Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Menace of Sexism in Chess


This post has nothing to do with Jews in particular, but I hope it's still interesting. 

Perhaps the oddest publication I know of about chess is this odd pamphlet, published by Alexander Baron (certainly not the well-known writer of the same name). The booklet is obviously intended tongue-in-cheek, but whether it is intended fully as a joke is not clear to me. It considers three possibilities (pp. 3-4):

He supports the third explanation, after mentioning, inter alia, that he came to that conclusion after the following stint in prison (p. 1):

William Hartston comes in for special abuse throughout the pamphlet, as in the following "proof" of the conspiracy:

Whether the author is serious or is spoofing those are overly sensitive to "sexist" slights where there are none, is not clear to me. Presumably this is an instance of Poe's law, according to which it is always impossible to tell parody from serious claims, at least on the internet. 

Reb Alter Ego


A frequent correspondent pointed out that Doar Ha'yom's infrequent chess column was in the back pages, next to the "small talk" column. Here is one example, from May 24th, 1929, p. 5. It is a study by H.(erman) Mattison ("White goes and makes a remis", with Black's forces on the bottom). The odd thing is that the "small talk" column is by "Reb Alter Ego" ...