Teimour Radjabov (the guy on the left) told us: "During my stay in Monte
Carlo this August I was thrilled to meet a legend, an all-time favorite personality
of mine. We spent time drinking coffee and talking about different subjects.
It pleased me enormously to learn that he likes chess very much. We also talked
about girls – but that is not for ChessBase.com. As I am not a paparazzo
and we were relaxing, I didn't want to annoy him. We took just one souvenir
photo, which I am sending to you."
We, too, were thrilled to see that the person on the right is still alive and,
at well over seventy, in great spirits. He was also one of our big heroes. Our
question to you was: can you guess who the chess-loving personality is?
The first reply we got was ten minutes after we had published the quiz. It
came from – Teheran and was from GM Elshan Moradiabadi, who just wrote
"Jean-Paul Belmondo! It is such a cool picture! Breathless!" Very
clever, Elshan. Well, in truth, he was the second. Giovanni Tarantino of Rome
Mais beat him by just under two minutes: "Mais oui, il est Jean-Paul Belmondo!"
French readers of course had no problems: "But this is far too easy for
a Frenchman," Bebel Michko of Saint-Maur wrote. "So I will simply
pass. He used to be my hero as well."
Of course the world's leading experts in this kind of thing – we speak
of course of Levon Aronian, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Peter Svidler – were
all on the road to Khanty Mansiysk, so no quicky messages from them.
Jean-Paul Belmondo, who was born on April 9th, 1933, is a French actor whose
breakthrough role in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (À bout de souffle,
1960) made him a major figure in the French New Wave. After 1965, with
That Man From Rio, he switched to commercial, mainstream productions,
mainly comedies and action films, but did appear in the title role of Alain
Resnais' masterpiece Stavisky (1974), which some critics regard as Belmondo's
Belmondo's typical characters were either dashing adventurers or more cynical
heroes. As he grew older, he preferred concentrating on his stage work, where
he encountered success. He suffered a stroke in 2001 and was then absent
from the stage and the screen until 2009, when he appeared in Un homme et
son chien (A Man and His Dog).