Bobby Fischer Goes to War
- How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match
- Narrated by: Sam Tsoutsouvas
- Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 02-03-05
- Language: English
- Publisher: HarperAudio
Regular price: $28.51
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Against the backdrop of superpower politics, the authors recount the careers and personalities of Boris Spassky, the product of Stalin's imperium, and Bobby Fischer, a child of post-World War II America, an era of economic boom at home and communist containment abroad. The two men had nothing in common but their gift for chess, and the disparity of their outlook and values conditioned the struggle over the board.
Then there was the match itself, which produced both creative masterpieces and some of the most improbable gaffes in chess history. And finally, there was the dramatic and protracted off-the-board battle, in corridors and foyers, in back rooms and hotel suites, in Moscow offices and in the White House.
A mesmerizing narrative of brilliance and triumph, hubris and despair, Bobby Fischer Goes to War is a biting deconstruction of the Bobby Fischer myth, a nuanced study on the art of brinkmanship, and a revelatory cold war tragicomedy.
"Tsoutsouvas...manages to keep it light and play the humor while laying back the more sensational passages. His handsome, barrel-chested voice is a delight to listen to." (AudioFile)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gene on 02-09-05
This is the enjoyable background story behind the immortal Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972, the one that held the world spellbound and caused chess to become fashionable. No chess knowledge is necessary to appreciate this book. It not only sheds light on the chess world but on the relationship between the USSR and the US, a relationship that is no doubt being forgotten by the post-USSR generation. The most revealing moments in the book are the descriptions of the behind-the-scene struggles of the Soviets as it became clear that Spassky was losing the match. Much of the story is familiar to chess afficionados, but this retelling adds a bit of depth. It not only discusses Fischer's life and demise, but that of Spassky and many others in the chess world, from Steinitz to Paul Morphy to Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov, and even current #1 Garry Kasparov. This is a must-listen for chessplayers. Recommended further reading: "The Pathetic Endgame of Bobby Fischer", which I think is still available on the Atlantic Monthly web site. The only drawbacks of the book are its popular and somewhat superficial approach and the indications that its narrator and/or author are not particularly outstanding chess players. Fischer's incredible 6-0 victories over Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen are also discussed, along with various paranoid theories about how he achieved his victories, when it is clear that he was always a formidable talent and thus didn't need skullduggery to shake the chess world.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Nate on 06-15-05
I'm listening to it again!
I was somewhat reluctant to commit myself to listening to a book about chess for 12 hours. As soon as the book was finished I immediately started over. A great story about really strange people and an even more strange event.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful