34.Kf2! dxe3+ 35.Kxe3 Nc4+ 36.Kf2 Be4 37.Qg5! Rg8 38.Qxg8+! Black Resigns (1–0).

Game 24

This game fraction was published in Schacwart 1929, p. 71. I was played in the Berlin championship (Verbandmeisterschaft) of 1929, in the qualifying tournament. Barav ended in second place and reached the finals -- for his results there see the crosstable in the "Chess Biography" section.

Barav, Israel - Oehrn, ?

Opening unknown

Berlin championship, 1929, qualifying tournament

Source & Annotations: Schachwart, 1929, p. 71.

"Chess is all About Swindles" - SW




This game was published in Marmorosh's Ha'Sachmat (vol. 1 no. 1 p. 12, March/April 1932). It took place, tells us Marmorosh, 'in a tournament in Berlin, 1931'. The actual event was the Summer Tournament of the Berlin Chess Association, as published in Schachwart​,  1931, p. 196. Barav was then a student there. The game is against Braun. As usual, it is an enjoyable attacking game by Barav. Annotations are Fritz 8's unless otherise noted. 

Barav, Israel - Braun

​D00: 1. d4 d5: Unusual lines 

Berlin Tournament, 1931

Annotations& Headline: Schachwart; Punctuation: Fritz 8 unless otherwise indicated.

'Castling too late'  

Note: Marmorosh's own annotations simply quote from SW's, except for giving 16. Nc6 and exclamation point (neither SW nor Fritz agree). 

1. d4 d5 2. 3. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. f4 e6 6. Nd2 'to prevent 6... Ne4' Bd6 7. Nf3 a6 8. 0-0 b5 9. Ng5 Bd7 10. Kh1 h6 11. Nf3 b4 12. Ne5 Qa5 '​Black embarks on a queen's journey without being fully developed'

14...Nxc6 15.d3 a5! 16.Qd1 Also possible is 16.Be3 a4 17.Qc2 a3 18.0–0 axb2 19.Rab1, etc. 16...Qe7 17.Rb1 a4 18.Be3 a3 19.bxa3 Bc3+ 20.Nd2 20.Kf1 immediatelly was better. 20...f5!

16.Qd1 Qg5 17.Kf1 Rf8 18.Qd4 Be6 19.Nd1 Rf6 20.Rh2 Raf8 21.Ke2 Rxf2+! A completely justified rook sacrifice. 

​​13. e4 dxe4? 'If 13... cxd4 14. Nxc6 followed by 15. e5' 

 'One of the most brilliant combinations even made in the country' -- Mohilever (quoted in Yosha's article). We thank Ami Barav, Israel's son, for sending us the original score sheet:

20.Bxh6+ ! Kf7 ( 20…Kxh6 21. Qe3+ Kg7 21.Qg5+ Kh8 22.Qh6#; 20…Kh8 21. Bxf8 +- -- S.G.) 21. Nx8 Rxc8 22. Bg5 Rh8 23. Rxf6+ Black Resigns (1-0).

The beginning of a majestic combination' (Yosha). 'It too me 45 minutes, then I calculated a 12-move combination. Persitz would come to me to show me another variation every time, but I showed him I calculated it all.' (Israel Barav, from his son's recollection).

21...Qd5 (21...Qxf3 22.Ra7+! Kxa7 23.Qxc7+ Ka6 24.Ra1+ Kb5 25.Nd6#) 22.Ra7+ Kxa7 23.Qxc7+ Qb7 (23...Ka6 24.Ra1+ Kb5 25.c4+  etc.) 24.Ra1+ Na6 25.Rxa6+ Kxa6 26.Nc5+ Kb5 (26...bxc5 27.Qa5#) 27.Nxb7 Ra8 28.Nd6+ Ka4 29.Qc4 Ka3 30.Nd2 Kb2 31.Qb3+ and Black resigned (1-0), due to 31...Kc1 32.N2c4 Bg5 33.Kf1 with unavoidable mate:  

9... Qd7 9...Bd7 would cost a pawn, but would be the lesser evil. 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Bxd4 desperation, but Black is lost anyway. (11.. Qxd5 12. Nxf6!)

25.d6 Bd8 26.Nc7 Qf8 27.e5 Ne8 28.Nd5 Be6 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.f5 Ba2+ 31.Kc2 Bc4 32.Bxc4 Rxc4+ 33.Kb3 Rf4 34.Qa8 Rb4+ (??) 35.Kc2 (??)These two moves seem to be faulty, for obvious reasons. Can any reader suggest a revision of the scoresheet that makes sense? 

28.dxe5 Nxe5 29.f4 Nc4 30.b4 Qa6 31.e5 Qc6 32.Qe4 Qe6 33.Nc3 a6 34.Nd5 Rhf5 35.Kg2 Qc6 36.Rfe1 g5  Game adjourned.

If this is indeed the game from the 1944 “Yovel” championship of Feb. 1944, recorded as a win for

Barav in the tournament crosstable, it is likely Kniazer resigned without continuing (1-0), since he has a lost position.

