Chess Books at Auction

October 12, 2017

One-of-a-kind chess items often come up for auction. I thought it might be interesting to ChessTalk members to see what has appeared recently.

1) Chess book signed by Humphrey Bogart starting bid $150

It is the Fifth edition of Modern Chess Openings by Griffith and White, Completely Revised by P.W. Sergeant, R. C. Griffith and M.E. Goldstein. Whitehead & Miller, Leeds (1932)

Autograph appraised and authenticated in 1998

“This is a chess book presumably owned by Humphrey Bogart. Bogart was a 2100 ranked player. (google it)

The book is in tattered shape but the collectable value to the right individual is “priceless””

Winning Bid $666 US (4 bids)

2) David DeLucia is downsizing his collection. These are items he now longer wants:

a) Bobby Fischer manuscript draft of letter to Osama bin Laden – Rare

Starting bid $7,500 US

Text: Dear Mr. Osama bin Laden. Urgently like to get in direct contact with you regarding the U.S. government sanctioned mega-robbery of all his memorabilia and other belonging by the Bekins Moving and Storage Co in Pasadena, California collusion with Mr. Bob Ellsworth

0 bids

b) Bobby Fischer’s personal copy of Chessworld, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 1964

Starting bid $1000 US

Chessworld. New York, 1964. Vol.1, nos. 1. Editor and publisher, Frank Brady. This was Bobby Fischer's personal copy stamped Bobby Fischer on p.39. From the estate of Bobby Fischer. A great association item. Ex Libris David DeLucia.

Fischer wrote, for this issue, an article entitled "The Ten Greatest Masters in History".

0 bids

c) Bobby Fischer address book page with his chess moves 16-33.

“Rare address book page of Bobby Fischer. Among other writings, Bobby writes chess moves 16-33, possibly from chess game Cvetkovic-Gligoric, Lugano 1983. In various chess bases, the game is given as a 17-move draw. Initially, I thought this might be analysis of Bobby's but most likely Bobby found the rest of the game.”

The game from a database:

Lugano Olympiad, 1983
Cvetkovic, Srdjan – Gligoric, Svetozar
A33 English, Symmetrical variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 c5 4.c4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nc3 Qb6 7.Nb3 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bg2 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Be7 11.O-O O-O 12.Be3 Qc7 13.Nd4 Rd8 14.Qa4 Bd7 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Rab1 1/2-1/2

From Bobby’s notebook:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 c5 4.c4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nc3 Qb6 7.Nb3 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bg2 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Be7 11.O-O O-O 12.Be3 Qc7 13.Nd4 Rd8 14.Qa4 Bd7 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Rab1 h5 18.Rb3 Rd5 19.Rfb1 Ra5 20.Qc4 Qd6 21.Rb7 Bf6 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.cxd4 Rd5 24.e3 c5 25.dxc5 Rxc5 26.Qe4 Rd5 27.Qf4 Qxf4 28.exf4 Rd2 29.Rb8+ Rxb8 30.Rxb8+ Kh7 31.Rb7 Rxa2 32.Rxf7 Kg6 33.Rb7 Kf6 1/2-1/2

0 bids

d) Bobby Fischer Postcard signed by Bobby Fischer and Pal Benko

Opening bid $500 US

Bobby Fischer Picture Postcard signed by Bobby Fischer and Pal Benko. The game presented on this postcard is an interesting one as Bobby included it in his classic work, "My 60 Memorable Games" against the objections of Benko. Pal told me that he had been out the night before trying to score with a beautiful woman. He didn't get any sleep and proceeded to play this game, which he lost in 21 moves. Pal asked Bobby not to put this game in his book but Bobby declined his request.

Sold for $500 US (one bid)

e) Original Bobby Fischer passport photos – From his estate

Opening bid $500 US

Two original passport photos of Bobby Fischer. From his estate.

0 bids

f) Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess with Bobby Fischer’s Signature

Opening bid $150

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess. First edition. Basic Systems, 1966. Fischer signature pasted onto front flyleaf. Ex Libris David DeLucia

Winning bid $150 US

g) Bobby Fischer Uncensored. Paperback Edition

Opening bid $100 US

Bobby Fischer Uncensored by David and Alessandra DeLucia. Privately published, 2009. This is the paperback edition.

Selling price $129.50 US (2 bids)

The 2009 hardcover edition had a selling price of $350.