Chess olympiade 1976Chess olympiade 1976

  • Issue: October 1976
  • Designer: D. Ben-Dov / E. weishoff
  • Stamp size: 20 x 51.4 mm
  • Plate no.: 479 - 480
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

The origin of chess is lost in ancient history, though it has been established beyond any doubt that the game was first played in the East. According to our best sources, chess was played in the 8th century or even somewhat earlier in India, though the invention of the game is also attributed to many other oriental nations, including Jews-and specifically to King Solomon, the wise.

The game slowly spread over the entire Middle East and the Arabic world and was probably brought by the Arabs to Europe. There, in the early 16th century it took its final form. The queen, for instance, was originally the weakest piece on the board, being limited to one single diagonal step and could not meet its adversary which always moved on the squares of opposite colour. The king also had a quite different field of movement and in ancient times could be taken without ending the game. Castling and taking en passant are very recent developments.

The great interest of Jews in the game could be quoted as an argument in favour of the otherwise unprovable theory that King Solomon invented the game.

It is estimated that there are about 45,000 chess players in Israel. In spite of the astonishing interest confirmed by this figure, organized chess has made only slow progress; this, of course, could not be otherwise, for in a developing nation other more practical problems have priority. Nevertheless, a chess tournament was held in Jerusalem as early as 1g24. The first country-wide chess competition was arranged in 192g, when international masters such as Akiva Rubinstein and Salo Flor visited the country. In 1g35 an Israeli team took part in the Chess Olympics (then held in Warsaw] for the first time.

In Israel at present there are about 250 clubs with more than 5,000 active players. Regular competitions for men, women and young people are held. Other branches of the game such as problem-chess, chess by correspondence, chess for the blind are also not neglected.

The 16th Chess Olympiad, which was held in Israel in November 1964, was a meeting of unique significance for lovers of the game with an outstanding number of participants. Leading masters from 50 countries and 5 continents competed in the games.

The 22nd Men's and the 7th Women's Olympiad will be held in Israel from the 24th Oct. to 11th Nov. 1976. The Olympiad in 1964 was hosted by the City of Tel Aviv. while the City of Haifa will host the coming Olympiad. At this event 90 teams, mens' and womens' from some 60 countries, are expected to participate.

Whatever the outcome of the competition and whatever place the Israel team achieves, the event will give great impetus to the game in this country.

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Chess olympiade 1976