival of human stubbornness, ego and, occasionally, brilliance. Tsoutsouvas reads in a level, largely unembellished style, but his approach suits this sober text. And while characterization is not a highlight of the reading, Tsoutsouvas, with his natural baritone, can't resist a pass at some of the Russian accents or the voice of Henry Kissinger, which he does admirably. It all makes for a fitting rendition of this intriguing take on the forbearance and political gamesmanship it took to get two grown men to sit down across a table from one another and play a game." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[T]he book does a very good job of setting the scene, of making us feel as though it's 1972, and we are witnessing something of truly global importance. Good reading, especially for chess buffs." David Pitt, Booklist
"In Bobby Fischer Goes to War, the authors show themselves once again to be grandmasters of nonfiction narrative." Heller McAlpin, The Christian Science Monitor
"...[T]he details of the square-off remain compelling. And Bobby Fischer Goes to War underscores the extent to which each player became the uneasy flag-bearer for his government." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"This is the definitive history of Fischer vs. Spassky." Washington Post
"This engagingly written book delves into the arcane world of international chess and into the peculiar minds of the men who fought mightily over those 64 black-and-white squares. And, believe it or not, it is a real page-turner!" Library Journal
"...[R]eaders will savor a marvelous portrait of East against West, with perceived societal superiority as the real prize." Kirkus Reviews
"This lively, compelling and well-researched book captures the high-stakes, carnivalesque atmosphere of the match with its quirky cast of characters." Dallas Morning News
The authors of the bestselling Wittgenstein's Poker offer a riveting account of the legendary 1972 chess match between Boris Spassky, the world champion from the Soviet Union, and the American challenger, Bobby Fischer.
This is a thrilling account of the legendary 1972 clash between Soviet chess champion Boris Spassky and American challenger Bobby Fischer, an epic Cold War confrontation and the most famous of all chess matches.
About the Author
David Edmonds is an award-winning journalists with the BBC. This book, his first, has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
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