Will the real Pereira please stand up?

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
9/1/2019 – You know him as "Antonio Pereira", with over 200 articles to his credit since mid-2018, but starting today, our new Bolivia-based Assistant Editor CARLOS COLODRO steps out from behind the pseudonym. Adios Antonio, bienvenido Carlos! But why, you may ask? Read on to find out!

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Sostiene Pereira

I've been writing articles regularly for the ChessBase News pages for over a year. My first collaboration with ChessBase was a Spanish-English translation of this article, originally written by Argentine author Sergio Negri — that was the first of many, of which I most enjoyed his deep-dive into Poe's suspicions regarding the ethical validity of The Turk, a chess-playing machine that was nothing but a deception.

A couple of months later, I published two short pieces on Nabokov and Borges, authors that both had a great impact on twentieth-century literature and paid great respect to chess. From then on, things started to escalate. Editor-in-Chief Macauley Peterson very amiably pointed out some rather embarrassing mistakes I made at first, and asked me to help with some editorial duties — mainly on the weekends.

Carlos ColodroThen I started writing reports on my own, under the pseudonym Antonio Pereira — back then, it seemed like a good idea, thinking this would just be a sporadic gig. I chose that alias on the spur of the moment, as I had been reading Antonio Tabucchi's novel Sostiene Pereira (curiously, the name works both in the original Italian and in Spanish; in English, it is called Pereira Maintains). Pereira is a common surname in Portugal — where the story takes place — but the character's first name is never mentioned, so I decided to use Tabucchi's.

Incidentally, the character Pereira is a journalist who writes for the culture column of a local newspaper. He tries to stay away from politics, but his country is living under a radical regime, fuelled by the neighbouring Spanish Civil War — he cannot but find himself involved. I recommend anyone interested in historical literature to leaf through this rather concise book.

Italian, Spanish and English editions of Tabucchi's novel

I have been gradually writing more often for ChessBase, so we thought it was high time to lift the curtain for our readers. Thus, I will share some more info about me.

I was born in Sucre and currently live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I've also lived in La Paz and Cochabamba, within my home-country, and have spent considerable amounts of time in Saint Joseph, Michigan (go Bears!); Washington D.C.; and Barcelona. For those interested in coming down to South America, do not shy away from visiting Bolivia, especially if you want to see how diverse a country can be — with a population estimated at 11 million, we have no less than 36 indigenous languages and a markedly varied geography.

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Santa Cruz, Bolivia — a panoramic view

I studied Industrial Engineering in college, but despite going through the whole program I decided it was worth a try to change paths and study what I really like — I enrolled in the Faculty of Hispanic Philology and started freelancing online. My first chess-related gig came in 2012 and I have not looked back since. By now, I got the degree in Philology and have had the privilege to collaborate in Spanish-English editorial projects with Harper's and the New York Times Magazine, among others.

As so many of us, my first contact with chess came when I was a kid. My dad taught me the rules when I was six or seven — he is not a big fan of the game, though, and stopped playing me a couple of months later. The game was an on-and-off hobby for me until high school. Only when I started college did I take real interest in actually learning the game. By then, there were enough online resources for anyone to get a grasp of basic strategic and tactical themes.

I was quite involved in learning during a three-year period, when I even played some official tournaments — I was living in Cochabamba back then, a city that tends to host many sporting events, as it is located in the centre of the country and has a great weather to boot. 

Most importantly though,  I started getting more and more interested in the elements that surround the game. First I learned some history, getting to know the world champions and the compelling storylines that delineate what I came to appreciate as a rich chronicle, with incredible characters strangely obsessed with a board game. Naturally, I began to pay attention to current top events as well — the first tournaments I followed closely (really closely) were the Olympiad in Dresden (2008) and the Sofia World Championship match (2010).

Besides chess, I enjoy literature and music. For those looking for new authors to explore (especially if you speak Spanish), I will limit myself to mention two of my all-time favourites: author Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay) and musician Luis Alberto Spinetta (Argentina).

Now let us go back to what we really enjoy: chess. The Champions Showdown, featuring Garry Kasparov, kicks off next week, and the World Cup is coming up soon. Check out our monthly calendars and our live games portal. Off we go!

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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Burgershirt Burgershirt 9/1/2019 06:20
Welcome to the open sky! Your typing hands had extended from the shadows, but now they've pulled the rest of yourself out where we can see you.
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