8... Qa5 9.Nd2 Nxd2 10.Bxd2 Na6 11.Nf3 b5 12.c4 Nb4 13.0–0 Qb6 14.Bc3 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Nxd3 16.Qxd3 bxc4 17.Qc2 Ba6 18.Rab1 Qa5 19.Rb2 0–0 20.Rfb1 Qc7 21.Qa4 Bc8 22.h4 a5 23.h5 gxh5 24.Qd1 Now White has a winning position. 24... Rf6 25.Ng5 h6 26.Qxh5 Kg7 27.g4 Ba6 28.Nf7 Rg8 29.gxf5 Kh7+ 30.Kf2 Qc8 31.Ng5+ Kh8 32.Ne4 Qf8 

Barav was known (see the "testimonials" section) as a sharp tactician. We will give here some of his games -- this is an continually-updated list. Unless otherwise noted, the source is Ami Barav's collection.

Barav - Wächter

Queen’s Pawn Game (D00)

Berlin Chess Association Championship, 1929.

Souce & Annotations: Vossische Zeitung, 26/5/1929, p. 12;  Schachwart, vol. 6 no. 6, June 1929, pp. 106-107.

"Powerful Piece-Play" [V.Z.]

1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 d5 3.Bd3 c5 4.c3 e6 5.Nd2 Nc6 6.f4 cxd4 Now Black has an inferior center (VZ); opening the e-file for for White, freeing the Bc1 and eliminating the weakness on e3 (SW). 7.exd4 Bd6 8.Nh3 Original and apparently not bad.  White gives up defending e4 but gets a powerful post at e5 (SW).  8... Qc7 a sacrificial combination like, for example, e5 together with with Bxh3 and Qh4+ should not work, although it gives unmistakable practical chance (SW). 9.0–0 a6 10.Qe2 The queen denies the knight the e4 square, which Black had not forseen when he took on d4 in the 6th move (SW). 10... 0–0 11.Nf3 b5 12.Ne5 Bb7 A bishop with no future! (SW). 13.Bd2 Rfe8? (SW).

Game 18

The next game (no. 5) in the same match was won by Barav after mistake on both sides. Here is the final game of the match (no. 6), where Churgin sacrifice a piece for pawns, reaching an interesting ending. Churgin tries, of course, to queen the pawns, while Barav attempts to win them with his extra piece and prevent them from queening. Barav then taked advantage of Churgin's blunder in an objective drawn -- but very unbalances -- position, and wins.

Barav, Israel -- Churgin

1. d5 d5, unusual lines [D00]

Match, game 6, 1926

Annotations: Fritz 8

1.d4 Nf6 2.f4 d5 3.e3 Bg4 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bd3 Bd6 6.Nbd2 c6 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.Qe1 Qc7 9.Ne5 Bh5 10.c4 0–0–0 11.c5 Be7 12.b4 Ne8 13.b5 Nxe5 14.fxe5 f6 15.bxc6 fxe5 16.Nb3 e4 17.cxb7+ Kb8 18.Bb5 Nf6 19.Bd2 Ng4 20.Qg3 Qxg3 21.hxg3 Rdf8 22.c6 Bd6 23.Nc5 Bxc5 24.dxc5 Be8 25.Rab1 Rxf1+ 26.Kxf1 Bxc6 27.Bxc6 Ne5 28.Bb5 Kxb7 29.Ba5 h5 30.c6+ Nxc6 31.Ba4+ Ka6 32.Bxc6 Kxa5 

34.d7+! clearing the a3-f6 diagonal 34... Kxd7 35.Rxf5! removing the defending knight at f5 35... gxf5 36.Rb7+ double attack 35... Ke6 37.Rxg7 Kf6 38.Rh7 hxg3 39.Nxg3 f4 40.Ne4+ Kg6 41.Rh4 Ne3 42.c5 Rb8 43.Nc3 Rd8 44.Bc1 Nf5 45.Rh2 Ng3+ 46.Kg1 Kf5 47.Rd2 Rh8 48.Rh2 Rg8 49.Kf2 e4 50.Rh4 f3 51.c6 Ne2 52.Nxe2 Rg2+ 53.Ke1 Rxe2+ 54.Kd1 Rg2 55.c7 Rg8 56.Be3 Ke5 57.Rh6 Rc8 58.Bb6 e3 59.Rh7 Kf4 60.Rf7+ Ke4 61.Re7+ Kd5 62.Rxe3 Kc6 63.a5 f2 64.Rf3 Black Resigns (1–0)

25.h3 Nf6 26.Rad1 Qb3? Why not 26... 0–0–0? The text move proves weak. 27.Qe5 Bd8 28.c4! Be7 If 28...Qxc4, then comes  29.Qxf5 ; but still it is the lesser evil. 29.d5 cxd5 30.Bc3 Qxc4 allowing a pretty combination. 

20. c6! Qa5 21.Rab1 Kc7 22.Rxb7+ Kd6 23. Bxf6 Nxf6 24.c5+ Black Resigns (1-0). The final position deserves a diagram:

17.b4 Nbd7 18.Na4 Kb8 19.bxc5 Qc7


A game between Barav and Kniazer, the veteran player who anong other achievements had played for Israel in the Olympiad of 1954 in Amsterdam. The game is typical of Barav's style: everything for the attack, including exposing his own king. Kniazer's defense (according to computer analysis by Fritz 8) is not the best, but that is part of the attacker's advantage! 

