Tuesday, June 26, 2018

More on Chess on the Radio

Source: here

Our frequent correspondent notes that another person who broadcast about chess on the radio was Yochanan Marcuze. For example, Davar (Sept. 7th, 1949, p. 5) reports that he will speak on the radio about 'The heavy pieces -- the queen', while on on Oct. 5th, 1949, Davar reports his show about 'the move 1.d4 - general overview'.

We also add that for a few years, in the 1950s, as we noted before Czerniak had a regular chess column on Israeli radio; e.g., a search for "Czerniak" in the Jewish Press Archives (link in Hebrew) finds his "chess corner" often mentioned, broadcasted at 3PM or 4:30 PM on Friday afternoons, usually for about 20-30 minutes.

We also add that Davar (Feb. 8th, 1951, p. 17 of the weekly supplement) notes that the Israeli chess championship would be followed on the radio, with commentary from the players, every Sunday at 13:45; for example, on the coming sunday (Feb 10th) there will be a talk about the three first rounds and other matters with Dr. Gruengard.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Barav's Web Site Updated

Israel Barav (Rabinovich). Photo credit: Ami Barav
Israel Barav's memorial web site had been updated with some new games. These includes games from his later (1960s) career, as well as the last game from his 1926 match with Churgin. In particular, we a see-saw 64-move game with Barav getting a winning attack, Churgin surviving the onslash and getting two connected passed pawns for a bishop, and then Barav, after both play rather well for a long time, pouncing on Churgin's inaccuracy to ensnare the opponent's king in a rook-and-bishop mating net. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Chess in the Cyprus Internment Camp

Source: Al Ha'Mishmar, Sept. 18th, 1947, p. 3
As our frequent correspondent Moshe Roytman notes, chess was also played in the Cyprus internment camp for illegal (in the British Mandate's view) emigrants to Palestine. The report is about Yosef Heytenburg (ph. spelling) from Hungary, 'only 23 years old, and an expert in sharp play'. While it is not stated explicitly, from the context it seems he was an inmate himself. On August 16th 1947 he played 38 (+33  =2 -3) and on August 23rd he played 82 (+62 =7 -13). 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tunisia, Lebanon and Israel in the 1960 Olympiad

Source: Eliezer Pe'er's collection
The late Eliezer Pe'er had been with the Israeli team in the 1960 Olympiad. He had, inter alia, collected (as we have noted) signatures from all the players (with the exception of... the Israeli team!) 

This included the signatures of the Tunisian (left) and Lebanese players. What is more, not only have they signed the autograph book willingly, but Tunisian even played Israel in the event two years later, i.e., in the 1962 Olympiad, being the first time to our knowledge Israel played an Arab team in any sporting event. 

Reginald Storrs' Signature

Source: Almog Burstein
Almog Burstein forwards the following signature -- including chess content ('King's Gambit accepted... P-K4) of Sir Ronald Storrs, the first governor of Jerusalem under the British Mandate of Palestine and the founder of its first chess club. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The New Chess Square in Be'er Sheva's "B" Neighborhood

This is the new (Dec. 2017) chess square in Be'er Sheva's Schuna Bet -- "B" Neighborhood. The video is brought to our attention by a frequent contributor to this blog, and is to be found on Be'er Sheva's Official City YouTube Channel.

Edited to add: it is named after Eliyahu Levant, the late chess organizer and activist (as well as strong amateur player) in Be'er Sheva, who made it Israel's chess "capital", the city with the highest percentage of grandmasters in the world. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

New Game By Oren

The following game, by Menachem Oren (then Chwojnik) was published in Al Ha'Mishmar (Jan, 6th, 1950, p. 8). It does not appear in Chessbase 14's database, nor in online databases such as www.chessgames.com , or for that matter in Kandelshein's (very good) 1989 biography of Oren, Oren Ba'Tzameret (On the Top: Dr. Menachem Oren, the First Chess Champion of Israel). Edited 25/5/2018: We add, in square brackets, the annotations of a strong player, Shahar Gindi, a good colleague of ours.  Edited 27/5/2022: the game is not in fact "new," actually appearing in Oren Ba'Tzameret (pp. 70-71)!

White: M. Oren
Black: P. Chramkov [ph. spelling]
Annotations: M. Oren and [Shahar Gindi]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 f5 5.Nf3 Nd7 6.Qc2 Qf6 

Indending to protect f5, in order to avoid c-d pawn exchange. Black's next move is intended for the same purpose. 

