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Bobby Fischer Goes to War

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We mentioned this new book by Edmonds and Eidinow in the March 7 entry. Harper-Collins was kind enough to send a review copy so I could confirm most of my suspicions. The book tells the story of Fischer-Spassky 72, its run-up and post-mortem. It is told well and in great detail. It adds perspective but little new information to the well-known facts.

Chess fans who have a few of the match books will still enjoy the new focus on Spassky, who is usually in the distant background. The day-to-day haggling behind the scenes of the match is presented in great detail, probably too much detail. The appendix on Fischer's parentage and family has the most new information.

Of most value is how well the book reconstructs how the match was seen at the time. The post-script is suprisingly hasty, even considering how little solidly sourced information is available about Fischer since 1973. His 1996 appearance in Buenos Aires is not mentioned at all, and I don't bring that up just to say that's where I met him. The incredible attention his brief resurfacing received speaks volumes about Fischer's legacy, but the authors don't seem much interested in that.

The book doesn't alter the convention wisdom around the match and the players. But it's thorough and a good read and not intended for those who are familiar with the story. I just wish they hadn't gone and perpetuated that idiotic bit about Morphy and the shoes...


If took us 12 years to find Bobby Fischer and he wasn't really hiding. Wonder how much time and taxpayer dollars we'll wast on extradition and prosecution.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 4, 2004 11:58 PM.

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