It was the merriest Christmas in years for Yelena Bonner, wife of Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov. Bonner, who was permitted to leave the U.S.S.R. last month for treatment of heart and eye trouble, gathered around the tree with her mother Ruf, son Alexei, daughter Tatiana, their spouses and her three grandchildren. At the celebration in Newton, Mass., where the families live, there were special gifts brought from the homeland, including fine black caviar and vodka. But the day was tempered with sadness. In two months, Bonner must return to Gorky, where Sakharov remains in "internal exile." While her agreement with Soviet authorities prevents her from talking to the press, Son-in-Law Efrem explained, "She counts every day here. Who knows where she will be next Christmas?"
The world's two best chess players have long had an unremitting rivalry. Gary Kasparov, 22, the game's new king, last week moved aggressively in an off-the-board battle, seeking to get out of a required February rematch with his Soviet archrival, Anatoli Karpov, 34. The youngest chess champion in history demanded the ouster of World Chess Federation President Florencio Campomanes, who is up for re-election in 1986 and whom Kasparov accuses of favoring Karpov. The mandatory title defense "is perfectly illegal," said Kasparov in an interview in Le Figaro, "and I don't have to submit to Campomanes' dictatorship." Since capturing the world championship from Karpov in November, the feisty, flamboyant Kasparov has taken some time off to enjoy the beaches near his hometown of Baku in Azerbaijan. But last week's challenge to Campomanes, announced in Amsterdam, where Kasparov had played a match, looked like the beginning of a war of nerves, this time with the entire chess establishment.
To Washingtonians, there are just two games in town: the contest for power and, of course, football. The editors of the sleek-chic Dossier magazine managed to stir the two together, with an added sexy splash for good measure. To go with the magazine's annual "Mighty 500" roundup of the most powerful people, they tacked on a skimpy cover story featuring Shari Theismann, former wife of the Redskins' injured quarterback, Joe Theismann, who left her last year for Actress Cathy Lee Crosby. The obviously fit mother of three is posed in a variety of revealing swimsuits, accompanied by copy that coos, "She never has time to think about you know who." Theismann claims she had no eyeful-for-an-eyeful vengeance in mind. "I don't think he cares, or she'll care that I posed," she told the Washington Post. "Why should they? I don't care what they do."