Saturday, January 23, 2016

The First Live Chess Game in Palestine.

Source: National Library of Israel web page, brought to our attention by Moshe Roytman.
As the advertisement says, the first live chess game in Palestine was performed on April 24th, 1924 (a nice round date, 24/4/24, or, in the American manner, the even "rounder", because palindromic, 4/24/24, but I digress). Here is an ad for this extravaganza, reported (for example) in Ha'Sachmat, the journal of the Emanuel Lasker Chess club (Jerusalem), vol. 1 no. 4, pp. 61-62:  
On the fifth day of Passover a live chess show was set up by the E. L. Chess Club in Jerusalem. The show was part of the “national Passover festivities” and took place in the large sports arena in Beit Hakerem [a Jerusalem neighborhood]. A huge crowd was present. The 32 pieces were members of the E. L. chess club members wore original Jewish costumes, made by the members of “Bezalel”. The show was managed by club member Aryeh Pappo, who put much energy into it. The show, which gave great satisfaction to the audience, was very successful.
It is not clear why the ad says '40 persons' in special dresses will be there, given that there are, of course, only 32 pieces. Perhaps this is some advertisement "puffing". Interestingly, the name of the players or of the game result is not given in the advertisement, leaving the report of players to  Ha'Sachmat (ibid), which reported that the 'show managers' were Pappo, White, and A. Diskin, black. The use of the word 'manager' instead of 'player' and the neglect of mentioning the players in the advertisement make it likely that the performance was a reenaction of a famous brilliancy or some other pre-scripted event, not a genuine game. 


  1. My guess is that either side can promote a pawn to one is for pieces. 4*2=8

    1. Into one of four pieces. Or in this case, chessmen.