Barav, Israel - Kniazer, Israel Yosef  

Nizmo-Indian, 4. E3 (E40)

Lasker Club tournament, 5th round, 10.03.1945

Annotations: Fritz 8 and Avital Pilpel

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Qc2 Re8 7.a3 Bf8 8.b4 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Rxe5 11.Bb2 d6 12.Bd3 Rg5 13.f4 Rh5 14.0–0–0 a5 15.h3 axb4 16.axb4 Qe8 17.e4 d5 18.cxd5 Bxb4 19.g4 Rh4 20.Nb5 Ra5 21.Qc4 Be7 22.Qxc7 Ra6 23.Kb1 Bd7 24.Qxb7 Ra4 

17...Rfe8 18.Rf3 Bf8 19.Qh4 Bg7 20.Rh3 Nf8 21.Nf2 Bxc3 White threatens 22.Ng4, followed by 23.Nf6+ Bxf6 24.gxf6 and the queen penetrates. Black seeks to forestall this plan by bringing his queen to h8, but it would be very unhappy there.  22.bxc3 Qxc3 23.Rd1 Qh8 24.Ng4 Nd7 25.e5! d5 [25...dxe5 26.Bxb5 axb5 27.Rxd7] 26.Nf6+ Nxf6 27.gxf6 

54.Bc2+ now White is winning. 54... Kc1 55.g6 a3 56.Bd3 Rb6 57.g7 Rb8 58.Bh7 d3 59.Bxd3 Rg8 60.Rc2+ Kd1 61.Kxe3 Rxg7 62.Ra2 Rg3+ 63.Kd4 Kc1 64.Kc3 Black Resigns (1–0)

Black should not have given up the defense of f7 with the rook. Now both White knights join the attack on it.  13...Ne4 Is no good: 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.Ng5 (not 15.Qxe4? Nxe5); but 13...g6 should have been considered, with the idea of Kg7 and Rh8, parrying Ng5 with h6 (VZ). Black plays very carefree. This critically weaknes f7. Perhaps with Ne4 a later attempt to stop the attack can be found (SW). 14.Ng5! Very strong; Black loses at least a pawn (SW). 14... Nd8 One should note that the Bb7 and Ra8 should have been freed (VZ). 15.Ng4 The Nf6 defender must be eliminated (VZ). 15...Nxg4

Game 20

​The following game is interesting both from an historical and chessic point of view. From the purely chess based point of view, it is an example of 'crime and punishment'. White did not play well and found himself a piece to the bad. Barav (Black) could have won in many ways. But he chose the most elegant method: having both his bishops pointing at the enemy king and his rook on the same file as the opponent's queen, he launches a sacrificial attack ending in a nice mate.

From the Jewish chess history point of view, it is an interesting game due to it being played against the Bar Kochba team. 'Bar Kochba' - named after the leader of the 2nd century Jewish revolt against Rome -- was a Zionist sports organization, established in the late 19th century in Eastern Europe following the first Zionist congress, but by the 1930s (and earlier) having clubs in Germany and elsewhere as well.

Abrahamson, ? - Barav, Israel

Vienna Game [C27]

Bar Kochba -- SCC [Sports Club Charlotternburg] leauge game, 4/7/1928

Annotations: Fritz 8

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 d5 5.Bxd5 Qxd5 6.Qf3 Be6 7.Ne2 Nc6 8.c3 0–0–0 9.0–0 Be7 10.Qe3 f5 11.N4g3 f4 12.Nxf4 exf4 13.Qxf4 Bd6 14.Qe3 Rde8 15.d4 


This game was player against Erhad Adeler, a strong German player in Berlin -- see, e.g., Barav's "Chess Career" for a tournament in which both he and Barav participated. As usual, Barav conducts the attack brilliantly. 

Barav, Israel - Adeler, Erhard

Modern Defense [B06]

SCC [Sports Club Charlottenburg] - Werner Siemens Chess Club [League?] Match, 10.03.1928

Annotations: Fritz 8 

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.f4 c5 4.c3 Nf6 5.e5 Ne4 6.Bd3 f5? 6... d5  7.d5 d6 8


​A game against Herbert Hohensee, a strong Berlin player.

Barav,Israel - Hohensee, Herbert 

Queen's Pawn Game [A45]

"Springer" Chess Club Winter tournament, 18.02.1928

Annotations: Fritz 8 and Avital Pilpel

1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 d6 3.Bd3 g6 4.Ne2 Nc6 5.f4 Bg7 6.c3 0–0 7.0–0 e5 8.e4 Bg4 9.d5 Ne7 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.h3 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Nh5 13.Qd1 Nc8 14.g4 Nf6 15.Bg5

At this point, some reconstruction is needed, since Barav "skipped" recording his own b4 and moved to Black's move as if it is White's.

27.b4 Bxe3+ 28.Qxe3 bxa5 29.bxa5 Qc5 Qxa5 was better, but knowing the a5 pawn will be won anyway, Black decided to exchange queens. 30.Qxc5 Rxc5 31.Rb2 Rxa5 32.Rb6 Rxa2 33.Rxe6 Rff2

An uncommon case of "blind pigs" (two connected rooks on the opponent's 2nd rank) in a masters' game.

34.Rxd5 Rxg2+ 34... e3 is even stronger, threatening Ra1+, but, probably in time trouble, Black played the obvious check. 35.Kh1 Rxh2+ 36.Kg1 e3 37.Re7

This threatens mate in one (Rd8#). Black can easily stop this and win by Rhf2, but Barav sees an immediate victory. 37... Rag2+ 38.Kf1 e2+ and White resigned (0-1), due to 39.Ke1 Rh1+ 40.Kd2 e1Q+, etc.  White is threatening mate in one move since move 37, but has no time to execute the threat. 



