20 January 2013

When Is a Chess Auction Not a Chess Auction?

Unlike the previous episode of Top eBay Chess Items by Price, eBay auctions over the past fortnight showed a little more life. I could have chosen a 'Complete Run 1946-67 "CHESS WORLD" C.J.S. Purdy Australia', first listed at US $2800, but finally selling 'Best offer' at around $2500 (the final price doesn't appear to be recorded on the listing). Unfortunately, the single image accompanying the auction, was uninspiring and not worth preserving for posterity.

I could also have chosen 'ALEKHINE vs BOGOLJUBOV Autographs CHESS World Championship Rematch (1934)', which sold for $1,568.99 after two bids. Unfortunately, the seller decided to uglify (is that a word?) the associated image with a watermark indicating that the image was not to be used elsewhere.

Further down the list was a '1966 Chess Olympiad Bobby Fischer in Cuba Original Vintage Photo', which sold for $517.00 after 7 bids. This was a well known photo of Fischer that is no.8 in Wade and O'Connell's book of Fischer's collected games. I decided this was too common to be interesting. We already know that Fischer photos sell like hotcakes. Further evidence is not required.

Not wanting to post another piece like Top Computer Chess Items by Price, I decided to go with the item shown on the left, 'HARD ROCK CAFE 19 CHESS KING + 15 QUEEN SERIES COMPLETE PIN SETS'. It sold for $555.00 after a single bid.

Getting back to the title of this post, 'When Is a Chess Auction Not a Chess Auction?', I would answer, 'When there's no board in sight and the six different pieces are not easily identified.' Here there are 34 guitar players wearing a crown and standing on a pedestal. It's an interesting collection, but it's not chess.

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