More Of Bisguier's Greatest Hits

More Of Bisguier's Greatest Hits

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Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier was born in 1929 and he died in April 2017. The purpose of this two-part series is to let you enjoy the attacking genius of one of America’s most talented players (you can find part one here).

My goal is to put a smile on your face as you enjoy Bisguier’s “greatest chess hits.”


Bisguier, standing far right, in New York at the 1960-1961 U.S. championship. Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of Carl Ebeling.

Some might say, “Well, I don’t know anything about Bisguier. Who did he play?”

Here are some of the grandmaster titans (I am leaving out the many non-grandmaster legends that he wiped out) he beat and drew: Boris Spassky (you can see Bisguier beat Spassky in part one, puzzle three), William Lombardy (part one, puzzle four), Sammy Reshevsky (part one, puzzle nine), Robert Byrne (part one, puzzle 11), Pal Benko (part one, puzzle 12), Bobby Fischer, Efim Geller, Joel Benjamin, Svetozar Gligoric, Borislav Ivkov, Isaac Kashdan, Carl Pilnik, Arturo Pomar, Larry Evans, Jan Donner, Arnold Denker, Peter Biyiasas, Nick De Firmian, John Fedorowicz, Dmitry Gurevich, Ron Henley, Alexander Ivanov, Gate Kamsky, Anatoly Karpov, Paul Keres, Lubomir Kavalek, Victor Korchnoi, Sergey Kudrin, Bent Larsen, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Edmar Mednis, Anthony Miles, Miguel Najdorf, John Nunn, Galway de O’Kelly, Tigran Petrosian, Lajos Portisch, Miguel Quinteros, Karl Robatsch, Michael Rode, Nicolas Rossolimo, Vassily Smyslov, Andrew Soltis, Laszlo Szabo, Mikhail Tal, Mark Taimanov, James Tarjan, Jan Timman, Patrick Wolff, Alexander Zaitsev, David Bronstein, Ulf Andersson, Lev Alburt.

If this group of opponents doesn’t blow you away, nothing will!

As I mentioned in part one, in some cases Bisguier’s attacks were unsound. However, as with Tal, who cares if someone finds a refutation a day, month, or year later if the attacker won the game? Here’s an example of a nonstop attack against the extremely strong Russian grandmaster Mark Taimanov.

Bisguier dropped bomb after bomb, but just when Taimanov could have taken the point, time pressure and exhaustion (yep, it’s really, REALLY tiring to defend!), he collapsed and went down in defeat.

Now it’s puzzle time. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to play like Bisguier. As always, if you fail to solve the puzzles, I will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

First, a public service: Whenever I give puzzles, quite a few people don’t realize that they can press the question mark at the bottom left of the board and see various notes. Another bit of puzzle confusion is alternative moves. Yes, there are many situations where there is more than one really good move (or even multiple ways to mate!). When this occurs they think that I missed it. No, I didn’t. The problem is that the software will only allow one "best" move. Fortunately, I will usually have mentioned the moves you were screaming about in the notes!


Can White take the c4-pawn, or can Bisguier find something else?



This is your chance to beat the great Paul Keres!



Black just moved his queen from a7 to f2, which threatens a back-rank mate and a tasty tidbit on c2. Unfortunately for Black, it loses by force.





The late Bent Larsen (the best storyteller I’ve ever met) was one of the top players in the world and many thought he might be the first non-Soviet world chess champion since Botvinnik first grabbed the title after Alekhine’s death (Alekhine was the only world champion that died with the title). In this game though, the great Dane was eviscerated in a mere 19 moves!






Rest in peace, Arthur.

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