Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chess and the IDF -- Jerusalem, 1949

Source: The National Library of Israel
Moshe Roytman, mentioned in the previous post, adds another item: a poster published in 1949 by the IDF's 'city officer' (Ktzin ha'Ir).

It notes the cultural events in the city (Jerusalem) in the week starting April 3rd, 1949 -- only a few months after the official end of the war of independence. The events in question are either general ones or those the IDF has reduced-rate tickets available for soldiers.

The range of the events is very wide, including classical Italian music, public lectures and readings, the popular Israeli past time of 'public singing' (zimra ba'tzibur) of popular songs, and -- on Saturday, 9/4/1949 -- a simultaneous game by the master Yochanan Marcuze.

1959 Blitz Championship

Source: Ma'ariv, Nov. 2nd, 1959, p. 12
We have just mentioned the 1959 championship. The poster notes that, among other things, there will be a blitz championship. Moshe Roytman adds a link describing the results: the winner was Raafi Persitz, the youngest Israeli master at the time (7.5/8, drawing with Greben) and that the 2nd and 3rd places were held by the two other young masters, Guti and Domnitz -- a full 2.5 points behind him.

Only Study - Wins First Prize?

Source: The National Library of Israel
The above poster (the top is cut off and has the logos of the Israeli Chess Federation and the City of Tel Aviv) is a poster for the Israeli championship of 1959, with the list of players, from Erno Greben to Rudi Blumenfeld. One of the players is Zvi Cahane. Yochanan Afek informs us he was a strong player and composer of problems, but that his only study won the first prize in the 1963 Israeli composition tournament (after corrections by Hillel Aloni). Is there any other case of a person's first -- or only -- study winning first prize in an important tournament? 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

More on the Tel Aviv Championship Photo

Credit: see below
Readers had contacted me about the matter. One frequent correspondent noted that the person to the left of Blass in the photo from the 1945 championship is probably Alexander Macht (a caricature from here is reproduced above, and the Hebrew Wikipedia entry photo is here. The first link, incidentally, tells the story of Macht's entire career, including his important banking one and his life in Tel Aviv, He was one of the founders of Banking in Palestine.

Amatzia Avni suggests, tentatively, that the person on the far left in the front row is Reuven Mauer (ph. spelling of ראובן מאוער), 'the mythological secretary of the Lasker chess club in Tel Aviv'.

If these two identifications are correct, they would be the two "extra" persons, apart from the 13 players, in the photograph.

ETA 31/4/2017: Yochanan Afek notes that it is not likely it is Mauer, due to the date of the photograph, taken when Mauer was much younger than the person in the photograph.