Saturday, July 14, 2018

Aloni - Glass combination

 Source: Davar 25/5/1951, p. 22 
Int this game in the 5th round, Glass (Black) defeated Aloni. Here, Glass (with two queens, on a1 and d1) played 1...Qb3, to stop checks after 2.Qf5+ kh8 3.Qc8+ Qg8. 

Hon pointed out that Black could win brilliantly with 1...Qxf3+!! 2.gxf3 (2.Kh4 g5#) Qf1+ 3.Kh4 Qf2+ 4.Kg4 (4.Kh3? Qxf3+ and 5...g5#) Qg2+ 5.Kh4 (5.Kf5? Qh3+ wins the queen!) g5+ 6.Kh5 Qxh2+ 7.Kg4 Qh4+ 8.Kf5 Qh3+ and wins the queen. 

Whether all this is necessary, given that Black is a queen up in the initial position anyway, is to me unclear. 

Czerniak about the 1951 Championship, and Prizes

 4 .Source: Al Ha'Mishmar 6/4/1951 p
In Al Ha'Mishmar, Czerniak gives an interesting view of the 1951 championship. Before this, the editor, Eliyahu Shahaf, adds that the tournament took a long time -- two months -- as opposed to the Passover, 1939 tournament where the "Lasker" club organized six tournaments in one weekend. 

He then publishes a long interview with Czerniak. The latter overviews the strengths and weakenesses of the players, noting that, overall, is a 'second level international tournament', comparing it to Venice, 1947 (won by Tartakover) or the Hastings tournaments in England.

One of the reasons the tournament took long is that the games were played in many locations. The result was a large number of special prizes. As Shahaf notes in the same column:

Oren also won the beauty prize for the second round in Haifa (against Czerniak) and for the best result in the last five rounds (4 out of 5). Kniazer won a prize for the most beautiful game for the first round in Haifa (against Glass) and Smiltiner -- the beauty prize for a game in Hadera (against Fischer), and Braun -- the beauty prize for a game in Rishon Le'Tziyon (also against Fisher). Glass also won a special prize for the shortest game (23 moves, against Braun). The overall beauty prize was won by Dobkin for his game against Mandelbaum.

This makes for five beauty prizes, a special prize for the shortest game (presumably, the shortest decisive game), a prize for best performance in the last five rounds, as well as (as Davar reports, April 6th, 1951, p. 12 of the weekly supplement) five "regular" prizes for overall placement as 1st to 5th. making it a total of eleven prizes for an 13-person tournament, or -- since (as Davar reports) the fifth prize was shared by three players, 13 prizes in a 13-person tournament. 

Oren and Czerniak Simul

Source: Ha'Boker, June 13th, 1952, p. 6
In Ha'Boker's very first chess column, we are notified of an interesting event. Oren and Czerniak played a simultaneous display in Haifa -- 'the largest simultaneous display [ever] in the country', says the paper, probably justifiably. 

It was played against 123 children from 23 schools, 'including the school for the deaf-mutes and the Arab school'. We see here an early example of chess being used as an inclusive activity. 

The results were: Oren +58 =1 -1, Czerniak +59 =1 -3. An excellent performance from both, even if one assumes that the level of play was (these being school children) below that of the average enthusiast. 


Source: Davar, June 22nd, 1951, p. 14 (of the Dvar Ha'Shavua supplement)

From Hon's comment: 'Botvinnik and Ragozin, training together for the match against Bronstein, also trained in this healthy way'. 

Glass - Kniazer, 1951, and Special Prizes

The reporting on the 1951 Israeli championship in Davar's chess column (edited at the time by Shaul Hon) was quite extensive, and has many photograph which were later reproduced in other books (including Hon's own...). Here is his report of the Glass - Kniazer game, played inthe 8th round, with Hon's annotations. Kniazer -- who lived in Haifa -- won a special prize from Haifa's municipal government for this victory. 

The same game was later analyzed in more detail in Persitz's book of Kniazer's best games, Ha'Derech Le'Nitzachon Be'Sachmat [The Road to Victory in Chess] (1959, with an introduction by Kniazer.) The remarks are broadly similar, although Persitz analyzes in more detail. White, both agree, wrongly believed his attack on the king's side will succeed, while Black correctly sacrificed one exchange and offered to sacrifice another to make sure his attack will be first. 

