Playing with the Living Legends
Just a couple of weeks ago my boss from the Belgium team called to ask me and play in an important match. We have chances to make it to the top three this year, a somewhat surprising result taking into account the fact that we barely saved our skins in the previous season. Still, our team is young, and has the will to compete well, and I certainly wanted to help.
My possible opponents were P. Negi, R. Vaganian, Berelowitsch and V. Chuchelov. As Negi was playing Capelle at the same period, and Vaganian is not that active recently I concentrated my preparation to the latter two.
What was my surprise to discover that we are playing in the same train with GM Vaganian, one of the most colourful players of the 1980-ies!
Born at the same year as A. Karpov, he became a GM at a very young (for that time!) age of 19, was an USSR champion, contender for the world championship. Many people, including Garry Kasparov admitted his enormous practical talent, and strength.
This was the living legend that I had to face in the match:
This was a tough battle, in which we made almost no mistakes. Luckily for my team, we won convincingly with 5.5-2.5, and have good chances to make it to the top three.
And I had the pleasure to face a true living legend!