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Match of the century

The opening of Soviet archives has revealed the lunacies that underpinned the greatest contest in cold war chess.

By Erik Tarloff   January 2004

Book: Bobby Fischer goes to war Author: David Edmonds and John Eidinow Price: (Faber, ?14.99)

Even while it was occurring, it was obviously a legendary event – easily the most extraordinary chess match of all time. World championship matches are rarely of much interest outside the fraternity of serious chess players; indeed, it is unlikely most people are even aware when a championship match is in progress. But the 1972 world championship, in which American Bobby Fischer wrested the title from the USSR’s Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, was different. It was front page news around the world. Everyone, even people…

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