Former US Champion and "Dean of Chess" Arthur Bisguier, Dies at 87

Arthur Bisguier, around 1981
Hall of Famer, US Champion and Grandmaster Arthur Bernard Bisguer (October 8, 1929- April 5, 2017) died at 87 years old of respiratory failure. In 2005, Arthur Bisguier was recognized by the US Chess Federation as "Dean of American Chess", in honor of his promotion of and many contributions to the game. Judy Misner of US Chess said, "Art was not only a GM, but was an employee at US Chess (as Grandmaster on Staff) for many years and a friend to many. He will be missed."  
Bisguier on the cover of the 1947 Chess Review
Bisguier passed on April 5, midway through the 2017 US Championship, a title that Bisguier himself earned in 1954. He also won two US Junior Championships, three US Opens, a US Senior Open, and represented the United States in five Chess Olympiads. As the New York Times reported, Bisguier's aggressive style would have likely earned him even more US Championships titles if not for Bobby Fischer. "When Mr. Fischer came along, he was 14 years younger than Mr. Bisguier, but he began to dominate the American chess scene almost immediately....Mr. Bisguier's one taste of victory against Mr. Fischer came in the first game they ever played (when Fischer was 13). "
[pgn]

[Event "Third Rosenwald Trophy"]
[Site "New York, NY USA"]
[Date "1956.10.07"]
[White "Arthur Bisguier"]
[Black "Robert James Fischer"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E78"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1956.10.07"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f4 O-O 6. Nf3 c5 7. Be2 cxd4 8. Nxd4
Nc6 9. Nc2 Bd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Be3 Na5 12. b3 a6 13. e5 dxe5 14. fxe5 Ne8 15.
Nd5 Rc6 16. Nd4 Rc8 17. Nc2 Rc6 18. Ncb4 Re6 19. Bg4 Rxe5 20. Bb6 Qc8 21. Bxd7
Qxd7 22. Bxa5 e6 23. Nd3 Rh5 24. N3f4 Rf5 25. Bb4 exd5 26. Bxf8 Bxa1 27. Qxa1
Kxf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Re1+ Kd8 30. Nxd5 Qc6 31. Qf8 Qd7 32. Rd1 Rf6 33. Qxe8+
1-0

[/pgn]
Arthur Bisguier won the third edition of the famous Lone Pine Tournament in 1973, where he scored 6/7 and notched some of his trademark attacking victories.
[pgn]

[Event "Lone Pine op"]
[Site "Lone Pine"]
[Date "1973.03.??"]
[White "Bisguier, Arthur Bernard"]
[Black "Miles, Anthony J"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B73"]
[WhiteElo "2430"]
[BlackElo "2280"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "1973.03.18"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2009.11.30"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O Nc6 8.
Be3 O-O 9. Qd2 Ng4 10. Bxg4 Bxg4 11. Nd5 Bd7 12. c4 Ne5 13. b3 Bc6 14. Bh6 Bxh6
15. Qxh6 e6 16. Nc3 Qb6 17. Rad1 Rad8 18. h3 Qc5 19. Rfe1 a6 20. Qe3 Rfe8 21.
Rd2 Nd7 22. Nxc6 Qxc6 23. Red1 Nb6 24. e5 d5 25. Ne4 Kg7 26. Nf6 Rf8 27. Nh5+
gxh5 28. Qg5+ Kh8 29. Qf6+ Kg8 30. Rd3 Rfe8 31. Qh6 h4 32. Rd4 1-0

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "Lone Pine op"]
[Site "Lone Pine"]
[Date "1973.03.??"]
[White "Bisguier, Arthur Bernard"]
[Black "Tarjan, James Edward"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2430"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "1973.03.18"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2009.11.30"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d6 3. d4 g6 4. Bg5 c6 5. f4 Bg7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Qd2 b5 8. Bd3
Nbd7 9. e5 b4 10. Ne2 dxe5 11. fxe5 Nd5 12. Bh6 f5 13. h4 e6 14. h5 Qe7 15.
hxg6 hxg6 16. Bxg7 Qxg7 17. Ng5 Re8 18. Rh7 Qf8 19. O-O-O Re7 20. Rdh1 Rxh7 21.
Rxh7 1-0[/pgn]
Bisguier on the 1973 Chess Life & Review cover
He was one of the most active American Grandmasters, playing regularly well into his 80s, and was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 1994. https://twitter.com/WorldChessHOF/status/849720261414924290 Pete Tamburro wrote in the August 1994 Chess Life Magazine, on the occasion of Bisguier's induction: "His meteoric climb to the top culminated with a winning 10-3 score in the 1954 US. Champion­ship, one point ahead of Evans, who had held the title for three years. Kenneth Harkness, writing for Chess Life, assured readers that Bisguier would be a popular titleholder: 'As friendly as a puppy, Art Bisguier doesn't have an enemy in the world. If he cannot say something nice about you, Art doesn't say anything. He bub­bles over with enthusiasm for chess and chess­players. it is no effort for Art to win friends and influence people. It is a natural gift."" Bisguier, author of the Art of Bisguier, was was known for his attacking style and won a Best Game award for the following miniature:
[pgn]

[Event "9 Zagreb"]
[Site "9 Zagreb"]
[Date "1965.??.??"]
[White "Arthur Bisguier"]
[Black "Bent Larsen"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B06"]
[PlyCount "37"]
[EventDate "1965.??.??"]

1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. f4 d6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bd3 O-O 6. O-O Nbd7 7. e5 Ne8 8. Qe1
c5 9. f5 dxe5 10. fxg6 hxg6 11. Qh4 exd4 12. Bh6 Nef6 13. Ng5 Ne5 14. Rxf6 Bh8
15. Rf1 Re8 16. Bf8 Bf6 17. Rxf6 exf6 18. Qh6 Rxf8 19. Qh7# 1-0

[/pgn]
Arthur Bisguier on the cover of the 1980 Chess Life 
Look for more remembrances of Art Bisguier on this website and in an upcoming issue of Chess Life Magazine.

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