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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2007
Not much to add to what's already been said, except to confirm that this is a thoroughly engrossing, fascinating and riveting account of the Fischer/Spassky match. Even if you're not particularly interested in chess history, this is a highly readable and compelling account of events. I originally thought that the expected expanses of Cold War political and personal power struggles would be a turn off and a major yawn, but as it turned out it's so well written that I found it hard to put down.

I'm no psychologist, and Fischer may have been a genius, but much of his behaviour was infantile and inexcusable, narcissism with bells on. Especially in the run up to the match he behaved like a total jerk and should have been blown completely out of the water, IMHO. It's a credit to the authors that, although I found much of the shananigans on both sides to be what you'd expect from a bunch of five year olds, the book remains impartial, leaving you to draw your own conclusions, mostly with your chin on the ground.

Excellent stuff, well worth a second, or third read. I'm off to check out 'Wittgenstein's Poker' by the same authors.
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on 11 April 2013
I've been reading quite a few Bobby Fisher autobiographies and this one was as good as any other. For any Bobby Fisher fan - this book is worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2011
A compelling account of the 1972 world chess championship, accessible to non-chess players and of interest to students of the Cold War: the account of this match is well contextualised in the politics and culture of the time and in the biographies of the two protagonists.

At the centre of the account, as repulsive as ever, is Fischer the challenger, a venial, spoilt, perpetually petulant overgrown adoloscent, unforgiveably indulged by the championship organisers in his whims and tantrums. Spassky, the reigning champion, by contrast is a more sympathetic figure, contributing to his own ultimate undoing by acquiesing too easily with the pusilamious and cowardly behaviour of the organisers.

Those who do not appreciate chess may regard this story as "much ado about nothing". Those who love the game will enjoy the account and lament how an event that could have been a marvel of sportsmanship, courage and analytical thinking degenerated into such a farce.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2008
This could have been a brilliant, sharp essay, but instead it has been extended into book length, making it tedious.

I do not think, either, that the writers manage to give a good impression of the characters of Spasky or Fisher, despite dwelling at some length on the psychological aspects of their games and situation.
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