Saturday, May 21, 2022

Yuri Averbach, 1922-2022

The legendary grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh, had recently died in Moscow, at the age of 100. We note here the post we made on his 95th birthday, and add above, again, from our collection a book signed by him to Almog Burstein. We also note Chessbase's obituary and Edward Winter's feature article about him. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

We often noted the way chess was seen as patriotic in Palestine and Israel. Here is another example: As a frequent correspondent notes, Davar, on February 4th, 1949, p. 22, notes both the editor, Shaul Hon, will be giving a lecture about the king's gambit on the radio - and that Dov Wolfinger had been "invited by the sailors in Haifa to join them in the establish of a  new soldiers' club" and also gave a simultaneous display (+11 -1).

From the language used - Wolfinger being invited to the soldiers' club's establishment and "used the opportunity" to give a simultaneous display - it seems Wolfinger was invited there for unrelated reasons, and used the opportunity to do his bit to help soldiers and sailors with the impromptu display.

A frequent correspondent noted an interview with Miriam Aloni, Itzhak Aloni's wife, in Ha'boker, 2nd Nov. 1964, p. 4. In poor Israel of that time, among other problems, the article notes: "a bad apartment in an abandoned Jaffa house, rather low wages (Aloni is a clerk in Tel Aviv's municipal government)... the husband had a chance to get packages from the USA. He asked for a chess clock." 

Does she help her husband? Play chess with him? "Isn't one chess player in the family enough?... I help him draw diagrams for publication, but most of my help is - not bothering him."  

Monday, May 2, 2022

A Woman Expert - Jerusalem, 1920s

The above image, brought to our attention by a frequent correspondent, is found here (link in Hebrew). It is of Aaron Abraham Kabak (1880-1944), one of the group of Odessa-based Jewish writers, and his wife Sarah Feiga Kabak, nee Czernovitch. They emigrated to Palestine in 1911 and settled in Jerusalem. 

His wife, notes their nephew Yaakov Zur, was rather frustrated of being a housewife, and declared that, if she were only a man, she would be better in everything than men. In his recollections of Jerusalem, published in Ma'ariv (Oct. 6th, 1961, p. 6), also provided by our frequent correspondent. 

Zur adds that she was also an expert chess players, a game in which "she would beat all comers - to show that in this, too, she is superior to men. And indeed she had special talent for this game, and was one of the few women who reached expert level in it. One year she was one of the Jerusalem champions [sic]."

Saturday, April 23, 2022

A Caricature for a Single Move


The above cartoon, by "Meir," from Davar, 30 April 1951, p. 24, is unusual. It comes to illustrated, not chess in general, nor even a particular player or game, but a specific move - 21. c6! - by Ernst Fischer in his 2nd round victory against Oren in the 1951 Israeli championship. 

The game is: 

Fischer, Ernst - Oren, Menachem

Gruenfeld Defense [D96]

Israeli Championship, 1951, rd. 2.
Source: see above

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. g3 O-O 6. Qb3 dxc4 7. Qxc4 Be6 8.Qa4 c5 9. dxc5 Nbd7 10. Be3 Nd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Rd1 Bc6 13. Qa3 Qc7 14. Bg2 Ne5 15. Bf4 Rfc8 16. Bxe5 Bxe5 17. O-O Bf6 18. Rd2 e6 19. Qe3 Bd5 20. Rc1 b6 

21. c6 Bxc6 22. Nd4 Bxd4 23. Qxd4 Qb7 24. Rxc6 Rxc6 25. Rc2 Rac8 26. Qe4 Rxc2 27. Qxb7 Rc1+ 28. Bf1 Rd8 29. Qxa7 Rdd1 30. Qxb6 Rxf1+ 31. Kg2 Rfd1 32. a4 Rd2 33. a5 Rb1 34. b4 Rdb2 35. a6 Rxb4 36. Qd8+ Kg7 37. a7 1-0