WCN History Division proudly presents: "The Real Life of WCNers", a series of biographies of our beloved gold members writen by Luiz Franz.
Today we will show you the real life of the greatest of all our players, the chess genius Jim Nix.
******* JIM, THE MYTH *******
If I say that your first word was "mom" or "dad" I´ll probably be right, that’s the expected. But Jim Nix surprised his parents when he spoke for the first time: "Tartakover", the little Jim said. "Capablanca", he said a couple of days later. And his first full sentence was "The King´s Gambit is for chickens".
At the age of 3 he played an excellent chess. At 6 he knew 238 openings and 41,786 variations. But why didn’t this genius become a world champion? Well, it’s a weird story.
In 1957, when Jim was 9, a Russians spy heard of him and convinced his parents to take the kid to Soviet Union, "to improve his chess". In Moscow, they made Jim Nix play against Tal, Botvinnik, Petrosian. Jim beat them all and the Russians didn’t know what to do with that non-soviet genius. They destroyed all evidences of those games, including Jim’s notes, and told the kid that the whole adventure in Russia was top secret.
The western media had no access to the story, nobody knew nothing about it. Max Euwe and IFC (now FIDE) accepted the russian plot and Jim was sent back home. Euwe considered that in those times of cold war a rupture in the balance of the power in chess could lead to a tragedy. The world was not ready for a man that had something like a Deep Fritz and a Hydra in his brain.
Depressed, the young Jim decided he would not play professionally, but would work in the background, using his skills and talent to help other players.
In 1968 Jim Nix spent 2 months in reclusion with Bobby Fischer in a house in the woods, teaching him almost all he knew. Fischer left the house to be world champion. But the rumors that Bobby turned into a paranoid schizophrenic because of those days with Jim were not confirmed.
Humble, shy, Jim never bragged about this. He just kept working. Jim coached Mecking (hey, didn’t this one become nuts too?), but when the brazilian thrown a pan with broccolis in Jim’s head he decided to teach Korchnoi how to beat Mecking. And succeeded once more. Jim just kept working, in the shadows, secretly. His name was never mentioned.
Kasparov? Jim was not with him only in that series against Kramnik.
Anand? Jim even became a hinduist after spending so much time teaching Anand.
Some time ago Jim went to China and Mao´s Nation produced a new generation of talented chess masters.
And, 2 years ago, you remember Jim Nix announced WCN that he would spend 6 weeks in retire. Well, soon after that Topalov emerged as an almost unbeateable chess player. Topa has a pic of Jim in his wallet.
What else? Ah, just before the last Chess Olympiad Mr. Nix went to Armenia. "In vacations", he says. Do you still think Armenia’s title was a surprise?
Jim Nix still remember every move of every game he played in Russia, every move of the hundreds of games he defeated Fischer in that house in the woods. But I am afraid he will not tell us – these events officially didn’t happened. Of course you may ask: "But how this genius plays like a patzer here in WCN?"
Well, he doesn’t want to expose himself. Jim uses WCN to run away from those traditional lines he knows so well. He prefers to invent a new chess, new moves, new options. And to give some joy to his opponents.
He admits that beating Larry Christiansen in the most famous game of WCN history was a mistake, but Jim just didn’t resist to the temptation of playing just once the way he can. Even Jim Nix, the greatest of all, needs some fun.
He enjoys being a patzer in WCN and taking care of his huge collection of fur hats. The one you see in his pic in WCN Gallery was a present from Tigran Petrosian, the only physical evidence that he once almost destroyed the chess world’s status quo.