25 April 2017

GM Bisguier, Catalog Model

After last week's post, Bisguier's Earliest Years, I could have titled this current post 'Bisguier's Later Years'. I've used USCF product catalogs in the past -- see 'The Chips Are Down!' (July 2015) and An Early Digital Clock (August 2015) -- to establish a baseline for technical progress, but they also serve to fix commercial trends in time.

US Chess

Left: Official 1992 Winter Catalog
Right: Official 1992 Summer Catalog

1992 Winter Catalog:

GM Arthur Bisguier recommends and uses the Deluxe Fold-Out Table! (Set and gandmaster not included.)

There were two models of the table that sold for $159 ('Deluxe' model) and $99 ('Space-Saving' model). The introduction for both said,

Let your dream chess table unfold! Own a beautiful wood chess table without having to rearrange the furniture! Folded up, this unique table is a space-saver that can be carried with just one hand. In a moment, the handle disappears as you fold out and lock into place a sturdy, full-size table! And yes, the squares align perfectly in the middle of the board!

This beauty is hand-made of solid American hardwoods by Amish craftsmen. The richness of the walnut squares and the distinctive grain of the light ash squares make each board unique. No cheap veneers here! Oak gives the table its strength.

1992 Summer Catalog:

GM Arthur Bisguier recommends the Informants as the rapid way to winning chess!

Volumes 50 and up sold for $25.50 each. The catalog explained,

Get the winning edge with Informants! Knowledge is power. You want your chess information well organized so you can find it quickly. And you want it fast so that you can score wins with the latest grandmaster ideas in your openings.

You know that Informant is the world's leading theoretical publication, with games selected and annotated by the world's best. The games are arranged by opening variation and subvariation, and keyed to the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings and Encyclopedia of Chess Endings for quicker reference. Includes the best combinations and endgames.

How do we know that the winter catalog preceded the summer catalog? The winter catalog said, 'Informant 53 arrives in March!'; the summer catalog said, 'Informant 54 is due out this summer!'

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