Monday, March 5, 2012


Why lead the absurdly hysterical, expatriated, nomadic existence I do if you're going to let a measly 400k bus-ride stop you partaking in a tournament etched firmly into the history of chess? The Mar Del Plata international has been won by:  Fischer, Spassky, Najdorf, Keres, Larsen, Polugaevsky, Smyslov, Panno, Timman and a bunch of other heroes I probably should know but don't. 
91956 Julio Bolbochán (Argentina)
 Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
201957 Paul Keres (Soviet Union)
211958 Bent Larsen (Denmark)
221959 Luděk Pachman (Czechoslovakia)
 Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
231960 Boris Spassky (Soviet Union)
 Robert Fischer (United States)
241961 Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
251962 Lev Polugaevsky (Soviet Union)
261965 Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
271966 Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union)
281969 Oscar Panno (Argentina)
 Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
291971 Lev Polugaevsky (Soviet Union)
301976 Raúl Sanguinetti (Argentina)
 Victor Brond (Argentina)
311982 Jan Timman (Netherlands)
321989 Marcelo Tempone (Argentina)
331990 Marino Alejandro Cid (Argentina)
341997 Fernando Braga (Italy)
352001 Juan Facundo Pierrot (Argentina)
 Ruben Felgaer (Argentina)

The city's name means "Sea of Silver" (if my Spanish is any good) and you can see why: 

The mass-migration of the summer months should be over by April and hopefully I'll be able to find a cheap place to rent for a while and avoid Surfers-Paradise esque scenes. 

I haven't seriously studied chess for a while now, just basked in the joys of playing, and I don't plan a lot of theoretical study for this tournament either. That's not what this is about. It's about massively talking up a spiritual pilgrimage to a place Miguel Najdorf's ghost clearly resides or at least visits once a year, and lighting the halls with some Tal-esque sacrifices. Yeah... it's a month of Tal study coming up and then some fitting play for the occasion- see you in 24 days Najdorf!!!


  1. Good on ya, Paul. Everyone should make a chess pilgrimage at some stage in their life. I've played Hastings, and OHRA Amsterdam, and visited the King's Head and Marshall Chess Clubs but I really envy you the chance to visit Mar del Plata. Have a great time :)

  2. Yes! Good memories I'm sure. I went to the "chess bars" in Amsterdam and had a great time. Also Max Euwe plein or square or whatever it's called! I'll be sure to take some photos. It's not the chess-Mecca it once was but 15 titled players already bodes well:)