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Chess tournament: A chair to “Mequinho”…
In the 60s (1960), a new prodigy appeared in the chess world: The Brazilian Henrique da Costa Mecking, alias ‘Mequinho’. He won the chess tournament in his country when he was thirteen years old. He was classified to the Interzonal of Sousse (1967) and Palma de Mallorca (1970).
After winning the Petrópolis (1973), he reached a place for the cycle of candidates, where Korchnoi eliminated him.
During that time, Mecking was among the best ten players in the world and he became very popular in Brazil, just like the stars of the bossa nova.
The young master attended to Las Palmas to dispute a competitive international chess tournament. The director of the chess tournament was the experienced master and ex-champion from Spain, Antonio Medina.
The problem posed to the organizers was that the phenomenon of Mecking was very exigent about his chair. Medina requested nothing less than twelve different chair models, to ease the prodigy’s choice. After having examined them all, Mequinho, shaking his head with a clear ‘No’, said he was not satisfied with any of them. Medina, who had thousands of miles and plays upon his shoulders, asked everyone to leave him alone with the big chess player.
“I understand you”, Medina said to him. “Now I know what you want.”
Mecking smiled. Medina brought a new chair in which, with a happy face, sat the Brazilian master. Expressing that this one was comfortable. Hence, the incident was resolved, thanks to the experience and cunningness of Medina. The chair in question was the first that was shown to the young genius.