Pieces of history: Board in 1972 bat­tle up for auc­tion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

The his­toric 1972 chess match be­tween Amer­i­can Bobby Fis­cher and de­fend­ing Soviet champ, Boris Spassky, was as much about Cold War pol­i­tics as it was about pawns and bish­ops.

Now, a chess board used in the “Match of the Cen­tury” is slated to be auc­tioned off in New York City on Fri­day, in a mem­o­ra­bilia sale timed to co­in­cide with the FIDE World Chess Cham­pi­onship, which be­gan in the city this past Fri­day.

Fis­cher and Spassky used the board in games 7 through 21 at the world cham­pi­onship in Reyk­javik, Ice­land. It re­placed a stone board — likely sub­sti­tuted be­cause of Fis­cher’s un­pre­dictable and de­mand­ing de­meanor — that had been used in the ear­lier games and now re­sides in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land.

Her­itage Auc­tions has set an open­ing bid of $75,000 for the board, now owned by an uniden­ti­fied New York col­lec­tor.

Chris Ivy, Her­itage’s di­rec­tor of sports auc­tions, said the Spassky-Fis­cher match re­mains revered both for the level of play, and the geopo­lit­i­cal cli­mate of the time.

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