This game is between Barav and Koch. It is from Ami Barav's collection of his father's games, the annotations being both by Barav (Sr.) and by Shahar Gindi. Once more, Barav is out for tactics, looking for the mating attack -- and finding it. Koch was 4-time Berlin champion (1927, 1933, 1946 and 1951).

Barav, Israel – Koch, Berthold

Irregular Opening (A00)

Location unknown (Tel Aviv?), Feb. 1947 (plain scoresheet gives only the date).  

Annotations: Barav & Shahar Gindi

1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 e6 3. Bd3 b6 4. Ne2 Bb7 5. O-O c5 6. c3 cxd4 7. exd4 Be7 8. Nd2 O-O 9. f4 Nc6 10. Nf3 Rc8 11. Ng3 h6 12. Ne5 Bd6
 (?! -- White has been building up without interference for several moves, this move further hinders Black's ability to prepare for an attack -- S. G.) 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. Bd2 g6 15.ae1 Kg716. f5 (! White's army is fully targeted toward Black's king and the f5 break decides - S.G.) Ne7 17. fxe6 fxe6 (17…dxe6 18.Rxf6! Kxf6 19.Bxh6 and the king is helpless -- S.G.) 18. Nxg6 (18.Bxg6 is better-- Barav. Indeed, 18.Bxg6 Nxg6 19.Nh5+ Nxh5 20.Qxh5 +- the knight on e5 prevents the Bxh2+ resource that Black had in the game -- S.G.)18… Bxg3 (? 18…Nxg6! 19.Nh5+ Nxh5 20.Qxh5 Bxh2+! 21.Kh1?! Bxg2+! 22.Kxg2 Qg3+ 24. Kh1 Qxd3= -- S.G.) 19. Nxe7 Bxe1

9...f5 10.Neg5 h6 11.Nh3 f4 12.Bd2 Qxd3 13.Nhg1 e4 14.Bxf4 exf3 15.Nxf3 Qe4+ White Resigns (0–1)

​GAME 13

In this game, Barav gains a winning strategic position and begins an attack on the enemy king, culminating with a completely justified sacrifice of a rook to break through the enemy's position.

Ripp - Barav, Israel

Irregualr Opening [A00]

​"Springer" Chess Club, 24.11.1928

Annotations: Avital Pilpel and Fritz 8

​1.b4 e6 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.a3 d5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.e3 Bd6 6.Nc3 c6 7.d4 0–0 8.Bd3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Bxe5 11.h3 Re8 12.Qf3 Ne4 13.Nd1 Bxb2 14.Nxb2 f5 15.Bxe4 fxe4

Now Black has a strategically winning position, and immediatelly begins a dangerous attack.

13... cxd4? 14. Nxc6 (Fritz thinks 13... bxc3! holds.) 14. Nxe4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Qc7 16. dxc5! Bxc5 17. fxe5 bxc3 18. bxc3 0-0?  

Israel Rabinovich-Barav's Chess Page

27...h5 Necessary, due to the threat of f5, followed by Bh6-g7.  28.Qg5 Qh7 29.Be2 Kh8 30.Kf2 If immediately  30.Bxh5 gxh5 31.Rxh5, Black has  31...Rg8! 30...Rg8

12.Bxd4 0–0 13.Bc5 Re8 14.Re1 Black resigns (1–0).


This game, againt W. Koch (brother of B. Koch) was played in the same tournament and published in the same source as game 14 (on pp. 190-191). While the game was drawn, Barav plays with his usual attacking style. The game is a good example of a combination being used, not for directly mating, but to simplify into a superior ending. 

​Barav, Israel -- Koch, W.

1. d4 d5, unusual lines [D00]

Berlin Chess Association Summer Tournament, 1931

Annotations: Schachwart, 1931, pp. 190-191 (unless noted as by Avital Pilpel).

 1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Bd3 c6 4.Nd2 Bg4 Very questionable. Black counts on 5. Ngf3, but should have continued with Nbd7 and c5.  5.Ne2! Nbd7 6.f4 e6 7.0–0 Bd6 8.Qe1 Qe7 8...Bxe2 was somewhat better. 9.Ng3 g6 So that in case of 10. h3 the Bishop could move to f5. 10.e4 dxe4 11.Ndxe4 Bc7 12.Bd2 Bb6 Threatening 13... Bxd4.  13.c3 Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Bf5 15.Kh1 Nf6 16.Nf2 h5 Black allows his king to remain in the middle -- a dangerous start. 

Type your paragraph here.

15... Bh3! 16.Ne4 Bxg2!

