Throwback Thursday: CHESSFLASH WORLD NEWS/April 5, 2017

Photo credit: Russell Miller


THIS JUST IN FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES … America’s chess legend is gone. Chess grandmaster Arthur Bisquier, the last living witness to the entire 1950-2000 fabulous era United States grandmaster team of chess giants (RESHEVSKY, FINE, DENKER THE BYRNE BROTHERS, ROSSOLIMO, BENKO FISCHER, ADDISON, LOMBARDY, WALTER BROWNE, SIERAWAN, ALBURT AND CHRISTIANSEN) has died at age 87 in Massachusetts. “Arthur Bisguier HAS MORE TALENT THAN ANYONE … EVEN FISCHER … HE IS BLESSED … but he needs a good start to get going … he is an inspirational player,” William Addison told a startled me in 1969). I had many remarkable on the road adventures with Grandmaster Bisguier … and was an eyewitness to the entire murderous, fantastic Scotch Goring gambit $5,000 game … Kenneth R. Smith -Bisguier $5,000 side bet thriller at the 1971 Sparks, Nevada national open (often called ‘the tournament of the century,” the only tourney ever with Evans, Browne, Pandolfini (second!), Bisguier, tourney director Koltanowski, Fischer’s manager Ed Edmondson, Bills, Acers … WITH THE PAIRINGS ALREADY KNOWN THE NIGHT BEFORE AND tourney director KOLTANOWSKI NODDING OK … GRANDMASTER LARRY EVANS GOADED K.R. SMITH of DALLAS (“THE CAPABLANCA OF THE CATTLE COUNTRY”) INTO GETTING THE OPENING FIRST MOVE COLORS DECIDED RIGHT NOW … TO ALLOW HIS COMRADE-IN-CASH MAN BISGUIER TO STUDY AND REALLY GET READY FOR THE BIG GAME … OFFERING AN INCREDIBLE 50 DOLLARS JUST FOR THE COIN TOSS! Much cash was now coming down on all sides, IT WAS RAINING GREEN EVERYWHERE … BROWNE ALSO REACHING FURIOUSLY, REPEATEDLY INTO HIS JEANS … I remember people screaming out, “Tell me, little Walter, are you speaking with mouth or your wallet?” and also, “Now, Ken dear … it has be worth $5,000 BET to be even worth the time FOR A SELF RESPECTING DALLAS TYCOON LIKE YOU!” with draw odds COUNTED AS A WIN FOR SMITH. LAUGHING hysterically AND SHAKING FROM HEAD TO TOE … I flipped the coin for colors and it ROLLED INTO THE KITCHEN underneath Grandmaster Evans’ Nevada ranch house kitchen table! With everybody screaming … chasing the ON THE LOOSE GOOSE COIN like madmen into the kitchen as well! THE NEXT DAY Smith was astounded to win an entire piece in 10 moves BUT Bisguier hung on grimly with five thousand on the line … Rather than simply trading pieces, EFFORTLESSLY WINNING FOR A STRONG MASTER LIKE K.R Smith … AFTER MUCH CONTEMPLATION (“I WANTED TO KILL BISGUIER AND EVANS,” SMITH TOLD ME IN 1994) he unbelievably attempted a brilliancy by SACRIFICING HIS EXTRA KNIGHT FOR A soon-to-evaporate direct attack and actually lost. It was one thunderous RAGING FOR 24 HOURS unforgettable experience for everyone involved and the tourney itself went to Bisguier and Evans after a murderous 6 hour draw. I played against grandmaster Walter Browne, ELIMINATING US BOTH FROM THE TOURNEY CONTEST … Both Evans and Bisguier were forever grateful to me for handing them the tournament on a silver platter and showed it in so many ways over the years . “I just did not want to resign,” Bisguier whispered softly to me … the last time I ever saw him was half a century ago … as Evans was being awarded first prize on tiebreak. I remember it like yesterday. And who did I bet on? Are you kidding? My cash stayed in my pants. IN GENERAL I LIKE TO KEEP IT IN MY PANTS. THAT IS HOW YOU STAY ALIVE ON THE ROAD! Time waits for no one. But my, what memories, what memories. Along with S. Gligoric … I knew them all, A TREASURE BEYOND MEASURE, and I was simply at right place in world chess history by blind dumb luck at every juncture.##############

Jude Acers

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