Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Handwritten Crosstables

Credits: see below
It is not at all surprising that a qualifying tournament in a city's championship is handwritten and not published anywhere, but still the following case seems one where the players were strong, yet the crosstable was not known.

In the Winter of 1931/1932, the Berlin Chess Association (Schachgesellschaft) organized a winter tournament. Israel Barav (nee Rabinovich Rabinowitsch) did not play in the final -- and his son, Ami Barav, notified me he had always assumed his father did not qualify from the preliminary tournament.

Recently, however, chess researchers Alan McGowan had notified Ami Barav that his father had actually won his section -- as he, McGowan, found in Berthold Koch's notebooks -- in particular, drawing with Saemisch. winning against Helling, Moser, and Elstner. The real reason Barav did not play is simpler: McGowan found out (in the Deutsche Schachzeitung of March 1932, p. 68) that Barav had left the country by the finals' time.

Sometimes, it takes 80 years to set the historical record straight, even on such a matter. For more details on Barav's career, including many games, see Israel Barav's much-updated memorial web site.

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