My World Chess column this week has a look at some of the late grandmaster Arthur Bisguier's best games. Back in his heyday, he was a very strong player, with wins against a good number of the world's top players. (His list of victims includes Fischer, Spassky, Keres, Larsen, Gligoric, Portisch, Reshevsky, Taimanov, Najdorf, Szabo, Benko, to name some players who made it to at least the Candidates stage.) He had a refreshingly direct style which meant that when he won, it was often in very entertaining style - as you'll see.
Entries in Arthur Bisguier (2)
Adult chess players in the United States probably know or have heard of Arthur ("Art") Bisguier, and many chess fans from around the world may also know his name. Unfortunately, his main claim to "fame" is due to his long losing streak to Bobby Fischer, a fate which many others suffered as well. Bisguier won their first game, drew their second, and then the floor caved in: he then lost all the remaining games they played - all 13 of them.
But this obscures what a fine player he was in his heyday; in the 1950s and early 1960s he was one of the best players in the world, though not to the extent that he was a serious contender for the world championship. There's a very nice summary of his career and some of his biggest "scalps" here; I highly recommend having a look.
The man loved to play chess, and continued playing until 2014. Of course he wasn't the player he once was, but he still managed to play very decently for a man in his 80s. I saw him at various tournaments over the years going back to the early 1980s, and his affable persona wasn't a put-on - he maintained it even after losing a game. I'm very happy to have the chance to play him (in 1998), and told him in all sincerity before the game that it was an honor to play him. (He was a very good player even then, pushing 70 and still rated over 2400 USCF.)
He will be missed by generations of American chess players.
Rest in peace.