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Fischer/Spassky chessboard still available

NEW YORK — The signed chessboard by both Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, offered by Heritage Auctions, has been pushed to a two-week post-auction buying option, after it failed to meet the reserve price during regular bidding. The highest reported bid was $119,500. The board was used in games 7 through 21 during the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavic, Iceland. It replaced a stone board used in the earlier six games.

The reserve price on the lot is $150,000. Heritage places an estimate of $300,000-plus on the item.

Fischer won “the Match of All Time” and broke the Big Bear’s grip on the sport.

Chris Ivy of Heritage said a key game played on the board was Game 13, in which Spassky “committed a very famous blunder that sealed his fate and the match.

“This board is the symbol of one of the most important moments of the century and a crucial moment in world affairs.”

The board was designed by Icelandic furniture designer Gunnar Magnusson and produced by cabinetmaker Ragnar Haraldsson.

It once was owned by the Emperor of Iran, and currently is owned by an unidentified New York collector.

In addition to the 19 x 19-inch board is the game table, plus two extra tables built after the tournament. The total weight of the lot exceeds 250 pounds. Also part of the lot are the original Staunton chess pieces, which were held in reserve, though never used for the 1972 tournament and a Garde chess clock like the one, but not the one, used in the Fischer/Spassky match.

Also in the sale is a set of 1959-1960 U.S. Chess Championship score sheets handwritten by Fischer.

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