11.Ng5! the first sacrifice. 11... fxg5 Black is still lost after 11... f5 12.Ngxe6 or 11... g6 12.Nxh7, but now there is a forced mate.  12.Bxh7+ the second sacrifice. 12... Kxh7  12... Kf7 13.Qh5+; 12... Kh8 13. Qh5. 13.hxg5+ Kg8 14.Rh8+ the third sacrifice. 14... Kxh8 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.g6 Black resigned (1–0). It's mate in two. The final position deserves a diagram:

22. d5! (Clearance to allow c3-e5) cxd5 (22... exd5 23. Rxe7) 23. cxd5 Nxd5? (better is 23... e5 24. Bxe5 Bxe5 25. Rxe5 Qd6, but Black is still lost) 24. Bxd5 Qd6 25. Re5 (Fritz prefers 25. Rxe6!? with a quicker win) 25... exd5 26. Re8+ Kh7 27. Qxh5+ Qh6 28. Rxh8+ Rxh8 29. Qxf7 Qg5 (if 29... d4 30. Bxd4 Rd8 +-)

30.Rxg7+ ! Kxg7 31.Rh7+ !! Black Resigns (1–0)

21... Ng4 22.Bxg4 Qxg4 23.Qd3 Raf8 24.Rh4 Qd7 25.Rah1 Rf3 26.Qxf3 Rxf3 27.Kxf3 Nf5 28.Rh7 Nd4+ 29.Ke3 Qg4? This mistake allows White to finish the game with a nice combination: 

42... Rf8 Of course not 42... RxR?? 43. Qg8#. 43.Rg3 Qf1+ 44.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 45.Kh2 h6 46.Rg8+ Kh7 47.Rc8 Ra1 48.Rxc7+ Kg6 49.d6 Rxa5 50.d7 Ra2+ 51.Kg3 Bf2+ 52.Kf3 Bh4 53.Rc8 Ra3+ 54.Ke2 Black resigned (1–0). The d-pawn queens. 

37...Kf6 38.Rd6+ Ke7 39.Rh6 b5 40.Rxh5 Much stronger was  40.a5 ; White should then win easily. 40...Ke6 41.Rh6+ Kd5 42.axb5 axb5 43.Rb6 Ra5 43...Kc4 44.Rf6 44.b4 (?) 44. Kh2! should have been played now.  44...Ra1+ 45.Kh2 Kc4 46.Rf6 It was better to immediately advance the pawns (46. g4 etc.) 46...Kxb4 47.Rxf5 Kc4 48.h4 b4 49.Rf8 Ra5 50.Re8 b3 51.Re1 b2 52.Rb1 Kc3 53.Kh3 53.g4 was the last winning change. 53...Ra1 54.Rxb2 Kxb2 55.Kg4 Kc3 56.Kg5 Kd4 57.h5 

33.a4 a6 34.Rb7 Rc8 35.Bd7 Rc1+ 36.Kf2 Rc2+ 37.Kg1 e5 38.Be8 Rc1+ 39.Kh2 d4 40.Bxh5 Kxa4 41.exd4 exd4 42.Rd7 Rc4 43.Bf7 Rb4 44.g4 a5 45.g5 e3 46.Kg3 Ka3 47.Kf3 a4 48.Bg8 Kb2 49.Rxg7 Kc3 50.Rc7+ Kd2 51.Bh7 Rb3 52.Rc2+ Kd1 53.Re2 Rb5??

Game 21

Barav was well known as an excellent tactician (see the 'testimonails'​ part of this web site). He therefore played many 'crime and punishment' games: where a slip by the opponent lead to a quick demise, usually involving a sacrifice or two. We already saw some such examples. Here is one more -- played against the well known Israeli player Zadok Domnitz, then a rising star (he won the Israeli 1961/2 championship soon after).

This was Barav's last public game, and it is fitting that he ended his career in the same attacking, sacrificial style he always had. 

Domnitz, Zadok Barav, Israel

Four Knight's Defense [C48]

​Lasker - Reti chess clubs league match, 2/7/1960, 3rd board.

Annotations: Fritz 8 and Avital Pilpel

​1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bc5 5.0–0 d6 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Nxc6? Fritz Prefers 9. Na4.

31.Nxe6! fxe6 32.Qxe6 Qc6 The only chance. 33.Bxf6 Qxe6 34.Rxe6 Kf7 34...Kd7 is best answered by  35.Rb6. 35.Rxe7+ Kxf6 36.Rxg7 Kxg7 37.Rxd5 [The smoke clears; white is a pawn up in a rook ending, as a result of his combination -- A.P.]

30. Bxg7! Rg8 (if 30... Qxg7 31. Qh5+ with mate) 31.Bf6+ Rg7 and Black resigned without waiting for the opponent’s reply (1-0).


This game shows a ​nice (forced) seven-move mating combination by Barav. While not particularly difficult to see in retrospect, it is always harder to see it in advance!

Barav,Israel - Witulsky 

​1 d4 d5: Unusual Lines [D00]

"Springer" CC Summer Tournament , 09.07.1927

Annotations: Avital Pilpel and Fritz 8

1.d4 d5 2.e3 e6 3.Bd3 c5 4.c3 Nf6 5.Nd2 c4 6.Bc2 b5 7.f4 Bb7 8.Nh3 Nbd7 9.0–0 Bd6 10.Nf3 0–0 11.Ne5 h6 12.Bd2 a5 13.g4 Nh7 14.g5 Bxe5 15.dxe5 hxg5?

The losing mistake to a nice attack . It is likely Barav now saw the mate in seven, as it is forced.

17.Kxg2 Rxe4 18.Qh3+ Rg4# (0-1). It is not often one sees "cross checks" in practical play. 

