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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kandel – Dreibergs

    Having discussed modern correspondence in the previous post, let’s take a look at how they played in the pre-engine days. In the following game, the winner was Irving Kandel, a machinist who learned chess from his grandfather and was part of the 1929 championship team at the City College of New York. He was out of chess for several years raising his family then returned, winning the Maryland State Championship (OTB) three years in a row, 1956-1958. At about the same time Kandel began playing in the Correspondence Chess League of America and won or tied for first place in eight Grand National Championships. His record still stands.

     Here is his obituary from the Baltimore Sun: Irving Kandel, a retired machinist, died Dec. 21, 1993 of leukemia at a hospital in Westminster, Colorado. The 80-year-old Northwest Baltimore resident retired 15 years ago after working for many years for the Maryland Cup Co. A native of New York City who came to Baltimore as a young man, he served in the Navy during World War II. A tournament bridge player, he also was a chess player who won Maryland and New York City championships in the 1950s and 1960s. His wife, the former Nanette Shapiro, died in 1987. Mr. Kandel is survived by a daughter, Elisabeth Earle Kandel-Leistikow; a son, Joseph Kandel; and four granddaughters. All are of Denver. At his request, no services will be conducted.
     His opponent, Leonid Dreibergs (27 October 1908, Riga – 6 April 1969, Saginaw, Michigan) was a Latvian–American OTB and Postal Master. He took sixth place at Riga 1930 (Vladimirs Petrovs won), took ninth at Ķemeri 1939 (Salo Flohr won), and took fifth at Riga 1941 (Alexander Koblencs won).
     At the end of World War II, joining the westward exodus in 1944/45, he — along with many other Baltic players, e.g. Romanas Arlauskas, Lucijs Endzelins, Miervaldis Jursevskis, Leho Laurine, Edmar Mednis, Karlis Ozols, Ortvin Sarapu, Povilas Tautvaišas, Povilas Vaitonis, Elmārs Zemgalis, etc., and Ukrainian players, e.g. Fedor Bohatirchuk, Stepan Popel, Myroslav Turiansky, etc. — moved to the West.
     After the war, as a Displaced Person in West Germany, he tied for 12-13th at Augsburg 1946 (Wolfgang Unzicker won), and shared first with Zemgalis at Esslingen 1949. Then, he emigrated to the United States. Dreibergs won twice the Michigan Championship (1954 and 1955). He also played in Correspondence Chess League of America.

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