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Miguel Najdorf
Number of games in database: 1,655
Years covered: 1926 to 1996

Overall record: +735 -210 =663 (66.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 47 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (113) 
    E64 E62 E60 E95 E97
 Nimzo Indian (106) 
    E54 E34 E59 E41 E55
 Orthodox Defense (59) 
    D58 D55 D52 D51 D68
 Queen's Gambit Declined (47) 
    D37 D31 D30 D06 D38
 Grunfeld (42) 
    D94 D74 D96 D86 D71
 English (41) 
    A15 A14 A13 A10 A16
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (191) 
    B92 B84 B90 B80 B51
 King's Indian (165) 
    E67 E69 E60 E94 E95
 Sicilian Najdorf (63) 
    B92 B90 B99 B91 B96
 Nimzo Indian (58) 
    E33 E42 E53 E54 E34
 English (54) 
    A15 A16 A10 A14 A17
 Sicilian Scheveningen (42) 
    B84 B80 B83 B81 B85
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929 0-1
   Najdorf vs Gliksberg, 1929 1-0
   Taimanov vs Najdorf, 1953 0-1
   Larsen vs Najdorf, 1968 0-1
   Najdorf vs NN, 1942 1-0
   Najdorf vs Fischer, 1966 1-0
   Najdorf vs NN, 1942 1-0
   Najdorf vs Stahlberg, 1953 1-0
   Najdorf vs Portisch, 1962 1-0
   Rellstab vs Najdorf, 1950 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Budapest (1936)
   Mar del Plata (1942)
   Mar del Plata (1946)
   Venice (1948)
   Mar del Plata (1947)
   Amsterdam (1950)
   Argentine Championship (1955)
   Mar del Plata (1961)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   Mar del Plata Zonal (1969)
   Mar del Plata (1944)
   Mar del Plata / Buenos Aires Zonal (1954)
   Mar del Plata (1957)
   Havana (1952)
   Mar del Plata (1953)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Life and Games (Najdorf/Mikhalchishin/Lissowski) by Qindarka
   Miguel Najdorf by Aaron Wang
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by Qindarka
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by cassiooo
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by passion4chess
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by uril
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by DrOMM
   book: Zurich Candidates Tournament of 1953 (Bron by Baby Hawk
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by TigerTiger
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by JoseTigranTalFischer
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by suenteus po 147
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by smarticecream
   WCC Index [Zurich 1953] by Scotsgeek
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by isfsam

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Miguel Najdorf
Search Google for Miguel Najdorf

(born Apr-15-1910, died Jul-04-1997, 87 years old) Poland (federation/nationality Argentina)

[what is this?]
Moishe Mendel (Mieczysław) Najdorf (NIGH-dorf) was born in Warsaw. He was a pupil of Savielly Tartakower. At the age of 20, he had become a Polish National Master. He played for Poland in the Chess Olympiads of 1935, 1937, and 1939. Najdorf was playing at the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939 when World War II broke out, and decided not to attempt to return home, taking Argentine citizenship (1944) and adopting the first name Miguel. His family, left behind, died in German concentration camps. In 1943, he set the record for simultaneous games played. He played 202 players (+182-8=12). In 1947, he conducted a simultaneous exhibition in which he played a record 45 games blindfolded (+39 -2 =4).

In July 1949 at Opatija, a twelve game match between Najdorf and Petar Trifunovic took place - Najdorf - Trifunovic (1949). The match was tied at +1 =10 -1.

In the 1950's he competed in several major international events, including two Candidates tournaments. He was the Argentinian representative at the USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970) match in Belgrade. He won the Argentinian championship eight times (1949, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1960, 1964, 1967, 1975) and he continued to promote chess in his country until his death in 1997. A profound theorist, he contributed many opening ideas, notably one of the most popular chess openings of all time, the Sicilian Najdorf (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6). In 1950, he was one of the original group of 27 players to whom FIDE first awarded the official Grandmaster title.

