Winning a Rapid Chess Tournament in Jerusalem!
by Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin
Wherever I travel, I enjoy checking out the local casual spots to play and tournaments. I am not stranger to chess in Israel as I played several tournaments while studying abroad at Tel Aviv University in 2011. A few months ago, I wrote about my experiences traveling and playing chess in this US Chess Article. This month I am in Israel and decided it was necessary to represent Premier Chess here.
Finding the tournament was not easy as it was not advertised anywhere! I posted in the “Secret Jerusalem” Facebook group saying that I was visiting from New York and asked if anyone knew of any casual chess meet-ups or tournaments. Fortunately, Raphael Gantshar, Director of Bet Shemesh Chess Club, saw my post and told me about event.
I met Raphael at a cafe nearby the club and walked over with him, having no clue what to expect. I knew entry fee would be 40 Shekels ($10.69) but had no clue what time control it was, how many rounds there were, what prizes there were, etc. When I got there, I found out it was a 5 round G/20 tournament, which is slightly unusual as European-style tournaments generally have some increment.
I was the top seat of 8 players, rated 1500-2200 so some of the top guns of Jerusalem, including IM Gabriel Battaglini were not there. Battaglini is actually playing an International tournament in Latvia at the moment! That said, there was some stiff competition; you can see my third round game against Koritz here:
I was the only person of 9 that was notating during the tournament. While I was not required to, it helped me focus and gave me an edge over my opponents. One student tied for 20th place at the Junior Year High School Nationals this yer. For the five his games he won, his notation was impeccable. I could barely review the other two as his handwriting was illegible.
In the last round, I got two pieces for a rook but had to deal with some tactical complications. I offered a draw after 19…Bf5 despite being in a winning position, due to being a point ahead of the field and not wanting to take chances, but he declined and went on to lose.
I then finished 5-0 and won 150 shekels ( $44.10).
|Director, who is friends with my former coach Grandmaster
Leonid Yudasin and I
Tomorrow I am traveling to Kiryat Ono to play in a 39 round (!) round robin blitz tournament; stay posted for a review of that event!