Boris Spassky, the Russian world chess champion, has been a paragon of restraint in the preliminary skirmishing (most of it by Bobby Fischer) over the upcoming matches in Iceland. During an interview in Belgrade, Spassky explained his reasons. "Thanks to Fischer," he said, "I have got a good apartment for the first time. My whole family consider that we owe Bobby a load of vodka." When he landed in Reykjavik last week, however, Spassky was showing signs of diminished cordiality. Asked for his reaction to Fischer's claim that he, Bobby, has been de facto champion all along, Spassky replied, "That is a very original view." Fischer, meanwhile, was incognito somewhere in California and still had not signed and returned his contract for the matches, which are scheduled to begin Sunday.
Will Evonne Goolagong win at Wimbledon again this year? Well, maybe, but she's going to have to get out of those threads and into something that will let her reach the ball. She dressed up in these tennis togs of 100 years ago for a fashion photographer in London, which leaves her looking fine—but vulnerable on her forehand.
It looks as though the biggest obstacle standing between Bobby Lee Hunter, the National AAU flyweight champion, and a trip to Munich next month will be competitive, not legal. Two weeks ago Willi Daume, president of the Olympic Organizing Committee in Munich, had warned that Hunter, serving a prison term for manslaughter in South Carolina, might not be welcome in Munich. One possible reason: Rule 26 that goes "...athletes must live in the spirit of the Olympic Rules, the Games and the Olympic idea." Avery Brundage, president of the International Olympics Committee and perennial guardian of Olympian spirit, rules and ideals, seemed to agree. But last week Bob Paul, an IOC official, indicated that he sees no great problem. "As far as Rule 26 goes, he seems to have been a good boy in jail," said Paul. "Bobby Lee Hunter simply has to win the U.S. Trials."
A Los Angeles judge has held Suzanne Lewis, a former girl friend of Roman Gabriel, in contempt of court for refusing to return an $8,500 sports car the Ram quarterback gave her last year. Gabriel says the car was only loaned to Miss Lewis, but she claims it was an engagement present and that she ought to be allowed to keep it even though Roman broke off the engagement to marry Tedra Lynn Bidwell last January. When last seen, Miss Lewis was still at the controls, driving the car out of a Brooklyn, N.Y. garage.
Benched with tendinitis in his right hand during three games in Houston, and a couple more in New York, Met Outfielder Rusty Staub last week did what any other idle major-leaguer would do: he went shopping. He picked up two meatloaf pans, six gratin dishes, a dozen corn holders, six skewers, a grater, a spatula, a Blitzhacker and a stainless-steel eggbeater. Staub is an expert cook. A Blitzhacker is a food chopper. Be careful with that hand, Rusty.
Bright-eyed and bushy-headed, Joe Namath turned up for the first day of his boys' football camp in Wilmington, Vt. last week showing no strain over his contract negotiations with the Jets or the condition of his knees—both of which could be sore points. Namath is reportedly asking for a million-dollar contract over three years. Namath says he will show up at the Jet camp next month, contract or no, but will play in no games until he has the deal he wants.
Madison Square Garden apparently has already sold out the 10 superboxes, or Hall of Fame Lounges, that it will build high above the arena floor. The enclosed boxes, which will hold 10 people each, rent for $50,000 a year. For an additional fee the Garden will provide a bartender or waiter. Box holders will be able to attend all Garden events—nearly 500 of them—during the year's rental. Robert Harter, vice-president of operations at the Garden, says the response has been so gratifying that "maybe we'll build 10 more." He refused to name any of the lucky renters, except to say that all are corporations. Evidently no private individual cared to indulge in such conspicuous consumption.
"That prince man is crazy about soccer," wrote Dutch professional Ruud Suurendonk about Monaco's Prince Rainier. "When he comes to see the game, I wave at him and he waves back." No longer. Suurendonk has been fired by His Serene Highness over a story he leaked to the Dutch press about life as a kept soccer star in the vest-pocket monarchy. What additionally riled the prince was a cartoon that accompanied the story, showing him hanging over the palace balcony peering through binoculars at Suurendonk on the soccer field. Won't the player miss the gaiety of life on the Riviera? Not really. "We were not allowed to enter the casino," observed Suurendonk.
The National Basketball Association is making like Globetrotters these days. The NBA Players Association representatives just returned from their annual meeting. It was held in Spain, and stars like Walt Frazier and Cazzie Russell managed to squeeze in some business between the swimming tennis, golf and sangria. And now Commissioner Walter Kennedy has lined up an exhibition tour to Red China. The plan is to send two squads to play each other because, Kennedy says, "the Chinese have no tall players." But basketball is a popular sport in China and the commissioner and his touring pros could be in for a few surprises. The Manchus from around Peking are tall enough to contend at least with the likes of, say, Gail Goodrich. Which is more than the Knicks and Bucks could do.