SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
THE LEGACY OF ”BOBBY TAL”
Two of the greatest names in modern chess: Bobby Fischer and Misha Tal. Both were our idols at one time or the other in our chess youth. And for good reason, as they attracted millions of chess fans into our game.
The gifted Brazilian chess amateur (Fortaleza) George Rocha de Oliveira fell in love with one of the photos showing them playing, so much so that soon his friends gave him the nickname ”Bobby Tal”. Most of his chess was played on the streets….
Bobby Tal had the simple dream of winning a lottery and then opening a chess club in his hometown. Unfortunately, Bobby Tal died before this could happen…today there is a memorial tournament named after him.
A brazilian reader, Alberto Mascarenhas, wrote to me this week:
Dear Mr. Spraggett,
My name is Alberto Mascarenhas, and I am a Brazilian FM with 2243 ELO points. I like to read your chess blog and I know that you understand Portuguese idiom as well.
So, I decide to send you a nice youtube short film (from 2009) related with a common Brazilian chessplayer who lived in Fortaleza, the capital of the Ceará state, northeast reagion of Brazil, which shows the great love he has about chess till his end.
His kidname is Bobby Tal, because many years ago he saw a picture of Bobby Fischer facing Mikhail Tal and the words BOBBY and TAL were written in capital letters, so a friend decided to give this knickname to him, which is his best way to be identified till today!
This simple man is already dead, but his dreams still remains among many others chessplayers all around the world.
Here, a written content about this movie sent:
“Curta-metragem exibido na comemoração do 283º aniversário da cidade de Fortaleza. O curta apresenta-nos a história do carismático metalúrgico-enxadrista (ou enxadrista-metalúrgico) George Rocha de Oliveira, mais conhecido como ‘Bobby Tal’. Sob a direção de José Meneleu Neto, o curta fortalezense foi o único selecionado entre os 12 curtas que compõem ‘Fortalezas’ para ser apresentado em uma mostra competitiva na cidade do Rio de Janeiro, chamada “Fronteiras Imaginárias, em 2009”.
“Short film displayed in commemoration of the 283 anniversary of the city of Fortaleza. This film shows us the story of the charismatic metallurgical-chess (or chess-metallurgical) George Rocha de Oliveira, known as ‘Bobby Tal.’ Under the direction of Meneleu José Neto, the short fortalezense was the only one selected among the 12 short films that make up ‘Strengths’ to be presented in a competitive show in the city of Rio de Janeiro, called “Imaginary Borders, in 2009.”
I do hope you can be able to understand in total his speech in Portuguese. Fantastic and pure in my opinion.