In Memoriam – Michael Rossetti
It has been seven years since the premature decease of Michael [Jimmy] Rossetti (1945-2007), a great chess lover of a rare kind and a personal friend. Michael was a versatile person of culture and a keen fighter for peace and human rights. In his professional career he was a theatre actor and director, a journalist and editor and a guide of tourist groups abroad. And yet chess was Michael’s great passion. For many years he was an active player in my former municipal club of the city of Tel-Aviv as well as a dedicated leader of one of the club’s teams and a busy trainer of youth players. As an International arbiter he was involved in various major events notably in the International chess festival of Tel-Aviv and national championships. The above photo was taken in a simultaneous exhibition given by former world women champion Maya Chiburdenidze.
Michael was survived by his wife Otilia and his daughter Andrea. On his grave (see photo) a favourite key position from the world championship match between Lasker and Capablanca was shaped in stone. Otilia has recently posted a photo album in Michael’s memory on her Facebook page. She would be honoured to share it with Michael’s friends as well as with chess enthusiasts at large. Look it up here:
Posted: November 2 - 2014
Missing a golden chance
One of my various chess hobbies is collecting missed opportunities with a special instructive or artistic interest which otherwise would likely to be lost or even never to be known.
Occasionally such episodes pop up in my own games too on either side of the board. Last Saturday I happened to be on the lucky side when my team of Wageningen was hosted by Max Euwe club in the city of Enschede, for the second round of the Dutch competition. We were lucky to win 6.5: 3.5 in order to seize an early lead in our first division group (second in the Netherland to the supreme Meesterklas) with the only draw scored on my own board in a rather unusual way.
Emerging the opening with an appealing position as black, I went for what now looks as a too slow plan and following a couple of unfortunate decisions I even ended up in the following highly suspicious position:
With GM David Gurgenidze, the famous Georgian composer.
A Successful Jenever Tourney
The annual congress of chess composition and the world solving championships were held in the Swiss capital in the last week of August. All information about the congress events, results, photos and decisions may be found here:
The 7th traditional Jenever tourney of ARVES in Bern congress of chess composition proved a considerable success. The theme (pawns vs. pieces) attracted a record number of 33 entries of high standard. The full award is being published on the leading website chessbase.com. Two out of its three parts may be seen here:
Posted: October 21 - 2014
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: www.chess.org.il
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