Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Memorium

Photo: A.P.

In the Rishon Le'Tziyon chess club, [link in Hebrew] there is an old an battered chess set. The set is not expensive or special. It is a rather ordinary wooden set. It was donated in 2005 by the Israeli chess player, coach, and overall Rishon Le'Tziyon club "character", Shmuel "Dugo" Friedman. One can find many photos of him in the 'history' section of Rishon Le'Tziyon's chess club's web site [link in Hebrew].  It is dedicated to the memory of his parents and family.

Why would he donate an old chess set to the memory of his parents and family? Because, the signs in the photo explain (the bottom sign is illegible in this picture) this is the very set they played on until they were shipped to Auschwitz, where they were murdered in 1944.


"Dugo" (b. 1919) should not be confused with the other Israeli player named Shmuel Friedman (b. 1951).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jeremy Gaige, 1927 - 2011

The recent death of Jeremy Gaige, the world's best chess archivist, is deeply felt by the chess historians' world community. Edward Winter notes, in his usual meticulous style, that Gaige had (inter alia) a 'thoroughly international' style in his collection of data, by no means limiting himself to English-language sources.

This is indeed so. Very often I relied on Gaige for information about many Israeli (or Palestinian, or Jewish) chess players, including ones that are extremely obscure and unknown by most Israeli players today. May he rest in peace.