1...Bd7 2.Nc6!? White tries to outwit his opponent. After a quiet continuation, Black would likely have an advantage. 2...Bxc6 3.Rxf6! Bd5 Better was 3...e3 4.Rf1 (4.Rd6 Qg5) 4...Qg8. 4.Qxd5 gxf6?? White is still completely clueless. 5.Qg5! 

The black queen cannot be saved. Black resigns (1-0).

Game 25

​The following game was played in Berlin, 1929. The scoresheet is somewhat garbled due to Barav's time pressure; the moves following the first diagram are a reconstruction (Barav made the common slip in time pressure of starting to record moves in the wrong column -- i.e., recording Black's move in the White column and vice versa). But this did not seem to effect his level of play!

Hartmann, ? - Barav, Israel

Queen's Gambit Declined [D30]

Berlin, 15/3/1929

Annotations & Reconstruction: TBA

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.c4 e6 5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.0–0 Ne4 7.Nc3 f5 8.Bxe4 fxe4 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Qg5 11.f4 Qf5 12.Ne2 Bc5 13.Ng3 Qf7 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Qe2 0–0 16.Bd2 Bd7 17.Bc3 a6 18.Qd2 Rac8 19.Rf2 g6 20.Rd1 Ba4 21.b3 Bb5 22.Ne2 Qc7 23.Bb4 Bxe2 24.Rxe2 Rxf4 25.Qc3 Rf7 26.Ba5 b6


'This loses immediately, but the position is bad in any case.'  ​19. Bxh6! Qxe5 '19... gxh6 20. Qg4+ and wins due 21. Rf6'. 20. Bxg7! Kxg7 '20... Qxg7 21. Rf3' 21 Qxg4+ Black resigns (1-0)


Hon (see
 testimonials) noted that Barav was an expert blitz player. Here is one such blitz game -- Against Itzchak Aloni, one of Israel's strongest players of the era: 

Barav, Israel -- Aloni, Itzchak 

French Tarrasch (C05)

Blitz game, Lasker Chess Club, Tel Aviv (Date?)

Annotations: Based on Fritz 5.32's analysis.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 Be7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.h4 f6 10.Nf4 Nb6?

Game 19

​This game was played in Berlin, when Barav was a student there. As usual, it is an attacking game, with a remarkable final position.

Barav, Israel - Unknown (name not on scoresheet)

Nimzo-Indian (E20)

SCC [Sports Club Chartlottenburg] -- Bewag, league match (2nd board) 

Annotations: Fritz 8

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Bb4 5.Bd3 d6 6.Nge2 Nbd7 7.0–0 e5 8.d5 Bxc3 9.Nxc3 c5 10.Nb5 Nb6 11.f4 Bg4 12.Qe1 a6 13.Nc3 h5 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Bg5 Qd6 16.Qf2 0–0–0? 

18...Kg7 18...Ke7 19.Ne4+ Kf8 (VZ). 19.Rf3 Rh8 20.Rh3 Bc6 21.f5! (VZ, SW); Barav handles the final attack with compelling elegance (SW).  21...exf5 22.Ne4! not 22. Ne6+ fxe6 23. Bh6 because of Kf7 (SW). 22... Kf8 22...dxe4 23.Bh6+ Kxh7 24. Bf8+ Kg8 25.Qxh8# (VZ). 23.Bh6+ Black Resigns due to 23... Ke8 24. Nf6+ Ke7 25. Nd5+ winning the queen (SW). 1–0

7...Bxf6 8.Qc4 Re8+ 9.Be2 b5! 10.Qd3 10.Qxb5 Ba6 10...b4! threatening Ba6. 11.c4 Qe7 12.Qe3 Qd7 13.Qb3 c6 14.dxc6 Drives forward Black's development. White should have attempted d3, and with an early Be3 to finally castle.  14...Nxc6 15.d3 a5! 

9... Qh4 instead of an "automatic" recapture. 10.h3 Nxe3 11.fxe3 bxc6 12.Ba4 0–0 13.Kh2 d5 14.Bb3?

Black of course tries again to disturb the opponent with an unexpected pawn advance.  21.Kf1 21.0–0? f4. 21...Rxa3 22.Bf3 Ne5 23.Bd5+ Kh8 24.Qc2 Ng4 25.Re1 What else?  25...f4 26.h3 fxe3 27.hxg4


​Another game between Barav and Kniazer. The date suggests that it was played in the "Lakser" club's "Yovel" (anniversary) championship of Feb. 1944. In that tournament Barav did excellently, finishing second (10/15) after Porat. 

Barav,Israel - Kniazer,Israel Yosef

Lakser Club tournament (Yovel?), 22.02.1944

Alekhine’s Defense (B02)

Annotations: Fritz 8 and Avital Pilpel

Source: Ami Barav’s collection

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.Bg5 Ne4 4.Bh4 Bb7 5.Nbd2 g6 6.e3 Bg7 7.Nxe4 Bxe4 8.Bc4 0–0 9.c3 d5 10.Bd3 Nd7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 f5 13.g4 Qe8 14.gxf5 Rxf5 15.Qb3+ Kh8 16.Qe6 Rh5 17.Bg3 c5 18.Nxe4 Nf8 19.Qg4 Qb5 20.Qe2 cxd4 21.cxd4 Qd5 22.f3 Re8 23.0–0 Nd7 24.Rad1 Rf8 25.Nc3 Qa5 26.e4 b5 27.Nd5 e5?

