Books: Strange Boardfellows

THE WORLD OF CHESS by ANTHONY SAIDY and NORMAN LESSING 247 pages. Ridge Press/Random House. $17.95.

HOW TO BEAT BOBBY FISCHER by EDMAR MEDNIS 282 pages. Quadrangle. $10.

IDLE PASSION by ALEXANDER COCKBURN 248 pages. Village Voice/Simon & Schuster. $7.95.

Remember Fischer fever? Mild nausea, mottled fury, odd sensations of Russophilia, night sweats about poisoned pawns. Get set for a new and more severe epidemic. In 1972 the delirium was nourished by a prize fund of $250,000, twelve times greater than any previous chess purse. In 1975 the provender is grotesquely more substantial. Bobby Fischer...

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