Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer

3.6 (5) · New Writing

"The Cold War is still a war. Soft power is still power. You’re out here playing by the rules … they’re out here playing to the crowd."


Reykjavik, 1972. All eyes are on Iceland ahead of ‘the Match of the Century’: Boris Spassky vs. Bobby Fischer. For the two contenders, the stakes have never been higher – the world title, unprecedented prize money, and stratospheric fame are all on the table.

But as the Cold War begins to heat up, each side of the Atlantic spots a major opportunity to demonstrate superiority over the other. So why hasn’t America’s knight in shining armour shown up? And why won’t Russia’s grandmaster listen to orders? As the two superpowers prepare their opening gambits in a proxy battle of ideologies, with sport as the weapon of choice, both sides find themselves undermined by their pawns, who seem oddly unwilling to cooperate…

Tom Morton-Smith’s gripping psychological thriller depicts a match that became a signature event of the Cold War, exploring how two very different individuals were co-opted to stand for contrasting political systems.

Tom makes his Hampstead Theatre debut following his critically acclaimed hit, Oppenheimer (RSC / West End).

Annabelle Comyn is the award-winning Artistic Director of Hatch Theatre Company. Her directing credits include Asking for It (The Abbey Theatre) and Look Back in Anger (The Gate Theatre).

Critic reviews

A little of the flamboyantly obnoxious Fischer goes a very long way

The Arts Desk

Both principals give fine, committed performances

Broadway World

A livewire performance by Robert Emms enhances this compelling, uneven tale

Evening Standard

A game of slow moves


An elegant study of pressure and paranoia

The Stage

Intriguing but overcomplicated chess drama

The Guardian

A chess drama which offers a striking but dense perspective on the Cold War


The play is perhaps more interesting when trying to unify rather than divide its two star men


Date & time

Show ended
Fri 29 Nov - Sat 18 Jan, 2.30pm, 3pm & 7.30pm


Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage NW3 3EU London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
5 user reviews
Loading user reviews…

Seen the show? Add your review now!

Open in app