SIGNED BY BOBBY FISCHER, BORIS SPASSKY, WORLD CHAMPION TIGRAN PETROSIAN (TWICE), AND MANY OTHER GRANDMASTERS AND CHAMPIONS: RARE PROGRAMS FROM THE TWO PIATIGORSKY CUPS OF 1963 AND 1966
FISCHER, Bobby. Piatigorsky Cup Program. WITH: Second Piatigorsky Cup Program. Santa Monica, California: no publisher, 1963, 1966. Slim octavo, original spiral-bound blue and red cardstock wrappers; pp. 48 and . $4800.
Original tournament programs from the first Piatigorsky Cup of 1963 and the Second Piatigorsky Cup of 1966, each signed by many of the competitors at their photographs and biographical entries. The program for the Second Cup is signed by all ten competitors, among them Bobby Fischer, Boris Spassky, and world champion Tigran Petrosian, among others, and the program for the inaugural cup is signed by six of the nine competitors, including Petrosian, Miguel Najdorf, Pal Benko, Paul Keres, and others.
Billed as an "International Grandmaster Chess Tournament," the first Piatigorsky Cup was held in Los Angeles' The Ambassador Hotel in July, 1963, and featured world champion Tigran Petrosian, Paul Keres and Victor Korchnoi, all of the USSR, Pal Benko and Samuel Reshevsky of the USA, Miguel Najdorf and Oscar Panno of Argentina, Svetozar Gligoric of Yugoslavia, and Fridrik Olafsson of Iceland. This particular copy of the finely printed program is signed by tournament director (and grandmaster) Isaac Kashdan and by competitors Petrosian, Benko, Gligoric, Keres, Najdorf, and Panno. Each competitor is given a page of biography and a full-page photographic portrait. Pages are provided to track games (one game, between Gligoric and Petrosian, has been penciled in). Petrosian and Keres were joint winners of the tournament.
Held in Santa Monica's Miramar Hotel from July 17 to August 15, 1966, the second Piatigorsky Cup pitted chess champions Miguel Najdorf of Argentina, Jorden Bent Larsen of Denmark, Wolfgang Unzicker of Germany, Jan Hein Donner of Holland, Lajos Portisch of Hungary, Robert Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky of the USA, Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky of the USSR, and Borislav Ivkov of Yugoslavia against each other. Fischer had first played—and lost to—Boris Spassky at a tournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1960. The Second Piatigorsky Cup would be the second time the famous chess challengers would meet. "In January 1966, Fischer took his seventh U.S. title, qualifying him for the 1967 Interzonal in Sousse, Tunisia. He was again on his way to another shot at his ultimate goal, the world title. In the meantime, there was a tournament in Santa Monica, in which the then-world champion Tigran Petrosian would participate, together with his recently defeated challenger Boris Spassky. Fischer had a disastrous first half, losing his individual game against Spassky. As so often, however, he somehow stepped up a level, gathered momentum, and began cruising through the field. In the penultimate round, he faced Spassky again (all players played each other twice). This time he secured a draw—he had still not managed to beat the Russian—and Spassky went on to take the top prize, with Fischer finishing second" (Edmonds & Eidinow, Bobby Fischer Goes to War, 17). Danish grandmaster Jorden Bent Larson was later defeated by Fischer in the Candidates round of the tournament that ultimately led to the Fischer v. Spassky showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972. This particular copy of the program is signed by tournament director Isaac Kashdan, tournament sponsors Gregor and Jacqueline Piatigorsky, and all of the ten competitors: Petrosian, Donner, Fischer, Ivkov, Larsen, Najdorf, Portisch, Reshevsky, Spassky, and Unzicker. Owner signature in each program, along with a few penciled marginalia.
Very nearly fine condition. Most scarce and desirable.