Chess tournament in Israel

Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, Saint Petersburg. Source: Wikimedia

Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, Saint Petersburg. Source: Wikimedia

From Chessbase, good news for Israeli chess fans:

The strongest invitational tournament ever to be held in Israel will be hosted by the city of Ashdod, in collaboration with the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) on December 7-10 during the Chanukah holiday. Twelve players will fight three stages of rapid games, in what promises to be a thrilling and intriguing event.

More information, here.

Looks good, I must say. I may try and get down to see some of the action, though watching remotely is probably a more likely event!

Evgeny’s triumph

Almost completely off the radar Рat least in the local English language press РIsrael has been hosting the 2015 European Chess Championship. Follow this link to the Chessbase pictorial report on the final session, some tourist snaps, and links to other session reports.

Album 61

From Chessbase:

In 2012 Boris Gelfand reached the peak of his career by playing against Anand for the World Championship. He narrowly lost the match in the rapid-tie-break. Gelfand’s father has meticulously recorded the career of his son in 61 photo albums. These pictures inspired the documentary “Album 61” which now is shown at the Filmfest Hamburg in Germany.

Here’s the trailer:

The article is here.

Good to see that Boris is getting some publicity, still. He appears to have missed out on the current cycle of world chess championship rounds, but hopefully he will – once again – defy the odds and make a return to challenge for the crown.

Bringing the flag down

This is a follow up to one of last week’s Five for Friday links about the Israeli chess team being forced to compete in the World Youth Championships in Abu Dhabi under a cover name, and with the flag being withdrawn from public display. ¬†It now turns out this was done at the instigation of the Israelis:

Announcement of the Israel Chess Federation

Yesterday the 2013 World Youth concluded in Al Ain, in the U.A.E. with the participation of 1773 players from 171 federations. The Israeli delegation which took part in the event consisted of 5 players and several accompanying persons.

During the event there were several publications and petitions from several institutes and individuals about the fact that the flags of Israel were removed from the relevant tables in the tournament and from the official web as well and replaced by flags of FIDE. We would like to state very clearly that this move was done as a result of our security people’s request and with full cooperation with the local organizers. While we believe that participation of Israeli players in events held in Arabic countries, and vice versa of course, with Israeli flags is very positive and contributing to a good atmosphere, we all realize that such events need security solutions and strict cooperation about.

We cordially appreciate all those who were standing on our rights in what looked like a breach of it but we stress again – this was not a decision or initiative of the U.A.E. authorities but ours and we would like to thank the organizers and FIDE events commission for their cooperation and for the excellent treatment our delegation was met.

Gens Una Sumus

Israel Gelfer
FIDE Vice President

Moshe Slav
Chairman-Israel Chess Federation

I don’t like it, but I understand it.

[Here’s the announcement on the FIDE site.]

Happy birthday Boris!

Israeli chess player (grandmaster), and former world champion finalist, Boris Gelfand is 45 today. His celebrations may have an extra kick, as yesterday he won the prestigious Tal Memorial in Moscow, a tournament that honors the memory of the former World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal. The field included seven players with higher ratings than Boris, one being the current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, so it was no mean achievement.

You can read more here and here.

Well played, Boris. And have a happy birthday!