Introducing: José Diaz, cartoonist

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Happy 2010 by José DiazJosé Diaz made chess cartoons for magazines such as New In Chess, Jaque and Schach, and tournaments like Corus and Linares. After a long period of inactivity, he took up his drawing gear again and we're happy to include him in our team of editors - José will be drawing regularly for ChessVibes.

When José Diaz informed us about his new website, we were immediately enthusiastic. We knew his drawings of course, but we never met José, who in fact turned out to be living in The Netherlands as well. Since we had been thinking for while already about adding cartoons to our site, we thought: 1 and 1 is 2, why not ask José? He happily agreed to draw for ChessVibes and so from now on you will regularly find cartoon contributions over here.

Since José will start drawing for us during the Corus Chess Tournament, it's high time to introduce him!

Can you tell something about yourself? You're from Santander - how did you end up in The Netherlands? How did you get your two passions, drawing and chess? Are you a chess player yourself? I'm the son of an Spanish immigrant. I came to Holland at the age of nine and I'm still happy to live in this wonderful country with my Dutch wife Olga and my 7-year-old son, Antonio. I was 5 or 6 years old when my elder brother took me to the cinema to see Walt Disney's Pinocchio. I still remember that wonderful experience very well. In those days we had no TV so (those) images were a mind blowing experience for me. I think that was the birth (trigger) of my love for drawing. Since then drawing was a part of me.

Carlsen by José Diaz

In 1984 a friend of mine taught me to play chess. Chess made such an impression on me that in that same year I read the three books Praktische Schaaklessen (Practical chess lessons) of Dr. Max Euwe and became a club player. I played at the club until approximately 1994. Then I stopped because I could no longer combine it with my full time job (manager of a claims department) and my cartooning. I was just a 1800-1900 player. Nowadays I only play occasionally against the computer, but chess is still a love of mine and I hope someday I can dedicate more time to it.

For which media have you made drawings and cartoons? It started with cartoons for New In Chess and the KRO matches Timman-Ivanchuk and Timman-Seirawan. Then after that monthly for Jaque in Spain, Schach, Computerschach und Spiele (Germany), Chess and Kingpin in the UK, Inside Chess in the USA, Schaakmagazine and Computerschaak in Holland, and the Hoogeovens, Linares, Fontys and Rebel websites, and probably some more.

24. Rxd4!!! by José Diaz

It seems you were very active in the 90s, then much less for about a decade and now you're picking it up again, with a website and all. How come? In the late eighties I wanted to improve my chess and for that I took some classes from my friend Hebert Perez Garcia. One day I made a caricature of him and his family. He was very enthousiastic about it (as he always is) and he stimulated me to make caricatures of chess players. Then he took those caricatures to New In Chess and other chess magazines.

José Diaz

Then Fredredic Friedel and Jimmy Adams became fans and also helped me a lot. From 1990 many publications followed. That went on until 1999. In 1999 I did a couple of internet reports, for Fontys, Hoogovens (now Corus), Linares. One cartoon after each round. That was really great to do. I could react and publish immideatly without limitations. It was also importent for me (although it may sound trivial) that I could use colors. Most of the magazines were just black an white. I got also immediatly respons from the visitors wich encouraged me to go on. It was great! That was wat I really wanted to do!

worldcup2009text by José Diaz

But it was also very intensive. I did all this besides my full time job. After that I decided to take a little break. That break, however, became very long because my life suddenly changed a lot. I got another job, started a new study, became father, moved and before I knew it, it was almost ten years later. In 2007 it was time to reflect and evaluate my live and, among other things, I came to the conclusion that I missed making cartoons and playing chess a lot.

What are your future plans? My plan is to develop my own site so I can combine my cartoon work with my other work and my family life, in such a way that I can still enyoy all of it. I want to publish at least a cartoon a week. Also I want to make an archive for the cartoons of the 90s. I think that is a very interesting area and my cartoons give a good and funny insight in what was going on. I still have many (internet) ideas to develop. I want to make Diaz Shows of great chess events. One cartoon after each round displayed in a slide show. Just like I did for Hoogovens and Linares. Also I would like to make some animations. And I would also like to make cartoons about other subjects.

I'mback! by José Diaz

Expect regular cartoons from José Diaz here at ChessVibes!


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