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Najdorf, Miguel

Miguel Najdorf (1910-1997) was a Polish-born player who stayed in Argentina after the outbreak of World War II and became a naturalized citizen of Argentina five years later.  Najdorf escaped the Holocaust, but he lost his wife, child, parents and four brothers who died in concentration camps.  He changed his first name from Mieczyslaw to Mendel to Miguel. In 1943 he played 40 games blindfolded.  He then played 222 opponents simultaneously, over-the board, winning 202, drew 12 and lost 8 games. In January, 1945 he played 45 opponents simultaneously blindfolded in  Sao Paulo,Brazil.  After 23 hours and 30 minutes of play, he won 39  games, drew 4, and lost 2.  He put on this world record exhibition in hopes it would be reported in Europe and that some of his family might read about it and get in touch with him.None did so.  He became an Argentine citizen in 1944.  He won the Argentine championship 8 times.  His nickname was El Grande.

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