< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·
|Mar-09-14|| ||gars: <Phony Benoni> and <botvinnik64>: chessgames.com may rotate the players as much as it wants, but March 9th SHOULD BE Bobby Fischer's Day forever, along with November 9th (Tal), November 19th (Capablanca) and Morphy's birthday.|
|Mar-09-14|| ||Penguincw: R.I.P. GM Grigory Levenfish.|
|Mar-09-14|| ||Phony Benoni: <gars> Why restrict the honor to so few players? Why not April 13 for Garry Kasprov Day? May 23 for Anatoly Karpov Day? December 24 for Emanuel Lasker Day? June 22 for Milan Vidmar Day?|
Picking another player for March 9 is no slight against Fischer, but a chance to give a lesser-known but still great player some recognition. Why should Levenfish suffer because Fischer happened to be born on his birthday?
|Mar-09-14|| ||Shams: Are there any famous players born on Feb. 29th?|
|May-12-14|| ||wwall: On Feb 29, 1812, Hermann Hirschbach was born in Berlin. He is famous for the Hirschbach variation.|
|Jan-13-15|| ||zanzibar: <Romanovsky later remembered: 'Attempts to associate chess mastery
with pedagogical mastery are a great delusion. Only one person combines
high pedagogy with great mastery - Levenfish.'>|
From <Russian Silhouettes> by Sosonko.
|Jan-15-15|| ||Poisonpawns: Was his Jewish heritage the reason he was treated so harshly by the Soviet Chess establishment or other reasons? I read he was the only Soviet master without a stipend,and that he was not allowed to travel abroad, although he was the Russian champion.|
|Jan-15-15|| ||beatgiant: <Poisonpawns>
Botvinnik was of Jewish heritage and got plenty of support. I think the more likely explanation is the authorities did not trust Levenfish's political position. They might have expected that if allowed to travel abroad, he would not return.
|Jan-15-15|| ||perfidious: <beatgiant> Botvinnik, as is well known, epitomised Soviet Man--his Jewish heritage was simply an accident of birth, as he played the role of establishmentarian to a tee.|
|Jan-15-15|| ||beatgiant: I think the more important accident of birth was Levenfish being born too many years before the revolution, making it harder to present himself as a New Soviet Man.|
|Jan-16-15|| ||Petrosianic: Yeah, when you're nearly as old as Lenin or Stalin, how can you hope to be taken seriously as a Soviet Man?|
|Jan-16-15|| ||beatgiant: <Petrosianic>
<how can you hope to be taken seriously>
Probably by having supported the revolution before it succeeded.
|Mar-09-15|| ||Benzol: Another great player whose birthday is today.
|Feb-09-16|| ||TheFocus: Rest in peace, GM Grigory Levenfish.|
|Feb-09-16|| ||ZonszeinP: In memoriam|
|Feb-10-16|| ||offramp: I can leaven bread but I can't leaven fish.|
|Feb-20-16|| ||Turtle3: The player who invented a way to fight the dragon|
|Feb-21-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Absentee: What kind of fish was Levenfish? A barracuda or a pampered goldfish?>|
Levenfish was a lion of the Soviet seas. At his best, he was most probably a Candidates level master. Yet most outsiders barely know of his name, probably because he hardly played (or was not allowed to play) outside the USSR.
<Karpova: After Moscow 1936
Jose Raul Capablanca: <I rate Levenfish very hughly. I think that he is the strongest Soviet master after Botvinnik. But, unfortunately, he lacks composure.>
From the Russian Bulletin of the event (special issue of "64"), No. 20, 13 June 1936.
Source: Page 275 of Winter, Edward: "Capablanca: a compendium of games, notes, articles, correspondence, illustrations and other rare archival materials on the Cuban chess genius Jose Raul Capablanca, 1888-1942.", Jefferson, North Carolina, 1989>
Interesting video of Levenfish's namesake. The lionfish invades the eastern coast of north America:
Was Levenfish an invasive species in the eyes of the Soviet authorities who in the 1930s were distinctly favoring Botvinnik? I wonder if Levenfish's Polish birth had anything to do with it.
|Feb-21-16|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: Another player whose career spanned several generations. He was powerful before WW1, but could beat Smyslov over 30 years later when he was in the top three or so in the world Levenfish vs Smyslov, 1949, and Korchnoi when he was already playing in the Soviet Championship finals, probably as strong as a Candidates tournament Korchnoi vs Levenfish, 1953,|
|Feb-21-16|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: <nimh>: Levenfish is a Russian transliteration of the German word 'L÷wenfisch' (a lionfish).|
Right you are. But it was still misplaced pedantry for Golombek to insist on using the German version rather than the English transliteration of the Russian translation. The player would just not have pronounced the name in the German way. Similarly, it would be silly to insist on writing Averbakh's name as "Auerbach", the original German source, even though the former is the right English transliteration of the way he writes and pronounces his name.
Other examples include the brilliant Russian-born Harvard biomimeticist Joanna Aizenberg; she was born Айзенберг, the Russian transliteration of Eisenberg, but uses the English transliteration.
|Feb-21-16|| ||tamar: His photo looks like a cross between Siegbert Tarrasch and Svetozar Gligoric|
|Feb-22-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Jonathan Sarfati: Another player whose career spanned several generations.>|
Quite right, and another piece of evidence that belies the claim that older generations of chess players can't adapt to the new.
<Pawsome: And these sad vignettes about Levenfish from Sonsonko's book: "He was the only Soviet grandmaster not to receive a stipend. He lived in great poverty in a room with firewood heating in a communal flat. He was very hard up, but he never complained to anyone about anything.
"In 1961 Boris Spassky was playing in the USSR Championship. In one of the last days of January in the Moscow subway he saw Levenfish: Aged, pale, like an apparition, he was walking along holding his head in his hands.
"'I have had six teeth removed' was all he could say. A few days later Grigory Yakovlevich Levenfish died.>
A tragedy. Was there some sort of infection in his gums, maxillary bone, and sinuses? Did he die of a CNS infection secondary to this?
|Mar-09-16|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, Grigory Levenfish.|
|Apr-25-17|| ||Richard Taylor: He stayed in Russia and supported the Working Class Revolution. Good on him!|
|Dec-21-17|| ||Paint My Dragon: Very nice mini-biog from Douglas Griffin ...
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