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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fischer-Spassky chess set auctioned for $67,000, Fischer letters for $10,000

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer chess set from 1972 Game 3. Photo ©

Auction house Weiss Auctions has sold the chess set used in Game 3 of the World Chess Championship Match of 1972 between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky for $67,500. The game was the first ever win by Fischer over Spassky and followed a game 2 default by Fischer. The win allowed Fischer to settle down to play chess and he came back from 2-0 down to score 6.5 points from the next 8 games. There were only two chess sets used in the match, this and the one used for the rest of the match. This one was presented to Gudmundur G. Thorarinsson. In a different sale some very personal Fischer letters sold for almost $10,000.

According to the auction site:

There were two chess sets used at the 1972 World Chess Championship: this set for the 3rd game only, and another set for all the other games which is now in possession of The Chess Memorial Museum in Reykjavik. This chess set was given to Guomundur Thorarinsson, the President of the Icelandic Chess Federation as a birthday present in 1972. Comes with a letter of authenticity which is signed by Guomundur Thorarinsson (President), and Hilmar Viggosson (Treasurer). Also included is a photocopy of the minutes from a board meeting dated November 18, 1972 written in Icelandic. Item number 13 states that the chess set was presented to Mr. Thorarinsson as a gift. A translation of item 13 is "Agreed to present to Gudmundur G. Thorarinsson as a gift a chess board and chessmen used in the match". Incredible piece with provenance!!

The estimate was $30,000 - $50,000 but the final price exceeded this with a final bid of $67,500 plus 13% buyers premium of $8775 for a total of $76,275. In addition some extremely personal letters with Fischer apologising to girl-friend Zita sold for $9887.50 including buyers premium.

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  • At April 20, 2011 at 9:53 AM , Anonymous Julian said...

    This chess set has become legandary. It's a classic Jaques Staunton chess set. It's so popular you can now buy exact reproductions from most good chess stores.


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