Friday, March 28, 2008

Chess & Stamps -- Part III: a Polish Joke

Okay--this has nothing to do with Jewish chess history in particular, but at least it has to do with stamps.

The Polish stamp above commemorates the first world chess championship for the deaf, held in 1956 in Warsaw. I'm all in favor of helping the handicapped, but... what kind of handicap is deafness as far as chess playing is concerned, anyway?! Isn't deafness, if anything, an advantage?? (Incidentally, Tigran Petrosian, the world champion, was deaf.)

(No, I'm not 100% serious here--there are, it turns out, associations for deaf chess players, whose raison d'etre is not that deafness is an handicap when actually playing, but rather when it comes to communicating with other players, arbiters, tournament organizers, etc. who do not speak sign language.)

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