The 2nd Gideon Japhet Memorial Open Chess Tournament 2014 took place on 16-24th July 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel, incorporating professional and amateur chess.
The fascinating Rapid Chess duel between top grandmasters Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler was the most widely recognized part of the event. The final result of the duel is 5: 3 in favor of Peter Svidler.
There were four draws and four decisive games – three times black prevailed and one time white. Four decisive games among eight is a tribute for the fighting spirit and exemplary sportsmanship of Gelfand and Svidler.
Grandmaster Gelfand thanked the hosts for the initiative, and for the high level of hospitality and organization. He also explained that the duel with Svidler served as an excellent preparation and warm-up for him ahead of the chess Olympics that will begin on August 2 in Tromso, Norway.
Prior to the closing ceremony, Boris Gelfand gave a lecture and analyzed his game with Black pieces vs. Sergey Karjakin at the Candidates Tournament, while Peter Svidler chose to demonstrate his white pieces against Magnus Carlsen when the latter was 16 years-old.
Both players received an elegant gift engraved with silver and gold. The guest Peter Svidler complimented the organization about the wonderful conditions during his stay and emphasized that he really felt welcome. Although he visited Israel many times this was the first time he played in Jerusalem, mentioning “next year in Jerusalem”.
The next two video interviews conducted by the tournament host Gilad Japhet, are highly recommended. Video 7 continues with the tradition Gilad Japhet started of warming up the grandmasters with non-conventional questions!
Make sure you take a look at the beginning of each interview, that reveals much about the players and includes a lot of anecdotes, aspiring tips for the young players and unpublished information…
192 players took part in four categories: Open A, B, C and Amateurs. There were 650 total games and 1400 hours of play spread over eight days. In addition, GM Alexander Huzman delivered a simultaneous exhibition and 32 more players participated in Israel’s chess problem solving finals.
In the main tournament, the 2nd Gideon Japhet Memorial Open Chess Tournament 2014, International Master Alex Kaspi finished clearly first with 7/9 points. Third place was shared in a three-way tie by Omer Reshef, Ori Kobo and IM Alexander Alexikov on 6,5 points each.
However, the surprise of the tournament, the youth Omer Reshef took the silver on superior tie-break score, adding 105 (!) ELO points to his rating. Thus, he will cross the 2300 barrier to be awarded FIDE Master title.
Ori Kobo, Israel’s champion under 18 finished third, while IM Alexander Alexikov remained fourth. The French IM Gabriel Flom Battaglini took the fifth place with 6 points, losing against Alex Kaspi in the last round.
Outstanding youth player: Jonathan Bakalchuk, and after him Ariel Erenberg, Israel champion under 14.
Outstanding female chess player: Limor Altschul, Israeli champion under 16.
Outstanding senior player: Nathan Birenboim, three times Israel’s champion in the past.
Outstanding Jeruchess player: Peter Gokhvat, and in second place Philip Zisman.
Best player up to 2400, the Master Shahar Gindi, and up to 2200 David Gershkovich.
Beauty prize winner in the ninth round was IM Tal Haimovich who defeated Evgeny Zanan with black pieces.
Open B tournament was a 7 round-Swiss tournament, consisting of 46 players.
Julius Telesin emerged a clear winner with 6/7 points, followed by Nimrod Veinberg, David Gorodetzky and David Goroznoy on 5.5 points each. David Gorodetzky and David Goroznoy played a tie-break match for the third place and after two drawn games the Armagedon game awarded Gorodetzky bronze medal.
David Nrznoi and Noam Klein shared fourth place with 5/7 each.
Outstanding Retiree: Samuel Bronfman with 4.5 points, followed by Viktor Vinogradov.
Outstanding female chess player: Shlomit Vardi with 5 points.
Under 16 Outstanding player: Gorodetsky with 4.5 points, followed by Shoham Cohen – REVIVO.
Open C tournament was played in a 7-round Swiss format with total of 52 players.
Israel Cohen from Beit El finished first with 6.5/7 points. Doron Ben Shemesh took the second, while Elisha Lukin and Yair Ettinger shared third place on 5,5 points each.
Mordechai Shamis from Modiin took first place over 80 with 5 points.
Yael Fedrovsky: best female chess player with 3.5 points.
Best player under 1600: Isaac Kfir with 4.5 points.
Best player under 13: Yochai Vazana with 4.5 points.
Best Jeruchess player: Menashe Lukin with five points.
The Amateur tournament was a 5-round Swiss with 48 players.
Erez Ben Said was convincing with a perfect 5/5 score.
Isaac Alon took the silver with 4/5. David Guvrin was third, Joseph Torpstein – fourth, while Tomer Genin – fifth.
This competition consisted of players, most of whom were not club players, but participants who have learned chess from dad or grandpa and love to play during the weekends with friends and family.
An amateur tournament allows to progress the approach of ‘Chess lealafim’ (chess for the masses) approach, which stands next to “Chess lealufim” (chess for the champions). There is no contradiction between the two approaches, and both approaches contribute to each other. One of the conditions for professionalism and excellence is promoting popular chess.
The time control was 50 minutes per game plus 10 seconds per move, but the organizers did not enforce taking note of game moves. This important factor encouraged many to take part in the event, in example many children.
Special thanks to Alon Cohen-Revivo for the press release and to Gilad Japhet for providing video and photo reports!