Eight years before a band of scrappy Americans bested the Soviet hockey machine in the 1980 Olympic game that inspired ''Miracle,'' Brooklyn boy Bobby Fischer notched a similar victory, crushing the defending Russian champ Boris Spassky at the 21-game World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Cold War showdown between the borderline-psycho, ''microchip-driven automaton'' Fischer and ''the Mozart of chess'' Spassky transfixed the world: For a time, chess manuals outsold romance novels in U.S. bookstores. Edmonds and Eidinow, authors of 2001's ''Wittgenstein's Poker,'' shrewdly ignore the game's eye-glazing, ''d3 to d4'' techspeak (though the games aren't as nail-biting as they should be) in favor of conspiracy theories, bad Bobby behavior, and international intrigue. Note to Hollywood: It's ''Miracle'' meets ''A Beautiful Mind.'' Get on it.