Smirin wins the blitz, Moskovich leads the field and a special comeback

July 19, 2022

by Assi Philosoph

On Saturday, the blitz tournament of the Maccabiah 2022 was held In Ramada Hotel, Jerusalem. The tournament was open for all players, and the rate of play was 3 minutes + 2 seconds per move in 9 rounds. The blitz games started after the end of Shabbat and it was gratifying to see the players enjoying the matches while releasing a bit of the stress from the main event.

GM Ilia Smirin won convincingly with 8.5 out of 9 and received a prize of 1000 NIS. The guest IM Alon Mindlin finished second with 8 points, losing only to the winner (700 NIS). In third place was GM Evgeny Alekseev (500 NIS) with 7 points. Best senior player: Nikolay Rudneev, 150 NIS 4.5/9. Best junior player: Yahel Kirsch 150 NIS 5/9.

All results can be found via the following link:

Shavua tov, Ilia | Photo: Dr. Mark Livshitz

Ilia won another important match today in the closed tournament against Ginsburg. Thanks to this victory he joined the lead alongside Kobo, who won against Postny. We witnessed a fascinating situation: Four leaders with 3 points out of 5(!) – Smirin, Parkhov, Kobo and Tzidkiya, followed by 4 players with 2.5 – Postny, Gruenfeld, Ginsburg and Dvoirys. There is no doubt that the medals will be decided in the photo finish!

GM Ori Kobo joined the leaders for the first time | Photo: Gal Avdala
Assaf Stolerg, Sports Director of the Maccabiah Games, and Moshe Slav, organiser of the chess tournament, making the first move of Dvoirys – Alekseev | Photo: Alon Cohen

The Israeli CM Daniel Moskovich also gained points in the open tournament, where he defeated the French player Sophie Aflalo with the London System and became the only leader with 100% of the points (5). Yesterday, he played against the experienced Moshe Gal and the following position appeared after 32…Kd7

Gal,Moshe – Daniel,Moskovich (2210)

Maccabiah Open 2022 Jerusalem, Israel Round 4 – 15.07.2022

33.Kd4 Not a mistake but Black wants to go to c5 anyway. Playing this move helps him to do it with check. [33.g4 Nb3 34.Kc4 Nc5 35.Kb5 and Black is suffering] 33…Kc6 34.Nd5 Nb3+ 35.Kc4 [35.Ke3 Nc5 36.Nc3=] 35…Nc5 36.Nc3? hard to believe, but White is lost [36.Ne7+ Kd7 37.Nf5 g6 38.Nh6 f6 39.a5 Nxe4 40.f5 Kc6 41.fxg6 hxg6 42.Nf7 is the best try]  36…Nxe4 [36…Nxa4 works as well!] 37.Nxe4 d5+ 38.Kd4 dxe4 39.Kxe4 Kc5 and Black won easily.

Going back to the blitz tournament, the big surprise was the comeback to the board of Dr. Shlomo Kandelshein, the president of the Herzliya Chess Club, who has not played in an official tournament for 30 years (!) but decided to join the blitz event. After the tournament he explained: “I haven’t played for so long, so I thought that the Maccabiahs, being a wonderful event, was a great opportunity to play – of course, for fun. And it was a satisfying feeling to play with the young generation which definitely proves to be better.”

Dr. Kandelshein against Lysenko Albina from Ukraine | Photo: Alon Cohen

Yesterday, Dr. Kandelshein also volunteered to present a powerful lecture about Jewish chess players in the Holocaust, many of whom were murdered in the Valley of Death in Auschwitz. Among the millions killed at Auschwitz were outstanding Jewish athletes in all sports playing at both national and Olympic level, who were unable to fulfil their dreams.

In addition, Shlomo presented The unbelievable story of a chess piece carved from the beating stick of a Nazi commander in Auschwitz. The full article can be found here:

We appreciate Dr. Kandelshein’s efforts and dedication to this important and painful subject and we are grateful for his article and willingness to present the lecture.

Dr. Kandelshein’s lecture | Photo: Moshe Slav

In the junior tournament, Ilya Zuev from Israel took the lead while taking advantage of the draw on the first board. Tomorrow he will face the strong American player Kyle Lancman. Full results:

Ilya Zuev taking the lead | Photo: Ritvo photography

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