Monday, February 8, 2016

More Hebrew Terms

Source: Palestinian Problemists' Association Magazine, no. 3 (Dec. 1948), p. 4-5
We have previously noted (see "Chess Terms" in the blog's labels, right) the creation of Hebrew chess terms was a serious issue in early Palestinian chess. This also was the case with problemists' terms. The first "official" suggestion we are aware of is above.

By their very nature, it's pointless to translate the terms back into English as an explanation, but we note that the introduction notes that the list is a continuation of a list made by Itzhaki (ph. spelling) earlier, and is intended as an improvement of that list, but not as a final decision -- 'on the contrary, we expect members to take an active part in shaping it'. The list also concerns itself only with the most basic terms (e.g., how to translate 'cross check', 'critical square', and the like) and not with more technical terms 'of the logical school' which are 'not well known among us'.

This open-ended and reasonable approach probably was a reason why many, if not most, of the terms suggested in the list are still in use, although a few might make a contemporary Israeli problemist smile. The list itself is mostly based on German and English terms. A curious point is that the poet Avraham Shlonsky, which we have met before as a chess player, is credited with suggesting the term Masa'otayim (מסעותיים) for a two-mover, but this was rejected since it is the grammatical dual of Masa (מסע, move) -- which by its nature cannot be extended to 3- or more-movers.

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