Sunday, June 25, 2023

From the 8th IDF Championship, February 1959

A frequent commentator notes the following game, played in the 8th IDF championship in 1959. The annotator's slightly dismissive remarks are below.

Richter  - Warshevsky (ph. spelling for both players)

Semi-Slav [D46]

8th IDF championship, February 1959

Source: Kol Ha'am, 6 March 1959, p. 6

Annotations: Amos Sa'ar

"This game was played by two of the players whose final ranking were in the middle of the ladder, which gives an idea of the level of this championship." 

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 0–0 6.Bd3 c6 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.Ne2 Re8 9.Qc2 e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Rxe5 12.c5 Ne4 13.a3 Ba5 14.b4 Bc7 15.Bb2 Rh5

 16.Ng3 Qh4 17.h3 Bxh3 18.Nxh5 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qh2+ White resigns (0-1). 

Avraham Labounsky and Yosef Hermann


Credit: see below

In the above photo, given to us by Ami Barav (Israel Rabinovich-Barav's son) we see Avraham Labounsky (left) playing with Yosef Hermann, probably in a cafe in Tel Aviv in the 1940s. Hermann came to Palestine in 1937 and played in Tel Aviv's Lasker and Reti clubs. Barav, in turn, received the photo from Hermann's daughter, Aliza Distnik (ph. spelling). 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

More on Science Fiction and Chess


Source: here.

Another science fiction book with some - Okay, only the title - relation to chess is Lester Del Rey's Pstalemate - about a man who suspects, and then proves, that he indeed has secret psi (psionic) powers of extra-sensory perception. 

It seems that writers of both fiction and non-fiction, when they use "stalemate," imagine it as some sort of high-tension balance between still-hidden or precariously balanced forces, which are about to burst out and wreck havoc. Here are another two examples: 

Source: here.

Source: here.

This is, of course, the precise opposite of what a stalemate in chess signifies. But I supposed "stalemate" is easier for the general public to understand than "a position of unbalanced dynamic equality with chances for both sides..." 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Avraham Labounsky


Credit: Prof. Ami Barav

Prof. Ami Barav (Israel Rabinovich-Barav's son) sends us the following high-quality photo of Avraham Labounsky (left) playing against an unnamed opponent in 1938.  Also, found in Avraham Labounsky's apartment after his death, was the following caricature, passed to me by Prof. Barav:

S. R. Wolf and the Trebitsch Memorial Tournament

Credit: see below

We have often mentioned in this blog the chess player S. R. Wolf. We pointed out that he was one of the "old timers" in the Vienna Chess Club. Here is the report of his performance - found by our frequent correspondent, Herbert Halsegger - of Wolf's performance in the Trebitsch memorial tournament, 1926. It was reported in the Wiener Schach-Zeitung in March 1926 (no. 5, p. 69). Wolf came in sixth, with 6/11, quite a credible score. Spielmann was the winner. 

P. S. 

The journal is of course the same journal as the Wiener Schachzeitung. The spelling was changed from one word to two in 1908. 

The Vienna Chess Club in "Die Buhne"

Credit: see below

Our frequent correspondent Mr. Herbert Halsegger points out that Die Buhne ("The Stage,") a weekly magazine for the arts, society, and sports from Vienna, had in its 17th issue (March 5th, 1925, pp. 13-14) an illustrated feature about the Vienna Chess Club. From the 13th page we selected this photograph. 

Dr. Eduard Stiassny

Our correspondent Herbert Halsseger draws our attention to an article in KARL magazine (January 2023, pp. 33-39) about Vienna, 1921. The article mentions the Jewish sponsor of the tournament, Dr. Eduard Stiassny, a noted chemist and industrialist. Stiassny tragically committed suicide in 1938. Mr. Halsseger also notes his grave, and points us to a simultaneous game he played in October 1900, to Emanuel Lasker (Lasker playing Black and blindfolded).

Credit: here.

Stiassny, Eduard - Lasker, Emanuel 

King's Knight Opening [C40]

Blindfold Simul, Vienna chess club, October 1900

Source: Wiener Schachzeitung, October 1900, pp. 212-3.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Ng1 Nf6 5.d3 Qxd5 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Qe6 8.Qe2 Nc6 9.Nxe4 0–0 10.c3 Nd5 11.0–0–0 Re8 12.Ng5 Qd7 13.Qh5 h6 14.cxb4 hxg5 15.Qxg5 Nd4 16.Bc3 Qc6 17.Kb1 Nxc3+ 18.bxc3 Nb5 19.c4 Nc3+ 20.Kc1 Qa4 21.Qd2 Nxd1 22.Qxd1 Qa3+ 23.Kc2 Bd7 24.b5 a6 25.Qb1 axb5 26.Nf3 bxc4 27.Nd4 Ba4+ 28.Kd2 c3#

A pure mate, too! 

Beer Chess


Credit: A. P.

In another attempt to make chess popular after the success of The Queen's Gambit movie, (see Walter Tevis' previous mentions in this blog), the Israeli Institute of Technology in Haifa is offering beer chess: a nine-round Swiss blitz tournament at 4+2 time control (4 minutes + 2 seconds per move). It is done in the IIT's bar, and the requirement is two liters of beer ordered per person.