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.