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It's a  chess team going to Cuba for more than a game.

Born here 57 years ago, the young Spector knew only the fiercest poverty. Her family, she says, was "very, very, very poor," confined to a Cuban ghetto with a common bathroom and a bucket for a shower. She was raised by a single mom, who had a
seventh-grade education, and by her illiterate grandmother.

Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution did nothing less than change her life. It provided her with an education, leading to a doctorate in physics. "I could not have had the opportunities I have had," she says, "without the revolution."

So each time Spector returns to Havana, the feelings are bittersweet, as they are on a humid Friday in mid-October. Spector is leading a delegation of chess players from the University of Texas at Dallas to the azure seas of her native land.


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