Random Posts

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alfonso Ferriz Plays the Muzio Gambit

     Alfonso Ferriz, an engineer by profession (born 1922 - died 2009), began his chess career in the 1940s and was was one of the most prominent Mexican players of of his day.   Besides being a tireless player he was also a promoter and educator of chess.  In his later years Ferriz promoted "smart drugs" and became expert on the subject. He had an interesting opinion on the use of alcohol. He believed it kills millions of neurons and pointed out that Alekhine was drinker and that was the reason lost the world championship, but he recovered after he stopped for two years.  Ferriz claimed that showed that the brain, if one stops drinking, will recover in two years. 
     Ferriz was born in Mexico City and studied chemical engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Administrative Sciences at the National Polytechnic Institute. He won the championship of Mexico City eight times and in 1966 he founded the Club Mexico. With his son Alfonso Ferriz Salinas he created the National School of Chess. He also served as coach of the Mexican Olympic team on three occasions. Coming from a family of chess players, he started playing at the age of eight. 
     He collected chess books and his library eventually grew to over 5,000 books making it the largest in Latin America. His favorites were a book on tactics by Kurt Richter, the collection of Alekhine's best games and a book on tactics by Fred Reinfeld. His favorite players were Alekhine, Tahl and Bronstein and his love of tactics showed in his play.
     Once, when asked why there were so few women chess players, he based his reply on Reuben Fine's thesis: the goal is to mate the King and that represents (for men only I guess) killing his father. Is that something that is psychologically foreign to women?  Anyway, Ferriz claimed Laszlo Polgar, instead of teaching chess as a battle to the death by killing the king, taught his daughters to view chess as art and not as a struggle for life or death. The result was they became great players. 
     He believed a chess player peaked at 30 years old but could maintain their rating, provided they continued to study, up into their fifties assuming their health remained good. After the age of sixty one's ability would naturally start to decline. 
     In the following game the tactical complications were enormous and black managed to reach a very unbalanced position in the ending, but the manner in which Ferriz wove a mating net against the black K is very instructive.

No comments:

Post a Comment