White King and Red QueenDaniel Johnson
1 May 2008
Published by Atlantic Books
Daniel Johnson’s gripping account of the Cold War reveals that, for the Soviet Union, chess was more than just a game: it was war by another means. The game had become the national sport, taught in schools, and those with talent were moulded into champions from a young age. Soviet players dominated international competitions throughout the Cold War years.
White King and Red Queen illuminates the lives and times of the players and matches at the forefront of this confrontation, from the famous 1972 encounter between American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer and Soviet champion Boris Spassky; to the struggle between anti-Communist Viktor Korchnoi and loyal Kremlin supporter Anatoly Karpov; to the emergence of Garry Kasparov, the last Soviet world champion. It offers a dramatic new perspective on the post-war struggle for supremacy between the superpowers.