October 18, 1976 12:00 PM

Now I have an extra queen,” said Soviet chess champ Boris Spassky after authorities in Moscow reluctantly allowed him to marry for a third time in September 1975. His new wife was Marina Stcherbatcheff, 31, a French national. After the wedding Marina continued to work as a secretary in the French embassy in Moscow. Boris went on playing chess. Now, a year later, Spassky, 39, who was deposed as world chess champion in 1972 by Bobby Fischer, has been checkmated by the Russian bureaucracy. Though granted a one-year “vacation” visa so that he and Marina could visit her family in France, Spassky has been forbidden to play in any kind of chess competition for the duration of his stay. When they arrived in Paris last month, the Spasskys settled into a three-story villa, loaned to them by Marina’s cousin, in the Paris suburb of Meudon. Then they took off for a vacation in Valmont, a little town in the mountains above Grenoble. For the moment Boris is content to take long walks, watch TV and read the Russian books he brought along. But he is determined to play competitive chess. “I am an optimist in a pessimistic situation,” says Spassky, who plans to learn French. “If Marina and I decide to live in France, I’ll have to survive. With my trade, chess playing, that’s possible.” And the chess-poor French would gain one of the world’s greatest players.

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