The Fabulous 70s: Arthur Bisguier and other American Powerhouses

The 1970s (post-Fischer boom) were a great time to play in tournaments in the USA.

Here’s one of the powerhouses of the day, GM Arthur Bisguier, pictured at the 1978 National Open.

GM Arthur Bisguier, National Open, 1978.

Art is still going strong today as a USCF goodwill ambassador and tournament visitor. And we also had Soviet emigres Alburt, Shamkovich, and Lein burning up the field in various Swisses and home-grown talents such as John Fedorowicz, Mark Diesen, Michael Rohde, the Whitehead brothers Jay and Paul, Ken Regan, and more.

Art was Joe Solid at the chessboard. He had an old-fashioned repertoire but was positionally well grounded and conservative. Here is a tough tangle that occurred in 1979 in which I narrowly escaped. Ratings are given from that time as a historical curiosity. I only received the IM title in 1982 – a FIDE diploma signed by Icelandic GM Fridrik Olafsson, then president of FIDE!

GM Art Bisguier [2478] – NM Mark Ginsburg [2355] Liberty Bell Open 1979, Round 2. Nimzo-Queen’s Indian Hybrid. 9/23/79

1. c4 b6 2. d4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb7 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 Nf6 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 g5 8. Bg3 Ne4 9. Qc2 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 d6 11. Bd3 Nxg3 12. hxg3 Nd7 At the time, this was a popular theoretical position. Nowadays it’s just thought that black is OK.

13. Be4!? c6 An important alternative is 13… Bxe4 14. Qxe4 Ke7 15. a4 (nothing much happened after 15. Nd2 Nf6 16. Qc6 Qd7 17. Qxd7+ Kxd7 18. Ke2 h5 19. f3 Rab8 20. Rab1 Rbg8 21. Rbg1 Rb8 22. Rb1 Rbg8 23. Rbg1 Rb8 24. Rb1 Rbg8 and agreed drawn, 1/2-1/2 Agzamov,G (2435)-Dorfman,J (2505)/Frunze 1981/URS-ch) 15… Nf6 16. Qd3 c5 17. e4 Nd7 18. O-O Qc7 19. Nd2 Rag8 20. a5 h5 21. axb6 axb6 22. f4 gxf4 23. Rxf4 cxd4 24. cxd4 e5 25. Rf5 exd4 26. Qxd4 Ne5 27. Nf3 f6 28. Qf2 Nxf3+ 29. Qxf3 Rg6 30. Rf1 Qxc4 31. e5 Qd4+ 32. Kh1 Rf8 33. Qb7+ Ke6 34. exd6 Qxd6 35. Rb5 and black resigned. 1-0 Milov,V (2590)-Eismont,O (2440)/Biel 1994.

Since we just quoted a Dorfman game, let’s show a picture from the 1978 USSR Championship Playoff! This match ended in a 3-3 tie so both players were awarded the title of Co-Champion. At the time of the match, Gulko was a Grandmaster with a rating of 2581. Dorfman was only an International Master (!!) with a FIDE rating of 2539.

Boris Gulko (left) versus Josif Dorfman, USSR Title Playoff 1978.

14. Qa4!? White got nowhere with 14. a4 a5 15. Rb1 Rc8 16. Nd2 Kf8 17. f4 Kg7 18. Kf2 Ba6 and drawn, 1/2-1/2 Uhlmann,W-Smyslov,V/Monte Carlo 1968.

14… g4 15. Nd2 TN! Previously seen was 15. Ng1 Qc7 16. Ne2 b5 17. cxb5 cxb5 18. Qc2 Nb6 19. Rb1 a6 20. Rh4 O-O-O 21. Rxg4 f5 22. Bxb7+ Qxb7 23. Rh4 Kb8 24. Qb3 Rde8 25. a4 Nxa4 26. c4 Nb6 27. cxb5 a5 28. Rc1 d5 29. Rc6 Rh7 30. Nf4 Rc7 31. Rxh6 Rxc6 32. bxc6 Qxc6 33. Nxd5 Qc1+ 34. Ke2 Qc4+ 35. Qxc4 Nxc4 36. Nc3 Kc7 37. Kd3 Nb2+ 38. Ke2 Nc4 39. d5 Kd7 40. e4 and black resigned, 1-0 Sideif Sade,F (2435)-Felsberger,A (2395)/Pula 1997.