Wikipedia article: Miguel Najdorf

 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,662  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Najdorf vs L Frenkel 1-0201926WarsawB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
2. A Szpiro vs Najdorf 0-1221928Lodz ChD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
3. Glucksberg vs Najdorf 0-1221929WarsawA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
4. Najdorf vs Gliksberg 1-0211929LodzC10 French
5. Najdorf vs Margolin  1-0251929Warsaw Association TtC13 French
6. D Daniuszewski vs Najdorf 0-1281929LodzA47 Queen's Indian
7. Najdorf vs P Frydman  1-0411931WarsawD05 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Najdorf vs Pilz 1-0291934WarsawE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
9. Najdorf vs Spielmann ½-½421934WarsawE23 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann
10. Najdorf vs Shlomo Tirsztejn 1-02019342nd Polish Team ChampionshipE60 King's Indian Defense
11. J Jagielski vs Najdorf 0-1361934Warsaw Club ChE12 Queen's Indian
12. Najdorf vs I Aloni  1-0351935POL-chE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
13. Najdorf vs F Sulik 1-0321935POL-chD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Tartakower vs Najdorf 1-0211935Najdorf - Tartakower MatchA47 Queen's Indian
15. B Rasmusson vs Najdorf 0-1131935Warsaw OlympiadE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
16. P Vaitonis vs Najdorf 0-1571935Warsaw OlympiadE17 Queen's Indian
17. Najdorf vs L Laurine 1-0401935Warsaw OlympiadD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
18. T Ichim vs Najdorf  ½-½291935Warsaw OlympiadE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
19. C H Alexander vs Najdorf  0-1441935Warsaw OlympiadA30 English, Symmetrical
20. Najdorf vs K Treybal  ½-½441935Warsaw OlympiadD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. Kupchik vs Najdorf  ½-½371935Warsaw OlympiadA47 Queen's Indian
22. M Monticelli vs Najdorf 0-1351935Warsaw OlympiadE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
23. E Lundin vs Najdorf 0-1361935Warsaw OlympiadE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
24. P Trifunovic vs Najdorf  1-0551935Warsaw OlympiadA07 King's Indian Attack
25. J Balogh vs Najdorf  0-1391936BudapestB23 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,662  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Najdorf wins | Najdorf loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Young people do not think with their little heads, now everybody have computers.>

To think that Najdorf had not seen anything like the worst of the computer age in chess when making the above remark: it is now impossible to succeed at the very highest pinnacle without employing teams of analysts using silicon to crunch positions to death, plus the numerous well-documented cheating scandals involving software at humbler levels.

Jun-26-16  brankat: Offences like these should be punishable (severely). Then, perhaps we can get back to playing Chess :-)

Alas! It's too late.

Dec-09-16  offramp: <Fusilli: Players of the day! Maestro de maestros! Happy 105th birthday, Don Miguel!>

Did he died?

Dec-15-16  ketchuplover: New in Chess now has NajdorfxNajdorf available for purchase
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Miguel Najdorf was born on tax day and died on independence day. My brother was born on tax day and I was born on independence day. Why was he always the more popular kid??
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Fusilli> While at Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at the Getty Museum in LA, I learned he too, was born on tax day. =)
Jul-19-17  Bratek: <Najdorf died in Malaga (Spain) on July, 5, 1997, aged 87, still passionately observing contest of world’s top players. That reflects the way he treated chess: “Chess is my passion. When playing chess, especially blitz, I forget all the troubles of daily life. I feel like listening to music since chess resembles a symphony by Mozart to me. It inspires me with new ideas, revives my fighting spirit.”>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Bratek> I don't know who you are citing, but Najdorf died July 4. I remember this well because July 4 is my birthday, I was with friends celebrating, and someone arrived with the bad news.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: A nice photo of the two Argentine legends:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>, was that shot taken from Najdorf vs Panno, 1963?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> I don't know. The page does not specify. I tried to email the webmaster to ask, but their "contacto" feature is not working well.

I assume you checked the position on the board against that game...?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> Well, it has to be. The clarification of the player's country indicates an international tournament, and not that there are many other international options when we look at the history of games between these two players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Well, I may have posted this before, but...

M. Najdorf (playing black) have faced his own opening 62 times B90-B99

31 times Najdorf won, 16 times he lost, 15 times he drew.

Now, when M. Najdorf (playing white) and come up against his own opening, 4 times. All of them B93, 3 times against Reshevsky, two wins with one loss. The other time was against Blau, which ended in a draw.

Now you know. =))

Mar-31-19  hemy: 2nd Polish Team Chess Championship, Katowice 1934. 11th April 1934, 3rd round match Warszawa - Wilno 5.5:0.5
1st board, David Przepiorka - Natan Judelewicz 0.5-0.5
2nd board, Najdorf - Tirsztejn 1-0.

The game Najdorf - Tirsztejn (Tirstein) was published in the book "Selección de Partidas Comentadas de Miguel Najdorf", Najdorf, Inforchess, page 4 (game 29).

