Iranian champ seeks to revive old Persian chess glory

World record holder Morteza Mahjoob works to promote chess nationwide in Iran.

TEHRAN, – Iranian chess grandmaster Morteza Mahjoob, who holds the world record — at least until this weekend — for the most number of simultaneous matches, is bent on reviving old Persia’s passion for the ancient game.

The 29-year-old Mahjoob, one of seven Iranian international grandmasters — five men and two women, has worked to “promote this sport nationwide,” he said.

This fueled his bid to break the record for simultaneous games when he played 500 opponents in Tehran’s Enghelab sports complex last August in a feat monitored by FIDE, the World Chess Federation.

“I had less than five seconds for each move, while each competitor had 20 minutes for his or hers… And I had to walk more than 500 meters (yards) for each round.

“It actually took 18 hours, from 10 am … until 4 am the next day, and given the high temperatures that month it was quite a challenge,” he said.

Though Mahjoob was “really worried”, he won 397 games and “broke the record recorded in the Guinness Book of records,” confirmed Dave Jarrett of FIDE in an email. This sidelined Bulgarian grandmaster Kiril Georgiev who set the world record only six months months earlier playing 360 opponents.

Now Filipino international grandmaster Rogelio Antonio will try to break Mahjoob’s score on Friday and Saturday by playing 600 simultaneous matches at Ninoy Aquino stadium in Manila, according to organisers.

Here is the full article.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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