Legends

In the final round of the MCC Holiday Cheer chess tournament, the game on the adjacent board was John Curdo versus GM Arthur Bisguier.

Curdo, who is 70+, has been playing at the club for decades. Bisguier, who is 80, joined perhaps a year ago.

Bisguier was a world-class player in his prime, squaring off with the likes of Bobby Fischer, and Curdo was rated 2500+ and dominated New England chess seemingly forever.

Time takes a toll on your chessplaying ability; both are now around 2200 and occasionally drop a point to patzers who couldn’t have touched them in days gone by.

Even so it’s still very cool to watch these lifelong chess giant battle.

Did they play a GM draw? No indeed. Bisguier, with black, sacrificed kingside pawns and then offered a piece to crank up an attack. Curdo declined the piece and instead left his own rook hanging on the a1 square as bait, starting a counterattack.

Ultimately Bisguier had something like a rook and two minor pieces in return for his queen; Curdo flushed out the black king and chased him into a perpetual in the middle of the board.

Hope I can play like that when I’m 80.

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