Thursday, December 15, 2011

Buenos Aires Chess Club!

The Club Argentino de Ajedrez in Buenos Aires is frankly amazing! I played my first allegro there last night (running from 8pm - 1am on a weekday!) and was amazed by about 10 staff, a cafe/bar/restaurant on the second floor where you can also find the pieces/board from Fischer-Petrosian 1971, and Capablanca V someone too. They have over 500 members, around 100 photos of Najdorf all over the walls and events every day of the week all year round. Membership is costly at 80 pesos a month (18$) but you're clearly getting your monies worth!

What it does show you is the different potential for chess in a place where a single club can have over 500 members, and have posted opening hours of 5pm - 3am daily! Talking to a guy over a cigarette between rounds, he was saying that all the strongest chess countries are cold- Russia, Holland, Norway, Poland- and that it made sense that Australia didn't have as big a chess culture because we're all out playing sport or on the beach as kids. Argentina is hot, but judging from the 100+ photos of Najdorf on the wall all it takes is one enigmatic champion to enliven a love for chess.

After only a couple of tournaments in the last 12 months I had a horrendous start in a tournament with 30 players all over 1700, but felt a lot better after putting a few decent attacks together in rounds 4-7.

1 comment:

  1. Nice games! Buenos Aires seems to be a nice place. Maybe you meet some people who have met the big guns. These war stories are usually very interesting.

    Some weeks ago I talked to someone who has visited a Tal simul in the '70s and also a candidate match Very stimulating!