Saturday, October 17, 2009
Chess on the Front Page
Photo Credit: Al Ha'Mishmar, Oct. 19, 1959, p. 1
Chess was always popular in Israel. But one wonders if, today, chess will make it to the front page of the newspaper, as it did in the 1950s. Perhaps it would happen for some extraordinary event, but probably not for a run-of-the-mill report.
In the above front page article, we have a report of the fourth round of the Israeli chess championship. The highlight (and headline) was that a strong amateur, Dan Amir (rated, the article says, an 'Aleph player with two pluses' -- equivalent in strength to a strong expert, more or less) drew with Erno Gereben, an IM. The photo shows Gereben in play with Itzchak Aloni in another game from the same tournament.
This made the front on the same day that, as other front-page articles on the same page show, the USSR declared their space probe had orbited and photographed the far side of the moon for the first time, and that, locally, it was decided the defendants responsible for the Kassam village massacre would be put on trial.
One wonders if today the chess tournament as a whole would even be mentioned anywhere apart from the chess column, let alone any of its rounds given the front page with a photograph, to boot.
Again sorry for the wonky font size -- blogger is acting up again...