Sunday, January 12, 2020

Emir Abdullah I and Chess

Source: Ma'ariv, 23 /7/1951, p.2
A frequent correspondent notifies us that on the occassion of Abdullah I's funeral, Ma'ariv published an incident about his chess playing. Ma'ariv claims Abdullah had, in chess, two weaknesses -- 'he had a weakness for chess and was a weak player'. 

The text claims Abdullah was 'convinced he was an extraordinary player' because his court's officials deliberately lost to him. It adds that on a trip to Europe on the SS Mariette Pasha, Abdullah met a 'Arabic-speaking Palestinian Jew, now a judge' and played chess with him. 

According to the report, in the first game, 'Abdullah was in a nearly lost position', and then the court officials asked the opponent to 'do everything to lose'. He deliberately lost the game to Abdullah, but won the next two games, which 'enraged the king who didn't want to play ay more'. 

What is odd about this report is that it contradict Marmotosh's own report (see details in Winter's Chess Notes 4211), that Abdullah knew he was not a particularly strong player and demanded Marmorosh play well, even if he, Abdullah, loses. There is no hint that Abduallah was "enraged" by Marmorosh winning, on the contrary. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Israeli Championship,1968-1969

Source: Sarah Aloni's collection
Above are some nice photos of the players in the Israeli Open Championship, 1968-1969, which took place in Be'er Sheva, Israel. Can anybody help identify the players? I believe the seond image from the top has Malchiel Peretz (white) playing Yair Kraidman, and the third from the top might have Uzi Geller (white) playing Zadok Domnitz, but I might be wrong.

Edited to addA frequent correspondent suggests that in the top photo, we have Avraham Kaldor (white) playing  the old Moshe Blass. Another correspondent suggests that Geller's opponent is not Domnitz, but rather  Ya'akov Bernstein ("Ya'akov" is Gaige's preferred spelling in Chess Personalia). He also suggests In the second picture from the top is the young Michael Porat (son of Yosef Porat) playing against Yoel Aloni, Be'er Sheva open 1972. 

I believe the second correspondent is surely correct about Bernstein, but am less sure about Porat-Aloni. This can be resolved by looking at the list of participants in the 1968-1969 vs. the 1972 tournament. I am quite certain the photo is from the 1968-1969 tournament because of the source -- a set of photos from that tournament in Sarah Aloni's collection. But it's not inconceivable a photo from a later tournament was misplaced in her photo album. 

Yeol Aloni and Ben Gurion

Source: Sarah Aloni's collections
Finally, for now, from Sarah Aloni's collection -- a photo of Yoel Aloni (in hat, left of the girl in the head scarf) next to David Ben Gurion (center), ca. 1960. 

Chess Match, 1961

Source: Sarah Aloni's collection
Another interesting photo from Sarah Aloni's collection is this advertisement, by Ha'poel sports organization (top right) and the Deganya kibutz (top left) for a chess match. It is for a match between the kibutzim's movement's team and the greater Haifa team. It took place on Nissan 7th-8th, 5721 (March 24-25, 1961) in Deganya. 

Formal and Informal

Source: Sarah Aloni's collection
From Sarah Aloni's collection, we have also these interesting photos of chess concentration in both "informal" and "formal" dress -- "formal and "informal" for a kibutz member, that is.

I do not recognize the player (can someone help?). But Mrs. Aloni notes photos were taken during the kibutzim's movement yearly chess tournament, in the Matzuvah kibbutz, ca. 1960.