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Discussing with the winner Nigel Short his last round decisive game.

Quality Chess on the Isle of Man

A couple of days ago I returned from the revived Isle of Man tournament. It was a strong, well organized and highly enjoyable event, part of the Poker Stars festival held in the beautiful Villa Marina in Douglas, the capital of the island. The winner was Englishman GM Nigel Short on 7.5/9. All results, reports, games and photos may be seen here:

A large young official Israeli delegation took part with considerable success. GM Gil Popilski shared second; Ori Kobo and Alon Mindlin scored an IM norm. Personally I scored 50 percent, more or less my expected result in such a field. I published daily reports (in Hebrew) on the Israeli chess federation’s official website:   

I dedicated an original study to all participants from whom quite a few sent in correct solutions. Here it is:

Yochanan Afek original  Dedicated to the Isle of Man tournament, 2014

White to play and win

1.Nf6! g3 2.Nxh7 g2 3.Ng5 Kh2 4.Nf3+ Kg3 5.Ng1 Kh2 6.h7! Kxg1 7.h8Q Kh1 8.Qa8! Kh2 9.Qb8+ Kh1 10.Qb7+ Kh2 11.Qc7+ Kh1 12.Qc6 Kh2 13.Qd6+ Kh1 14.Qd5 Kh2 15.Qe5+ Kh1 16.Qe4 Kh2 17.Qf4+ Kh1 18.Qf3 Kh2 19.Qf2! Kh1 20.Kxd2 g1Q 21.Qxg1 Kxg1 22.Ke3 Kg2 23.Kf4 Kh3 24.Kg5 Kg3 25.Kxh5 Kf4 26.Kg6 Kg4 27.h5 1-0

Posted: October 21 - 2014


New Tourney success

Two of my studies were recently awarded in International composing tourneys. A reciprocal zugzwang is displayed in the prizewinner from the Ukrainian magazine:

Yochanan Afek  Problemist in Ukraine, 2012, Second Prize

 White to play and win

1. g6! Nb4! [1...Nc5+ 2.Ka7 Bxc6 3.g7 Kf7 4.Ne5+ Kg8 5.Nxc6+-] 2.g7 Kf7 3.Ne5+ Kg8 4.Kc7!! [4.Kb6? Bxc6 5.Nxc6! Nd5+ 6.Kc5 Nf6 7.Nxe7+ Kf7=] 4...Bxc6 5.Nxc6 Nd5+ 6.Kc8!! [Thematic try: 6.Kd8? Nf6 7.Nxe7+ Kf7 white is in ZZ] 6...Nf6 [6...e5 7.Kd7 e4 (7...Nf6+ 8.Nxf6+ Kxg7 9.Ne4+- Troitzky position) 8.Ne7+ Nxe7 9.Kxe7 e3 10.Kf6 e2 11.Kg6 e1Q 12.Nf6#] 7.Nxe7+ Kf7 8.Kd8! Black is in ZZ 1–0

Read more...New Tourney success

My best pupil David Klein with my (and his) youngest pupil, rising Dutch talent Maarten Hoeneveld (11) celebrating in Naujac sur mer.

David Klein is finally a grandmaster!

The young Dutch player David Klein (20) is my good friend and my best pupil. He is currently also a diligent student for chemistry in the University of Leiden. His hard chess work for more than a decade was rewarded in the summer of last year when he scored in the BDO grandmaster tournament in the Dutch city of Haarlem his final norm for the supreme title. He just still needed a handful of Elo-points to cross the required 2500 barrier. That happily happened earlier this month when he won in Naujac sur mer (France) the traditional summer camp tournament, thus obtaining the final two points that still had separated between him and his desired goal.  

David’s strong qualities are his fine positional understanding, his outstanding creativity and sharp eye for tactics and his uncompromising fighting spirit. He is naturally a great fan of the art of the endgame studies that has equipped him with a whole arsenal of out-of-the-box devices. Just two years ago he stunned the chess community by winning the third Tata Steel study solving contest (his own first competitive solving attempt), ahead of such world-class solvers such as Englishman John Nunn and Polish Piotr Murdzia.

David kindly sent us a couple of his games that turned instrumental on his way to the grandmaster title:

PGN file games David Klein

Read more ... David Klein is finally a grandmaster!

Recent study awards

The 18th edition of the open tournament by the sea in Vlissingen was an enjoyable one though my own chess was nothing to write home about. I performed precisely as expected from my modest rating and gained zero Elo points. The good news is that I neither lost any…

Here are the final standings:

Two of my studies were awarded with distinctions in recent tourneys. I regularly take part in the annual Israeli Ring Tourney where I made my first composing steps (both of studies and problems) as early as at the age of 15. My patient mentors in chess composition in those years were twin composers Yoel & Hillel Aloni who both patiently showed me (and quite a few other young Israeli composers at the time) the way in the minefields of chess composition. Yoel did it for mate problems and Hillel for endgame studies. They still live in the city of Netanya and will be both 77 at the end of next month. I still keep in touch with them and wish them many happy returns in good health.

Here is my study from the Israel Ring Tourney 2012-2013:


     Study in PGN


Read more...Recent study awards

Young FM Stefan Beukema who solved the study flawlessly won my co-authored best seller Invisible Chess Moves.  
Photo courtesy AB Scheel

Dieren 2014

For quite a while I haven’t been too active here mainly since I had nothing especially cheerful to tell and as for the less funny stories you may provide enough of your own I believe.

At least for this lovely summer I hope to be more at your service from now on. Here are a few recent episodes in my hopefully reviving chess life.

The International Dutch open championship that ended yesterday in the traditionally hosting town of Dieren was once again a well organized enjoyable event with many talented young players in all its four categories and the various accompanying events. The tournament reports, photos and results may be all found on the tournament’s official website.

Here are the final standings of the top open section in which I took part:

Read more...Dieren 2014

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