Jerusalem hosts the 4th Japhet Tournament

by Yochanan Afek
6/29/2018 – Elite rapid chess and more in the Israeli city of Jerusalem. Nepomniachtchi, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Meier and Anna Muzychuk star in the 4th edition of the Gideon Japhet Memorial, beginning July 1st. | Pictured: The prize giving podium of the third Japhet tournament 2016 | Photo: Ritvo photography

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Gideon Japhet Memorial 2018

The Israeli capital has hosted over the years quite a few major International chess events. The fourth edition of the International tournament in memory of Gideon Japhet (1928-2013) a lawyer, a Jerusalem man and an avid enthusiast of chess and sports, will be opened on Sunday. The tournament is organized by Jeruchess club under the direction of IA Alon Cohen and his team, in collaboration with the ACP (Association of Chess Professionals) with the generous support and sponsorship of the Japhet family. It will be held on July 1st to 6th, in the Lerner Sport Centre of Hebrew University.

The crown group of the event is Gideon Japhet Cup, a rapid super-tournament featuring six world-class grandmasters who will play a double round all play all contest.

The participants are GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia, 2770), Peter Svidler (Russia 2747), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2682), Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2674), Georg Meier (Germany, 2662) and Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2611).

The Open Section

In addition to the crown competition, some 200 players will compete in four classical chess open tournaments. In the major seven round group, 60 players will participate, including 16 GMs and 10 IMs. The top ten are:Muzychuk sisters

  1. Arkadij Naiditsch - Azerbaijan, 2697, the winner of the 3rd Japhet tournament
  2. Tamir Nabaty - Israel’s current champion, 2692
  3. Daniil Yuffa - Russia, 2557
  4. Avital Boruchovsky - Israel, 2558
  5. Alexander Bagrationi - Ukraine, 2539
  6. Semen Dvoirys - Russia, 2539
  7. Tal Baron - Israel, 2530
  8. Maria Muzychuk - Ukraine, 2521
  9. Nitzan Steinberg - Israel, 2521
  10. Ori Kobo - Israel, 2508

The senior players in the main category are the former Israeli champions GM Yehuda Gruenfeld and IM Nathan Birnboim.

Women are notably represented. In addition to the former Women World Champions Maria Muzychuk and Anna Ushenina, Israel's No.1, IM Yuliya Shvayger, Israel's current champion WFM Michal Lahav, Georgian IM Salome Melia and WGM Inga Khurtsilava and the Swedish WIM Inna Agrest will all be there.

The Israeli youth is led by IMs David Gorodetzky and Ariel Ehrenberg as well as local hero Shoham Cohen-Revivo.

A simultaneous exhibition will be held on July 3rd with GM Alex Huzman, the long-time second of Gelfand.

The prize fund is 60,000 Nis (about €14,200 Euro) and additional special prizes in kind. The games in the crown group, as well as those on the top boards of the Open A group, will be transmitted live with commentary by GM Emil Sutovsky.

Photo: Anna Muzychuk's Facebook page

Editor's note: ChessBase does not endorse any position on the status of Jerusalem, which has been described as "one of the most intractable issues in the Israel-Palestine conflict".


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).