In 1972, American chess genius Bobby Fischer challenged the Russian world champion, Boris Spassky. The world's attention was grabbed, as at the height of the Cold War the East-West conflict became represented by a chess game.
Tim Rice, who wrote the lyrics for the show, occasionally played and followed chess. In 1980 he dreamt up the idea of Chess, a musical about a love triagle entangled in the US vs. USSR chess games. He mirrored his characters in such a way thay they were not the ones controlling pawns; they themselves were pawns in a political game.
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