Saturday, May 28, 2022

Israeli Chess Championship, 1955, on Film

In 1955, "Carmel" newsreels - in the pre-TV era - was a major source of news to the public. Here, starting at about 2:15, we see the players in general, Oren, Czerniak, Porat, and Keniazer, among others. The credit is to Israel's Archive Site.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Yuri Averbach, 1922-2022

The legendary grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh, had recently died in Moscow, at the age of 100. We note here the post we made on his 95th birthday, and add above, again, from our collection a book signed by him to Almog Burstein. We also note Chessbase's obituary and Edward Winter's feature article about him. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Chess and Sailors

We often noted the way chess was seen as patriotic in Palestine and Israel. Here is another example: As a frequent correspondent notes, Davar, on February 4th, 1949, p. 22, notes both the editor, Shaul Hon, will be giving a lecture about the king's gambit on the radio - and that Dov Wolfinger had been "invited by the sailors in Haifa to join them in the establish of a  new soldiers' club" and also gave a simultaneous display (+11 -1).

From the language used - Wolfinger being invited to the soldiers' club's establishment and "used the opportunity" to give a simultaneous display - it seems Wolfinger was invited there for unrelated reasons, and used the opportunity to do his bit to help soldiers and sailors with the impromptu display.

Long-Suffering Chess Wife

A frequent correspondent noted an interview with Miriam Aloni, Itzhak Aloni's wife, in Ha'boker, 2nd Nov. 1964, p. 4. In poor Israel of that time, among other problems, the article notes: "a bad apartment in an abandoned Jaffa house, rather low wages (Aloni is a clerk in Tel Aviv's municipal government)... the husband had a chance to get packages from the USA. He asked for a chess clock." 

Does she help her husband? Play chess with him? "Isn't one chess player in the family enough?... I help him draw diagrams for publication, but most of my help is - not bothering him."  

Monday, May 2, 2022

A Woman Expert - Jerusalem, 1920s

The above image, brought to our attention by a frequent correspondent, is found here (link in Hebrew). It is of Aaron Abraham Kabak (1880-1944), one of the group of Odessa-based Jewish writers, and his wife Sarah Feiga Kabak, nee Czernovitch. They emigrated to Palestine in 1911 and settled in Jerusalem. 

His wife, notes their nephew Yaakov Zur, was rather frustrated of being a housewife, and declared that, if she were only a man, she would be better in everything than men. In his recollections of Jerusalem, published in Ma'ariv (Oct. 6th, 1961, p. 6), also provided by our frequent correspondent. 

Zur adds that she was also an expert chess players, a game in which "she would beat all comers - to show that in this, too, she is superior to men. And indeed she had special talent for this game, and was one of the few women who reached expert level in it. One year she was one of the Jerusalem champions [sic]."