Guinness Simultaneous Chess World Record attempt – in Tehran!

by ChessBase
8/10/2009 – The Swedish GM Ulf Andersson played 310 opponents in 1996, then Andrew Martin took on 321 in 2004. His record was broken in 2005 by Susan Polgar (350 opponents). Currently the record stands at 360, set earlier this year by Kiril Georgiev. Now the 29-year-old Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob intends to get his name in the Guinness Book next Thursday by taking on 500 opponents.

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Guinness Simultaneous Chess World Record attempt

In 1996 the Swedish Grandmaster Ulf Andersson set the Guinness World Record for simultaneous play by taking on 310 opponents. This record was broken in 2004 by the British IM Andrew Martin, the author of many of our openings training DVDs. Martin played against 321 opponents, scoring 294 wins, 26 draws and 1 loss for a winning percentage of 95.64%.

Record-breaking author of our openings training DVDs: IM Andrew Martin

In August 2005 GM Susan Polgar played against 350 players simultaneously at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She strode 9.1 miles, in high-tech sneakers, drinking orange juice. Susan faced 326 opponents simultaneously, scoring 99.03%. After breaking the Guinness Book's simul record Susan Polgar went on to break a few more, such as 1,131 consecutive games played in one session. Here's our illustrated report.

World record in the Gardens Mall: GM Susan Polgar plays against 326 opponents

In February this year Bulgarian GM Kiril Georgiev played a simultaneous exhibition against 360 opponents. For every move the Bulgarian GM had to walk half a kilometer, and after six hours of play had made only eight moves. After 14 hours it was over, he had scored 88% with 284 wins, 70 draws and 6 losses. The Guinness simul record was broken! Again we had a big illustrated report to celebrate this achievement.

GM Kiril Georgiev training for his record attempt in 2009

Now Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob, 29, is planning to smash all previous records with a simultaneous exhibition against 500 players. He started physical training last month, bearing in mind that he is going to have to walk about 40 kilometers and stay awake for 24 hours during the record-breaking event.

The latest record attempt will be by the Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob

The name of the record attempt is Rokh-dar-rokh 500 (rook vs rook 500). It will take place in Tehran, at the Enghelab Sport Complex, on Thursday 13 August 2009, under the supervision of the Iranian Chess Federation and FIDE. Iranian TV will cover the event. 200 professional chess players, 280 chess enthusiasts, and 20 cinema actors and sportsmen will be present at the sport complex at 9 a.m. to try to win their games against GM Mahjoob. He will need to win 80 percent of the games to achieve a new Guinness world record. Guinness will carefully analyse all the details of the record attempt.

The current Iranian Champion Mahjoob has a 2503 FIDE rating

For twelve years now 29-year-old Morteza Mahjoob Zardast has been part of the Iranian National Chess Team. He started his professional life as a chess player when he was 13, and became Iran Youth Champion in 1994, then Iran Students Champion the next year. In 2000, when he had just 20 years old, he beat GM Anatoly Karpov in a simultaneous chess game in a match between Karpov and the Iran national team.

Mahjoob is 29 and has been a professional since he was 13

Mahjoob is the current Iranian chess champion, and has won this title for the second time. He played in the Asian Chess Championship in Lebanon, where he won three gold medals: in the individual, team and best player categories. He is a member of the FajrShams Atieh, which employed many other Iranian chess champions.

Morteza Mahjoob with his wife and daughter Artemis at the
closing ceremony of the Iranian Championship 2008

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