Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reshevsky and Marmorosh

Moshe Marmorosh's recollections of how he learned to play chess -- and how he first met Reshevsky (Davar 23.7.1937).
In 1937, Reshevsky won a strong tournament in Kemrey (together with Flohr and Petrovs, before Alekhine, Keres and many other strong players.) As Moshe Roytman notes, on 23.7.37 Marmorosh, Davar's chess editor, wrote a long column about Reshevsky to commemorate this event, including a photograph of him.

Of particular interest is Marmorosh's autobiographical note about when he learned chess and met Reshevsky (circles in red) from that column:
I was then [1916] a 13-year-old boy, whose uncle only recently attempted to teach the beauty of the "royal game". After many appeals I managed to get tickets to the simultaneous game, which caused an incredible interest in all chess circles in Vienna. It is hard to convey the great impression the little boy made in his appearance. Full of pride and confidence, he rushed from board to board without thinking much. His speed of perception [of the positions] was amazing -- and he defeated one player after another. The wonderkind's name, Samuel Reshevsky... 
It is not often, I think, that we see chess columnists give, not only a description of a wonderkind in action, but also of how he got them to become fans of the game, as (implicitly) happened in this case.

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