Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tel Aviv Championship, 1946 -- and the First all-Hebrew Chess Magazine

Source: Al Ha'Mishmar, April 18th, 1946, p. 3
An interesting report is found in Al Ha'Mishmar in 1946 by our frequent correspondent: it reports that despite 'a few unfinished battles', which 'cannot affect the final result', Kniazer won the Tel Aviv Championship for 1946. Yet the complete table -- given, e.g., on p. 90 of Ptichot Be'Sachmat ['Chess Openings'] by Hon,(3rd edition, Sept. 1964, as pointed out on p. 2 of the 4th edition, 1968) -- shows that A. Labounsky won the championship (Kniazer was joint 2nd/3rd).

The 1946 report also adds severe criticism of the tournament -- no less than four players had withdrawn, but 'unfortunately there is no official supreme organization (a Palestinian federation) to investigate the matter'. Technically false, as such a federation existed since 1936 as we have seen, but it was indeed de facto defunct due to the war, the battle for independence, and many other more important events. As Hon himself notes, (Ptichot Be'Sachmat, 4th ed., p. 27, for example) it was only after the end of the war that chess life in Palestine was renewed.

He adds (ibid) that the time was also ripe for 'a renewed appearance of a chess magazine' and that he took it upon himself to publish it -- but that it only 'lasted four issues', but was the first time a chess magazine was written (entirely) 'in Hebrew transcription' -- in earlier cases, as numerous examples in this blog show, the squares were usually given in Latin letters.

Indeed, in the very same column where the report of the 1946 tournament was given, a quick review of the first issue of Hon's magazine was given as well -- with the chess editor of Al Ha'Mishmar adding that an important point is that it is entirely in Hebrew, precisely what Hon wrote later in Ptichot Be'Sachmat

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