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Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How A Lone American Star Defeated the Soviet Chess Machine (Anglais) Broché – 1 mars 2005

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Readers will savor a marvelous portrait of East against West, with perceived societal superiority as the real prize.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“[An] intriguing look at the world of competitive chess, circa 1972.... Good reading, especially for chess buffs.” (Booklist)

“[A] praiseworthy, terrific book… marvelous.” (Chess Life)

“Bobby Fischer Goes to War tells the story in fine, brisk style…conveying the richness of the world beyond the chessboard.” (Time magazine)

“[Edmonds and Eidinow] show themselves once again to be grandmasters of nonfiction narrative.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“The book will be one of the major sources of history for new generations of chess players.” (Boston Globe)

“David Edmonds and John Eidinow have penned a delightful book about the politics of that legendary match.” (Washington Times)

A superbly researched reminder of a 20th century culture clash.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“A fascinating story well told.” (Nashville Tennessean)

“Engagingly written... a real page-turner!” (Library Journal)

“Enthralling…. Edmonds and Eidinow are ideal guides through the history and psychology of chess.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“This is the definitive history of Fischer vs. Spassky.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Note to Hollywood: It’s Miracle meets A Beautiful Mind. Get on it.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“The finest addendum ever to the 1972 chess world championship.’” (Los Angeles Times)

“Superbly researched…. Bobby Fischer Goes to War fills an important gab in the literature on this showdown.” (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Présentation de l'éditeur

In the summer of 1972, with a presidential crisis stirring in the United States and the cold war at a pivotal point, the Soviet world chess champion, Boris Spassky,and his American challenger, Bobby Fischer, met in Reykjavik, Iceland, for the most notorious chess match of all time. Their showdown, played against the backdrop of superpower politics, held the world spellbound for two months with reports of psychological warfare, ultimatums, political intrigue, cliffhangers, and farce to rival a Marx Brothers film. Thirty years later, David Edmonds and John Eidinow have set out to reexamine the story we recollect as the quintessential cold war clash between a lone American star and the Soviet chess machine. A mesmerizing narrative of brilliance and triumph, hubris and despair, Bobby Fischer Goes to War is a biting deconstruction of the Bobby Fischer myth, a nuanced study on the art of brinkmanship, and a revelatory cold war tragicomedy.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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Format: Relié
If Bobby Fischer's name is affiliated with a book, it comes to reason that there is some amount of weirdness forthcoming. I am not referring to the chess books Fischer wrote, as those are guidelines to chess perfection. This refers to any discussion of his life, which this book does. The world's greatest chess player, Fischer, has lived his personal life much less logically than his life is an eight by eight square cell.
To help the nonchess reader sort out the menagerie, authors David Edmonds and John Eidinow provide a "Dramatis Personae," listing 21 Americans, 24 Soviets, six Icelanders, four match officials, and six sundry others, explaining their relationship to the Reykjavik, Iceland chess match. They also include a short glossary to educate us in the vocabulary of competitive chess.
The book begins with a vital quote by Boris Spassky, "When you play Bobby, it is not a question of whether you win or lose. It is a question of whether you survive. This sets the tone for all that follows.
Edmonds and Eidinow lay out the social mire Fischer was growing up in, and his quick rise to chess dominance.
In 1954, when Fischer was 11, he was attending matches and doing well enough but not at his later prodigy level. In that year, as he is quoted, he "just got good." Modern chess history, or at least for one its most colorful characters, begins then.
1972: Boris Spassky was the champ. He deserved to be there. Bobby Fischer was the contender. He deserved to have the opportunity. Between these two men stood a world of complex politics, money, national pride, idiosyncrasies, and suitors to the game. Reykjavik, Iceland was the location of what has become one of the most legendary chess matches ever, between Spassky and Fischer.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8af2d384) étoiles sur 5 107 commentaires
47 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8b599054) étoiles sur 5 All the Levels of Gamesmanship 2 mars 2004
Par Rob Hardy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
For a brief time in 1972, chess was the only game in the world. Bobby Fischer came face to face with Boris Spassky in Iceland, and the world took delight in a simple morality play. Fischer was depicted as the lone American hero gunning to win the title from the Soviets who had held it for decades. The Cold War was reduced to the free world's champion versus the apparatchiks spawned by the Soviet socialist chess machine. It was fun to watch the battle in such black and white terms, but in _Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time_ (Ecco), David Edmonds and John Eidinow show that the true story was much more complicated although just as exciting. For instance, Spassky may have been a Russian patriot, but he was not a Soviet patriot and he was not a member of the Communist Party. Fischer was eccentric and asocial, and his bratty behavior seemed un-American to many of his fellow Americans. But both their governments had a stake in the match, and people all over the world who knew nothing about chess watched the contest carefully, and many took up the game. It was quite truly the most extraordinary chess match of all time, just as the book's subtitle says, and the book makes clear in how many ways it was extraordinary.
Spassky loved the game for itself, and, as a well-rounded gentleman who liked fishing and festive parties with his friends, seemed sincerely to be looking forward to what he called "a feast of chess," win or lose. He admired Fischer, but the book shows that beyond a colossal talent for chess, Fischer possessed few admirable qualities. He was a morose man who one journalist said "was likely to greet even an old friend as if he were expecting a subpoena". His frequent tantrums (which earned him much derision from his compatriots) did, at least, stop when he sat down to play, and he never attempted to disturb an opponent across the table. He was called by Dr. Henry Kissinger when he did not show up for the match, assured that he was "our man up against the commies." Having lost the first game, he didn't even show up for the second, and thus lost it as well. But then he crushed Spassky in the third, and went on to a match full of hard-fought draws and wins, many of which are regarded as among the finest games ever played. President Nixon sent congratulations. Spassky eventually went into contented retirement in France, continuing to regard the Soviet chess administration with disdain. Fischer never defended his title, although he has played some exposition games. He went on to join a fundamentalist Christian church, then to denounce it as satanic. He may have been the American hope during the match, but he is now deeply anti-American, spouting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (ironic, given his parentage on both sides, revealed here) to any radio station that will allow him voice.
The authors have interviewed all the important officials involved who are still alive, especially Spassky; they didn't interview Fischer, and don't say why, but that was probably just not possible. _Bobby Fischer Goes to War_ is not a book for those who want to study the chess games. It has exactly one board diagram, and the games are described generally, not play by play. Chess players interested in this aspect of the match already have bought better books on the games themselves. This is a book about personalities, about the history of the times, and about the off-board gambits and counter-gambits, and you certainly don't have to know any details about chess to enjoy it. There is, to be sure, a great deal to enjoy here, in the re-creation of the match and the geopolitics of the time that lent it importance.
38 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8b5990a8) étoiles sur 5 The Mother of All Matches 20 mars 2004
Par A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
If Bobby Fischer's name is affiliated with a book, it comes to reason that there is some amount of weirdness forthcoming. I am not referring to the chess books Fischer wrote, as those are guidelines to chess perfection. This refers to any discussion of his life, which this book does. The world's greatest chess player, Fischer, has lived his personal life much less logically than his life is an eight by eight square cell.

