For decades, the USSR had dominated world chess. But in 1972 along came the American, Bobby Fischer: insolent, arrogant, abusive, vain, greedy, vulgar, bigoted, paranoid and obsessive - and apparently unstoppable. Against him was Boris Spassky: complex, sensitive, the most un-Soviet of champions.
Since 1948, the USSR had dominated the World Chess Championships - evidence, Moscow claimed, of the superiority of the Soviet system. But then came Bobby Fischer. A dysfunctional genius, Fischer was uniquely equipped to take on the Soviets. His every waking hour was devoted to the game and he had steamrollered all opposition to reach the championship. When he became increasingly volatile, Henry Kissinger telephoned Fischer and urged him on to fight for his country. Against him was Boris Spassky: complex, sensitive, the most un-Soviet of champions. As the authors reveal, when Spassky began to lose, the KGB decided to help him to fight back.
David Edmonds is a senior research associate at Oxford's Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and a multi-award winning radio producer for the BBC World Service. He co-founded the popular philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites with Nigel Warburton and has published several titles associated with that podcast, along with his works co-authored with John Eidinow
. John Eidinow
was a presenter/interviewer for BBC Radio 4 and World Service radio, working in news and current affairs and making documentaries on historical and contemporary issues. He has published three books with his co-author David Edmonds, and one - Another Day, alone. Their co-authored books are the best-selling Wittgenstein's Poker (2001), which was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and translated into over thirty languages, Bobby Fischer Goes to War (2004), which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. Their most recent work is Rousseau's Dog (2006).