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Monday, November 16, 2015

A Couple Bisguier Games and James T. Sherwin

     While playing through some of GM Arthur Bisguier's games the other day I came across two that were particularly interesting. Many players today don't know it, but aside from being a very enterprising player in his day, Bisguier also made significant contributions to opening theory. For example: he introduced the Bisguier System against the K-Indian (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. f4). Also, for white he made contributions to the Ruy Lopez Worrall Variation, the Najdorf Sicilian, the Sicilian Grand Prix Attack and he played the Kopec System against the Sicilian many years before Kopec investigated it. As black he resurrected the Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez and Leonard Barden named a variation of the Ruy Lopez Closed Variation the Bisguier Defense. 
     In the first game, I was intrigued by the final position of his game against Petrosian from the Stockholm Interzonal where Petrosian offered a draw in a very unclear position. As usual when I'm not sure of the evaluation, I ran a Shootout using Stockfish 6, Houdini 1.5 and Komodo 8. It appears that Petrosian was wrong to offer the draw as he had excellent winning chances. The Shootout results were heavily in white's favor although of the three engines, Stockfish's result left things still open to question because it typically performs well in the ending. Clearly though Bisguier was wise to accept the draw. Houdini 1.5 scored +5 -0 =0, Stockfish 6 scored +1 -0 =4, Komodo 8 scored +4 -1 =1 
     The second game, a miniature against Sherwin, reached an unusual position in Bisguier's Berlin Defense, Rio de Janeiro Variation in the Ruy Lopez. Back in 2008 Bisguier stated he had won more than 20 games with this variation. What was interesting was Sherwin's odd placement of his B on d3 on move 7 where it blocked the advance of the d-Pawn. 
     James T. Sherwin was railroaded by the US government, in particular Rudy Giuliani who is probably best known as the former Mayor of New York City. The Wikipedia article states that in the end his conviction was reversed and the case was dismissed with prejudice. For non-attorneys that means the people that charged him dismissed the lawsuit upon settling the case and it can never be filed again. On the other hand, dismissal without prejudice leaves open the possibility of bringing the suit again if the defendant does not follow through on the terms of the settlement. For more details on his case refer to The National Registry of Exonerations HERE. Sam Sloane also discussed his case HERE. On a happier note, Sherwin's wedding announcement...HERE

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