Saturday, January 25, 2020

Mona Karff in Israel, 1953

Source: Al Ha'Mishmar, 22/5/53 , p. 4
Our frequent correspondent adds that there is a 'very surprising' note about Mona Karff in Israel, 1953. 

Indeed so. Al Ha'Mishmar reports in its regular chess column a match between  that the chess club in the town of Herzliya against the Reti club from Tel Aviv. It was a 10-board match, Herzliya winning 'for the first time' in a match between the two clubs, 5.5:4.5. (The Herzliya town chess club should not to be confused with the 'Herzliya' chess club from Haifa, which was based in Herzliya street in Haifa.) 

Of particular interest is that 'Karff, the women's champion of Israel' played on the third board for the Reti club, drawing with Dr. Ritterband (ph. translation of ד"ר ריטרבנד). 

Lasker, Chess, and Psychology

Source: Ha'Aretz, July 15th, 1949, p. 9.
A frequent correspondent notes that Lasker's famous article about chess and psychology - what kind of memory or other qualities chess players have -- have been translated into Hebrew, in full, in 1949. It is interesting to note that Lasker already notes that while women play chess less well than men (at least, this was certainly true at the time), this is to be accepted as a 'brute fact', and does not imply any mental inferiority on women's part. 

Kniazer and Capablanca

Source: Davar, 14/3/1926, p. 4
A frequent correspondent sends us this note, from 1926, about Kniazer, who was 'the Egyptian chess champion' and, later, played in 'important tournaments in England'. Inter alia, he was 'the only one out of 40' who won in a simul again Capablanca in England 'a few years ago'. Our correspondent wants to know if the following photo may be that of the simul, which would explain why the photo (by an unknown photographer according to the source) is found in the zionist archives.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Emir Abdullah I and Chess

Source: Ma'ariv, 23 /7/1951, p.2
A frequent correspondent notifies us that on the occassion of Abdullah I's funeral, Ma'ariv published an incident about his chess playing. Ma'ariv claims Abdullah had, in chess, two weaknesses -- 'he had a weakness for chess and was a weak player'. 

The text claims Abdullah was 'convinced he was an extraordinary player' because his court's officials deliberately lost to him. It adds that on a trip to Europe on the SS Mariette Pasha, Abdullah met a 'Arabic-speaking Palestinian Jew, now a judge' and played chess with him. 

According to the report, in the first game, 'Abdullah was in a nearly lost position', and then the court officials asked the opponent to 'do everything to lose'. He deliberately lost the game to Abdullah, but won the next two games, which 'enraged the king who didn't want to play ay more'. 

What is odd about this report is that it contradict Marmotosh's own report (see details in Winter's Chess Notes 4211), that Abdullah knew he was not a particularly strong player and demanded Marmorosh play well, even if he, Abdullah, loses. There is no hint that Abduallah was "enraged" by Marmorosh winning, on the contrary. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Israeli Championship,1968-1969

Source: Sarah Aloni's collection
Above are some nice photos of the players in the Israeli Open Championship, 1968-1969, which took place in Be'er Sheva, Israel. Can anybody help identify the players? I believe the seond image from the top has Malchiel Peretz (white) playing Yair Kraidman, and the third from the top might have Uzi Geller (white) playing Zadok Domnitz, but I might be wrong.

Edited to addA frequent correspondent suggests that in the top photo, we have Avraham Kaldor (white) playing  the old Moshe Blass. Another correspondent suggests that Geller's opponent is not Domnitz, but rather  Ya'akov Bernstein ("Ya'akov" is Gaige's preferred spelling in Chess Personalia). He also suggests In the second picture from the top is the young Michael Porat (son of Yosef Porat) playing against Yoel Aloni, Be'er Sheva open 1972. 

I believe the second correspondent is surely correct about Bernstein, but am less sure about Porat-Aloni. This can be resolved by looking at the list of participants in the 1968-1969 vs. the 1972 tournament. I am quite certain the photo is from the 1968-1969 tournament because of the source -- a set of photos from that tournament in Sarah Aloni's collection. But it's not inconceivable a photo from a later tournament was misplaced in her photo album.