Auction: Fischer's handwritten annotations to 1970 blitz games
A number of rare handwritten annotations by Bobby Fischer from the historic 1970 Herceg Novi Blitz Tournament are currently auctioned at PFC Auctions. Fischer wrote down his games on paper, and added comments. He won the famous blitz tournament convincingly, scoring 19/22 points (4.5 points ahead of the rest).
The item for auction has the following accompanying text (first two hyperlinks added by us):
Exceptionally Rare Handwritten Chess Notes by Grandmaster Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) from the Historic 1970 Herceg Novi Blitz Tournament
20 sheets of paper (8” x 11.75”) containing 36 pages of handwritten chess notes by American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer. The notes detail 8 games from the April 1970 Herceg Novi Blitz Tournament held in what was then Yugoslavia. With 3 photocopied pages replacing 3 missing original pages.
There is some slight tearing to the edges of the pages which does not affect the text. Several pages feature small marks and areas of paper loss (corners only) which is to be expected of documents of this kind. Overall in fine condition.
Fischer won the 1970 Herceg Novi tournament with a score of 19, beating Mikhail Tal by 4½ points. He went on to become the World Champion in 1972.
The notes detail blitz games between Fischer and Viktor Korchnoi, David Bronstein, Vasily Smyslov, Predrag Ostojic, Vlastimil Hort, Samuel Reshevsky and Tigran Pertosyan. Fischer has recorded each move in all 8 games as well as detailed notes analysing his opponents’ moves.
The notes come from the collection of Slobodan Bodo Stojnic, a friend of Fischer, who organised the tournament.
An accompanying letter of provenance from Stojnic’s son states that Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosyan, Svetozar Gligoric and other professional chess players were regular visitors to Stojnic’s home in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite being widely regarded as one of the greatest chess grandmasters of all time, Bobby Fischer items rarely appear on the market. In June 2009, Fischer’s personal chess library was sold for $61,000 to Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield whose charitable foundation helped to fund The Chess Club and Scholastic Center.
The original World Chess Championship chess set used by Fischer and Boris Spassky at their legendary game in Iceland in 1972, signed by both men, sold for $76,275 in 2011.
The Herceg Novi blitz event is widely considered to be one of the most significant speed tournaments of the 20th century, with four World Champions competing. This is an extremely rare set of notes from the World Champion and winner of the historic tournament.
The accompanying letter of provenance reads, in full:
“To whom it may concern,
These are 36 original handwritten pages and 3 photocopied pages of Bobby Fischer’s analysis of several chess games held in Herceg Novi in Yugoslavia in 1970. I found these notes amongst my Father’s belongings after he passed.
My late father Slobodan Bodo Stojnic was managing director of the company that organized the tournament and paid the prizes. The company (original name: ZAVOD ZA IZDAVANJE UDZBENIKA SR BiH) published school books and a couple of chess books. Bobby Fisher, Mihail Talj, Tigran Petrosyan, Bronstein, Gligoric and others were regular visitors in our home.
One time, in our home in Sarajevo, there were four of us in the dining room; Bobby Fischer, Tigran Petrosyan, my father and me. Tigran was pretty much deaf and he wore a hearing aid, a huge one for today’s standards. Tigran and Bobby started a blitz match. In the middle of the match, when the board was still full, Bobby went to the kitchen for a glass of water, and Tigran took the opportunity to steal one of Bobby’s pawns. I then witnessed something unbelievable: on the way back, when Bobby was more than two meters away from the chess board, he noticed that the pawn was missing!
After that, my father asked Bobby to put his signature on the wall of my sister's bedroom. There was a square, maybe 10 x 10cm with wallpaper removed. The signatures of Petrosian, Tal, Bronstein and others were already there. Although there was enough space in the lower part of the square, Bobby refused to sign BELOW the others, he said "I AM THE BEST AND I CAN SIGN ONLY ABOVE THE OTHERS". I then had to take off a few centimetres of wallpaper from the top of the square, and Bobby put his signature there. Unfortunately, this wall was destroyed during the war in Bosnia.
I confirm these pages are genuine as written by Bobby Fischer.”
Please note: Pages 1, 2, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 are missing and pages 31, 44 and 45 are photocopies of the original notes.
Fischer's notes to his black game against Kortchnoi. See all pages above (hyperlinks)
The PFC Auctions sale of Fischer's annotations will last until September 27th, 19:00h GMT +1. Bidding is allowed for registered users only. The current bid (September 18th, 2012) is £1,628.00. Full info here.
The Herceg Novi Blitz Tournament of 1970 was arguably the strongest blitz chess tournament of the 20th century. Four world champions competed in the tournament: Vassily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian and Bobby Fischer, who finished 4.5 points ahead of runner-up Tal.
Herceg Novi Blitz 1970 | Final standings
Fischer's games from this event
4 hours 6 min ago
23 hours 25 min ago
1 day 4 hours ago
2 days 47 min ago
2 days 4 hours ago
3 days 51 min ago
4 days 47 min ago
4 days 20 hours ago
5 days 17 hours ago
6 days 1 hour ago
6 days 2 hours ago
6 days 14 hours ago
1 week 18 hours ago
1 week 1 day ago
1 week 3 days ago
1 week 4 days ago
1 week 5 days ago
1 week 5 days ago
1 week 6 days ago
2 weeks 6 hours ago