After this move, Fritz notes, Black is lost. 

27...hxg4 Rxa2! A beautiful finish. The rook deflects the queen from protecting d1. 28.Qxa2 exd2! and White Resigns (0-1), due to  29.Rxe7 d1=Q+, or 29.Rxh7+ Kxh7 30.Be4+ Qxe4!

​Game 23

This game was published in the same source (Schachwart 1932), on the two previous pages (pp. 43-44). It was played in the same tournament as the previous game, with SW being responsible for the annotation, headline, and punctuations.

Barav, Israel - Elstner, Rudolf

​Sicilian Defense  [B40]

Berlin Chess Association winter tournament, 1932

Annotations & Source: Schachwart 1932, pp. 43-44

"The Queen in the Corner" -- SW 

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd3 Not good; beter is Sdb5 or Be2. 6...Nc6 7.Nde2 0–0 8.0–0 a6 Black should have taken the initiative with 8...d5. The Paulsen-variation maneuver he now carries out is of little effect here.  9.a3 Be7 10.Ng3 Qc7 11.f4 d6 12.Be3 b5 13.Nh1 To start an attack on the enemy king with g4, Nf2, etc.  13...Bb7 14.g4 Na5 15.g5 Nd7 16.Qh5 g6 17.Qh6 

22.Nxf2 Qg3 23.Rf1? a blunder, but even after the relatively better 23. Rah1 Rxf2+ 23. Kd1 White is completely lost. 23...  Qxh2 24.g4 h5 25.Ke1 Qg3 26.Ke2 hxg4 27.hxg4 Bxg4+ White Resigns (0–1)


Played in the Berlin Chess Association's summer tournament, 1931. All notes are from Shachwart, 1931, p. 166.

​Barav, Israel -- Oppermann

Sicilian Dragon [B73]

Berlin Chess Association Summer Tournament, 1931

Annotations: Schachwart, 1931, p. 166

​​1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.0–0 d5? This is an error before castling. 9.Bb5! 


Game 17

This game is the next one of the same match. Barav gives only one note -- he didn't like his own 25th move (Fritz thinks it is fine), but a bit later, in a winning position, finds a clever sacrificial combination that gives him a clearly winning position. 

Barav, Israel -- Churgin, ?

Modern Defense [B06]

Match, game 3, 1926

Annotations: Fritz 8 unless otherwise noted.

1.d4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2 0–0 6.0–0 Nc6 7.f4 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.c4 Qd6 11.Kh1 Ng4 12.h3 Nh6 13.b3 f5 14.Ba3 Qf6 15.Nbc3 a6 16.Qd3 Nf7 17.Rad1 Bd7 18.Na4 Bxa4 19.bxa4 Nh6 20.Qb3 Rae8 21.Qxb7 Qg5 22.Qxc7 Rf7 23.d6 Nd5 24.Qc6 Nf6 25.exf5 ? - Barav 25...Nxf5 26.Bd5 Qh5 27.Bxf7+ Kxf7 28.Qf3 Qxh3+ 29.Kg1 Ng4 30.Qh1 Qxh1+ 31.Kxh1 Ke6 32.Rb1 h5 33.Rb6 h4 


This game is Barav's most famous: a 12-move combination, which, Ami Barav informs me (and the computer agrees) is completely sound. It was published, inter alia, In Shaul Hon's 1965 Hebrew language book 'Chess Openings' (with praise of Barav, see testimonials), his 1961 book 'Chess Endings' (pp. 30-31), as well as in Persitz's 1958 edition of "Masters' Chess Tournament", and in Barav's obituary (1979, Shahmat) by Yosha and Mohilever. 

Their comments are the basis for the annotations. It was also published by Hon in his (short-lived) 1946 magazine, with similar annotation to Yosha and Mohilever. Persitz says (see also 

"This game is, in many's estimate (and it is hard to disagree) the most sparklingly brilliant of the combinative games played in our country. Its place in the world's chess literature is secure, and justly so".     

Barav, Israel - Vidor

Dutch Defense, Staunton Gambit (A82)

Lasker Club "Yovel" championship, 05.02.1944

Annotations: See above.

1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 e6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Nxe4 Qg6 (Better is 6...Qh6) 7.Ng3 Be7 8.Bd3 Qf7 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.c3 b6 11.Qe2 Bb7 12.0–0 0–0–0 13.a4! Bf6? (13...g5  required) 14.b4 h5 15.a5 h4? (better is 15...g5) 16.Ne4 h3 17.g3 Qh5 18.axb6 axb6? (The file should not have been opened, but even after  18...cxb6 19.Ba6 white is Much better.) 19.Ba6 Nb8 20.Bxb7+ Kxb7 21.Qc4!

17.a4 a6 18.Qd1 Ng4 19.Bxf5 gxf5 20.Qf3 Qh4 21.Nh3 Qd8 22.Rfe1 Qd5 23.Qe2 Rg8 24.Ng5 Rg7 To allow castling long [If immediatelly 24... 0–0–0? of course 25. Nxf7 - A.P.]

31.Bxh5! gxh5 32.Qxh5 Rg2+ Othewise mate is unavoidable.  33.Kxg2 d4+ Or  33...Qxh5 34.Rxh5+ Kg8 35.Kf2 and 36. Rg1+ cannot be met.

