The Nation: The Meaning of Bobby

Every few aeons, the giant magnet of the earth reverses itself. North changes to South, and topsy metamorphoses into turvy. In a sense, that is what happened in Reykjavik when Bobby Fischer last week took the world chess title from Boris Spassky. Russia, chess master to the world for a generation, has been abruptly undone by an upstart. The U.S.S.R. has long instructed its citizens that in chess (as in all things) their strength was the strength of ten because their hearts were pure, their Lenin clean. Americans, by contrast, scoffed at the game as one for myopic children and old...

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