[Event "2nd Polish Team Championship 1934"]
[Site "Katowice, Poland"]
[Date "1934.04.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Najdorf, Miguel"]
[Black "Tirsztejn, Shlomo"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A47"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[Source "'Selección de Partidas Comentadas de Miguel Najdorf', Najdorf, Inforchess, page 4"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0–0 d6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.d5 0–0 9.Nd4 Re8 10.f4 Rb8 11.Bh3 Nc5 12.f5 Nfd7 13.b4 Na6 14.fxg6 hxg6 15.Rxf7 Kxf7 16.Be6+ Kf8 17.Qd3 Ne5 18.Qe4 g5 Qf5+ Bf6 20.Qh7 1–0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Patszer: The Argentinians loved Miguel and and as far as they were concerned Najdorf was 100% Argentine.
Apr-16-20  Agferna: Never got to meet Najdorf in living but I met him recently. Had a couple of quick business trips to BA last year. Twice was able to spare some time to visit the Argentina Chess Club for the traditional super strong Saturday blitz tournament. The upstairs is being remodeled so they hold the tournament in the ground level grand Najdorf room. You can tell just how much Argentina loves Najdorf. This room is truly the grandest and best in the club by far. The room is full elegant Chess tables and wood piece sets, and has immortal pictures of Najdorf at various stages of his life along all the walls. Better play well, because you can feel his strong presence looking over your shoulder at your every move. Cheers
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Patszer: The Argentinians loved Miguel and and as far as they were concerned Najdorf was 100% Argentine.>

True, and I believe that Najdorf himself put it that way. I have his daughter's book, "Najdorf by Najdorf." I think there is some reference to this. I'll look it up later.

<Agferna> Nice! Every time I travel back to Argentina, I go play the blitz tournament at Club Argentino de Ajedrez. I generally play over my normal level there, for some reason. Maybe "el viejo" likes me. And yes, photographs of Najdorf are all over that room's walls, with other chess legends and other famous people.

The club hosted Capablanca - Alekhine World Championship Match (1927). Every chess player who ever visits Buenos Aires should go visit Club Argentino de Ajedrez!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I posted a picture with Najdorf on my Instagram account:

I am on the right, bearded. The photo is from 1993. My friends and I went to see the Najdorf tournament, and he was there, happy and friendly as ever, and was happy to pose with us for the photo. It was a strong round robin, average ELO 2571, won by Kamsky and Shirov:

Maybe one day I'll put together a tournament game collection for it.

Jul-01-20  diagonal: That would be great! Many thanks for this personal picture with you and great Don Miguel.

When no big international invitation chess tournaments were organised in Argentina due to a period of economic depression followed after 1982 (Falklands Islands / Islas Malvinas conflict), the wealthy Najdorf stepped in.

At age of 80, Grandmaster Najdorf launched a new invitation series in 1990: The <Najdorf Tournament>, annually held in Buenos Aires.

Really big names appeared in that series: <Smyslov, Korchnoi, Larsen, Panno, Tal, Ljubojevic, Karpov, Mecking, Seirawan, Salov, Short, Ivanchuk, Anand, Adams, Shirov, Kamsky, Judit Polgar, Radjabov> (in order of birth)

Smyslov was co-winner in 1990 ("Najdorf 80 Anniversario"), Tal was co-winner in 1991 together with Granda Zuniga and Nogueiras, including also Adams, Larsen, Panno, or Dolmatov.

Chernin won the third edition in 1992 ahead of 2. Nikolic, 3./4. Larsen, Morovic, 5. Granda Zuniga, including Judit Polgar (14 participants in the first three editions, among them also many South American players, and less strong contestants such as Swiss Lucas Brunner, for him, of course, it was a great honour to be invited).

Kamsky and Shirov won in 1993, half a point above veteran Korchnoi who had beaten in a row Illescas Cordoba, Seirawan, and Shirov. In sole tournament lead, Korchnoi suffered his only loss in the last round to Bent Larsen (the crazy ones, Korchnoi allowed Larsen to mate him, and Vic did not get mated every day).

The fifth edition in 1994 to honour <Lev Polugaevsky>, featured a unique <Sicilian Theme Tournament>, won by Salov (a last-minute replacing; Polugaevsky sadly could not play due to bad health), above 2. Anand, 3.-4. Ivanchuk, Judit Polgar, 5.-6. Kamsky, Karpov, beaten by Salov with white and black, 7. Shirov, 8. Ljubojevic (eight players, double round robin):

Game Collection: 99_Lev Polugajevky Tourn. Buenos Aires 1994

San Segundo and Van Wely, above de Firmian took the podium in 1995, Tiviakov, the traveller, triumphed in 1996, together with Magem Badals, above Almasi. The winners in 1997 (8th edition) were Morovic and Sutovsky.

Miguel Najdorf, born near Warsaw, April 15, 1910, died in Malaga, Spain, July 4, 1997, after eight invitational tournaments of his series.

(part I of II)

Jul-01-20  diagonal: The series continued as <Najdorf Memorial>, the 9th edition was an Open, the 10th edition as a National Championship.

The 11th edition, won by Judit Polgar on tie-break above Viktor Bologan, was again internationally mixed, with Short as clear third, and Anatoly Karpov finishing in sole 4th place after losing his final round game on time against Pablo Ricardi.

Larsen once said: Karpov can’t win in Argentina. This was now Karpov's fourth fail to win a tournament in Argentina!

