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Robert James Fischer vs Arthur Bisguier
Buenos Aires (1970), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 12, Aug-06
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-07-13  DoctorD: Bisguier was no Bilguer, to coin a phrase. He was a player of phenomenal talent but my opinion is that lack of attention to theory ("studying") kept him from the very highest levels. Of course, he may not have been able to devote the same amount of time to study that Fischer did.
Sep-07-13  jerseybob: DoctorD: No one could out-study Fischer! But Bisguier did have a collection of sidelines that he specialized in, to avoid the more well-known variations. This defense, the Archangelsk, is a sideline, and I was just surprised that Bisguier didn't know it better.
Sep-07-13  JoergWalter: In the introduction to game 47 in "MSMG"
Evans wrote that Bisguier is the player who gets playable positions against Fischer, permanently only to throw them away without a reason (my translation).
Sep-07-13  jerseybob: JoergWalter: That book came out in '69, and up to that time Evans' statement was largely true. This game, from 1970, is an exception. Bisguier never seems to have a chance here.
Sep-07-13  JoergWalter: <jerseybob> thanks, I missed that detail. But then, in 1970 who would have a chance against Fischer? Imo, certain similarity with the game vs. Addison in Palma.
Sep-07-13  RookFile: I saw an interview of an elderly Bisquier, and he was talking about the difference between him and Fischer. He said that Fischer played every game as though it was life and death itself, but Bisguier looked for tricks to shorten the struggle. This game is an example - Bisguier may have thought he had a way to draw this, but Fischer saw more.

By the way, Bisguier's approach is terrific for business. Not so for chess, it seems.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <ughaibu> is a notorious Fischer-hater. If he can discredit a Fischer opponent he sees that as discrediting of Fischer.

Bisquier could have been the second coming of Capablanca and <ughaibu> would still run him down.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <jerseybob.....Bisguier did have a collection of sidelines that he specialized in, to avoid the more well-known variations....>

By the time we met in several tournament encounters in the eighties, Bisguier's approach to theory had largely changed from travelling down the byways to rock-solid stuff, most especially as Black; though Art was the only player I saw have a go at the Berlin Wall in those pre-Kramnik days when it remained a sideline.

As to <ughaibu>'s remarks, it is clear to knowledgeable observers that what <tga> states is on the mark. We may take <ughhaibu> as having experienced an attack of simple jealousy, though I recall Shaun Taulbut writing of Bisguier as a not particularly strong GM in the BCM after facing him at Lone Pine 1978.

Dec-10-13  RookFile: Wow... because Taulbut managed to get a draw against him?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: The young Bisguier had very great natural talent, but he had no drive for success and no "killer instinct", and he was not a studious person. I played him several times in Manhattan Club championships, winning twice. He played for a living, yes, but also for love of the game. The last I heard, he was STILL playing in local tournaments, with a rating now barely over 2200! He is about my age, well over 80. One thing everyone seems to agree about: one of the nicest human beings ever to be a Grandmaster. And he DID produce some fine Chess and some brilliant combinations. I remember his win against Keres, when he looked absolutely stunned on seeing that he was beating one of his chess idols. ---
One story told to me by Leonard Barden, who was there. Bisguier and Larry Evans were playing in the Swedish resort near Stockholm, where nude bathing was standard, so those two, then in their early twenties, picked up a couple of girls and went off to enjoy themselves in the morning, before the afternoon games. Larry was darker, and perhaps smarter, but poor Arthur got badly sunburned on a portion of his anatomy that did not normally get exposed, and had to play his game standing up! I asked him many years later about this story. He looked wistful, and just said after a time, "She was really something!"

Perhaps Bisguier was never among the super elite Grandmasters, but we can say about his best games: they were really something.

