by Yochanan Afek
The 20th Maccabiah was officially opened in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem and is the greatest Maccabiah since the first edition held in 1932. Some 10 thousands sportsmen from 80 countries are taking part in about 3000 competitions till July 18th in 46 different sports all over the country. These figures make the Maccabiah the third biggest sportive event behind the Olympic Games and the world football cup.
Chess games have been part of the Maccabiah games since 1935.
In the current edition of the Maccabiah games 6 different tournaments are being held with players from 16 different countries: 2 grandmaster groups, 2 IM groups (invitational contests with 10 players each) and an open tournament with 100 players are being held in Dan hotel Jerusalem while a youth tournament is held in the town of Nesher nearby Haifa. Draw offers are forbidden before move 30.
Here are 2 exciting moments from the first round:
The Greek Gift
The famous pattern of the Greek gift combination was already seen as early as in round one and in no other than in grandmaster group A:
10.Ng5! fxg5 11.Bxh7+! Kxh7 12.hxg5+ Kg8 [12…Kg6 13.Qh5+ Kf5 14.Qh7+ g6 15.Qh3+ Kf4 16.Qf3+ Kxg5 17.Ne4#]
13.Rh8+! Kxh8 14.Qh5+ Kg8 15.g6 1–0
2 minor pieces and a rook are sacrificed on just 15 moves!
Invisible Brilliant Moves
The following position was reached in GM group B. Each side missed one brilliant opportunity:
Bellaiche,Anthony (2463) – Zilberman,Yaacov (2388) [D35]
Maccabiah20 Dan Hotel (1.10), 06.07.2017
30.g4!? Qf6? [ 30…Rxe5! 31.Rc8+ Kh7 32.Qxe5 Qxg4+ 33.Kf2 Qh4+²]
31.Rc8+ Rd8 32.g5 hxg5 33.fxg5 Qf8
[ 34.Qh3!! Rxc8 35.Qxe6+ Kh7 36.g6+ Kh6 (36…Kh8 37.Qh3+ Kg8 38.Qh7#) 37.Nf7+ Kh5 38.Qf5++-]
34…Qe7 35.Rxd8+ Qxd8 36.Qxe6+ Kh8 37.Qh3+ Kg8 38.Qe6+ Kh8 39.Qh3+ Kg8 40.Qb3+ Kh8 41.Qh3+ ½–½
The first surprise – IM Gabriel Flom uses his home ground to beat GM Ilia Smirin
GM Alexandr Huzman. A slow start.