Then World Champion Karpov twice had little success at the Clarin (series) world elite tournaments 1980 in Buenos Aires, won by Larsen, and 1982 in Mar del Plata, won by Timman, finishing third to fourth and third to fifth respectively, later finishing fifth to sixth in the Najdorf Sicilian Theme Tournament, and fourth in the above mentioned Najdorf Memorial 2000. But, Chapeau, Karpov wanted to play again in Argentina, to make it better, and indeed, in 2001, he finally won in his fifth attempt (more below).

Korchnoi obviously had good memories of Buenos Aires and Argentina:

In 1960, a world elite tournament was held at Buenos Aires, as a 150 year celebration of May Revolution, won by Korchnoi and Reshevsky; meanwhile Fischer, then already a Candidate, finished on shared 13-16 place in a field of 20 players from different continents. Argentines Guimard who maybe had his very best years in the 1930s and 1940, and Rossetto were both awarded the GM title after that tournament for sharing fourth place ahead of many reputed grandmasters: Buenos Aires (1960).

Korchnoi also won a smaller invitation tournament that same year 1960 in Cordoba, ahead of Taimanov.

In the year 1978, Buenos Aires hosted its second Chess Olympiad after 1939, with the historical victory of Hungary (Portisch, Sax, Ribli, Adorjan, Csom, Vadasz). Not at least exhausted from Baguio City, Korchnoi took the individual gold medal on board 1.

In 1979, Korchnoi and Ljubojevic won the international Konex (aka Konex-Canon) tournament, including amongst other Miles, Browne, Najdorf or Quinteros, it was boycotted by the Soviet Union (Korchnoi never got an invitation to the Clarin series to secure Soviet participation, that’s why this tournament had been launched): Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979).

In 1980, Buenos Aires saw a hard fought Candidate’s semi-final: Viktor Korchnoi beat Lev Polugaevsky in extra-time, still in classical chess.

In his late years, as Senior with a “Non-Senior” approach, Korchnoi twice was invited at Najdorf Tournament / Memorial, finishing both time on podium.

The 12th Najdorf Memorial in 2001 saw the last win of an invitation tournament in classical chess by Anatoly Karpov (*1951), he was half a point ahead of septuagenarian Korchnoi (*1931), who had just won at the Biel GMT outright, and teenager Radjabov (*1987), fourteen years young, as unbeaten runners-up, followed by Short as fourth, Xie Jun (then reigning Woman World Champion) and tournament title defender Judit Polgar as joint fifth, including former child prodigy Mecking in a brief comeback period, Milos, also from Brazil, Felgaer and Ricardi, both from the hosting nation Argentina (ten players).

This contest in 2001 became also the last truly international invitation tournament of the Najdorf series with considerable reputation (the claim Najdorf Memorial had been used for speed exhibitions, simuls, national events, but no more international invitation tournament had been held). Independently, there are Najdorf Memorials organised in Poland.

The rise and fall of Argentine chess coincided with the life of Miguel Najdorf!

PS: My grandfather lived in Buenos Aires for around ten years in the 1920s / 1930s. Of course, I bought the english language edition of the <Najdorf x Najdorf> biography by his daughter Liliana Najdorf, with a foreword and annotated games by Jan Timman.

(part II of II)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <diagonal> Thank you so much! You have thoroughly presented the relevance of Argentina in international chess during the last quarter of the 20th century, under the indisputable leadership of "El Viejo" <Miguel Najdorf>.

The Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1980) was indeed a huge event. I was a 13 year old kid and went to the theater to see the match several times. It was overflowing with people.

Unrelated to Najdorf, we can also remember that the Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971) took place in Buenos Aires too.

Just as Karpov seemed cursed in Argentina, Larsen seemed blessed. His win in Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1979) (+9 =4 -0!) and Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980) made him my childhood hero. No wonder he fell in love in Argentina, got married, and lived there until his death in 2010.

I didn't know Timman wrote the foreword of the English edition of <Najdorf x Najdorf>. I have the Spanish version, with foreword by Oscar Panno, Miguel Quinteros, and I think someone else, but I am not sure where I put the book now to go check.

Fun fact: Did you know that Najdorf was called "El Viejo" already when he was about 40, and he relished the nickname? I think he gave it to himself, actually.

Jul-02-20  diagonal: I did not know (and, alas!, don't speak Spanish), in Switzerland, Grandmaster Najdorf is sometimes called respectfully <The Fangio of Chess>, or of course, <Don Miguel>.
Jan-02-22  Albertan: The Best of Miguel Najdorf:NM Caleb Denby analyzes two of Najdorf’s games in this 47 minute video:

Feb-17-22  lonchaney: "Chess are ten different games"
_Miguel Najdorf
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: And ten more within each of those.
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