Hapless Miguel

‘Najdorf is harping on his constant “bad luck”. . . We are not sharing this impression. We think differently and to better explain the why and wherefore, we cite the insurance companies which have statistics for everything. When a person has an accident and everything is above board they pay out (at least are expected to do so). However, when the selfsame person is stricken by a series of accidents, no matter what it is, they don’t say “just bad luck” but tag him or her as accident-prone and, considering him or her a bad risk, raise the premium stiffly. Thus, we have come to the conclusion that Najdorf is an extremely bad risk in chess, prone to lose his games, and we feel that future events will bear this out.’

Arturo Loeffler on the Najdorf v Reshevsky match, Buenos Aires 1953

Chess World (August 1953)

Miguel Najdorf (1910–1997) made his fortune selling insurance.

Photo: Najdorf at Wijk aan Zee, 24 January 1973  (Bert Verhoeff, Dutch National Archive)

See also

Luck