Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Mystery" Israeli Chess Journal, More Details about Early Chess Books, and an Amusing Typo

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Eliyahu Fasher, the chess player, problemist, and organizer who was often mentioned in this blog, notes on pp. 6-7 of the October 1964 Shachmat (No. 3 (26)) a few interesting facts about early chess publications. First, he notes that Marmorosh's primer had first appeared in 1934, and that the current available edition was re-printed 'without the exact date'. This solves the "mystery" of the exact date of publication of that book.

He also notes that from the folding of 64 Mishbatzot at the end of 1958 and the founding of Shachmat in 1962, 'a Haifa-based amateur tried to print a chess magazine' which stood on a 'very low level and didn't last'. Similarly, 'Yochanan Sedger [ph. spelling], also from Haifa, brought out 11 chess pamphlets to the workers of the Paz [oil] company'. Does anybody have any of these 11 pamphlets?

Edited to add, 4/2/2015: Moshe Roytman, our frequent contributor, found the original notice about the publication of these pamphlets [link in Hebrew]. They were published in 1959 or 1960 (the notice is from Jan. 8th, 1960) and were mimeographed copies, not printed).  

Fasher also praises, quite rightly, Eliyahu A. Mendelbaum and Raafi Persitz's book, Tacharut Amanim Be'Sachmat [Master's Chess Tournament], which -- he notes -- is very well printed and of high quality (I concurr), but made one odd mistake: it put (p. 27 of the 1953 edition) a picture of Mendelbaum himself -- who didn't play in the tournament -- with the caption 'I[tzchatk] Aloni'...  

Finally, notes, Fasher, in 1958 the 'chess department [מדור] next to Ha'Poel's center' (est. 1958) published two books that same year -- Shahaf's book about the Moscow Olympiad and a series of 33 chess lessons translated from the Hungarian (!) by Levi Herzog and edited by Amiel Ha'rel. Does anybody have the latter book? In any case this shows the way chess was helped by the politics of the time, in this case, Ha'Poel

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