December 17, 2010

Chess Trivia - Solution

Trivia: The chess legends: Philidor, Taimanov and Smyslov could have been famous doing something else than playing chess...what exactly?

Answer: As you already mentioned on facebook/email/comments all three of them shared the same passion: music. And it was not just a hobby, but they were very good at it! 


Francois-Andre Danican Philidor:


For a time Philidor was among the leading opera composers in France, but when he felt he was being surpassed by other composers, he decided to concentrate on chess, particularly as a better means of supporting his family.


I created the following video about Philidor's chess and musical career, hope you will enjoy it:)

video

Vasily Smyslov:


Smyslov was a fine baritone singer, who only positively decided upon a chess career after a failed audition with the  Bolshoi Theatre in 1950. He once said, "I have always lived between chess and music." On the occasion of a game against Mikhail Botvinnik, he sang to an audience of thousands. He occasionally gave recitals during chess tournaments, often accompanied by fellow Grandmaster and concert pianist Mark Taimanov. Smyslov once wrote that he tried to achieve harmony on the chess board, with each piece assisting the others.


Smyslov singing, Tilburg, 1981:




Mark Taimanov:


With his wife, Lyubov Bruk, he formed a piano duo, some of whose recordings were included in the Philips and Steinway series Great Pianists of the 20th century.
They met at the age of 12 at the Leningrad Conservatory and their teacher Savshinsky had the idea of supplementing the solo repertoire with two pianos. It is to their teacher's great insight that they owe their wonderful career.They were both different in temperament. Lyubov had a tender, lyrical nature with refined delicate touch and Mark had a more expansive repertoire, suited to Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky concerts. However they both worked together to create a unique sound, using their differences to give music a more contrasted timbre. The idea of the two different personalities was the key to their music making. They began touring throughout eastern Europe very successfully and these recordings are a legacy.
He remarried late in life and became the father of twins at an advanced age.




Two more famous chess players and singers:


Lajos Portisch is also well known as an opera singer, but I couldn't find a video. Maybe someone can help?!




The following video shows the Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky singing at the closing ceremony of the Poikovsky, 2007.




I am sure that there are many more Grandmasters gifted with a different talent than the one for chess...


18 comments:

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