To help the nonchess reader sort out the menagerie, authors David Edmonds and John Eidinow provide a "Dramatis Personae," listing 21 Americans, 24 Soviets, six Icelanders, four match officials, and six sundry others, explaining their relationship to the Reykjavik, Iceland chess match. They also include a short glossary to educate us in the vocabulary of competitive chess.

The book begins with a vital quote by Boris Spassky, "When you play Bobby, it is not a question of whether you win or lose. It is a question of whether you survive. This sets the tone for all that follows.

Edmonds and Eidinow lay out the social mire Fischer was growing up in, and his quick rise to chess dominance.

In 1954, when Fischer was 11, he was attending matches and doing well enough but not at his later prodigy level. In that year, as he is quoted, he "just got good." Modern chess history, or at least for one its most colorful characters, begins then.

1972: Boris Spassky was the champ. He deserved to be there. Bobby Fischer was the contender. He deserved to have the opportunity. Between these two men stood a world of complex politics, money, national pride, idiosyncrasies, and suitors to the game. Reykjavik, Iceland was the location of what has become one of the most legendary chess matches ever, between Spassky and Fischer.

Early on during Fischer's career, he had the same impact Michael Jordan would later enjoy later enjoy as professional basketball player. "Fischer-fear" was the description of some players' psychosomatic illnesses from Fischer's intimidation. Opponents would make mistakes as a result. Fischer had the bravado of Muhammad Ali, but none of his class. He would take this personality and boorish demands to the match.

Boris Spassky is painted differently. A product of the Soviet support system, he became professional about the game. Affable and popular, an opposite to in every way to Fischer, he still had what Fischer lacked -- the title "World Champion."

The bulk of the book moves on from biography and personality profiles. It follows the path the chess culture -- all chaotic in its apparent systemic approach. Going from the need to compete to the actual match turned through every convoluted corner, with Kissinger's involvement, the FBI, the KGB, and as much intrigue as a James Bond movie.

The travails of the match are outlined as needed (but not heavily), highlighting the most interesting parts and never boring nonchess players. The psychology of the players and chess players in general is discussed, as is the history of modern champions, providing a field for tension and a framework for the match.

This was in the midst of the Cold War, and the Soviets -- not just Spassky, owned the chess champ title. Nixon was president. Fischer, the bombastic, arrogant American who hated Russia, had a knack for successfully risking it all on the board by knowing the principles of chess as a sublime art form. Spassky, the methodical Russian, against Fischer, became a symbol of the Cold war itself. The image of the match was only half of the matter. Neither man was the caricature the press saw them as, but such are the stories of legend.

I fully recommend "Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time," by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. Oh, and if you somehow missed the big news back in 1972, Fischer won the match.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8b5994e0) étoiles sur 5 Reads Like a Cold War Thriller 21 juillet 2004
Par Dash Manchette - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I am not what you would call a chess enthusiast. Although I can play the game, I do not do so often. What I do enjoy, however, are good tales about the Cold War. It was on that basis that I purchased this book. It is also on that basis that the book succeeds very, very well.

