Books: Critic's Gambit

FIELDS OF FORCE by GEORGE STEINER 86 pages. Viking Press. $8.95.

"Chess," as George Steiner indicates in this little antidote to Reykjavik's hyperbolic summer of '72, "may well be the deepest, least exhaustible of pastimes, but it is nothing more. Bobby Fischer's assertion that it is 'everything' is merely necessary monomania. As for the maniac: "A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise. Almost inevitably, this focus produces pathological symptoms of nervous stress and unreality."

In Fields of Force the symptoms...

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