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MONDAY

Bobby Fischer wasn’t your typical mild-mannered chess geek. Trash-talking, arrogant, and unruly, Fischer attained fame as the bad boy of the board game. “If he wasn’t a chess player,” a colleague once said of the eccentric Brooklynite, “he might have been a dangerous psychopath.” In Bobby Fischer Goes to War, co-authors John Eidinow and David Edmonds illustrate Fischer’s obsessive crusade to conquer the Russian-ruled chess world and how it reignited Cold War tensions during a time of détente. Fischer’s 1972 showdown with Soviet world-chess champ Boris Spassky was surrounded with political intrigue: conspiracy theories, rumors of Spassky’s defecting, allegations of American tricks— including hypnosis and food-tampering—that abounded for months afterward. In winning, Fischer pulled off a stunt arguably more stunning than the underdog U.S. Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” over the heavily favored Soviets in 1980. “The Russians,” a victorious Fischer declared, “are wiped out.” Eidinow speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Chris Shott)

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