ACP Masters Rapid to be held in Ashdod, Israel

by Yochanan Afek
11/19/2015 – The strongest invitational tournament ever to be held in Israel will be hosted by the city of Ashdod, in collaboration with the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) on December 7-10 during the Chanukah holiday. Twelve players will fight three stages of rapid games, in what promises to be a thrilling and intriguing event.

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Participants

V. Ivanchuk
Ian Nepo.
G. Guseinov
R. Rapport
E. Bacrot
D. Jakovenko
B. Gelfand
P. Eljanov
B. Adhiban
E. Sutovsky
I. Smirin
S. Sevian

Tournament

The tournament will consist of three stages of rapid games. The twelve players will be divided into two preliminary groups. The top two players in each group will qualify to the semi-finals. The final will be played on December 10th between the two semi-final winners for a first prize purse of US$10 thousand. The total prize fund is US$41 thousand.

The organizing committee is chaired by Moshe Slav, chairman of the Israel chess federation and the chief arbiter is IA Victor Glatman. The games will be transmitted by the new Israeli technology of “Chess vision”. The official website will be soon available. Several accompanying events, lectures and simultaneous exhibitions, will also be held for the benefit of the visitors.

Ashdod

The city of Ashdod is the sixth largest city in Israel,  and the largest port on the Mediterranean coast and I an important regional industrial centre. The historic city is an ancient one (mentioned thirteen times in the bible), whose first documented evidence is from the 17th century BC, making it one of the oldest in the world. Modern Ashdod was established in 1956 on the sand hills near the site of the ancient city and was officially declared a city in 1968. It has a population of around 220 thousand inhabitants and has a reputation for being an immigrant absorbing city that has developed into a prominent art, sports and culture centre. This might partly explain the remarkable success of the local chess community.

Aerial view of the growing and beuatiful city Ashdod

The city of Ashdod is the sixth largest city in Israel,  and the largest port on the Mediterranean coast and I an important regional industrial centre. The historic city is an ancient one (mentioned thirteen times in the bible), whose first documented evidence is from the 17th century BC, making it one of the oldest in the world. Modern Ashdod was established in 1956 on the sand hills near the site of the ancient city and was officially declared a city in 1968. It has a population of around 220 thousand inhabitants and has a reputation for being an immigrant absorbing city that has developed into a prominent art, sports and culture centre. This might partly explain the remarkable success of the local chess community.
  
Ashdod chess club is one of the youngest Israeli clubs and yet it has already established its position among the country’s leading and most successful ones. The club was founded in 2003 by the education and sport department in the municipality of Ashdod, headed by Yehuda Frenkel and a group of Chess enthusiasts led by Moshe Slav.

The club is currently represented by an impressive 26 teams in the various divisions of the national leagues for men, women and youth. Within a fairly short period the top team of the club has won the National Championship five times in the years 2007-2010 and 2014 as well as winning five times the National Cup Games in the years 2007-2009, 2013, and 2015. The club has participated regularly in the European Club Cup including a 6th place in 2010.

The current line up of the club’s top team includes the Israeli grandmasters Emil Sutovsky, Ilia Smirin, Victor Mikhalevski, Boris Avrukh, Vitaly Golod, Arthur Kogan, Yehuda Gruenfeld and Boris Kantsler as well as notable foreign guest grandmasters.

The club’s ladies team won the national women team championship an incredible nine times: in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, as well as in 2009-2012 and 2014. Its current composition includes Olga Vasiliev, Angela Borsuk, Valeria Dotan, Anastasia Vuler and Svetlana Gofman.

Quite a few of the club’s top players have won the national individual championship titles over the years. Currently both Israeli champions are Ashdod club players - GM Victor Mikhalevski and WIM Olga Vasiliev.

Saloniki circus near the Blue Marina of Ashdod

Ashdod chess club is leading the rapid development of youth chess in town. Some 3000 children study the game in city schools while the gifted ones, around 100 of them, enjoy advanced training in the club. All this activity is guided by the club’s team of experienced trainers: IM Boris Maryasin, Arkady Ryabukhin (the club director), Vladislav Shiklovsky, Gennady Libov, Tal Khoresh and Alexander Bonder.

Ashdod chess club is proud of its long string of achievements obtained by its students who won various national championship titles in different age categories as well as youth team competitions and representing Israel in world and European youth championships.

Over the years the city has organized various major events: In the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 holding International festivals and in 2011-2013 the national open championships were all hosted in the chess club. Since 2004 the club accommodated each season at least two complete rounds of the top division of the Israeli league.

The present rapid international tournament is no doubt the strongest chess event ever to be held in the city of Ashdod! 

Tournament program

Monday 7.12

12:00: Opening ceremony at the presence of the mayor Dr. Yechiel Lasri
13:00- 16:00 : Games group 1 – Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st, Ashdod
16:00- 19:00:  Games group 2- Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st, Ashdod

Tuesday 8.12

13:00-16:00: Games group 1- Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st. Ashdod
16:00- 19:00: Games group 2- Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st. Ashdod

Wednesday 9.12

11:00: Lecture at the chess club, 3 Erez st. Ashdod
12:30- 15:00: An open simultaneous exhibition at the city hall square
14:30: Simultaneous display: The world youngest grandmaster, Sam Sevian (USA) vs. the youth team of Israel.
15:00: Semi finals, Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st., Ashdod
18:00-20:00: Lecture at the chess club, 3 Erez st., Ashdod

Thursday 10.12

15:00- 19:30: Finals, Kivoonim centre, 4 Hatzionut st., Ashdod
20:00: Closing ceremony and prize giving


Topics ACP Masters, Ahdod

Yochanan was born (1952) and grew up in Tel-Aviv, and now lives in Amsterdam. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of chess, both as a professional and a volunteer, for the last 48 years, and remains an active player, composer, writer, organizer, trainer and commentator. He is an International Master and International Arbiter for chess as well as International Grandmaster for chess composition.
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leachy leachy 11/19/2015 03:35
Ashdod was, contrary to the overwhelming impression created in the article, not founded in 1956 on empty sand dunes near an archaeology site. It has been continuously inhabited.

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/Isdud/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashdod#History





solskytz solskytz 11/19/2015 11:13
You have a mistake there. IM Afek is a GRANDMASTER in chess composition as of earlier this year (if memory serves).
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