Wednesday, June 20, 2007

TIC Blast from the Past: Judit Polgar and the 2000 Najdorf

Hola! I thought you might enjoy the following, which originally appeared in the October, 2000 edition of The International Chessoid, that late, great, sadly departed chess spoof ezine. Unfortunately, I no longer had the actual photograph referred to in the article saved on my hard-drive, but I found something similar online - it's not from the 2000 Najdorf, though, it's from an event in 2004, and it's not as form-fitting as I remember the original to be...

Ahem - you'll have to visualize scrolling text spelling out


September 27, 2000
Dateline Buenes Aires, Argentina
Alpheta Patton, Ace Girl Reporter

She came, she saw, she conquered, and so shocked the sensibilities of a GM Victor Bologan that he filed a complaint with the FIDE Politically Incorrect Committee alleging sexual discrimination! Other South American males on hand to watch the Super Tournament, the crowing (we mean, of course, crowning) event in this year's Najdorf Chess Festival, were appalled by Ms. Judit's easy victory over her male opponents, as well as her very chic form-fitting leopard print top.

Allegations of sexual hi-jinks surfaced in the local press when Judit first appeared the leopard print blouse when she played impressionable teenager MF Diego Flores in a key Round 6 game. Judit easily defeated the up-and-coming teen and a firestorm from South American Macho Male types followed in the pressroom and in the local press. This phenomenon, also known as Stupid Goat Man Syndrome, stems from long-entrenched cultural attitudes that a woman must never appear in public in a skin tight leopard print top. The Syndrome, which takes its name from "Macho", meaning "Stupid Goat Man" in Spanish vernacular, has been studied by sociologists from around the world for a number of years.

Judit weathered the press assault with nary a toss of her long tawny hair and concentrated on her sweetheart (by some accounts, her husband), Gustav Fonts, a Hungarian veterinarian, and the tournament. Judging by Gustav's smiles, she was successful in the one endeavor, while simultaneously kicking male goat chess butt in Buenes Aires.

The controversy continued when the by now infamous leopard print blouse reappeared in Round 9, in her game against GM Victor Bologan. Judit breezed through the game with a disconcerting grin. It was a draw in only 24 moves, and by virtue of tie-breaks Judit won the event by half a point over a visibly upset and tearful Bologan.

I caught up with Judit at a Vegetarians Only eatery in a suburb of Buenes Aires, where she and her honey, Gustav, were enjoying a local patiste known simply as "salad" (the accent is on the second syllable in Buenes Aires).

Patton: Yo, Judit!

Polgar: Oh Alph, I am so glad to see you! Where have you been?

Patton: What do you mean? I've been here since the beginning of the tournament! I even went to that disastrous debut of your Rock Band.

Polgar [shuddering]: Oh Korchnoi! Don't remind me of that! Those people threw beer bottles at us! Can you imagine! I thought that was something that only happened in B level American movies like "Blues Brothers"! I was so insulted!

Patton [patting Polgar's hand consolingly with one hand while hiding the other behind her back with her fingers crossed]: Now, now. Remember the audience! These fellas down here don't appreciate a true artiste! A bunch of sanctimonious horny goat-men, that's what they are!

Gustav: Amen, Alph!

Polgar: Now Alph, aren't you being a little bit too hard on them? After all, they're just Macho Men!

Patton: Now isn't that just like you, Girlfriend, to think up excuses for these [deleted on orders of the Editor. The Editor's Henchman]! You're just too forgiving, that's your problem! Why, just look at your history with the Dark One!

Polgar: Honestly, Alph! Sometimes you are so naive! I was paid very good money for those appearances at Kasparov's floundering website. In fact, those appearances paid for our honeymoon trip around the world, didn't they, darling (Polgar flutters her eyelashes at Fonts).

Gustav: Whatever you say, darling!

Patton: Oh gag me!

Polgar: What was that, Alph?

Patton: On the rag me! That's what PMS will do to a gal, Jude. Now listen, I didn't come all this way just to watch you play chess and listen to your stinky rock band!

Polgar: It is NOT stinky!

Patton: Judit, that group of chess sell-outs couldn't collectively sing their way out of a paper bag!

Polgar: Oh Alph, now you're being ridiculous! They're not chess sell-outs, even if they all do work for KasparovChess.

Patton: [Bleep].

Polgar: Anyway, what do you think about Victor, who I thought was my friend, filing a complaint against me with FIDE! Holy Khalifman!

Patton: Totally bogus, Girlfriend!

Gustav: Amen, Alph!

Polgar: I was so shocked! I cannot believe that in this day and age a fully grown woman can't wear a simple skin-tight leopard print body suit to a chess match without causing off-colour comment and claims of foul play! He said that I sexually enticed him, Alph, and he lost his concentration and that's why he drew in only 24 moves! Can you imagine?

Patton: Isn't that just like a Stupid Goat Man, to think you're coming on to him when all you're trying to do is be fashionable! Faux-leopard prints are all the rage right now, after all! And you've got the nice body to show off the lines. You were only trying to be chic!

Gustav: Amen, Alph!

Polgar: Shut up, Gustav, you're getting on my nerves.

Patton: Judit!

Polgar: Well, you'd be bitchy too, Alph, if you'd been what I've been through these last four days. Honestly!

Patton [Once again patting Polgar's hand with one hand, while holding the other behind her back and - you know the schtick]: Now, now, Girlfriend. It's all right! Here, have a garlic capsule, I hear they're good for your blood pressure. [Polgar takes a capsule and gulps it down with half a glass of Scotch]. Now, there! Don't you feel better?

Polgar: I do, I do!

Gustav: Amen -

Polgar and Patton [simultaneously]: Shut up, Gustav.

Patton: I wouldn't worry about that harassment complaint if I were you, Jude.

Polgar: You wouldn't?

Patton: Nope! If it gets that far, all you have to do is show up at the adjudication hearing in the leopard print body suit. Those chess hommes won't know what hit 'em! Blinded by the Light, and all that. Bologon's complaint will be dismissed. Mark my words.

Polgar: Well, if you say so, Alph. You're the one with the law degree, after all.

Patton: Don't remind me! Now let's get down to brass tacks here, Girlfriend. I didn't chase half-way around the world just to hear your off-key singing of "Sweet Mystery of Life" with that half-baked band of chess nerds!

Polgar [shocked]: You didn't!?!

Patton: Nope. I came because during our last interview in that airport bathroom you made mention of wedding plans with a certain homme of your acquaintance.

Gustav: Amen, Alph!

Patton: Geez, Judit, did you really marry HIM?

Polgar: There's no need to take that tone of voice with me. Alph. Gustav is a perfectly respectable man, of good family and fortune, young and virile, he has a steady job with a good income, and will make me many fine children when I go off birth control pills. And he's cute! Which is more than I can say for your latest amore!

Patton: Judit, I don't HAVE a latest amore!

Polgar: Exactly!

Gustav: Amen, Alph!

Patton: Oh for goddess' sake, shut UP, Gustav! Now Girlfriend, tell me true. Are you - or are you not - married to this cottonhead?

Polgar: Well, Alph, I never!

Patton: Okay, let me rephrase the question. Are you - or are you not - married to this idiot?

Polgar: Well, since you put it that way, I'll tell you -
[Remainder of interview deleted on orders of the Editor. The Editor's Henchman. Oh oh, now Alpheta will be mad at me!]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Judit won the event on tie-break with 6.5/9.

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