Friday, July 11, 2008


There is an interesting article today in the New Jersey Jewish Standard titled "Chessidim" by Josh Lipowsky (USCF 1650) which details the important role that Jews have played in the history of chess.  An accompanying article by the same author discusses "Bobby Fischer: The Self-Hating Jewish Champion."

This is not the first time that the historical importance of Jewish chess players has been highlighted.  There have been a number of books (especially by Victor Keats), articles (see "Chess and Jews" by Edward Winter), and websites ("Jews in Chess") on the phenomenon.  A New York Times article a few years back ("Researchers Say Intelligence and Diseases May Be Linked in Ashkenazic Genes" -- see also ChessBase News) even suggested a genetic link, caused by the social marginalization of Ashkenazi Jews to"occupations that required more than usual mental agility."  Whatever the reason, there is no question that Jewish players have made important contributions to the game and Mr. Lipowsky's articles do a good job of detailing their history.

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