European Individual Championship Jerusalem 2015

12/19/2014 – It's an 11-round Swiss, open to players from the 54 European federations regardless of title or ratings. The prize fund is a minimum 100,000 Euros, and there are plenty of opportunities to obtain norms. The Championship runs from Feb. 23 to March 8th, 2015. On the free Saturdays there are special guided excursions in one of the most historically interesting places on the planet.

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Chessboard Battles in the Holy City

By Yochanan Afek

”Everyone should visit this special city at least once in his lifetime” says GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, President of the European Chess Union. “Combining it with a chess event of such standard would make this visit a unique and memorable experience!”

The four in the front are real! They are Peter Gokhbat, Zurab and Marina Azmaiparashvili, Moshe Slav

Azmaiparashvili, accompanied by his wife, ended on Sunday morning a short visit in Israel to follow closely the intensive preparations for the European Individual Championship. The highly prestigious tournament, open to all, will be staged in hotel Ramada on February 23rd – March 8th 2015 by the municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli Chess Federation under the auspices of the ECU.

In a bazaar: NM Peter Gokhbat is a leading youth trainer in Jerusalem, but also a
professional tourist guide. Moshe Slav is the Chairman of the Israeli Chess Federation

The two day visit included working meetings with Moshe Slav, GM Emil Sutovsky, President of the Professional Chess Association and with Amiram Kaplan, chairman of the organizing committee as well as excursions in Jerusalem and to the Galilee. Himself a former champion of the continent (Istanbul 2003) he was content with the significant progress being made by the organizers in all aspects of the preparations. In an interview to GM Ram Soffer for the ICF website, he invited all 54 European federations to encourage the participation of their players in the championship. He added that he had immensely enjoyed his short excursion in the streets and famous historic sites of Jerusalem, finding life in the Israeli capital fairly normal and safely run. The full interview may be seen here courtesy Alexander Nesterovsky and Shaul Weinstein:

The tournament will be played in 11 Swiss rounds, however the participants will enjoy for the first time two free Saturdays, when there will be guided excursions in the Holy City as well as to the wonders of the Dead Sea. The championship is open to all players representing the European federations regardless of their title or ratings. A prize fund of minimum 120,000 Euros is offered, as well as plenty of opportunities to obtain norms (and double norms!) for international titles in each of the last three rounds. The biggest special attraction is nevertheless the free ticket to the World Cup which is secured for the top 23 players in the final standings.

The registration process is speeding up with leading entries, at the time of writing these lines, being Russian Evgeny Alekseev and Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov, both respectable members of the 2700+ world’s supreme club. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the European prestigious chess championship to be held for the first time by the historic spiritual centre of all monotheistic religions. The official closing date is January 31st 2014, however those who register until December 20th would still enjoy a discount in the hotel fares.

Some pictures from Jerusalem

Panorama view of Jerusalem (scroll right and left using scoll bar)

The Old City wall (from inside), above Damascus Gate

The Dormition Abbey on Mt. Zion, Jerusalem, Old City

The Windmill, with the King David Hotel in background

The Jerusalem light train the city center

Massada, where in the first century BCE 960 Jewish zealots held out for over a year against Roman occupation and were finally overcome by 15,000 Roman troops who breached the fortification.

The Dead Sea with salt deposits, nymph

Floating on the briny waters (34% salinity) 427 metres or 1,401 ft below sea level

Biking in the Negev Desert

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Topics: Israel, Jerusalem
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snosko snosko 1/28/2015 11:33
Apart from nymphs in the dead sea, they have very nice walls too.
KevinC KevinC 12/19/2014 03:52
@mcarpinetti, You are correct, it is not technically part of Europe geographically, but part of Asia/Middle East as you said.

I also did not know this until I just researched it, but because so many are from Europe, despite their geographical location, they identify culturally with Europe to a great degree. Due to that, they often compete in European sporting events. They are even want to join the EU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93European_Union_relations#EU_membership_for_Israel
mcarpinetti mcarpinetti 12/19/2014 01:19
Sorry if I missed that geography class in school, but Israel is in Europe now? Always tought it was located in the Middle East or, as some put it, in Western Asia.
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