Sport: Scenario for a Stalemate

Trying to keep track of the pregame maneuverings in the Fischer-Spassky match is as confounding as the game itself. The moves have been fast, frantic and just plain farcical. A running account of the shenanigans resembles the notation for a twelve-move grand-master stalemate:

WHITE Spassky

1. Boris arrives in Reykjavik two weeks before the match.

2. Boris sighs, "If he doesn't come, we'll all go home. It's as simple as that."

3. Boris says he is "insulted" by Bobby's delaying tactics and demands a written apology.

4. Mollified, Boris agrees to play the first game. He wins.

5. Boris appears for...