There are three themes that I thought were well illuminated by this book. First was Bobby Fischer's behavior. Of course I had heard that he was eccentric and difficult, but never did I imagine just how bizarre he really could be. His unbelievable micromanagement of every aspect of a tournament, his antisocial behavior, his forfeiting of a game in the world championship, all these are brought to life in a way that provides the reader a real taste for the character of the man that was wonderful, if frustrating, to read.

Second, the book did an excellent job of detailing exactly how beneficial Fischer, and the Fischer/Spassky match, was to chess overall. Bizarre behavior or not, Fischer took chess from a poor man's game to one in which top players could demand top dollar. This was far more interesting than most people would probably imagine and more interesting than I can convey with a simple review.

Third, and most fascinating, was the description of the Cold War chess match that was being played by the US and USSR on the world stage over the Fischer/Spassky match itself. Think about it - the Soviets not only dominated chess but explicitly stated that their chess superiority was evidence of the superiority of their socialist system. Then, not only are the Soviets knocked off their perch, they are utterly demolished. Even worse (from the Soviet perspective), the person doing the demolishing is not only an American, but one who is extremely arrogant, openly states that he will crush anyone the Soviets put up against him, and whose behavior is so odd and obnoxious that he would have been thrown in the Gulag if the nationalities were reversed. You could almost feel the Soviets squirm!

I must admit that I did feel bad for poor Boris Spassky, a good man representing a bad system which used him for propaganda purposes. Alas, such is history, and this book serves a very delicious slice of it.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8b5998ac) étoiles sur 5 Strange, Disjointed, Unfocused, Tedious Book that is more about Spassky than Fischer 5 février 2008
Par Jason Hornbuckle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I was pretty excited about buying this book, because who wouldn't want a book about how one man stood up to a Superpower at the height of the Cold War and won?

But then, when you get into it, the book becomes more of a breakdown of the Fischer/Spassky match, only one written for non-chess players. Apparently most all of the story comes from interviews and the recollections and memos of the participants

The problem with that is that they couldn't get an interview with Fischer, and the book shows it. In terms of pages, "Bobby Fischer Goes to War" is 40% about Spassky, 20% about chess, 30% about the reporters or other GMs at the match or whatever, and maybe 10% about Bobby Fischer. Which would be fine if it wasn't put out there as a book about Bobby Fischer, but it was and its not that at all

Written by 2 co-authors and apparently not edited at all, the book meanders from place to place and anecdote to anecdote, and the last 100 pages are intolerably slow. They cover the post-mortem of the match; what went wrong and where the participants ended up. The main problem with that, again, is maybe 10 of those 100 pages are about Fischer. I mean, its really great to know that some Soviet minister of whatever retired and had a good life, but to my mind the book is crippled by long detours into side characters' lives, and I think the authors only indulged in those detours because they had next to no information about Bobby, so they had to talk about something to run up the page count

The first half of the book is interesting and relatively fast-paced, and actually does illuminate the Spassky/Fischer match, even if it doesn't offer any actual insights into Bobby Fischer, beyond what some people who met him once or twice think of him. The second half is just a re-hash of things already stated, and a "where are they now?" type piece on each of the officials of the various organizations who put the match together

So to sum up: this book is basically just a story about that historic match up, and its more told from Spassky's side than anyone else's. If that's what you want, great. Here it is. If you wanted a book about Bobby Fischer, about any part of his life other than those few months in Iceland, you won't find it here. If you wanted his insight into the matches, or analysis of the matches, that's not here either

Also, you should be warned that the story is told about 75% from the Soviet side of things, so there are alot of Russian names and governmental titles. That might bother some readers; I found it difficult after awhile to differentiate between the various Russian officials, especially since some are referred to by nicknames at one point, then by their given names, then by title, etc.

Hope that helps you make an informed decision on whether or not to buy the book
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8b5996c0) étoiles sur 5 A Metaphor of the Cold War Era 30 août 2006
Par Herbert L Calhoun - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I was pleasantly surprised at this very urbane, almost panoramic, and far-sighted treatment of the clash of the two Titans of chess.

The authors not only captured the essential elements of the decisive games that led to Fischer's stunning victory, but more importantly, they also did a masterful job of situating the meaning of the match in the political context of the times. Their parallel overlaying of the times with the events going on in Iceland, left us with an enduring picture of the tension of those troubled times, demonstrating how a single chess match managed to relieve much of it, if only for a brief spell.

In the hands of these very skilled writers, a chess match became more than just a report on the World Championship, it became a metaphor of the Cold War: The clash in Iceland was as much a battle of ideas, political systems and ideologies as it was a parlor game waged with great skill, tension, and tenacity across a wooden board of 64 squares.

Edmonds and Eidinow brought it all alive in grand, almost epic fashion -- from the humble beginnings of the players, and the idyllic surroundings in Reykjavik, to a resounding crescendo of fireworks at the last game of the grand finale in Iceland. Through this book, we are not just eye witnesses to history in the making, we are made to feel that we are a vicarious part of it!

For chess lovers everywhere, this is the book to read if you want to know about the game, the particpants, the politics, the ideosyncracies and emotional ups-and-downs of the participants, as well as the events in the background in Reykjavik. A great read FIVE STARS!
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