Dec-10-13  Petrosianic: Bisguier's current rating is 2200 even, which I presume is his floor. Strange, I thought it would be higher than that. His most recent tournament was 8/27/13. He's played in 9 tournaments this year, so the guy is really quite active. You have to admire him for that. A lot of people, if they can't play at their peak don't want to play at all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile> My recollection of Taulbut's remark in the BCM is something to the effect that '....even though (Bisguier) is not a very strong grandmaster, I was still pleased'.

While Taulbut won the European Junior championship-for which he automatically gained his IM title-this seems more than slightly cavalier and dismissive of someone who was no slouch, and dangerous to anyone on his best day.

Feb-03-14  Granny O Doul: I remember the Chess Life report of the San Juan International of 1969, which indicated that Bisguier needed to "validate" his GM title there, in some sort of official way. I never heard of such a thing before or since, but that's how I recall it. Anyway, Arthur did, having maybe the best tourney performance of his life.
Feb-03-14  RookFile: Tied for 2nd, behind Spassky. I guess the guy was pretty good.
Feb-03-14  SChesshevsky: <I guess the guy was pretty good.>

You have to give the guys like Bisguier double credit. In his heyday very few had chess as a career, most had day jobs and families to support. The less prestigious and some of the higher quality tournaments had to have some pretty innovative scheduling so they could finish adjourned games and get the players back to work.

I didn't know Bisguier but I assume he had a 9 to 5'r as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: First met Bisguier in 1974 and 1975 when he travelled to Burlington, Vermont, representing USCF, and gave several simuls at my junior high school. So far as I recall, that was Art's source of income, other than playing the major American swisses of those days.
Feb-04-14  SChesshevsky: Just for info, I talked to a friend who might've known what Bisguier was up to in the early days. He said he thought that Bisguier had some sort of regular job at some point after getting out of college.

He remembered that after getting out of the military in the 50's, Bisguier went to school somewhere around NYC, probably on the GI Bill, and in one of the U.S. championships, AB ended up sleeping at least some nights at the tourney site and won the event.

My buddy's not old enough to have been there but probably heard the story told by guys who were. So take it for what it's worth. But I think it's maybe more evidence that Bisguier certainly loves chess and was an impressive player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <JoergWalter: In the introduction to game 47 in "MSMG" Evans wrote that Bisguier is the player who gets playable positions against Fischer, permanently only to throw them away without a reason (my translation).>

Translation? What language did Fischer write in?

Feb-05-14  RookFile: Except for Fischer, they all had jobs, even Reshevsky.
Jul-25-14  RubinSteinitz: In 1985, I played GM Arthur Bisguier in a 15 board simul he was giving at the National Open Chess Championship in Las Vegas, NV. Due to there only being 15 boards, we used clocks. I was unrated at the time as it was my first USCF sanctioned event. To my pleasant surprise, I won my game. I told my wife that if I never win another chess game, I will be forever joyful! To beat a 3 time US champion and 2 time US Junior Champion even in a small simul in my first event was beyond my wildest dreams!

Life in the US showed me how hard it is to get a decent chess rating while raising a family. Made me admire Fischer all the more for what he went through.


Jul-25-14  RubinSteinitz: Even Fischer did simuls for cash. So you could say he had a job even if it was chess related.
Aug-10-16  todicav23: Fischer's last win over Bisguier.

"And let that be a lesson to you all. Nobody beats Bisguier 14 times in a row."

Aug-10-16  Howard: Soltis' book on the history of the US Championship, states it was 13 times straight, not 14.

But, then it doesn't really matter !

Aug-10-16  TheFocus: Bisguier got a win and a draw in his first two games and then 13 losses in a row.
Aug-10-16  zanzibar: Bisguier talks about his match-ups with Fischer over in the video on the Fischer page.

To paraphrase...

<"I crushed him the first time we met">

Then the draw, and string of losses. About the loses, Bisguier basically acknowledges that he couldn't beat Fischer and (again paraphrasing)...

<" I tried to find shortcuts to draw, and that's when he'd beat me.">


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