I remember in 1971, when they had a big shindig at the Manhattan Chess
club to raise money to, I think, get Fischer to the Candidates'
Matches. The shindig was a blitz, 5 minute, tournament with as many
IGMs, IMs and mere masters as could be scraped up in NYC and the
Partway through the tournament, which Fischer crushed, he lodged a
complaint with the Manager of the Manhattan Chess club: the Queens
were too sharp.
The Manhattan had moved into new digs at 14 E. 60th St. and had
undergone a complete physical renovation. Gone were the old wooden
chess tables that the greats of the first half of the 20th Century had
played on, gone also were those scruffy, sometimes downright filthy
and well worn chess pieces that can be seen in photographs of the very
young Fischer at the Manhattan Chess Club. Now the club had gotten,
along with new chess tables from some big deal designer who had
re-designed everything in the club, down to the cork impregnated
wallpaper, new chess pieces. For the next several years one of the
chores for the club's Manager had been to try to glue the weights back
into the pieces and pawns and then get some green felt stuck to the
bottom of them and get them back into use on the tables before the
next batch had to be repaired. But the thing that was of import this
day was that the Queens of this set had coronets that slanted outward,
and were fairly sharp. This feature was what had bothered Fischer's
fingers as he swept through the opposition.
Well, I was remembering this when I saw "The Fischer Triple-Weighted
Plastic Chessmen by The House of Staunton" on the USCF sales Web site.
Here's a link to the photograph of the set: <https://www.uscfsales.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/e/menfisch375.jpg>.
I had to laugh. The spiky coronet on that Queen would have been
something that Fischer would have absolutely refused to play a serious
game with. But he's not around to object now, so the House of Staunton
(and Howard Staunton isn't around to object anymore either) is going
to make money on using Fischer's name for a product he would have
refused to use.
Well, maybe if someone unearths this USENET posting in a future
millennium the archeologists will get a chuckle out of it too.