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    Miguel Najdorf

    Jew Score:
    12

    I5

    O4

    K3
    April 15, 1910 – July 4, 1997

    In chapter 36 of the Soviet satirical classic, "The Twelve Chairs", conman Ostap Bender (profile #5 on this website!) poses as a chess grandmaster. In order to get some money, Bender stages a simultaneous game against 30 amateurs. It doesn't end well, as he is forced to flee after suffering 29 defeats.

    Polish-Argentine Jew Miguel Najdorf, a real grandmaster, did Bender one better. Well, 15 better. Actually, it's even harder to quantify: Najdorf took on 45 simultaneous challengers BLINDFOLDED. (He was, not his opponents, natch.) He did so in 1947; the record stood until 2011.

    Najdorf, who is best known for the Najdorf Variation opening, had another motive for the stunt. You see how we called him Polish-Argentine? That's because the Polish-born Najdorf found himself in Argentina on the onset of World War II. Smartly, he decided to stay. He staged the simultaneous games, first in 1943 (with 40 opponents), and then four years later, hoping that the news of his feat would reach his relatives in Europe.

    The record now stands in 48, which seems rather difficult to break, but does it really? What's stopping anyone from playing 49 matches at the same time? Sure, they won't win them all...

    But it can't end worse than it did for Bender!

    Verdict: Jew.

    October 30, 2023

    See Also

    Ostap Bender

    Ossip Bernstein

    David Bronstein

    Aron Nimzowitsch

    Carl Schlechter
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.