Fischer may halt play over dome

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BOBBY Fischer, the former world chess champion, was in unusually good spirits as he arrived in Belgrade for the second half of his re-match with Boris Spassky, writes William Hartston.

Leading by five wins to two, he can be pleased to have cast off the rust of 20 years' inactivity with such ease. But the organisers do have one problem.

Ten days ago, the temperamental Fischer made a series of demands about playing conditions. These included the building of a glass dome to surround the match stage in Belgrade.

With play in Belgrade scheduled to begin on Wednesday, there is no sign of the dome. The Sava Centre, where the match is to take place, is a 4,000-seater auditorium with a vast echo. Without the dome, Fischer may find the conditions less than perfect.

Constructing such a dome at short notice is not easy, even without UN sanctions, so the organisers are hopeful that Fischer's good mood will continue and he will play. In the meantime, no one is mentioning the dome.