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  • Bobby Fischer 1972 chess championship board offered at Heritage
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1972BobbychessFischer

Bobby Fischer 1972 chess championship board offered at Heritage

A board from Bobby Fischer's World Championship chess bout against Boris Spassky is set to cross the block at Heritage Auctions.

It's valued at more than $300,000 ahead of a November 17-19 sports collectibles sale in Dallas.

The 1972 World Chess Championship tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland pitted American savant Fischer against Soviet champion Spassky.

Chess Championship table
The 1972 World Championship was billed as a clash between the superpowers

Relations between the two superpowers were extremely tense.

This gave the tournament an additional, heightened significance. It's often referred to as "the Match of the Century".

It attracted a huge amount of international attention, more than any other chess competition before or since.

Chess had a long history in Russia and eastern Europe. The prospect of beating the Soviets at their own game was enticing to America.  

The tournament actually went out on prime time TV in the US over its full 21 game run, from July to September.

Fischer clinched a decisive victory, winning 12.5 to 8.5.

The game board is one of three used. A stone model was replaced after the first six games. A wooden example used only in game three (played backstage) and signed by both men sold for $76,275 in 2011.

Heritage comments: "It is unclear exactly why the initial stone board used in the earlier matches was replaced with the wooden model presented here, but one suspects that Fischer's erratic, paranoid suspicions had been the catalyst for the transition.

"He had asked for the television to be removed from his hotel room, believing the Russians were watching him through it, and voiced suspicions that his food was being poisoned."

This would be Fischer's last tournament appearance for close to 20 years.

He became reclusive and his eccentricities (he was a committed conspiracy theorist and virulent anti-Semite) got more pronounced over the years.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1972BobbychessFischer