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Roman Dzindzichashvili vs Qi Jingxuan
Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1978), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 13, Dec-01
English Opening: General (A10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The tournament book notes: <Der chinesische Meister trat zur Partie nicht an und so fiel der Punkt kampflos den Vertreter Israels zu> = "The Chinese champion did not turn up for the game and so handed the point to the Israeli representative without a fight".

According to the FIDE rules, Dzindzi would make his move, press the clock and wait for 1 hour. That may well have happened, but the tournament book does not say which move it was. Perhaps the move is in the newspapers? The move can be found in two other websites: "1.c4" (unsourced).

Another issue is why Qi did not turn up. According to <Fusiili>,

<Qi had to fly and didn't or couldn't change his flight, forfeiting the point against Dzindzi. Dzindzi did not win OTB. I suppose Qi expected to be able to play the last round game early, and maybe the adjourned games got in the way, or the TD didn't allow it. Pretty sure he would have not declined the invitation even if he had known that he was going to forfeit the last game. He probably kept mum.

The first Clarin tournament piggy-backed on the Buenos Aires olympiad. I mean absolutely no offense to Chinese players (or Chinese people), but Qi was invited to add sophistication and exoticism to the tournament. I believe Najdorf's tournament comments in the newspaper (Clarin) belabored the point of how international or global the tournament was, and the presence of Qi surely helped. Najdorf had gotten Clarin to disburse big bucks for this tournament, but it was also the pilot trial, so he needed to keep things within budget. By comparison to famous GMs, I am sure Qi was cheap and low maintenance.

The tournament was a raving success, which allowed Najdorf to step it up with a larger budget for the second tournament, which really brought the international big guns to Buenos Aires.

For his part, imagine what a boon this must have been for Qi. Chinese players had probably close to no chance to play international tournaments, in this case spending a couple of weeks in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. If he noticed his scheduling conflict, he would have certainly not said "I am sorry but I have to decline." On the other hand, it is easy to imagine the Chinese government not being flexible to let him change his ticket (with the consequence extra expense.)

The latter is speculation, but I know for a fact that Qi forfeited the last game and the game between Dzindzi and Qi never happened. (Well, as it turns out, the did play in 1984... the game you have now.)

Another speculative possibility is that Najdorf knew of Qi's scheduling conflict but let it go anyway because he wanted Qi there, for the reasons stated. (Regardless of who the TD was, the one who pulled the strings and got Clarin to do this was, of course, "el viejo" Najdorf.)>

Another possibility is that he simply got sick, or fell in love.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Tabanus... Another possibility is that he simply got sick, or fell in love.>

No, no, believe me. I went to the Clarin archives in Buenos Aires years ago to find out, so curious I was about it. There I read the account. (Note: Clarin is the most popular newspaper in Argentina.)

Browsing the Clarin archives, I remember Najdorf regularly referring to Qi as "exotic" simply on account of his ethnicity (something that today would be frowned upon, of course.) With wins against Quinteros and Vaganian, and draws against some top players, Qi did not disappoint and delivered a worthy performance for a virtually unknown player in the West.

The "real" game between Dzindzi and Qi happened at the 1984 Olympiad and is in this database: Dzindzichashvili vs Qi Jingxuan, 1984. That is the game my quoted comment refers to toward the end.

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Buenos Aires (Clarin) 1978
by Tabanus

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