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Chess in a Geneva park.(malias/Flicker)

In the latest in a series of one-for-one salvos among various knights of the black-and-white board, an Iranian chess grandmaster, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, has declared himself the new world record-holder for most games played simultaneously, having reportedly contested 614 matches over the course of nearly two days this week in Tehran; the previous record-holder, the Israeli Alik Gershon, broke the Iranian Morteza Mahjoob’s 2009 record by playing 523 games at once. (Guinness World Record rules prevent drama queens from setting easy records by requiring an 80 percent winning percentage against quality opponents.)

Word has not yet come from Guinness, that castle of record-holding, on whether this latest achievement is valid; one of the organization’s priest-like representatives reported that the organization was awaiting supporting evidence. As for Maghami, he said, “Iran is great and deserves the best,” proving, if nothing else, that he is only a pawn in their game.

Iranian Claims Chess Record [NYT]





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