Who is this chess-loving legend? It was...

by ChessBase
9/27/2010 – Not Harry Belafonte, Tony Curtis or Peter Falk. The other 95% of our readers – and 100% of our French friends – got it right: Jean-Paul Belmondo, the legendary actor and icon of French cinema, enjoying life now at 77. He spent some time chatting with the Azeri grandmaster Teimour Radjabov, who was thrilled to the marrow. Here's some JPB bio and film scenes.

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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 solution

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

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 finest performance.

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).

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