15… Qc7 16. Qc2 Nf6 17. a4 c5 More flexible is 17… Ke7! 18. Rb1 h5 19. Rh4 Qd7 20. Ra1 c5 and black is OK.

18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. e4 cxd4 Black is now starting to get uncomfortable. If 19… Rc8 20. O-O cxd4 21. cxd4 O-O 22. Qd3 with a white edge. The text is similar.

20. cxd4 Rc8 21. O-O e5 22. a5 O-O 23. Qd3 bxa5 24. Rfb1! White’s edge is increasing.

24…Qe7 25. Rxa5 exd4 26. Rba1 Rfe8 27. Qxd4 Qe6 28. Rxa7 White could also restricted black with 28. f3 !? gxf3 29. gxf3 Nd7 30. Kg2 Ne5 31. Rd5 Nc6 32. Qc3 with a significant edge.

28… Qe5 29. Qe3? A blunder. White had the simple 29. Qxe5 Rxe5 (29… dxe5 30. Kf1 Red8 31. Ke2 Rd4 32. Ra8 and wins) 30. f3! which is an easy win. Now black gets undeserved activity.

29… Nxe4 30. Nxe4 Qxe4 31. Qxh6 Rxc4 32. R7a5 Rc5 33. Rxc5 dxc5 34. Qg5+ Kh7 35. Ra6 Re6 Every time white threatens with a rook, black is ready to interpose with a rook to defuse matters. White only has a tiny edge now.

36. Rxe6 Qxe6 37. Qxc5 Qg6 38. Qe5 Kg8 39. Qb8+ Kg7 40. f3 Qg5 41.Qf4? A blunder, of course, but white would have hard pressed to win this.

41…Qxf4 42. gxf4 g3 43. Kf1 Kf6 44. Ke2 Kf5 45. Ke3 f6 46. Kd3 Kxf4 47. Kd4 f5

1/2-1/2

Here are a few other games from 1979.

The first was against a player more stodgy and more conservative than Arthur, which is hard to do. It’s none other than venerable future-IM Walter Shipman. If a player wanted exciting chess, he would instead play a US Junior.

NM Walter Shipman – NM Mark Ginsburg National Chess Congress 1979. Round 6 (last). King’s Indian/Pirc/g3 set up.

1. d4 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nge2 Nbd7 7. h3 e5 8. Be3 This is a very nice and solid system for white; one of Walter’s pet lines. In recent memory Vinay Bhat is a fan. Later in other Walter Shipman games (in the 80s) I figured out a Benoni-type strike with c7-c5 is much more effective versus this system than the King’s Indian e7-e5 break.

8…c6 9. a4 a5 Also not equalizing is 9… exd4 10. Bxd4 c5 11. Be3 Nb6 12. b3 Re8 13. O-O.

10. O-O exd4 11. Bxd4 Re8 More clever, perhaps, is 11… b6!? 12. g4 Nc5 13. Re1 (13. e5 dxe5 14. Bxe5 Bd7 15. Re1 Re8 16. f4 Rc8 17. Qd2 Be6 18. Nd4 Qd7 19. Rad1 with white edge) 13… Qc7 14. Qd2 Re8 15. Nf4 h6 16. Rad1 Bb7 17. Bxc5 dxc5 setting a nice trap – hoping for 18. Qd6? Qxd6 19. Rxd6 Nxg4! 20. hxg4 Be5! with black advantage.

12. g4 Qe7 13. Ng3 Now it’s just nasty for black.

13…Ne5 It’s hard to give advice. 13… Nc5 14. g5 Nfd7 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. f4 and white is better.

