Pieces of history: Board in 1972 battle up for auction
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.