Saturday, February 21, 2015

More on Aizikowitz: Composer, Player, Chess Promoter

Credit: Davar, 24/1/75, p. 24
Moshe Roytman notes that the correct pronunciation of the name of the person who was responsible for chess for the blind is probably Jacob Aizikowitz (יעקב אייזיקוביץ) and not "Itzkowitz" as I called him in the previous post (now changed).

This is made clear, for example, by the way his name is spelled in Hebrew article above, provided by Roytman, about how Erez Biton won a tournament for the blind in Aizikowitz's memory, as well as by the way his name is spelled in English in Eliyahu Fasher's Ha'Problemai Hai'sraeli: Yesodot Ha'Compositya Ha'Sachmatait [The Israeli Problemist: The Base of Chess Composition]. 

In Roytman's 1983's edition (as he points out to me), as well as in my 1964 one (Tel Aviv: Mofet Press, 1964), his name is spelled Aizikowitz in English (p. 20), and appears with a photo of him -- clearly the same one as in the newspaper given in the previous before, only of better quality:

In the 1983 edition, there is information about his dates -- b. 1898, Poland, d. 1973, Israel. The book (in both editions) published one two-mover by him (p. 82 of the 1964 edition):

The 1964 edition also has a short capsule biography (p. 65): 'Born in Poland in 1898, emigrated to Palestine in 1927. A clerk in the Haifa municipality. Began to be interested in chess in 1914 and in problems in 1955, especially two-movers. Recently [written in 1964 -- A. P.] became interested in promoting chess among the blind'. Presumably the later edition includes his death date. 

Shachmat, vol. 11 no. 7-8 (131), (unfortunately my copy doesn't have the exact page number), has an English-language obituary of him -- incidentally, on the same page as a shorter (Hebrew-language) "double" obituary for Leonid Shtein and Folke Rogard (click on image to enlarge). It too uses the same photograph of him:

Solution to problem (from the same book, p. 152 of the 1964 edition): 1. Qf8! (block). 

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