7.Bd3 Nh6 [This weird looking development is played by top playes to this day -- S.G.] 8.b3 Bd6 9.Bb2 [Both sides avoid castling, which is especially awkward for Black] b6 

9...e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12. f4 with advantage fot White


Protects the Nc3 and prepares Qe2, to prevent Black's e5. 

10...Bb7 11.Qe2 a6 12.0-0 Ng4 [? - 12...g5? 13.c5! ruins Black's pawn structure, so 12...Qe7 was in order.] 13.cxd [13.c5! is also good] cxd 14. e4! [The Stonewall has collapsed] Bf4? 

If 14... dxe4 then 15.Nxe4! fxe4 16.Bxe4 wins back the piece. [But still better than the game contiuation,]

15.exf5 [!+- From here on Black defends poorly and White's advantage keeps growing until mate.] Bxc1 16.Bxc1 Qe7

Necessary. If 16... 0-0 17.Bg5! and wins.

17.Ng5! Ndf6 

17...exf5 18.Qxe7+ Kxe7 19.Re1+ and wins in all variations.


18...Kd7 19.f3 Nh6 20.Na4 Qd6 21.Bf4 Qb4 22.a3! [Oren keeps finding the best moves] Qxa3 

22...Qxb3 23.Nec5+ wins the queen.  

23.Nec5+! [Now mate is unstoppable] bxc5 24.Qe6+ Kd8 25.Qd6+ Nd7 26.Qc7+ Ke7 27.Re1+ Kf6 28.Qd6+ Kf7 29.Qe6+ Kf8 30.Bd6#


An Odd Dedication

Source: Al Ha'Mishmar, Nov. 22nd, 1945, p. 3

Dedicating problems to persons -- especially in memorium -- is common, but here is a dedication which is rare: a problem (mate in 4) by Y. Ashkenazi [ph. spelling] 'dedicated to the Evron kibbutz to celebrate the day it was established' (literally, 'the day it was raised up'). We see here, again, the Zionist streak in the Palestinian and Israeli chess community. This kibbutz was, in fact, established in 1937, but the problem may well have well simply been composed then, and only pubnlished in 1945 - or simply dedicated to the 1945 anniversary of the event.  

First(?) Original Retrograde Analysis in the Palestinian Press

Al Ha'Mishmar, Dec. 20th, 1945, p. 3

What was the first retrograde analysis problem published in the Israeli chess Al Ha'Mishmar was, as we noted before, started as a de facto problem column. Here, for example, is a problem Yechezkel Hillel, noted above. What was Black's last move? The column add that this problem, 'the result of much work', is in memory of Baruch Rauchner, of Kibutz Mizra, one of the 'top chess pioneers in the country. Can any reader solve it?

The paper previously published a retrograde-analysis problem, on Nov. 22nd the same year (p. 3), by the well-known British problemist Thomas Dawson, which is solved in detail in the Dec. 20th column, while explaining the term "retrograde". But Dawson's problem, as well as not being a Palestinian one, of course, is a mate in two, not a "pure" retrograde analysis problem. The retrograde analysis is necessary to show why the key -- 1.gxf6 e.p. -- is permissible (i.e., that Black's last move had to be Pf7-f5.) The diagram amusingly has been printed with the stopgap-text 'black pawn' on e4:

The same column (brought to our attention by a frequent correspondent) also notes an important event -- the re-opening of the Jerusalem chess club after the war, incidentally with 'Comrade Marcuze' as treasurer, with well known players (Mohilever, etc.) as members.

Persitz, the "New Face" in the Tel Aviv Championship

Source: Davar, Jan. 24, 1950, p. 30

Here, we see a note of the 1950 Tel Aviv championship, in Davar's chess column, reporting the drawing of the lots. The editor notes that while Avraham Labounsky (the current champion) as well as Kniazer and Mendelbaum could not play, we see some "new faces" such as the fifteen and a half years old Persitz. Persitz indeed will become one of Israel's greatest chess talents inthe 60s and 70s. We thank a frequent correspondent for adding pointing this our to us. 

A Snapshot of Israeli Chess Leadrship, 1955

From La'Merchav, Jan. 21st, 1955

From a frequent correspondent: just a snapshot: the leadership of the Israeli Chess Federation in 1955. The chairman was  Dr. Zephler [ph. spelling], with the management and various subcommittees including (for league play, rating, youth, etc.) including naturally Dr. Oren, Marmorosh, Bar-Shira, Czerniak, and others. Chess strength as such was not crucial: Zephler himself was not a top player or even a master, nor were many others.