Presidential visit

July 11, 2017

Fide president Kirsan Ilumzhinov was the honorary guest in Dan hotel Jerusalem during the third round of the 20th Maccabia, meeting players and visitors, watching the games and giving interviews. In his short interview with your reporter Mr. Illumzhinov praised Israeli chess for its long tradition of popularizing the game.  He presented his vision of erecting a chess palace in Jerusalem -the capital of the 3 monotheistic religions and the mother of human culture as a bridge of peace between people from all religions and even atheists.

According to the president such palaces were already built, with the substantial help of Kirsan Chess Foundation, in Azerbaijan (in the capital Baku and in Nakhchivan) in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Each palace is equipped with 50 rooms: school classes, tournament halls, chess museum and library as well as hotel rooms to accommodate students and players arriving from remote areas.

How will the funds for such a dream project be raised? Our guest knows quite a few businessmen in Israel and abroad whom he believes, would be willing to generously donate for such a positive cause with the support of the above mentioned Kirsan Chess Foundation.

His short stay here Mr. Illumzhinov concluded visiting the Wailing Wall. The wishes he has expressed in his pray there will naturally remain a private and personal matter.

Kirsan at the wailing wall


Round 3: Battaglini Strikes Again!


There are 4 invitational 10 player groups in the the 20th Maccabiah- 2 grandmaster groups and 2 IM groups. 2 open sections make the event a colourful festival.

Round three saw the Israeli-French IM Gabriel Bataglini-Flom, the leading player of the local club, beating a second top favourite in the GM group A. In round 2 it was GM Ilya Smirin while this time it was no other than the top seed Ukrainian Alexander Moiseenko. Here is the exciting final stage of an eventful game:


Moiseenko, Alexander (2671) – Flom, Gabriel (2473)

Maccabiah20 Dan Hotel (3.2), 07.07.2017

Moiseenko- Bataglini (1)


Following an interesting middlegame a highly instructive endgame was reached. 38. a6? [The losing move. Correct was 38.Rc7! c3 39.Ke2 Rxa5 40.Kd3 Kd8 41.Rc4 Rd5 42.g4 and black pawns are under iron control.] 38…c3 39.Ke2 c2 40.Rc7 [40.Kd2 fails to 40…Rc3 41.Kc1 d3–+] 40…Rc3 [A new game. An interesting rook ending is converted to a pawn ending and right after to an interesting queen ending! 40…Kd8 41.Rc4 Rc3 Makes no difference] 41.Rxc3 dxc3 42.a7 c1Q 43.a8Q+ Ke7

  1. Qa7 44…Kf8 45.Qd4!? The best practical chance 45…c2 46.f5!? exf5?

Correct was 46…Qg5! 47.Qc5+ Kg8 48.Qxc2 Qxg2+ 49.Kd1 Qxc2+ 50.Kxc2 exf5 is a won pawn ending. Try it yourself.]

Moiseenko- Bataglini (3)


  1. Qd2? [The final error, missing a surprising escape: 47.Qd8+ Kg7 48.Qf6+ Kg8 49.Qd8+ Kh7 50.Qd7! Kg7 (50…Qd1+ 51.Qxd1 cxd1Q+ 52.Kxd1=) 51.e6! Qd1+ 52.Kf2!! and white holds!] 47…Qxd2+ 48.Kxd2 Ke7 it’s a pawn ending again however finally hopelessly lost. 49.Kxc2 Ke6 50.Kd3 Kxe5 51.Ke3 f4+ 52.Kf3 Kf5 53.Kf2 Ke4 54.Ke2 h5 55.Kf2 h4 56.Ke2 f3+ 57.gxf3+ Kf4 58.Kf2 f6 59.Kg2 Ke3 60.f4 Kxf4 61.Kf2 f5 62.Kg2 Ke3 63.Kg1 Ke2 64.Kg2 f4 65.Kg1 f3 66.Kh1 f2 67.Kh2 Ke1 0–1

Ushenina, Anna (2458) – Mindlin, Alon (2450)

 Maccabiah20 Dan Hotel (3.7) 07.07.2017

The former women world champion and the current European first lady, Anna Ushenina, the early co-leader in GM group B was impressively and vigorously stopped by young IM Alon Mindlin

Macc Ushenina-Mindlin

  1. Kf2? Bxd3! 27.Qxd3 f4! 28. exf4 [28.Qf5!? was more challenging: 28…fxg3+ 29.Kf1 Nh4! 30.Qxh5 gxh2 31.Kf2 Nxf3! 32.Bb1 g6 33.Qxf3 Rf6 34.Qxf6+ Qxf6+ 35.Kg2 h1Q+! 36. Rxh1 (Or 36.Kxh1 Qh4+ 37.Kg2 Rf8) 36…Rf8 followed by a deadly attack.] 28…Ngxf4! 29.gxf4 Nxf4 30.Qd2 Nxe2 31.Rxe2 Qxh2+ 32.Kf1 Qh1+ 33.Kf2 Rf8 34.Qd3 Rg6 35.Qd1 0–1

Poleg,Dan (2232) – Zaksaite,Salomeja (2287)

Maccabiah20 Dan Hotel (3.18), 07.07.2017

Maccabiah Poleg- Zaksite


In the IM group young Dan Poleg scored his first win after finding the most effective way to take advantage of his evident positional advantage. 29. Rf4+ Ke6 [The king courageously seeks shelter on the other side of the board in view of 29…Kg7 30.Re3 Kh7 31.Rg3 a5 32.Rf7+ Kh8 33.Rfg7 Be6 34.R7g6+-; or 29…Kg5 30.Rf7 a5 31.f4+ Kh5 32.Rg7+-] 30.Ng4+! Kd7 [30…Kd5 31.Nf6+ is equally bad] 31.Nf6+! exf6 32.Rd4+ Kc6 33.Rxe8+- 1–0

After 3 rounds in grandmaster A GM Georg Meier was at the top with 2.5 points ahead of IM Gabriel Bataglini –Flom 2 (1). In grandmaster B .GM Tal Baron led the field with 2.5 points.

Blitz in the Maccabiah

37 players took part in the blitz championship of the 20th Maccabiah. The gold medal winner was GM Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine) with 9 points in 11 rounds ahead of GM Georg Meier (Germany) 8 points and a silver medal) 8 and the surprising player in the event WIM  Svetlana Bezgodova (Russia) 7.5 points and the bronze medal.  She left the prize of best woman to Anna-Maja Kazarian (Neatherlands) who scored 6.5 points. IM Gabriel Bataglini- Flom  (France) and GM Alex Khuzman (Israel) also scored 7.5 points each.

MaccabiahBlitz winners


98 players take part in the open group. After 4 rounds 3 very young and talented Israeli players led the field with a perfect score: Lior Musyuk and the brothers Yoav & Elie Milikow.

Photos: Ritvo photography, Alon Cohen, Moshe Slav.

Kirsan and Moshe Slav at Dan hotel

Mr Kirsan Illumjinov with Moshe Slav

Illumjhinov with a personal guard

Jerusalem old city visit.

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