14. g5 Nfd7 15. f4 c5 No help is 15… Nc4 16. Bxg7 Ne3 17. Bf6 Nxf6 18. gxf6 Qxf6 19. Qd3 Nxf1 20. Rxf1 b6 21. Qe3 Ba6 22. Rd1 Rab8 23. b3.

16. Nd5 Qd8 17. Bc3 Nc6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qd2 Nb6 20. Nf6 Re6 Black is going to have to sacrifice the exchange for that horse on f6 but of course he should be losing.

21. f5 Rxf6 Essentially forced. Miserable is 21… Re5 22. Qf4 Nd7 23. Ng4 Re8 24. Rad1 Nde5 25. Nf6 Rh8 26. Rd5.

22. gxf6+ Qxf6 23. fxg6 Qxg6 24. Nf5+ 24. Qf4 is strong. The text move makes things a little harder, but white should still be winning.

24… Bxf5 25. exf5 Qf6 26. Rad1?! The cleanest win is the careful 26. b3! Kh8 27. Rae1 d5 28. Qf4 Rg8 29. Qc7 Nd4 30. Rf2 c4 31. Re7 Kg7 32. c3 Nxb3 33. Re6 and it’s all over. White from this point forward commits a whole series of inaccuracies to let black back in the game, and more. The moral is that unplanned play can be punished when clear material up just as it can be in any other type of position.

26…Nc4 Now the task is more complicated.

27. Qf2 Kh8 28. b3 N4e5 29. c3 More circumspect is 29. Kh2.

29… Rg8 30. Kh1 Ne7 A bluff.

31. Qf4? White should grab: 31. Bxb7! Rb8 32. Qg2 and should win.

31… b6 32. c4 h6 33. Be4 Rg5 34.Rg1 White should safeguard the king: 34. Kh2! Rh5 35. Qg3 Rg5 36. Qe3 Rh5 37. Rf4 and he keeps control. He was probably low on time here.

34… Rh5 35. Rg3? This is the most serious blunder to date. The rather primitive 35. Qg3! Rg5 36. Qh2 Rh5 37. Qg2 Rg5 38. Qd2 Rh5 39. Qxd6 Rxh3+ 40. Kg2 Qg5+ 41. Kxh3 Qh5+ 42. Kg2 Qe2+ 43. Kg3 Qg4+ 44. Kf2 Qf4+ 45. Ke2 Qxe4+ 46. Kd2 and finito.

35… Nxf5 Now black is OK. Flummoxed and short of time, white even contrives to lose now.

36. Bxf5 Rxf5 37. Qe4 Rf1+ 38. Rg1 Qf3+ 39. Qxf3 Rxf3 40. Rxd6? A blunder on the last move of the time control. 40. Kg2! Rxb3 41. Rxd6 Nxc4 42. Rxh6+ Kg7 43. Rc6 Rb4 44. Kh2+ Kf8 45. Ra1 Ne5 46. Rc7 should be drawn.

40… Rxh3+ 41. Kg2 Rxb3 42. Rxh6+? Another blunder. 42. Kh1 Ng6 43. Rd7 Kg7 44. Rb7 Rb4 45. Rf1 Nh8 46. Rg1+ Kf6 47. Rf1+ Ke6 48. Re1+ Kf5 49. Re8 Ng6 50. Rxf7+ Kg5 51. Re3 and play continues.

42… Kg7 43. Rh4 Rb4 44. Kf2+ Kf6 45. Rf4+ Ke6 46. Ke2 Rxa4 And white is lost. An amazing turnaround.

