Gabino Cintra by Adolfo Madala

Adolfo Madala
Adolfo Madala

Photo: Adolfo Madala

I met Gabino Cintra in the late ’60s, when Brazil owned a golden generation, winning everything one could imagine.

All brazilian players were special, each with its own characteristics. Gabino had a dazzling personality, especially for my young years of that time. It was not only a brilliant player, but was cultured, refined, played guitar, sang and danced with that indescribable something that Brazilians have for those who are not.

Gabino Cintra
Gabino Cintra

 He had a superior intelligence, with a fine irony management and unparalleled sense of humor. There will be forever memorable moments during the endless sleepless nights in the South American Championships, where entrenched behind his thick glasses, he made a startling claim, and once he saw that we were almost convinced of its truth, let out his hoarse laughter, he had pulled our legs again.

In the 2000 South American Championship in Buenos Aires, I was in charge of the vu-graph comments. Players were in the semifinal stage when Gabino comes over and says, «Madala, I played this hand in Beijing, 1995.»

Believing that it was one of his jokes I replied: «And I in Tokyo, 1996.» «You do not believe me but I swear it, strange as it may seem» he laughed. A while later it was discovered that indeed the computer program had thrown a complete set that had already been played in Beijing at that time.

Everybody was astonished and when I approached Gabino he said: «Did you see Madala, you did not believe me», to which I replied: «I really do not, but now I want to congratulate you on your memory,

How could you be so sure it was the same hand?, Could not have been much like another? «.

He looked at me with a smile on his lips: «There is a detail that helped my memory: In this hand I played two diamonds redoubled with two overtricks against Italy.»

I wont forget this hand until the last day of my life, I remember each card, even the smallest, hahahaha «

Talented, humble, good friend, brilliant, generous…

As Peixoto I end the adjectives with «…» because they are endless, each add what he considers appropriate, but will always be few.

Farewell Gabino, was a gift of God to meet you