The Cold War was enacted in multiple arenas: military coalitions, espionage, industrial and technological developments, an arms race, many proxy wars - and chess. Those 64 squares may seem an unlikely battleground, but chess, adopted by the Communist regime in Russia as a symbol of Soviet power, played an enormous role in this psychological war. Throughout the duration of the hostilities, international chess contests reflected the shifting balance of power between the two factions. From the 1945 radio match in which the Soviet Union crushed the US, to the Fischer-Spassky game of 1972 that shattered three decades of Soviet chess-hegemony, such legendary showdowns illuminate the story of how the West triumphed over Communism. This unique and original history reveals chess as the perfect metaphor for political and military confrontation. Daniel Johnson, a chess prodigy himself and a scholar of post-war history, is the perfect guide to this strange and remarkable period, when chess matches, for a brief, golden time, were front-page news, and captured the world's imagination.