47. Rc1 b5 48. Rb1 Ra2+ 49. Kf1 b4 50. Rd1 b3 51. Rb1 a4 52. Re4 Rc2 53. Rbe1 White lost on time.

0-1

According to my scorepad scribbles, I tied for 4th, 5th, and 6th with Art Bisguier and the dearly departed Boris Backzinskyj with 4.5 out of 6 in this event. We all won the princely sum of $66.66. We also won 2.66 Grand Prix points each (remember those? ) – Church’s Fried Chicken donated money for those who had the most Grand Prix points, or as Igor Ivanov called them, “Chicken Points.” I also notated that Dzindzi won the event with 5.5 out of 6 and equal 2nd and 3rd were Vitaly Zaltsman (Max Dlugy’s trainer) and Tim Taylor. with 5-1.

Some More 1979 Encounters

A battle versus a well-known chess book author.

Eric Schiller (1927) – NM Mark Ginsburg (2355) Heraldica Semi-Rapids New York City, October 1979. Modern Benoni

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Nd2 Bg7 8. Nc4 O-O 9. Bf4 Nbd7! It appears sound to leave the d6 pawn hanging. Let’s look at an old Tal loss in the more passive but possible 9… Ne8 10. Qd2 Bxc3 11. bxc3 b5 12. Nb2 a5 (The gambit line 12…Nf6 13. f3 Na6 14. e4 c4 15. Bg5 Re8 16. Qd4 Re5 17. f4 Rxg5 18. fxg5 Nd7 19. h4 Nac5 is very sharp) 13. e4 Qe7 14. Bd3 b4 15. O-O Nd7 16. Nc4 Ba6 17. Rfe1 Bxc4 18. Bxc4 Ne5 19. Bf1 Nc7 20. Bh6 Rfe8 21. f4 Ng4 22. Bg5 f6 23. Bh4 Qg7 24. h3 Nh6 25. Kh1 Nf7 26. Bf2 Rab8?! (26… g5!) 27. a3 f5? (27… b3! 28. Rab1 a4 29. c4 Ra8 30. Rb2 g5! with an OK game) 28. axb4 axb4 29. cxb4 Rxb4 30. e5! (Crushing.) Rb7 31. e6 Nh6 32. Rab1 Reb8 33. Rxb7 Rxb7 34. Bc4 Rb2 35. Qe3 Rc2 36. Rc1 Qb2 37. Rxc2 Qxc2 38. Bb3 Qb2 39. e7 {A blunder!} (39. Kh2 Qf6 40. Ba4 Qe7 41. Qb3) 39… Kf7 40. Bh4 (40. Kh2) 40… Qd4 ? (Losing. Last move of the time control? 40… Qa1+! is correct and it appears black saves himself.) 41. e8=Q+ and black resigned, Borisenko-Tal, Riga 1955.

10. e3 If white grabs the pawn, 10. Nxd6 TN?! Nb6 and also 10…Nh5 are both tempting. Black has good play in both lines. This makes sense, because black is better developed and can fairly easily regain the pawn.

On the other plausible capture, 10. Bxd6 Re8 11. e3 Nb6 12. Bxc5 Nxc4?? (12… Nbxd5! is obvious and equal. 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Be2 Bxb2 15. Nxb2 Qa5+ 16. Qd2 Qxc5 17. Rc1 Qb4 18. Qxb4 Nxb4 19. a3 Nd5 20. O-O Be6 =; note that 12… Nfxd5 is also fine; equal after 13. Nxd5 Nxd5) 13. Bxc4 Qc7 14. b4 white won shortly in Gabriell,R (2260)-Meissner,B (2285)/Germany 1993. In the game, white plays in a non-challenging way that gives black much freedom to maneuver and gain an initiative in typical Benoni style.

10… Nb6 11. a4 Nxc4 12. Bxc4 Nh5! Clearly black stands very well now.

13. Bg3 Nxg3 14. hxg3 Qa5 15. Qd2 Bd7 16. O-O a6 17. Qd3 Rfe8 18. Ra3 Re7 19. Rfa1 Rae8 20. Rb3? It was bad, after e.g. 20. Qd1 Rc8, but the text is an elementary oversight that loses a piece.

