Successful revival of Netanya chess legacy
In the VIP room of the soccer stadium of the city of Netanya, a successful International chess festival was organized by the Israeli Chess Federation (following the initiative of its chairman Moshe Slav) and the local municipality, thanks to the generous support of the Russian-Israeli businessman Roman Abramovich. This was the biggest and strongest festival ever to be held in Israel consisted of 2 main events skillfully produced and headed by directors IA Amiram Kaplan and Rami Tal. GM Alik Gershon was in charge of the smooth live transmission.
The “Masters” (Led by IA Almog Burstein) was a round- robin super tournament with 5 top Israeli players and 5 world –class guest grandmasters forming a category 18 super-tournament and offering a total prize fund of 100.000 US $ The Final rankings saw a tie for the first place of 1. -2. Boris Gelfand (Israel) & Leinier Dominguez Perez ( USA) on 5.5 and 22.500 $ each ahead of 3-4. Pavel Eljanov (UKR) & Daniil Dubov (RUS) 5 and 12, 500 $ each ; 5-7. Maxim Rodshtein (ISR), Peter Svidler (RUS) & Ilya Smirin (ISR) 4.5 and 6,667 $ each; 8-9. L. McShane (ENG) & Tamir Nabaty (ISR) 4 and 3,500 $ each; Evgeny Postny (ISR) 2.5 and 3,000 $. .
143 players from 8 countries took part in the open section (led by IA Lior Gal) including 22 grandmasters and 13 International Masters. The oldest participant was Efim Lazebnikov (85) while the youngest was Israel u -8 girls champion Evelina Khairova. The total prize fund was 170,000 NIS for the general rankings as well as for the special category and rating prizes.
Clear winner was 1. Mikhail Antipov (RUS) 7.5 points and 30.000 NIS ahead of 2. GM Alexander Moiseenko (UKR) 7 and 23,000 NIS 3.GM Tal Baron (ISR) 7 and 21,000 NIS; 4-15.GM Z.Efimenko, GM A. Zubov, GM A. Korobov ( all UKR), GM Victor. Mikhalevski, GM Mircea- Emilian Parligras (ROM), IM David Gorodetzky, IM Eyal. Grinberg, GM Vitaly. Sivuk (UKR), GM Mikhael Roiz, GM Semen Dvoirys (RUS), IM Ariel Erenberg (Best junior prize) , GM Boris Kantsler 6.5 each; Best senior was 3 times Israel champion IM Nathan Birnboim on 6, while best woman was former Israel champion WFM Michal Lahav facing a strong field to score 4.5 points and a WGM norm.
It has been quite a while since Netanya last hosted a strong International chess event. Among the winners of past editions back in the previous century were Bobby Fischer (1968), Sammy Reshevsky (1969), Ljubomir Kavalek (1971 and 1973) and Jan Timman (1975).
(Yochanan Afek )
Photos : Yoav Nisenbaum