Saturday, November 19, 2022

What did Keniazer do for a Living?


Kniazer at play. Source: see link below

We have often noted in this blog the Palestinian / Israeli player Kniazer. We note two points: first, our spelling was off, and Keniazer is the correct spelling. We will be changing the spelling in the blog to match over time. Second, it seems little of his personal life is known. His exact dates were not easy to find (the link has them and the source of the picture above). Our colleague, Shahar Gindi, asked us recently - what did he do for a living? Certainly, he was not a professional player, but it is not clear from any biographical source what his profession was. It is not mentioned, in particular, in his obituary (of which we summarized here), nor in his book with Raafi Persitz, for example. Can any reader solve this mystery? 

At long last...


Above: the lecture    

At long last, Shahar Gindi and I are giving our lecture in the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies about the research we have done for the book in progress. the lecture is at 17:00 in the Clarendon Institute, Oxford University. 

Fine as an Historian


(Above: Fine in 1961, credit: Wikipedia)

Reuben Fine is well known, or notorious, for inaccuracy in his published chess history. For details, see for instance, Edward Winter's essay on Fine's writing. But what about other writings? Is Fine more accurate in his psychological work? 

Possibly not. Fine's movement from chess to psychology was described by Gilbert Cant as a loss for chess and a draw at best for psychology, as noted for example by Winter here. Certainly, we concur with Winter that Fine's The Psychology of the Chess Player is "inexpressibly awful." 

By chance, we happen to be reading Freud Without Hindsight: Reviews of his Work (1893-1939) by Norman Kiell (Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1988). Fine's History of Psychoanalysis is occasionally mentioned. The impression one gets is that the book is superficial. It either simply takes Freud's word (in, e.g., letters for Fleiss) as accurate without further verification, or relies on previously published secondary accounts which Kiell says, he "perpetuated."