Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smyslov Singing and Najdorf Speaking

Hebert Pérez García, from the Netherlands, had put online another excellent video of the 1996 reunification tournament, held 50 years after the 1946 Groningen tournament, with all surviving contestants. This video has Najdorf giving a moving speech, in particular giving a tribute to Euwe; and Smyslov doing what he did best (after chess) -- operatic singing

The Oxford Companion to Chess by Hooper and Whyld (2nd Ed., 1992) notes in their entry for Smyslov that he 'narrowly missed' a place in the Bolshoi Opera in 1950. This would not be the first time Smyslov sang at a chess event: the same source notes he 'sang operatric extracts on Swiss radio' in the 1953 Neuhausen-Zurich tournament, and sang to the audience in the interval during a game of living chess with Botvinnik

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