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|Jennifer on Fischer's Library|
|By Jennifer Shahade|
|June 11, 2009|
Earlier this week, I went to New York to check out and advise on the Bobby Fischer collection at Bonhams and Butterfields Fine Books and Manuscripts. I also photographed most of the books, just in case the library ended up going to a private collector not inclined to share with the public. Fortunately, Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield ended up winning the Wednesday auction for $50,000+ $11,000 Bonhams commission. Rex, who is also my student, said,"I am thinking right now about how to display it and to make it available to scholars." So we can rest assured that chess fans will have a chance to see it in the future!
See the full press release here and below, more photos and Macauley Peterson's chess.fm auction day video.
Just in case it was my last chance, I spent a couple hours poring over the books. One of the things that interested me most were Fischer's annotations in a book of Spassky's games, in preparation for the 1972 match. Here's an example from Spassky-Petrosian, USSR Championship, 1955, which ended in a draw after 36. Re1:
Fischer wrote in the margins that instead of 36.Re1 in the position above, "36.de wins easily, i.e Rh7 37.Nf5 (+) Ke6 38. Re1 Kf5 39. Rd5 Nd5 40. Qe5 mate." Pretty variation! (But for the record, my and probably your engine think 36. Re1 and 36. de are both winning.)