RP: Sinquefields buy Bobby Fischer’s chess library

St. Louis Business Journal – June 11, 2009

Philanthropist millionaires Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield spent $61,000 to buy the chess library of the legendary Bobby Fischer, including notebooks he prepared for his 1972 World Championship match with Boris Spassky.

The Sinquefields acquired the collection through San Francisco-based auction house, Bonhams and Butterfields.

bobbyf“I am thrilled to have this collection from arguably the greatest chess player in history,” said Rex Sinquefield, founder and board president of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, in a statement. “I have been a lifelong fan of Bobby Fischer.”

The reclusive Fischer died in 2008 at 64. The collection purchased by the Sinquefields includes 320 books on chess; about 400 issues of chess-related periodicals; three sets of proofs for Fischer’s 1969 book, “My 60 Memorable Games”; and a number of bound volumes detailing the match histories of several chess masters, including Spassky.

The Spassky-related works center on Fischer’s preparation for his historic 1972 match, won by Fischer. The victory ended 24 years of Soviet domination of the World Championship.

The collection also includes a copy of “Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess,” with a note indicating that Fischer planned on suing the publishers.

Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, who are retired investment company executives, said they weren’t yet sure of their plans for the Fischer collection.

St. Louis native Rex Sinquefield did influential research on historical stock market returns and pioneered many of the nation’s first index funds. He and his wife’s Sinquefield Charitable Foundation in Osage County supports organizations that enhance music, children, art and education.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center was founded in 2007 with funding from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. It recently hosted the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which was won by Hikaru Nakamura. The center also will host the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship from Oct. 2-12.
© 2009 American City Business Journals, Inc.