16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Nxg5 Re8 19.Qxf7+ Kh8 20.Qh5+ Kg8 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Qh8+ Ke7 23.Qxg7# (1–0)


A quick "crime and punishment" game, where Barav (Black), already in a better position, takes advantage of his opponent's blunder. The scoresheet's exact opponent's name and the name of the tournament are unclear on the scoresheet.

Kunath, W. - Barav, Israel

Two Knigt's Defense w/ 4. d3 [C55]

Schachklub Werner Siemens - SCC [Sports Club Charlottenburg], league match, Rd. 3, 27.04.1928

Annotations: Avital Pilpel and Fritz 8

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Bxd5 Qxd5 7.d3 Bg4 8.c3 0–0–0 9.Be3?

Barav, already in a much better position, is quick to take advantage of this blunder. 


Barav, Israel – Smiltiner, Shlomo

Caro-Kann (B10)

Lasker Club, Tel Aviv, June 7th, 1945

Source: A. Barav’s collection.

Annotations: adapted from Deep Fritz 8's

1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Ng3 Bg4 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. d4 Bd6  (8...h5 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 =) 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Qc7 11. c3 Nb6 12. Bb3 h6  13. a4 Rd8 (13... Nbd7 14. Bc2 is better) 14. Re1± Kf8 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Rxe4 Kg8 17. Bd2 Nd5 18. Rae1 Qe7 19. c4 Nf6 20. R4e2 Bb8 (20... Bb4?! 21. Bc3 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Qc7±) 21. Bc3 h5? (21... Qd6 22. g3 Bc7 +-)

33.Rb8! Bc8 34.Rxc8! Qxc8 35.Nxf6 exf6 36.Qxh6# (1–0

14... Bd6+ 15.Kg1 Bxh3! An unanswerable piece sacrifice. White Resigns(0–1). If 16.gxh3, then 16... Qg3+ 17.Kh1 Qh2#, and any other reply loses as well. 

Game 22

Played in the Berlin Chess Assoc. Winter tournament, 1932, and published in Schachwart​, 1932, p. 45. headline -- and annotations / punctuation -- by Schachwart

Moser, ? - Barav, Israel

​Latvian and Elephant Gambits [C40]

Berlin Chess Association winter tournament, 1932

Annotations & Source: Schachwart 1932, p. 45

​"a5! (a4), b5! (b4), f5! (f4)" -- SW

​1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 A tactic intended to confuse the opponent. The move is playable; at least, it has no direct refutation. 3.exd5 e4 4.Qe2 Nf6 Sharper is 4...Qe7, because now White can just reply 5. d3. 5.Nc3 Be7 Sacrifising two pawns for attacking chances.  6.Nxe4 0–0 7.Nxf6+ d3 is safer. White clings so long to his two exta pawns in what follows, that he gets mated.

If  15...h6 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Nh7 Be7 18.Qg4+ Kh8 19.Qh5 and wins (VZ). 16.Bxh7+ Kf8 17.Qxg4 g6 Black wants to try to escape through e7, but... 18.Qh4 White prevents it (18... Ke7 19. Ne4+) (SW); threatens 19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. Qh8+ (VZ).

35...Rc4+ 36.Kb1 Ra4 37.Qxa4 Bxe7 38.d7 Nc7 39.Ba3 Qb8+ 40.Qb4 Qa8 41.d8Q+ Black resigns (1–0)

Game 16

This game was the third game in the match again Churgin in Palestine in 1926, before Barav arrived to study in Berlin. Barav ends the game with a very pretty combination in his usual sacrificial style. Churgin was a strong Tel Aviv player who, for example, won joint second place in the Tel Aviv Club championship, 1928 (as reported in Doar Ha'yom on 30.1.1929). 

Barav, Israel -- Churgin, ?

King's Indian [E62]

Match, game 3, 1926

Annotations: Barav unless otherwise noted.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.c4 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.0–0 0–0 7.Bg5 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nc3 Bf5 10.Qd2 Re8 11.Rfe1 Nd7 12.e4 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 f5 15.h4 Nf6 16.Kg2 Qd7 17.Rh1 Rf8 18.h5 Rf7 19.hxg6 hxg6 20.Rh2 fxe4 21.Nxe4 Now, according to Fritz, White is winning.


Here the game was adjourned and agreed drawn without continuing (½–½). With  57...Rg1 58.g4 Ke4 followed by Kf3, Black draws easily. 

Now White is winning. 36... Bh6 37.Be6 Bg5 38.a5 Bh4 39.Qg2 Bf2+ 40.Kh1 Bd4 41.Ra3? Rb8? ​Black missed his chance: 41... Qf4! draws, due to the threat of Qc1+ (41... Qf4 42. Rg3 Qc1+ 43. Kh2 Qf4 =). 42. Rb3

15... Qd6 16.Nd2 Nb6 17.c4 Nfd7 18.a3 a5 19.Rf3 a4 20.Qe2 Nc5 21.Bc2 f6 22.Be3 Rad8 23.b4 axb3 24.Nxb3 Nbd7 25.Nxc5 Nxc5 26.Qf2 b6 27.Bxc5 bxc5 28.Ba4 Rb8 29.Bb5 Kh8 30.a4 f5 31.gxf5 gxf5 32.Rxf5 Rxf5 33.Qxf5 Qh6 34.Qf3 Rf8 35.Qg3 Qf6 36.Bd7