Collins has provided a second home for many aspirant chess players at the Hawthorne Chess Club, in Brooklyn, where he'll serve as their mentor and sit down to a game of speed chess. Here he describes the early personal history, particular traits, influences and styles of play, etc., of seven of his young pupils before appending some of their best games (80 in all). Bobby Fischer rang the bell in 1956, the club became a daily rendezvous, and he was a healthy boy of many interests with a ""sunny disposition."" Collins accompanied him to the ""match of the century"" and says not a word about Bobby's churlish conduct -- obviously he's an indulgent foster father. On with brothers Robert and Donald Byrne, Bill Lombardy -- the gregarious, high-humored, robust priest, Ray Weinstein, Sal Matera, and Lew Cohen -- a new hopeful. None of them quite decides whether or not chess genius is genetic -- but all of the portraits would indicate that it is not as obsessively single-minded as usually stereotyped. Affectionate addenda on these early bloomers with a little more homework for the buff.