Saturday, April 5, 2014

More About Avraham Labounsky, the First Secretary of the Palestine Chess Federation

Avraham Labounsky. Credit: see below.

We have noted before that Avraham Labounsky was the first secretary of the Palestine Chess Federation (his brother, Nachum Labounsky, was elected the first treasurer in the same meeting).

Moshe Roytman now informs us that a capsule biography of him (from which the above photo is taken, in British Uniform; link in Hebrew) was published in Davar on Feb. 21st, 1947, p. 23, on the occasion of him winning the [1946] Tel Aviv championship -- ahead of Mendelbaum, Kniazer, etc. The full crosstable is found, e.g., in Shaul Hon's Ptichot Be'Sachmat [Chess Openings], Shach Pulishers: 1964 [1957], p. 90.

Of particular interest is the claim that he started 'getting interested in chess at age 16', which is relatively late; his winning Rome's city championship in 1933 when he studied there; and playing a match against 'Bizzio [ph. spelling -- ביזיאו], the 'Roman champion', winning 6:2. It is also mentioned that when he was in active servive in the British Army (1943-1946), he 'organized simultaneous displays in the Jewish companies'. Surpisingly, his role in the Palestine Chess Federation is not mentioned.

These companies -- which served in branches as varied as the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps to transportation and camouflage companies -- were the forerunners of the more famous Jewish Brigade, est. late 1944. More information (in Hebrew) about these units can be found here.

Note: Ami Barav adds that correct spelling of the name is not, as said before, 'Levonsky', but 'Labounsky'

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