Sunday, December 31, 2023

An Atypical Advertisement


Source: Sunday Star, 10 January 1926, Gravure Section (no page number)

The following is part of an advertisement for yeast as a cure-all from the Sunday Star, brought to our attention by Mr. Herbert Halsegger. It is interesting since chess is sometimes used in advertisements as a metaphor for a difficult task which the product helps achieve (e.g., cigarettes help one's concentration in chess), or as a metaphor where the product is seen as the winning side of a chess game, it is not often one gets advertisements with testimonials where the product was heard about over the chess board, as in this case! 

Alekhine's Wife Denied Entry


Source: Evening Star, 25 January 1926, p. 13

An interesting item from Herbert Halsegger notes that Alekhine's wife, Anna Liese [sic - Annelise is correct] Ruegg-Alekhine, was denied entry to the USA because she could not post a $500 bond to ensure her status as a temporary visitor. It is interesting that she was denied entry despite the fact that the American consul in Zurich granted her a visa. Also interesting is that Alekhine, not known as a teetotaler, married a woman who was a leader in the prohibition movement! 

It should be added that she met and married Alekhine in Russia, and they had been married only a short time, in 1921, before Alekhine left Russia. As the link above notes, they divorced in 1926, so the paper's claim (in January of that year) that she was Alekhine's wife was correct. Sergei Tkachenco's Alekhine's Odessa Secrets (see here for a review) notes, as the review says, that the marriage fell apart almost immediately after the couple left Russia, him being obsessed with chess and her with politics. This is corroborated, again per the book's review, with the testimony of their son. 

Whether the marriage was in fact a fictitious marriage for Alekhine to get out of Russia or simply a marriage that failed is, of course, very hard to determine. It is true that Ms. Ruegg was significantly older than Alekhine at the time - by 13 years - and the marriage didn't last long after they couple left Russia. But on the other hand they did have a son. In any case, merely failing in marriage is not in itself proof the marriages are sham marriages (Folke Rogard, for instance, FIDE's president, was married four times).

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Chess Memorabilia on Auction

Source: see here

Herbert Halsegger notes the site in the link above, of an auction of chess items, which has an Israeli connection in some of the items offered for sale. One is the first-day envelope of the 1970 students' world chess championship - with a stamp of the 1964 Tel Aviv olympiad. Another is three photos of Moshe Czerniak - two from Mar de Plata, 1943, and another from Vienna, 1951: 

Winning Posthumously


Source: The Sunday Star, 30 March 1952, p. B-12

As this selection pointed out by Herbert Halsegger points out, Juan Quesada, the Cuban player, died after the 16th round but actually was awarded two points posthumously. This is the same tournament in which Larry Evans later claimed, falsely, that Lodewijk Prins adjourned in a lost position against Quesada since "anything can happen." See Edward Winter's "The Facts About Larry Evans."

Source: Sunday Star, 19 January 1936, B-11

The above photo is from a long article in the Sunday Star (the Sunday supplement of the Evening Star) brought to our attention by Herbert Halsegger. It has a good photo of Isador Samuel Turover, an American-Jewish master with particular connections to Vladimir Sournin and Frank Marshall. A chess philanthropist and organizer as well as a player, he among other things sponsored Bobby Fischer's attendance in the 1962 Stockholm interzonal. 

Najdorf Playing the President of Mexico


Source: The Southern Jewish Weekly, 27 July 1951, p. 7

The above note - brought to our attention by Herbert Halsegger, our frequent correspondent - noted that Najdorf had played with Gen. Solo Larrea and will play with president of Mexico, Aleman. Not bad for an exhibition tour!