Thursday, September 17, 2015

Shlomo Smiltiner, 1915-2015

Smiltiner (l.) playing Keller, Moscow Olympiad, 1956. Source: 64 Msihbatzot [64 Squares], no. 10-11 (Nov. / Dec/ 1956), p. 161. 

Shlomo Smiltiner (27/11/1915-13/8/2015), who had been mentioned here before, had recently died in his 100th year. He was, as noted in the link, one of those who played Jaque Mieses in a simultaneous display when Mieses visited Palestine in 1936 (and won), played in three Olympiads, was one of the major figures in the 'Reti' club in Tel Aviv in the 50s and 60s (he played in the very first Israeli championship, in 1951), and had good results in many tournaments.

As this link [Hebrew] notes, the poster 'Super Pat Sir' gives a whole list of his achievements in various (mostly local) tournaments, upon Smiltiner's arrival at age 95. Here [Hebrew] the same poster adds more information upon his passing, and, inter alia, adds that he kept the chess set given to him by Fidel Castro in the Havana Olympiad.

He indeed proudly showed me this set when I visited his home a few years ago, and also showed me his collection of trophies, of which a selection is in the photo below:

The cups in the middle (and the one on the left) are for winning, in different years, the 'Reti' club championship, of which, as said above, he was a leading member in the 50s and 60s.

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