Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tel Aviv Championship, 1945 -- Help with Identifying Players

Source: See below

The above photograph, as is noted on the back, is that of the Tel Aviv Championship, 1945. It was forwarded to us by Ami Barav, the son of the late Israel Rabinovich-Barav. With Ami Barav's aid, as well as Hon's Ptichot Be'Sachmat and other sources, we have identified the persons in the photo as follows:

Standing, r. to l. : Rabinovich-Barav, Gruengard, Dobkin(?), Yosha, Smiltiner, Hon, unknown, Vogel(?), Wolfinger. Sitting, r. to l.: Aloni, Blass, Unknown, Mendelbaum(?), Porat, Unknown.

We are quite certain about the identity of some of the players. We are far less certain about three others, hence the question marks, and not sure at all about three of them, the 'unknowns'. The one participant not named here even tentatively is Gruenberg.

Note that Kniazer, one of the participants, is certainly not in the picture. As there are fifteen people in the picture and at most 13 of them are players, at least two others are non-participants, e.g., organizers.

Can any reader help with a more certain identification?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Staying Alive

Source: Davar, Feb 25th 1941, p. 3

A frequent correspondent (we apologize for the "backlog" in publishing his contributions, due to our vacation abroad and other personal issues) also sent us recently the sign of life found in the Palestinian Press about the Emmanuel Lasker Chess Club in Tel Aviv.

The note says in its entirety -- 'Emmanuel Lasker club, Alenby 2. The country's chess center. Chess school. Chess library. We buy books, clocks, etc. New members accepted'. It is one of the few signs of life from the club during this time (the early 40s), when due to the war, little room for chess was available in the papers, the chess column by Marmorosh ceased publication, and mentions of the club, or of chess, were very rare. But at least the club shows it still exists.

Ben Gurion as a Chess Player, and a Keres Caricature

Source: Maariv, Nov. 18th 1964, p. 4

A frequent correspondent had brought to our attention the following item. In it, it is noted that David Ben Gurion had been absent from the chess Olympiad of 1964 that was then taking place (he was later present, and even gave out the prizes, in the closing ceremony, as can be seen on this blog). It is noted that Ben Gurion is a member of the Sde Boker Kibbutz, where he was living at the time, and that he drew his game on the fourth board with Sodom's chess team, 'after a three hour battle'.

In another report from the Olympiad, on the same page, it adds a new record was set in the Olympiad the previous day: the USSR lost 3:1 to the West German team, the highest loss since it started participating in the Olympiads, in 1952, when Keres surrendered to Schmidt.The paper adds the following well-known caricature of the young Keres:

Touch Move

Credit: A.P

We are back from Passover vacation and a trip abroad. On the way back, in Israeli customs, there is the following sign: "Touch Move -- passport check by the touch of your hand", an advertisement for a new bio-metric database Israeli citizens are encouraged to join.