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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bisguier Bamboozles Taimanov


Bisguier
    The following game from the Maroczy Memorial at Budapest in 1961 features a game in which Bisguier adapted the London System against Mark Taimanov.
     In his prime Taimanov was one of the best players in the world and a gifted concert pianist. He also achieved fame at the age of seven when he appeared in an award winning movie, Beethoven's Concert, a Soviet children's film released in 1937. He was cast to play the leading role but not play as a piano player but as a violinist. He was also a gifted journalist and writer. 
     After he lost 6-0 to Fischer in their 1971 candidate's match his bags were searched by Soviet authorities upon his return home and they found a book by Solshenitsyn ans some money that Dr. Euwe had asked him to deliver to the ailing Salo Flohr. The Party blamed Taimanov's defeat on his failure to read proper Communist literature and even hinted that he had been bribed to throw the match. The result was a censure stripping him of his salary, civil rights and travel privileges. As a result, his marriage broke up and piano career was destroyed. 
Taimanov

     I have Bisguier's two books containing his best games and the first book is cheaply printed in large format. The second is a much better publication being a smaller format and of much higher quality. In the books Bisguier does an admirable job of describing the games in general, telling anecdotes and giving some historical background of the times in which they played. His constant referring to Knights as steads and Bishops as prelates, etc is a little annoying and his annotations! The annotations are light notes and the games are, in general, poorly annotated; it looks to me like they were slopped together for the books! Nevertheless, I like both books because of the games. Larry Evans called Bisguier the greatest natural player in the 1963 US Championship and in his prime Bisguier was a highly original and imaginative player. Perhaps too much so because sometimes his dubious opening choices and flights of fancy wouldn't hold up in serious competition and it often hurt his results. 
     In this wild game against Taimanov, Bisguier sacrificed a N for what was basically positional compensation and Taimanov offered manly resistance.  Then Bisguier unsoundly sacrificed another N which intensified his attack and left Taimanov looking perplexed, but he continued his careful defense as the tension mounted. Then in time trouble, Taimanov spilled his soft drink causing the tournament officials to stop the clocks while they cleaned things up. 
     Bisguier thought Taimanov would take advantage of the break by using the extra time to analyze the position. Instead, according to Bisguier, he walked around looking embarrassed and flustered. After play resumed he quickly went astray. When he resigned the audience cheered and applauded, but Bisguier was unsure whether it was due to his enterprising play or the fact that one of the despised Russians had been defeated. The Hungarians presented Bisguier with a book of Maroczy's games for his efforts. 

1) Korchnoi 11.5 
2-3) Bronstein and Filip 9.5 
4-7) Portisch, Simagin,Taimanov and Dely 9.0 
8) Uhlmann 8.5 
9) Barcza 8.0 
10) Bilek 7.0 
11) Donner 6.5 
12) Bisguier 6.0 
13) Kluger 5.0 
14) Haag 4.5 
15) Drimer 4.0 
16) Pogats 4.0
 

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