Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Part №4. Mystery of heaven office

We are constantly assured from TV screens that the chance to live a long life directly depends on the ability of a person to protect himself from various stresses and troubles…

But, as it is known, there are no rules without exception.

Sometimes life calls into a question similar recommendations, abruptly checking the person on durability various tests, sparing thus long and creative life!

In the previous release of a chess marathon I have acquainted you, dear readers, with one of such lucky men – Yury Lvovich Averbah who experienced not one severe examination in his life.

Today I want to tell about one more unique person – the Odessa chess composer Isaak Ilyich Kavnatsky.

He was born some years before the First World War – on February, 13th, 1911 in the settlement called Big Sejdemenuha that was in the Kherson province (the first Jewish agricultural colony in Novorossiya!). But agriculture did not become his calling. Circles from thrown in the centre of the Russian empire in 1917 of a revolutionary cobble-stone came to its suburbs …

Then there were the years of the Civil war when human life cost practically nothing.

And ruin with unemployment were very strong. Hunger was terrible: casual earnings of his father could not support their big family with seven children in it. And in 1921 there came an awful trouble more – their mum died… So the childhood of a 10-year-old boy ended and the adult life began. In two years Isaak arrived in Kherson and entered a professional technical school and then worked as a mechanic. In 1929 he came to Odessa, and managed to get work on the "Red Professional intern" factory.

Black sea captivated the young man, and in 1931 he passed examinations in the Odessa institute of engineers of a sailing charter, and after its graduation he worked in the port …


Mutual love helps to overcome any difficulties!
Tatyana and Isaak Kavnatsky a year as together, 1932

Twenty peaceful, but not far quiet years were replaced by a new test – the Great Patriotic War began. In 1941 Isaak served in the staff of the Odessa military district where he learned the tragic news. Having evacuated his wife and his seven-year old son for Ural Mountains, he remained to protect Odessa. Then he was at war on the Northwest and on the 2nd Ukrainian fronts. He finished War in a rank of the engineer-captain. He was awarded battle orders and medals.


Isaak Kavnatsky, 1942

After demobilization he restored the destroyed Odessa port, projected new buildings … There was one test more for him in 1994 – Isaak Ilyich together with his wife left for a constant residence in the American state of Michigan where his son had located earlier.

Agree that it is very hard to change "the port of registration" in respectable 83 years …

Isaak was fond of chess game at 12-year-old age in Kherson where studied in metalwork craft. In 1928 has printed the first problem in the newspaper "The Komsomolskaya pravda". His interest to chess was not gone with his moving to Odessa.

He played much, took part in sessions of simultaneous game, solved problems and etudes ….

In the early eighties he published a series of original problems, having taken some prizes at prestigious competitions of composition.

With moving to America Kavnatsky has got the second creative breath! On the eve of his 90th anniversary Isaak Ilyich decided to master a rather uneasy genre of problems on a co-operative mat. The higher creative and sport achievement of this period was the victory in a powerful competition of the magazine "The Problemist of Ukraine" for 2008. Nearly nobody can brag of such a good luck in 97 years old!

Unfortunately, it was the last victory of the nice veteran. On November, 29th, 2009 a sad message about the end of his terrestrial way came from America… Shortly before died his beloved Tanechka with whom he had lived in marriage 78 years. Kavnatsky could not outlive such a blow. He had not lived hardly more than two months up to his 99th anniversary …

In the beginning of 2009, congratulating Isaak Ilyich by phone on his victory in the competition of "The Problemist of Ukraine", I tried to elicit from him secrets of vital and creative longevity. I have received such a recipe:

"All mysteries of longevity are stored in the office of heaven. It is written there down, to whom and how many years to live! And if to say seriously, not last but not the least was my hobby for a chess composition. Probably, brain training is extremely important, and all the rest is already applied from the father with mum …"

Problems №13 and №14 of our chess marathon were thought up by Isaak Kavnatsky. Look, do not get on false trails!

    task №13. task №14. task №15.
2012.02.14_1 2012.02.14_2 2012.02.14_3
    #2                                                       7+8 #3                                                      11+7 Prize                                                4+3
On the diagramme №13 the
superfluous white pawn is printed.
Remove this pawn and solve the problem.


Task №16. A chess question:

Who from world champions on practical game, being on tours in Odessa, had already carried a title of the world champion on the decision of two -moves?


Meet you in a week!
Your heading leader, Honoured Chess Master of Sports of Ukraine Sergey Tkachenko.