Hungarian Brigitta Sinka sets chess world record, overtaking grandmaster Jose Raul Capablanca

 Photo: Brigitta Sinka did not know about Jose Raul Capablanca's record until five years ago. (AFP: Attila Kisbenedek)


Photo: Brigitta Sinka did not know about Jose Raul Capablanca’s record until five years ago. (AFP: Attila Kisbenedek)

After decades spent playing simultaneous chess, an 87-year-old Hungarian pensioner has clinched a world record by finally overtaking a total set by 1920s Cuban grandmaster Jose Raul Capablanca.

Almost 60 years since her first simultaneous games, on six boards side-by-side at a Chess Olympiad in 1957, Brigitta Sinka overtook the magic 13,545 number attributed to Mr Capablanca, one of the world’s best players, who died in 1942.

“I wanted to stop for a moment so everyone could reflect in memory of Capablanca,” Ms Sinka, a former top amateur, said in a packed tent in a Budapest park where she played the record-breaking games.

“There were so many people waiting for me to move my pieces however, so I simply carried on.

By late Sunday, she was already well over 13,600 games — clocking up over the week the final few hundred games needed to beat the old record — before calling it a day.

Jozsef Csabi, 37, brought along his teenage son to watch Ms Sinka, or Auntie Bici as she is widely known.

“We feel privileged to have been one of the many thousands,” Mr Csabi said.

Since the 1950s, Ms Sinka has clocked up thousands of simultaneous games around Hungary playing at summer camps for schoolchildren hosted by her employer of many decades, a communist-era metal recycling firm.

Sinka keeps meticulous records of games, unlike Capablanca

In 2010, with her total around 9,000 games, a chess historian told her that he had spotted Mr Capablanca’s total in a biography of the Cuban great.

“I was unaware of it before then, so I thought I’d have a go at beating it,” Ms Sinka said.

Around a century ago Mr Capablanca played high-speed simultaneous exhibition chess for money but his games, despite being counted, were undocumented.

Ms Sinka however has meticulously recorded in scrapbooks every game she has played — where, when, opponent, and result — each signed off by a witness.

She hopes the Guinness Records adjudicators will acknowledge her feat as an official world record.

Although she has undergone three heart operations in recent years, she does not plan to stop anytime soon.

“I will keep going, as long as my health permits,” she said, adding that she has already committed to playing in several school camps throughout the summer.

AFP

Advertisements

About Tsogo Sun Moves for Life

Education through Chess. A proven intervention to unlock the potential of SA's children. Moves for Life unlocks the cognitive potential of South African children by structured implementation of chess education where essential aspects of the game are actively linked with math, science and lifeskill concepts. Learning fundamental concepts are made fun and exciting for the child.
This entry was posted in International Chess News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s