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Miércoles, 19 de Febrero de 2020


Magistral de León, 30 years of the best chess turned into art

That 16th of June of 1988 had been hotter than usual, however for the 10 players who were going to inaugurate the 1st Magistral City of Leon Tournament, that thermal variation was not the object of their attention, for they were anxious to know their rivals in the first round of a tournament that began with much enthusiasm but with a future too uncertain.

Magistral de León, 30 years of the best chess turned into art

However, that timid tournament that had a modest beginning in the cozy room of Caja España, was the object of an unexpected success and an unusual welcome on the part of the fans and the institutions that endorsed it. The euphoria reached such a degree that, while the awards ceremony of this first edition was being held at the Hotel Riosol, the organizers, with Marcelino Sión at the head, were already planning the next one, even though the echoes of the applause to the victors were still going on.

Without a noise, without paraphernalia, as one more event, a tournament was born that over the years would become the most important competition in the world known as "Advanced Chess" or "Chess of the Future", and was to be embedded in the history of this city as the sporting event with the greatest international repercussion, with a track record that the great events of the “science game” wanted for themselves and with the unquestionable mark of three uninterrupted decades of being, during a week of the month of June, the focus of attention of the world of chess.

An authentic Interpretation Center of the best chess starred by the most relevant elite players in the modern history of “the science sport”. Masters and Great Masters who over the last 30 years have been displaying the best of their creativity, art and knowledge over the chessboards that every afternoon were ready for the fiercest struggles, where imagination, inventiveness and decision played hide and seek with intelligence.

But it did not take many years for the Magistral to achieve the renown and the envisioned category. In less than 7 years the parade of the world champions began to be more attractive every year. First Karpov, then Anand, followed by Kasparov, at the top of his successes and faculties, Topalov, Carlsen, Gelfan, Ponomariov, Kasimdzhanov,

Judit Polgar escorted 'by her sisters Zusa and Sophia, Krmanik, Wei Yi and a referential Spassky who, despite the years, could still crush on the board to about thirty players or give a masterful lesson of what had been for him and for the world that encounter of the century with the most brilliant man in the history of chess: Bobby Fischer.

He and Mijail Tal could not be in Leon:the Russian for reasons of health and the American for his removal and separation from the sport that had given him the glory and fall. However, if they were not able to attend the meeting in Leon, there were plenty of names that were already written with gold letters in the list of successful players: Korchnoi, Yudasin, Ivanchuk, Giri, Shirov, Leko, Adorjan, Aronian, Tukmakov, Adams, Gulko, Belyiavsky, Illescas, Vladimirov, Campos Moreno, Pinter, Granda, , Vallejo and, next to them but still without having achieved their status, a very young great master of the Leon, Jaime Santos Latasa, who in this thirtieth edition will take part for the second time in this tournament, in which he wanted to play since he was 8 years old. He wanted to emulate the player who has won the Magistral the most times: the Indian Viswanathan Anand, who with 9 victories became the most acclaimed star of a tournament that has already entered the legend of the “science game”.

Thirty years that, seen now with the perspective of decades and reviewing the setbacks that the tournament had to endure, we come to the conclusion that this long and uninterrupted journey has been possible only by the unconditional, continued and determined support of León institutions, starting with the City Hall and its Sports Council, La Junta and a large number of private commercial firms such as El Inversor Inquieto, ALSA, Banco Sabadell, Editorial Mic, as well as the dozen of the faithful Collaborators who each year lend their support to a tournament in which they have believed since birth. The Magistral City of León celebrates its first 30 years, long live the Magistral!