20...b5 21. Nxb5 axb5 22. Bxb5 Bxb5 23. Rxb5 Qa7 24. Qb3 Re4 25. Rb6 Be5 26. a5 Rb4 27. Rxb4 cxb4 28. a6 Rb8 29. Ra4 Rb6 30. f4 It is more resistant to play 30. Qc4 b3 31. Ra3 f5 32. Qc8+ Kf7 33. Qc4 Rb8.

30… Bf6 31. Kh2 Rxa6 32. Rxa6 Qxa6 33. Qxb4 h5 34. Qb8+ Kg7 35. b4 Qd3 36. Qe8 Qxd5 37. b5 Qe6 38. Qc6 Qxe3 39. Qxd6 Bd4 40. Kh3 Qg1 41. g4 hxg4+ 42. Kh4 Qh2+ 0-1

A battle versus a fellow US Junior.

Michael Rohde – Mark Ginsburg Liberty Bell Open, Philadelphia 9/24/79. Nimzo-Indian Defense.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nf3 O-O 6. a3 The uncompromising Saemisch variation. I did not know it.

6…Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Nc6 8. Bd3 b6 The move 8….d6!? is more careful.

9. e4 Ne8 In the database, black was unsuccessful twice with 9….d5 10 e5! Even so, after the text, white has an edge. What did black do wrong?

10. O-O Ba6 11. e5 f5 12. d5! Na5 13. Qe2 h6?! Black is playing too provocatively. 13… exd5 is an interesting try to alter the structure and get out of the huge bind: 14. cxd5 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 c4 16. Qc2 Nc7 and white is better but black can fight.

14. Rb1 Qe7 In the game Ryskin-Butnorius, Soviet Union 1967, 14…Bb7 was played. White lost after the hideous 15. g4?? but he had 15. Rd1 or 15. d6 with an edge in either case.

15. h3 The direct 15. d6! Qf7 16. Nd2! g5 17. f4 g4 looks very good.

15…g5 15… Bb7 16. d6 Qf7 17. Nd2 g5!? 18. f4! doesn’t inspire confidence.

16. d6 Qf7 17. Nh2 17. h4! g4 18. Ne1 Qg6 19. g3 Ng7 20. Ng2 Nh5 21. Nf4 Nxf4 22. Bxf4 Bb7 and black is worse but not lost yet.

17… f4 18. h4 18. Bd2!? Bb7 19. Ng4! is a big white edge.

18… Bb7? A clear mistake. 18…gxh4 is the best try and although it does look sick, black only has a small disadvantage after e.g. 19. Bd2 Bb7.

19. hxg5 hxg5 20. Ng4?! 20. Qg4! Qg7 21. Qh5! A very nice two-step. This is completely decisive.

20… f3! 20… Qh5 21. f3 leaves white with an edge. The text introduces confusion.

21. gxf3?! Not good. 21. Qe3! Qf4 (21… fxg2 22. Nh6+ Kg7 23. Qxg5+!) 22. Qxf4 gxf4 23. g3! fxg3 24. fxg3 is a big edge for white.

21… Qxf3 Now, surprisingly, black is totally OK. As Gulko said once, “when a good position collapses, it collapses not to equality, but to ruin” (commenting on one of his Serper playoff games in the US Championship. That phenomenon happens here.

22. Qxf3 Rxf3 23. Bg6? A bad blunder, after which black is much better. (23. Be3! Rh3 24. f3 Bxf3 25. Rxf3 Rxf3 26. Kg2! A nice saving resource, if 26… Rf8 27. Rh1.

23… Kg7 24. Bc2 Rxc3?! 24… Nxc4! 25. Bxg5 Nxa3 26. Rbc1 Nxc2 27. Rxc2 Kg6 28. Be7 Ng7 29. Nh2 Rd3 30. f3 Nf5 and wins for black.

