Art And Culture

Hungarian Supergranny Sets Simultaneous Chess World Record

Hungarian Supergranny Sets Simultaneous Chess World RecordHungarian Supergranny Sets Simultaneous Chess World Record

After decades spent playing simultaneous chess, an 87-year-old Hungarian pensioner clinched a world record Sunday, 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 Capablanca (1888-1942), one of the world’s best-ever players.

“I wanted to stop for a moment so everyone could reflect in the memory of Capablanca,” Sinka, a former top amateur, told AFP 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, so I simply carried on,” she added.

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.

Since the 1950s, Sinka clocked up thousands of simultaneous games around Hungary playing at summer camps for schoolchildren. In 2010, with her total around 9,000 games, a chess historian told her that he had spotted 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.”

She hopes the Guinness Records adjudicators will acknowledge her feat as an official world record. Sinka, who has undergone three heart operations in recent years, doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.