GM Fernandes wins 14th Portuguese title!
Congratulations to Antonio Fernandes for winning his 14th Portuguese national championship this weekend in Lisbon. The 52-year old grandmaster (and member of the Portuguese national team since the 1970’s) scored an undefeated 7 points out of 9-games. Youngster Jorge Ferreira finished half a point behind, a score equalled by Jose Padeiro, whose performance merited an IM-norm. Congrats to all three gentlemen.
Antonio and I go back a long time (we first played at the Dubai Oplympiad in 1986). One of the most competitive players I have ever met, Antonio is in his element when he has just seconds on the clock and a dozen moves to make to reach time control! Anyone who would think that Antonio could be run off the clock would be making a fatal mistake…the Portuguese champion is also an incredible blitz-player!
When my wife learned of Antonio’s recent victory in the national championship, she good-naturedly remarked ”What a shame Portuguese chess is! How can a 52-year old win against players thirty years his junior?” Antonio and my wife Aida go back even longer than the 29 years that I have known him…and I know for certain that Antonio would not take my wife’s remark negatively. HOWEVER, she has a point: Portuguese chess is still dominated by the older generation! The youngest grandmaster in the country, Luis Galego, will turn 50 years old next year!