I was intrigued by Lara Vapnyar's short story "Fischer vs. Spassky" in The New Yorker (October 8, 2012), which provides an unusual perspective on the famous 1972 chess match, as seen through the eyes of a Jewish couple living in the Soviet Union who contemplate emigrating--with all the risks that entailed. For those of us who have too easily accepted the black and white Cold War narrative of the match, the story provides some neat reversals. Take this quote, for instance:
All the Russian Jews who considered themselves liberal had wanted Fischer to win. For them, the Soviet Union stood for everything that was vile and deceitful, while the United States held the promise of everything that was good. And Fischer was the face of that good. The enormous, warty face of democracy.Read the full story online.