Glass - Kniazer [C14]

1951 Championship (8), Feb. 1951

Annotations: Based on S. Hon, Davar 1/6/2951, p. 14 [of the Dvar Ha'Shavuah supplement].

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 Sacrificing a pawn to open a file for the rook. 6...a6 7.Qg4 f5 8.Qg3 c5 Just like in Beutum-Czerniak, Tel Aviv 1938. 9.Nge2 Nc6 10.0–0–0 Nxd4 Kniazer looks for exchanged to have more space for his pieces, but still needs to solve the c8 bishop's problem. 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.Ne2 Aiming at 13.Nxd4 with pressure on e6.12...Nc5 13.f3 d3 Limiting the f1 bishop further. 14.cxd3 Bd7 15.Kb1 Rc8 16.Nd4 In order to prevent 16...Ba4, with many scarificial threats. 16...Na4 Kniazer is on the prowl. 17.Nb3 a5 18.Be2 0–0 19.Bh6 Rf7 20.f4 Threatening Bh5.20...Bf8 21.Bh5 Qb6! 

Now Black's plan is revealed: he prepared a counter-attack. He sacrifices an exchange so as to win the second bishop easily later. 22.Rc1 Nc3+! 23.Rxc3 Rxc3 24.bxc3 a4 White can cause no harm on the king's side, while Black has a crushing attack on the queen's side - with the assistance of the two bishops.

25.Kb2 axb3 26.axb3 Ba4 27.Bd1 The rook stood en prise for six moves -- and was not captured. 27...d4! 28.Bg5 dxc3+ 29.Ka1 Bxb3 30.Bxb3 Qxb3 31.Qf2 c2 White resigns (0–1) due to 32.Qa7 Ba3 33.Qd4 Bc1! and mates. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

More on Chess on the Radio

Source: here

Our frequent correspondent notes that another person who broadcast about chess on the radio was Yochanan Marcuze. For example, Davar (Sept. 7th, 1949, p. 5) reports that he will speak on the radio about 'The heavy pieces -- the queen', while on on Oct. 5th, 1949, Davar reports his show about 'the move 1.d4 - general overview'.

We also add that for a few years, in the 1950s, as we noted before Czerniak had a regular chess column on Israeli radio; e.g., a search for "Czerniak" in the Jewish Press Archives (link in Hebrew) finds his "chess corner" often mentioned, broadcasted at 3PM or 4:30 PM on Friday afternoons, usually for about 20-30 minutes.

We also add that Davar (Feb. 8th, 1951, p. 17 of the weekly supplement) notes that the Israeli chess championship would be followed on the radio, with commentary from the players, every Sunday at 13:45; for example, on the coming sunday (Feb 10th) there will be a talk about the three first rounds and other matters with Dr. Greungard.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Barav's Web Site Updated

Israel Barav (Rabinovich). Photo credit: Ami Barav
Israel Barav's memorial web site had been updated with some new games. These includes games from his later (1960s) career, as well as the last game from his 1926 match with Churgin. In particular, we a see-saw 64-move game with Barav getting a winning attack, Churgin surviving the onslash and getting two connected passed pawns for a bishop, and then Barav, after both play rather well for a long time, pouncing on Churgin's inaccuracy to ensnare the opponent's king in a rook-and-bishop mating net. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Chess in the Cyprus Internment Camp

Source: Al Ha'Mishmar, Sept. 18th, 1947, p. 3
As our frequent correspondent Moshe Roytman notes, chess was also played in the Cyprus internment camp for illegal (in the British Mandate's view) emigrants to Palestine. The report is about Yosef Heytenburg (ph. spelling) from Hungary, 'only 23 years old, and an expert in sharp play'. While it is not stated explicitly, from the context it seems he was an inmate himself. On August 16th 1947 he played 38 (+33  =2 -3) and on August 23rd he played 82 (+62 =7 -13). 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tunisia, Lebanon and Israel in the 1962 Olympiad

Source: Eliezer Pe'er's collection
The late Eliezer Pe'er had been with the Israeli team in the 1962 Varna Olympiad. He had, inter alia, collected (as we have noted) signatures from all the players (with the exception of... the Israeli team!) 

This included the signatures of the Tunisian (left) and Lebanese players. What is more, not only have they signed the autograph book willingly, but Tunisian even played Israel in the event, being the first time to our knowledge Israel played an Arab team in any sporting event.