Sunday, August 26, 2018

Chess on the Front Page

Credit: this cool bar
Edward Winter had kindly posted an example of Israeli "chess on the front page" I have sent him in Chess Notes 10978, dealing with the 1957 Israeli chess championship. The page in question was brought to my attention by Moshe Roytman. As usual, Chess Notes in its entirety is well worth reading.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Unusual Chess Cartoons

Source: Shachmat May 1985, no page number
A frequent correspondent points out that Shaul Hon, inter alia, had organized the first chess championships of the 'working settlements' -- i.e., the kibbutzim, moshavim, and other Zionist agricultural communities in Israel and pre-state Palestine. The first such championship, notes Hon in an article on the same page as the above illustration, was organized by him in the Summer of 1946. The tradition continues to this day, the last championship (as of this writing) having taken place in 2017 (link in Hebrew). 

Hon reminds the reader that he already wrote in 1946 that this tournament was organized inter alia for Zionist reasons, so that 'the man of work and the field will feel himself part of the national chess effort'. This cartoon is often seen in connection with this championship -- a man plowing a chess board with a plow harnessed to two "horses" which are chess knights, joining agriculture with chess. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Israeli Championship. 1951 -- an Unusual View

Credit: Ami Barav's collection
Above is an unusual view of the Israeli 1951 championship's concluding ceremonies. We see on stage the back of the head of Pinchas Rosen (left) and David Ben Gurion (right), and the players and their wives in the first and second row. The audience seems to be enjoying Tur-Sinai's speech. 

The players in the front row include among others Kniazer (2nd from left), Dyner (3rd from left)), Porat (5th from left), Smiltiner (7th from left) and Czerniak (in dark suit, extreme right, next to Smiltiner). Can anybody identify the rest with certainty? 

A Postcard from Amsterdam

Credits: see below

Above, is the front and the back of a postcard sent to Israel Rabinovich-Barav from Dr. Menachem Oren when the latter was in the chess Olympiad in Amsterdam, 1954. It was brought to our attention by his son, Prof. Ami Barav

On the back there are the signatures of many players. According to Oren's son, the identity of some of the signatures can by identified. It seems to be mostly that of the Soviet team. We have:

Credits: see above
1. Botvinnik
2. Smyslov
3. Keres
4. Kotov 

Can any reader identify more signatures? 


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Nahum Labounsky, 1934

Source: see below
This excellent picture of Nahum Labounsky, the brother of Avraham Labounsky. They have been, respectively, the first treasurer and secretary of the Palestinian Chess Federation. The picture had been sent to me by Ami Barav, the son of Israel Rabinovich-Barav, from Labounsky's grandson, Dori Parnas (ph. spelling). The brothers were Rabinovich-Barav's cousins.

Edited to add: Martin Weissenberg informs us that this looks like Salo Flohr, and have nothing to do with the Labounsky brothers. It indeed seems that way, but for the moment I am asking other reader their view.