Gorshtein and Shvayger are the 2022 Israeli champions

by Yochanan Afek
12/22/2022 – The Israeli Championships took place on December 5-13 in the southern city of Arad, with a prize fund of 110 thousands NIS. The surprising winner was 20-year-old IM Ido Gorshtein, while IM Yuliya Shvayger defended her title in the women’s competition. | Pictured: FIDE Arbiter Ilana Glaz, Yuliya Shvayger, Avital Boruchovsky, Gil Boruchovsky (General Director of ICF), Ido Gorshtein, Ori Kochavi, Flory Sterling, Deputy Mayor of Arad. | Photos: Dr. Mark Livshitz

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The time of the young ones

The 41st Israeli Chess Championship and the 34th Israeli Women’s Championship were held on December 5-13 in the southern city of Arad, with a prize fund of 110 thousands NIS. 

Arad (not to confuse with the Romanian city Arad) is located on the border of the Negev and the Judean Deserts, 25 kilometres (16 miles) west of the Dead Sea and 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of the city of Beer Sheva. A total of 32 players, including 7 GMs, 9 IMs and 11 FMs competed in a 9-rounds Swiss in the open category, which saw an impressive success of the young guard.

The surprising winner was IM Ido Gorshtein (20) with 7½ points, a point ahead of runners-up FM Ori Kochavi (18) and GM Avital Boruchovsky (25) 6½ points each. All three medallists emerged unbeaten, leaving behind, among others, five experienced GMs who, despite leading the starting list, failed to challenge the run of the leader to a first title. GM norms were achieved by Ido Gorshtein (his final norm) and Ori Kochavi. 

Ido Gorshtein

Ido Gorshtein

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Gorshtein Ido 7,5 45
2 Kochavi Ori 6,5 45
3 Boruchovsky Avital 6,5 44
4 Sokolovsky Yahli 6 43
5 Bronstein Or 5,5 42
6 Kobo Ori 5,5 41,5
7 Mikhalevski Victor 5,5 41,5
8 Zanan Evgeny 5,5 40,5
9 Gorodetzky David 5,5 39,5
10 Levin Guy 5 41,5

...32 players

All available games


Shvayger defends her title

A total of 10 ladies took part in the all-play-all Women’s Championship. Two players were well ahead of the field in the starting list. The reigning champion, Yuliya Shvayger, managed to defend her title by finishing unbeaten with a 7½/9 score, half a point ahead of her main rival, IM Marsel Efroimski. 

Marsel, the highest-rated Israeli woman player, was seeking a first title. However, she unexpectedly lost her penultimate-round game. Consequently, she had to settle for the second place on 7 points, ahead of WFM Ronit Levitan on 6½.

Yuliya Shvayger

Yuliya Shvayger

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Shvayger Yuliya 7,5 29,00
2 Efroimski Marsel 7 27,75
3 Levitan Ronit 6,5 24,25
4 Kluchik Julia 5 18,50
5 Tashkinova Sofiia 4 14,50
6 Ovechkin Lilia 4 13,50
7 Reprun Nadejda 3,5 15,25
8 Kochavi Dana 3 11,25
9 Orian Noga 3 8,00
10 Brusilovski Lena 1,5 6,00

All games


Streltsov wins brilliancy prize

The one visually impaired player in the field, FM Alexey Streltsov, scored 4 points and won the brilliancy prize for his magnificent sacrificial win against FM Benny Aizenberg in round 8. The game as well as other interesting moments and additional information may be found in the dynamic replayer below.

Alexey Streltsov

Alexey Streltsov


The championships were organized by Israel Chess Federation, with the support of Mifal Hapais (the national lottery) and the municipality of Arad. Chief arbiter was IA Alon Shulman. 


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 50 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, and the author of Extreme Chess Tactics (Gambit 2017) and Practical Chess Beauty (Quality Chess 2018).