In recent years "Shevah-Mofet" school has developed a reputation of a 'genius factory', one that has attracted famous visitors like economics Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, the founders of Google Sergey Brin and Larry Page and other notable figures. In an article the daily newspaper "Maariv" in 2007 profiled some of the most successful graduates of the school: for example, Michael Pechatnikov, who at age 24 became the CEO of Visionmap, which develops technology for aerial photography, 25-year-old Stas Oskin, who has created a start-up to produce the newest product in the visual field of security, and co-owns Roman Berezin's firm Coral Technology, specializing in the development in the areas of environment and energy. The success of those graduates in the article linked not only the initial selection of good students, but also with an exceptional training program and a strong teaching staff, many of whom have doctoral degrees.
Shevah Mofet high school on HaMasger Street in Tel Aviv, Israel
At the same time Shevah Mofet is well known also for its chess successes. In 2008 Shevah Mofet introduced its unique chess program. Students use computer chess programs, work with the specially designed chess puzzle books, tailor-made to their level, and play training games on a regular basis. Every year more then 200 students take chess lessons once a week, while the best players have additional sessions with the leading chess school instructors.
Among Shevah Mofet Chess Academy's more noted chess students were International Master Gil Popilsky, European under 16 Champion, and Woman International Master Marsel Efroimsky, twice Girls World Champion under 12 and 14, and European Champion under 14. The school team is a multiple time winner of the middle-high schools Chess Championship title, an annual competition which usually boasts 50–60 teams from all across Israel.
WFM Marsel Efroimski, the World Under 12 and 14 Champion
and the U-14 Girls European Champion 2009 [see our report]
Last year Dr.Udo Noack from the Robert Bosch Comprehensive School in Hildesheim (Germany) visited Shevah Mofet, as Shevah Mofet and the Robert Bosch are in close cooperation on different science projects and other subjects.
The Robert Bosch Comprehensive School, which has been a UNESCO project school for thirty years, puts the goals of peace education, international tolerance and the preservation of nature into the center of its educational work. It has been awarded several prizes over the last years, and has been honored as one of the best schools in Germany with the German School Prize in 2007.
During his visit, Dr. Dov Orbach, the principal of the Shevah Mofet School introduced, his School Chess Academy, and proposed playing a friendly match via the Internet, which was happily accepted. Dr.Noack informed us that the chess team of his school was ready to start its preparation for the competition.
Shevah Mofet Chess Academy director GM Boris Alterman
It was natural to organize the match with Shevah Mofet's Chess Academy sponsor, the ChessBase Company, and Boris Alterman, Shevah Mofet Chess Academy director, contacted Playchess events manager Holger Lieske for assistance. With his blessing, the preparation for the event started with both teams testing the PlayChess gaming zone.
ChessBase – sponsor of Shevah Mofet Chess Academy
Finally on March 22 at 2 p.m. the two school teams faced each other for their friendly match. The time control was set at 20 min + 5 sec increment per player. As the match took place on five boards, Shevah Mofet decided to give its opponent a small handicap: the extra white. As the result Shevah Mofet had three games with the black pieces on boards 1, 3 and 5, and only two white, on boards 2 and 4.
Lior Alterman, 16, rated 1892, son of a well-known GM from the region
Stav Brenner, 15, rated 2053, in action on Playchess
What exactly is going on here, isn't White simply winning? Yanir Shafran, rated 1443
Benny Zak, rated 1540, still in the opening against his opponent in Hildesheim (Germany)
David Nikolcha, rated 1543, of the Netanya Chess Club
The "control center", where the five games are being monitored by a sysop
The score was not surprising, as more experienced Shevah Mofet players achieved a serious advantage on the boards 2, 3 and 5, and only on boards 1 and 4 the fight was still open. The players of the Robert-Bosch Comprehensive School fought well, but at the end had to resign on the remaining boards as well.
From right to left (we are in Israel, after all): David Nikolcha, Stav Brenner, Principal
Dov Orbach, GM Boris Alterman, Yanir Shafran, Benny Kutusov-Zak, Lior Alterman
Rainer Mauritz from Robert Bosch Comprehensive School sent a friendly message, thanking the players and their coach/coordinator Mr Schmoldt, and said that even though the score wasn't successful for his team, it was a pleasure for all persons and players, and a nice boost for the school chess activity. Both teams would like to thank Holger Lieske and the Playchess/ChessBase team for great help in organization of the event.