Judit Polgar is an amazing genius of the chessboard. In the following game, she crushes Shirov in dazzling style in 29 moves from the Black side of a Sicilian!
Opening theme tournaments have been out of fashion for more than a century. When Joop van Oosterom (about whom I have spoken in the first volume) invited me to the Buenos Aires Sicilian-themed tournament I could not have been more delighted: I was happy to play this opening with either color!
We stayed in Buenos Aires for nearly a month. This was an eight-player double round-robin event, with fourteen rounds and five free days, but we were invited to travel to Argentina eight days earlier for acclimatization purposes. As a chess lover, Joop was not only keen for his tournaments to produce entertaining games, but was also concerned about the participant's comfort and wellbeing. All the players flew first-class from Amsterdam and stayed at a great hotel in Buenos Aires. The tournament conditions were excellent not only for the players, but also for the numerous spectators.
Miguel Najdorf was a popular figure in Argentina and he made chess respected in his country. At the time of this tournament he was 84 years old, but still very active and he came to visit the tournament on several occasions.
Any chess player knows that opening ceremonies and drawing of lots can be tedious affairs. They usually take place at the very time when players are trying to focus on the tournament and have no patience for such formalities. This was hardly the case with this tournament, which featured an original way of drawing lots.There was a tango show (what else?) with eight couples of professional dancers. A secret number had been assigned to each couple.