Antonio Fernandes wins again!


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!


Luis Galego

Things might change in the near future as Jorge Ferreira, a youngster in his early 20’s, already has one gm-norm under his belt and should win the title sometime next year. Never the less, one would be justified in asking what has gone wrong in Portuguese-chess these past 20-years.  Portugal’s neighbour, Spain, has seen chess grow enormously and today is a powerhouse compared to what it was 20-years ago…




gm  Fernandes,A

Black had just played 28…f5, trying to shake off White’s pressure and grab a square or two for his Knight (29.Qh4 Nd6!).  Fernandes thought about 20 seconds before ripping off the f-pawn, sacrificing his Bishop on d4:

29.Qxf5! RxB



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