Friday, April 9, 2010

The first Original Endgame Study in Palestine

+ (White wins)
Palestine Post 1945
3rd Hon. Men. IRT 1945-1962 [1988].

The above is the first endgame study published in Palestine. It is by Dr. Jehuda Greungrad, published in the Palestine Post [later the Jerusalem Post], May 11, 1945.

As noted on pp. 24-35 of The Chess Problem Tourney in Memory of Dr. Jehuda Greungrad (Ed. Uri Avner), not only was this the first such study (as opposed to a problem, or a study by a foreign composer) published in Palestine, it is quite a good one.

There are two curious points about this study noted in Avner's book:

1). Greungrad was not a study composer, but a problemist. This is his only study.

2). The study had to wait 43 (!) years to be judged, in the Israeli Retrospective Tournament of studies composed 1945-1962, in 1988. The judge, Yehuda Hoch (born two years after this study was composed...) noted it is 'a very accurate study, studded with tries. In spite of its technical character, it creates a pleasant and aesthetic impression.'


(Analysis and punctuation by Uri Avner, pp. 24-25 of above book; my translation from the Hebrew. Highlight below to see.)

To avoid the "wrong color bishop" ending, White must prevent the passage of the g pawn to the h file.


1. Kf3? g5 2. Bc8+ Kf6! with 3. ...g4 and unavoidable 4. ...h4 =

1. Bf3? Kg5! 2. Kf2 (2. Kh4?? h4! 3. g4 h3) Kh6 3. Kg2 g5 4. Kh3 g4+ 5. Bxg4 hxg4 6. Kh4! (6. Kxg4? Kg6 =) Kh7 (or Kg7) =

1. Be4+?! Kf6! 2. Bf3 Kg5 and draw as above.

1. Bc8+? Kf6! 2. Bd7! Ke7!! (2. ... g5? 3. Bh8! +; 2. ... Kg7? 3. Kf2!! and wins as in the solution below) 3. Kf4?! Kxd7 4. Kg5 h4! =


1. Bc6!! Kg5! (1. ... g5 2. Bh8! h4 3. Bd7+; 1. ... Kg4? 2. Kf2; 1. ... Kf6 leads back to the main variation) 2. Kf3! (2. Bd7? Kh6 with ... g5, ... g4, and ...h4 to follow since the h5 pawn is defended from the Be8 threat.)

2. ... Kh6 3. Kg2! g5 4. Kh3 g4+ 5. Kh4 and wins (+).

An illustrative example of the rare type of study where the [only - A.P.] first move is the point.


  1. Thank you very much. My hope is that all this and more will eventually be part of a book about (you guessed it) Jewish chess history. If you want, spread the word -- I'd like the blog to become better known...