Thursday, 10 May 2007

Chess in the Attic - Buenos Aires 1994

Sicilian Love 1994
One of my recent re-discoveries on a visit to the attic was "Sicilian Love", not, as some may have believed, an old Barbara Cartland but a wonderful hardcover book about a Chess Tournament in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Well annotated books of great tournaments, e.g. London 1922, New York 1924 and Zurich 1953, used to be eagerly anticipated works of chess literature, but with an increasing number of tournaments, grandmasters, and most recently the immediate availability of games via the Internet, they are almost non-existent nowadays.

Buenos Aires 1994 was also unusual in a number of other ways: firstly it was held as a 60th birthday celebration for Lev Polugayevsky, and secondly it was a themed tournament, every game was an Open Sicilian (Polugayevsky's favourite opening).

Salov, a late replacement when Polugayevsky himself was unable to compete following an operation, won the double round tournament ahead a field of marvellous players: Anand, Ivanchuk, Polgar, Karpov, Kamsky, Shirov and Ljubojevic.

The book contains photographs, sketches, a discussion of 10 memorable Sicilians by Polugayesky, an interview with him, a history of the Sicilian Defence by French author Christophe Gueneau, a fascinating tournament report, and then 130 pages dedicated to the games with notes by Jeroen Piket. It's a veritable bible for anyone thinking about playing the opening.

"Sicilian Love" was published by New in Chess, but unfortunately is difficult to obtain now. London 1922, New York 1924 and Zurich 1953 are all available via Amazon (click on images below):

London Chess 1922New York Chess 1924Zurich Chess 1953

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.