25. Bd1 (25. Ne3 Nxc4 26. Rb3 Rxb3 27. Bxb3 Nxe3 28. Bxe3 Kg6 29. Bc2+ Kf7 30. f3 Ng7 31. Bxg5 Nf5 32. Bxf5 exf5 33. Kf2 Rh8 34. Rg1 Bc6 35. Bf4 Ke6 36. Rg6+ Kd5 and wins)

25… Nxc4 26. Bxg5 Kg6 (Black misses a cute knockout: 26… Rh3! 27. f3 (27. Bh6+ Rxh6 28. Nxh6 Kxh6) 27… Nxe5! {A nice tactic – and wins)

27. Rc1 Rxa3 (Again, 27… Rh3! 28. f3 Kxg5 29. Rxc4 Ba6)

28. f4 (28. Rxc4 Kxg5 wins)

28… Nd2 29. Bc2+ Kh5 30. Nh2 Rg3+ 31. Kf2 Rg2+ 32. Ke3 Rxh2

0-1

Here’s an upset from the December 1979 Chicago Masters/Experts.

NM Mark Ginsburg – GM Roman Dzindzihashvili Chicago 1979, Sicilian Kan

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O d6 7. c4 g6 8. Nc3 Bg7 9. Bg5!? I had learned this dangerous setup while experimenting in the Kan theme match I played against Eugene Meyer in 1978.

9…Nbd7 10. Kh1 b6 One way to play is 10… O-O 11. f4 Qb6!? 12. Nb3 Qc7 with a complicated game in view.

11. f4 Qc7?! Tougher is 11…O-O 12. f5 Ne5 13. fxg6 fxg6 14. Nf3 Nf7! A key defensive resource. 15. Bh4 Qc7 and black holds on.

12. f5 gxf5? Making matters very bad. The Grandmaster was playing quickly and simply underestimated the kid. He could try 12… e5 13. Nc2 O-O 14. Ne3 Bb7 15. Rc1 Nc5 16. Ned5 Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. cxd5 Qd7 19. f6 Bh8 20. Bc2 and white ratains some edge.

13. exf5 e5 14. Ne6! This wins. Curiously, 14. Nd5!! is an even nicer win: 14…Nxd5 15. Ne6 fxe6 16. Qh5+ Kf8 17. fxe6+ N7f6 18. cxd5 Qe7 19. Bxf6 (19. Rxf6+ Bxf6 20. Rf1 Bxe6 21. dxe6 Qxe6 22. Rxf6+ Qxf6 23. Bxf6) 19… Bxf6 20. Qh6+ and wins.

14… fxe6 15. fxe6 O-O 16. e7! Bb7 Getting out of the way of the rampaging pawn loses: 16… Re8 17. Nd5 (or 17. Rxf6 Nxf6 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nd5) 17… Nxd5 18. Bxh7+ Kxh7 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. Qxe8+ Kh7 21. Qh5+ and wins.

17. exf8=Q+ Rxf8 18. Nd5 Nxd5 19. cxd5 Rxf1+ 20. Qxf1 Nc5 21. Rc1 e4 22. Bxe4 Bxb2 23. Re1 Be5 24. Bf4 Qf7 25. Bxe5 Qxf1+ 26. Rxf1 dxe5 Fortunately this wasn’t a hard ending to convert because I had no practical experience at this point overcoming ending obstacles.

27. Bb1 Bxd5 28. Rf5 Nd7 29. Rh5 Bf7 30. Rxh7 Bxa2 31. Rxd7 Bxb1 32. Rd6 b5 33. Rxa6 Kf7 34. Kg1 Bd3 35. Kf2 Bc4 36. h4 Bd5 37. Rb6 Bc4 38. g4 Bd3 39. Ke3 Bf1 40. g5 Kg7 41. Ke4 1-0

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “The Fabulous 70s: Arthur Bisguier and other American Powerhouses”

  1. Granny O'Doul Says:

    It was nice that you omitted the part about Walter figuring out the prizes with himself at 4.5. No need to embarrass a guy like that.

    Are you sure you don’t mean Genghis Khan sweeping across the Russian steppe?

    MG: Let’s hope he doesn’t read this comment, then. Oh yeah, Genghis. I will correct.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: