Bobby Fischer Goes to War
Eight years before a band of scrappy Americans bested the Soviet hockey machine in the 1980 Olympic game that inspired ”Miracle,” Brooklyn boy Bobby Fischer notched a similar victory, crushing the defending Russian champ Boris Spassky at the 21-game World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Cold War showdown between the borderline-psycho, ”microchip-driven automaton” Fischer and ”the Mozart of chess” Spassky transfixed the world: For a time, chess manuals outsold romance novels in U.S. bookstores. Edmonds and Eidinow, authors of 2001’s ”Wittgenstein’s Poker,” shrewdly ignore the game’s eye-glazing, ”d3 to d4” techspeak (though the games aren’t as nail-biting as they should be) in favor of conspiracy theories, bad Bobby behavior, and international intrigue. Note to Hollywood: It’s ”Miracle” meets ”A Beautiful Mind.” Get on it.