Random Posts

Play Live Blitz


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bisguier Bashes Weinberger in the 1968 US Championship

     Arthur Bisguier (October 8, 1929 – April 5, 2017) is one of my favorite players and the two books of his best games are an enjoyable read because they are filled with games that are just plain fun to play over. Not a collection of dry positional games or flawless tactics, but real games filled with sacrifices, sound and unsound, a couple of positional masterpieces and a few endgames, both well-played and not-so-well played. Real chess. 
     His opponent, Tibor Weinberger (November 27, 1932), is an FM and US Senior Master. Weinberger was born in Hungary and played in five Hungarian championships from 1952 through 1956. He came to the United States in 1957. His record: 
1957 - won the New Jersey Open 
1958 - won the New Jersey State Championship and the Nebraska Open 
1959 - won the California State Open, the Southern California Championship, and was California Champion 
1961 - tied for 1st in the California championship 
1963 - tied for 1st place in the California Open 
1964, 1966 and 1967 - won the Pacific Southwest Open 
1968 – finished 11th in the US Championship, won the Santa Monica Masters, the West Coast Open, the San Bernadino Open and the Long Beach Open 
1973 - won the California Open 
1975 – Qualified for the Cleveland International by winning a “Futurity” event, but finished at the bottom in Cleveland. 

     Fischer didn't even respond to his invitation to the 1968 US Championship. By this time I think everybody was pretty well fed up with Fischer anyway although Larry Evans claimed that he had tried to get Fischer to play. 
     His snippy attitude was because it was a 12-player event, not 16 players, plus other issues such as prize money and playing conditions and probable a dozen other things. Instead he went to Israel to play in a tournament at Netanya. The tournament commemorated the 20th anniversary of the founding of Israel. Five GMs, five IMs and four masters participated. At Netanya he simply blew away the competition by finishing undefeated with ten wins and three draws, three and a half points ahead of the Yanofsky and Czerniak who tied for second. Fischer was nicked for draws by Yanofsky, Kraidman and Porath. 
     Without Fischer the championship was up for grabs with Evans, Robert Byrne, Reshevsky, Benko, Bisguier and Lombardy all having a reasonable shot. 
     Lombardy, returning to the event after a seven-year absence, was now a priest. He performed his priestly duties during the tournament and Bisguier was also working during the tournament, this time for Al Horowitz at Chess Review
     Horowitz' decision to come out of retirement at the age of 60 marked the end of an era. The following year he sold his wonderful magazine to the USCF and it was absorbed into the abysmal rag that is Chess Life
     By this time Robert Byrne was beginning to modify his super-positional hypermodern style and as a result he won the US Championship in 1972 and was a World Championship Candidate in 1974. Who knows what he could have accomplished if he had made the changes earlier in his career? 
     As for Larry Evans, since the 1950s he was distinguished by his matter-of-fact and unromantic attitude towards winning and even towards chess itself and in this tournament was playing more defensively than ever. During the tournament Dr. Anthony Saidy mentioned something to the effect that chess was a way of life. Evans' testy reply was that it was an escape and he had used it as a boy to escape from life and he spent three weeks every year playing in US Championship because he needed the prize money. Apparently Evans had a difficult childhood. Bisguier wrote that he never liked the way Evans treated his mother...that is until he met her and then he understood. 

l) Evans 8.5 
2) R. Byrne 8.0 
3) Reshevsky 7.0 
4) Benko 6.5 
5-6) Bisguier snd Lombardy 6.0 
7-9) Rossolimo, Saidy and Zuckerman 5.5 
10) Horowitz 4.0 
11) Weinberger 2.0 
12) Seidman 1.5 

     In this game, like his game with Weinberger in the previous championship, it soon developed into a tactical melee in which Weinberger set a trap in which he won a B and forked Bisguier's Rooks. In the book, Bisguier praised himself for having seen through the whole thing and managed to threaten an unavoidable mate before Weinberger could take either R. He “proved” it with faulty analysis. Weinberger met Bisguier's 18th move with a couple of blunders and that's why Bisguier won. 
     What kind of irks me is that Bisguier says plainly that he used Fritz (version 4 or 5, I am not sure which) when analyzing this game and so I looked at a couple of positions using the old Fritz 5 and for example, even it pointed out that Bisguier's 17th move was not as good as he would have us believe. It also recognized the fact that white's 21st move was not so good. But, Bisguier never bothered to point any of this out in his notes which is kind of deceptive because it leads the reader to believe that he had it all figured out beginning with 16...Qc5. It was still an interesting game though. Also, I might add that Bisguier was a genuinely likable guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment