Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eliezer Pe'er, 1915-2017

Credit: Moshe Roytman
Israel's oldest player, Eliezer Pe'er, had just passed away at the age of 101. In the above picture, taken during an event held in his honor this passover, was sent to us by Moshe Roytman, we see him (seated in black) receiving a lifetime award. In the ceremony, adds Roytman, Pe'er officially declared his retirement from competitive chess (at the age of 101 and 7 months), ending at least eighty years of official chess activity

Depending on what "chess activity" means -- we start counting here (see the link) from his first public chess activity, a solver of a problem in Davar in 1937 -- at a relatively late age of 22. Assuming he had played in tournaments before that, perhaps as a child, this would add at least 5-10 years, making a record of ca. 85-90 years of competitive chess, surely close to a world record. 

Moshe Cna'an, a well-known chess enthusiast, noted that in one of his last two tournaments, Pe'er player a 9-year-old (age difference: 91 years). Nissan Levi organized the event. We note that Pe'er had very kindly given us much material for this blog -- such as the following item.

Hillel Aloni, 1937-2017

+; credit: see below
Hillel Aloni had recently passed away at the age of 80. As the Israeli Chess Federation notes, in an article by Yochanan Afek, he had been the composer of studies who had put Israel on the international "map" of studies composition, starting in the 1950s. Afek also adds much information about Aloni's work as a mentor, helping many talented Israeli composers, from their first steps to international recognition.

Afek chooses the above problem (Galitzki Memorial Tourney, 1964, 1st hon. mention) as illustrative of Aloni's talent. White to move and win. Solution in a coming post.