Chess: The Newest Idol

Is it art? Science? Sport? "When you're playing for the world championship, " says Tigran Petrosyan, 33, "chess may start out as an art or a science. But in the end, physical endurance is so important that it becomes an athletic event." And so it was last week—at least in the Soviet Union, where there are 3,000,000 registered chess players (v. 6,000 in the U.S.) and everyone else is a kibitzer. In a match that lasted two months and went 22 games, Tigran Petrosyan became the new World Champion of Chess, defeating Mikhail Botvinnik,...

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