Saturday, November 27, 2021

Kniazer Caricature


The above caricature of Kniazer, by M. Props [ph. spelling], appeared in Davar, Feb. 14th, 1947, p. 2  That is, it appeared on the 14th page of Dvar Ha'shavuah, the weekly weekend supplement of Davar, following the ten-page daily newspaper. The title is, "Kniazer's secret weapon: the cigarette." Indeed, Kniazer (like many chess players at the time, e.g. Aloni) was a chain smoker who was rarely seen without a cigarette while playing. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Doing Their Bit, pt. II - and Chess on the Radio.


Source: Wiener Schach-Zeitung, 3/4 1949, pp. 99-100.

We have noted in this blog before that Israeli players did their bit to help the country in the wars. Our Austrian correspondent, Herbert Halsegger, notes that their effort was reported also abroad, in this case, in the Wiener Schach-Zeitung. Based on the similarities in the scores, these may well be the same games reported by Shaul Hon in sept. 1948 (see the link just given), but this is not certain. 

The article also mentions that Israeli radio has a weekly radio broadcast, again a point mention by Hon at the time, as mentioned previously in this blog. Apparently, chess was beginning to be noticed abroad. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

From the 1976 Olympiad


Looking in the archives of Haifa's municipal government, I have found much material relating to the 1976 chess Olympiad. Here is one example: the top photo a certificate for participation in the 'Haifa Chess Olympiad Display Window Contest.' This context was a contest among local businesses to decorate their display windows in a chess-related and, especially, Olympiad-related way, by using the Olympiad's symbol, etc. 

The bottom photo is an advertisement from the August 1976 Haifa's Merchants' General Union publication, asking 'Haifa Merchants' to 'properly decorate their businesses', and that the union can give them appropriate decorating material. They also suggest giving a discount to 'all comers who wear the Olympiad's symbol.' 

Source: Haifa City Archive, files no. 23589-01161/11 (top photo) and 23582-01161/4 (bottom photo).  

"Ganef:" The other Side of the Story


Mr. Herbert Halsegger had notified us that he had found the "Ganef" story - from the "older British player"'s point of view. In the Weiner Shach-Zeitung of Jan. 1933, pp. 18-19, in an interview with Viktor Teitz, Teitz reminisces about Burn, Blackburne, and others. In this version, Blackburn speaks of a "younger player" who exclaimed that "the old Ganef managed to swindle me after all!" and Blackburne finally asks the crucial question, whether a Ganef is a gentlemen or not. 

One problem with the claim that this is Blackburne is, as Mr. Halsegger notes, only played with Nimzowitsch twice, and beaten him once (St. Petersburg, 1914). Calling that game a "swindle" - if, indeed, that is the game - is somewhat of an exaggeration. Computer analysis says Nimzowitsch had an advantage at one point, but was certainly not clearly winning. Another problem is that the story, oddly, comes in several versions, but seems to often only mention one of the players, never both. 

Added 29/10/21: Mr. Halsegger notes Edward Winter had investigated the issue, as can be seen in Chess Notes #6513.  that the story has several versions, and sometimes mentions both the (alleged) players - always Blackburne, but with various opponents and observers. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Another News Bulletin of the 1964 Olympiad


A frequent correspondent sent us another news bulletin of the 1964 chess Olympiad in Tel Aviv. It was recorded by the "Geva Bulletins" (Yomaney Geva) in Herzlia studios.