Daniel Abraham “Abe” YANOFSKY (1925-2000)

Daniel Abraham “Abe” YANOFSKY (1925-2000)

Daniel was born 26 March 1925 at Brody, Poland to Abraham Abba Yanofsky (c1880-1938) and Mary (Mania) Likatzki (c1891-1968). He came to Canada with his family in 1926.

After his father’s death in 1938, Abe assumed the position of family provider, working at various jobs during the day and attending public school at night until he completed high school. While attending university, he worked at night to help cover expenses. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.

Abe married Hilda Gutnik (1931-2013) and they had four children: Michael, Heather, Rochelle and Audrey.

Chessmaster, Lawyer, & Municipal Official

Abe was a well-known lawyer from 1951 until 1997 and was appointed to Queens Counsel in 1980.

He was actively involved in local politics from 1961 to 1986. He was an alderman and Mayor of the City of West Kildonan between 1961 and 1970 and a Councillor and Finance Chairman of the City of Winnipeg from 1971 to 1986, when he retired from politics. He was a key player in the conception and development of the Seven Oaks General Hospital and the Wellness Institute.

Abe was accomplished in many fields. He was a ‘chess’ child prodigy at the age of 11 years. He went on to become Canadian Chess Champion eight times, North American Champion and, later, British Chess Champion. He beat the World Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik in 1946, and became Canada’s first Chess Grandmaster in 1964. For the next 20 years, he was among Canada’s top players. In 1972, he was awarded the Order of Canada by the Governor General in recognition of his achievements.

Abe died at Seven Oaks Hospital on 05 March 2000 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.


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