Arthur Bis­guier

Chess grand­mas­ter who brought Bronx brash­ness to his play

The Scotsman - - Obituaries -

Arthur Bis­guier, a largely self-taught chess grand­mas­ter who brought a na­tive Bronx brash­ness to his style of play in de­feat­ing some of the game’s great­est play­ers while find­ing mostly frus­tra­tion when he faced Bobby Fis­cher, died on Wed­nes­day in Fram­ing­ham, Mas­sachusetts. He was 87.

His daugh­ter Erica Bis­guier said the death, at a care fa­cil­ity, was caused by res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure.

Bis­guier) learned to play chess when he was five by watch­ing games be­tween his older sis­ter and a cousin.

He was not yet 20 when he won the US Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship in 1948; the next year, he suc­cess­fully de­fended the ti­tle. He went on to win the US Open in 1950, the first of five times he would tri­umph or tie for first in that tour­na­ment. And in 1954 he won the US Cham­pi­onship.

Bis­guier might have won more US Cham­pi­onships – or at least one more – if not for Fis­cher. When Fis­cher came along he was 14 years younger than Bis­guier, but he be­gan to dom­i­nate the US chess scene al­most im­me­di­ately, win­ning his first cham­pi­onship, in 1957-58, be­fore he was 15.

Bis­guier’s one taste of vic­tory against Fis­cher came in the first game they ever played, when Fis­cher was a child prodigy of 13. But he would not beat him again. Bis­guier’s ca­reer record against him con­sisted of that one win, one draw (in their sec­ond game) and 13 con­sec­u­tive losses. Bis­guier had a good op­por­tu­nity to best Fis­cher in the 196263 cham­pi­onship, how­ever. The two were tied go­ing into the last round and had to play each other head to head. But, as hap­pened so of­ten against Fis­cher, he fin­ished sec­ond.

Though he could never over­come Fis­cher, Bis­guier counted some for­mi­da­ble op­po­nents among his van­quished, in­clud­ing for­mer world cham­pion Boris Spassky; Sa­muel Re­shevsky, who won the US Cham­pi­onship eight times; and Sve­tozar Glig­oric, who was a can­di­date for the world cham­pi­onship three times.

Bis­guier was awarded the ti­tle grand­mas­ter, the high­est in chess, in 1957 by the World Chess Fed­er­a­tion.be­sides Erica Bis­guier, he is sur­vived by an­other daugh­ter, Cele Bis­guier; a sis­ter, Sylvia Pri­val; two grand­daugh­ters; and three step-grand­chil­dren. Copy­right New York Times

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