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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
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-15-02  knight: Was 9...Nxe4 a mistake?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I don't know, but that move has been played before ... e.g. Robert E Byrne vs Jan Smejkal 1973
Aug-16-04  Kaspy2: this appearently was the last game of Fischers still standing world record. in his radio interview he claims "the longest uninterrupted win series GM-GM of 11:0" against Biguier. no other GM ever crushed any other GM this hard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Kaspy2> I'm not sure I understand Fischer's claim. I thought his last victory in the unbeaten run was against Petrosian in their first match game.
Aug-16-04  Kaspy2: thats probably a very long win run in tournament play with mostly GMs. But its a different thing to not even allow a draw against the same player, who might want to retaliate at around 0:5 or at some point.
Oct-17-04  DhavalVyas: Fischer beat Bisguier 13 times in a row. I think that is a great accomplishment, but Kasparov has a greater accomplishment. Kasparov has beaten Shirov over a dozen times, and Shriov has not beaten Kasparov once!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Benzol> You are confusing two different streaks. The 11 game winning streak of Fischer against Bisguier is a DIFFERENT streak from Fischer's 20 game win streak against GM competition, which ended in his second game against Petrosian in the candidate's match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <DhavalVyas> But did Shirov have any draws against Kasparov? I think so. But Fischer's streak is consecutive wins without even allowing draws. I take nothing away from Kasparov, but Fischer's streak against Bisguier is more impressive.
Sep-06-06  ughaibu: Shirov was a world championship candidates level player, Bisguier was made a GM to "balance" Tal getting the GM title for winning the Soviet championship, a piece of cold war nonsense rather than an indication of chess ability.
Sep-06-06  Runemaster: <ughaibu> Is that really how/why Bisguier was made a GM? I never heard that before.
Sep-06-06  tino72: <Bisguier was made a GM to "balance" Tal getting the GM title for winning the Soviet championship> I don't know all the facts here, but I have done some digging which appears to indicate that - at least by modern standards - Bisguier had turned in some grandmaster level performances by 1956. Extract from online biographies:


"In 1949, Bisguier recaptured the U.S. Junior Championship and paired that with winning the Manhattan C.C. championship. In 1950, he won the first of his three U.S. Open titles (two other first place ties lost on tiebreaks to Fischer in 1957 and Benko in 1969).

The United States army interrupted his chess career from 1951 to 1953; however, they did allow him to play in the Helsinki Olympiad in 1952. He capped off his stay in Europe by winning the third annual Christmas tournament in Vienna with a stunning 9-2 score and a 2680 performance rating!

After a mediocre performance in the U.S. Open in 1953, he entered the Philadelphia Candidates' Tournament for the U.S. Championship and came through with a first place finish and another over-2600 performance. His meteoric climb to the top culminated with a winning score in the 1954 U.S. Championship, one point ahead of Evans, who had held the title for three years. In 1956, he added the U.S. Open title to his U.S. championship. " (Source: US Chess Hall of Fame - Inductee Biography)

"He qualified for the USSR Chess Championship in 1956, finishing joint fifth, and became the youngest player to win it the following year, at the age of twenty. He had not played in enough international tournaments to qualify for the title of grandmaster, but FIDE decided to waive the normal restrictions and award him the title anyway because of his achievement in winning the Soviet Championship." (Source: Wikipedia biography)

So neither player had - technically - earned the IGM title by 1956 but both had turned in "norm" type performances.

<ughaibu> Do you have any further information on whether Bisguier's achievements fell short of the performances that would, at the time, have qualified him for the IGM title? I share your distate of granting titles purely for political purposes but I wonder whether the situation here is that straightforward?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Bisguier was certainly GM strength, though not Shirov-strength. Here is Tal's account of the incident from his bio. <During the Championship of Europe [in 1957] a FIDE Congress was held, and our Federation proposed me for the title of International Grandmaster. The formal grounds for this were clearly inadequate. In the first place I was not an International Master, and in the secondly I had not reached the Grandmaster norm in an international tournament. Against this, the argument was put forward that I was the USSR Champion, and had won the title in a very strong tournament. The decision taken by the Congress was truly Solomon-like: I was 'exchanged' for L. Evans and A. Bisguier, who had failed to make the norm by something like half a point, and we all three were raised to the rank of Grandmaster.> <My Life and Games>, pp. 66-67.

I am not that familiar with Bisguier's subsequent career but I am sure he made the GM norm any number of times. Here is his profile in chessmetrics -- Sonas has him rated around the top 50 at the time he was made a GM.

Sep-06-06  RookFile: As keypusher said, Bisguier was certainly GM strength. Enough said.
Sep-06-06  ughaibu: Bisguier appeared in two interzonals, on the more successful occasion finishing at the leading edge of the also-rans, it's hard to see a serious claim for him in the 50s when GM was a select title.
Sep-06-06  RookFile: Bisquier was 2634 in 1956 and ranked #32 in the world, according to chessmetrics. Perhaps his most famous win was the following crush:

Bisguier vs Larsen, 1965

Sep-06-13  jerseybob: Amazing that Bisguier goes into this line not knowing its ins and outs. 10..Bd6?(10..Be7 better) turns it into a kind of Riga variation, but with 12.Kf1! Fischer refutes. I think I like Tal's 7.d3 (from Tal-Pytel)a little better for white.
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?
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