Book Review: Bobby Fischer Goes to War

Book Review: Bobby Fischer Goes to War

d33my
d33my
Apr 14, 2008, 12:00 AM |
3 | Other

Bobby Fischer Goes to War is a comprehensive coverage of the controversial 1972 World Championship chess match held in Reykjavik, Iceland between World Champion Boris Spassky and the paranoid and obsessive challenger Bobby Fischer. Written by David Edmonds and John Eidinow, it offers points of view from all who were involved, from the players themselves to the chief arbiter of the match, Lothar Schmid. The book also investigates fully the unique character of Fischer, and several psychologists give their opinions on his inimitable genius.

 The book itself is written in an easy and flowing style, and builds up quite a lot of tension. The authors have clearly exhaustively researched the people involved in the story, and a list of about 40 characters have been consulted in the writing of the book. Comprehensive childhood accounts of Fischer and Spassky are also included.

The book is not one which focuses on the actual games of the World Championship, leaving that to talented grandmasters who can professionally analyse each move in detail. Rather, the book focuses on the amount of tension between Spassky and the uncompromising Fischer, and particularly the role in which certain characters included in the player's entourages interacted. However, the book also focuses on the fascinating conflict between Fischer and the organisers of the event, detailing just how close the World Championship was almost a non-event. 

 Overall, the book gives intriguing insights into one of the most controversial players of all time, as well as his infallible genius at the chessboard. The book is written almost like a novel, providing entertainment from the very first pages. I highly recommend it and it is a must for anybody interested in chess, politics, or the unique creature that was Bobby Fischer.


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