In the swirl of news about Bobby Fischer's smashing victory in Argentina (SI, Nov. 8), not much was said about Russia's Boris Spassky, who will defend his world chess championship against Fischer next year. Spassky, 34, is handsome, gregarious and talkative. He knows Fischer—he played and beat him a year or so ago—and likes him. "I understand him," Spassky says. "I know what he went through when he temporarily withdrew from chess."
Spassky, a mod dresser for staid Russia, lives in a comfortable two-room apartment in a VIP building in Moscow with his second wife and their small son. He drives a car he bought with money he won at a tournament in California in 1966, plays bridge, is a gifted mimic and likes to make fun of himself. He has a serious side, too. He was outspokenly critical of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and escaped serious trouble apparently because of the fool's freedom chess masters in Russia traditionally enjoy.
Soviet experts generally feel that Spassky and Fischer are evenly matched, though one Russian authority says flatly that Spassky will lose because "he is lazy."
"I am lazy," Spassky says. "I don't lake months to prepare for a tournament. the way the old chess masters did. But I make up for it by working much harder while the game is in progress. M\ real incentive when I sit down to play is the confidence I have that I will win."
In its six games this year, California's Rialto Junior High was undefeated, untied and unscored on. But wait, there is more. In the six games, Rialto's defensive team gave up a total of eight yards. That averages out to 1.3 yards a game.
And everybody talks about Nebraska's defense.
HOME IN INDIANA
The city of Indianapolis went Christmas shopping recently, saw a tennis stadium it liked in Cleveland and decided to buy it and have it shipped the 300 miles home—6,300 scats, press box, fencing and all.