Saturday, February 29, 2020

Shabtai Teveth and Chess

Source: Ha'Aretz, Nov. 15th, 1960, p. 2
Our frequent correspondent found what we think is a forgotten article by a major Israeli historial and author - Shabtai Teveth - about Israeli chess. The entire article (in Hebrew of course) is found here

In the article, Teveth notes that, as an outsider, the only different he noticed between the Israeli and the other teams is that while Israel's team consistent entirely of Jews, the other teams were only mostly Jewish - and that if the Israeli team had a non-Jewish Israeli player, 'the difference would disappear'.

Teveth adds that it seems to him odd that Israelis celebrate Israel's achievement in the 1960 Olympiad - 14th place - when chess is a 'Jewish game' and Israel should be expected to do better. He notes that this seems to him a sign of the lack of progress Israel had made in 'field of the spirit', and fears that if this is the best Israel can do, then it might prove Zionism had 'weakened, and not strengthened' the spiritual force of the Jewish people.

Teveth is far from being an anti-Zionist. On the contrary: he believes that it is essential, as part of the improvement, to continue to strengthen Zionism, and not see Zionism's job as finished now that it had created the Jewish state. Rather, if one is to move the spiritual center of the Jewish people to Israel,  emigration to Israel of the Jews - such as the Jewish players on foreign teams - is necessary, and this can be done only by instilling the Zionist ideal strongly in the world's Jewry. 

Who's Who

Source: Davar, March 9th, 1951, p. 20
Identifying the actors in Israeli / Palestinian chess is sometimes hard. So it's good to have photos such as this, pointed out to us by a frequent correspondent of a photo, probably from the first Israeli championship. It notes: 

Israel Barav (left) vs. Yosef Dobkin. next ot the table sits Y. Schwatz, the secretary of the Rishon Le'Tziyon [chess] club. Next to Barav stands Aryeh Mohilever - the first Hebrew editor of the 'Shachmat' magazine (1924).
This photo, we should add, was often reproduced in Israeli chess books of the 1950s and 60s, but often without details or credit (the article gives credit to the photographer: 'photographer - Frank.')  

A Hon Simul

Source: Davar, February 17th, 1950, p. 29
From the same frequent contributor, we also have a photo of Shaul Hon giving a simultaneous display in a high school in 1950. As we noted in the past, players often gave such displays in the early state, not only for financial reasons, but to help the troops or youngsters.  

Marmorosh's Book

Source: Ha'Boker, Feb/ 16th, 1945, p 6
When was Marmoroh's primer published? A frequent correspondent to this blog found the details (the exact publication date is not in the book itself). It was published by the Barlevi press, Allenby 57, Tel Aviv, in 1945. The ad notes that the same publisher, who also sold educational toys and games, will sell the book with a special discount to buyers of their chess sets. It notes (probably correctly) that this is the 'first chess primer', presumably in the sense of the first one published in Palestine.