Mikhalevski and Shvayger are the 2021 Israeli champions

by Klaus Besenthal
3/16/2021 – The Israeli Championships came to an ended on Monday in Haifa, the country’s third-largest city. Soviet-born GM Victor Mikhalevski was the clear winner of the open section. The veteran obtained a 7/9 score and finished a half point ahead of Ido Gorshtein and Tamir Nabaty. This was Mikhalevski’s second title, as he also won the event in 2014. Yuliya Shvayger dominated the women’s section, winning the event with an 8/9 score. | Photo: Dorit Ritvo

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Israeli Championships in Haifa

In round 7, Victor Mikhalevski defeated rating favourite Tamir Nabaty — in 17 moves!

Mikhalevski, Victor (2552) - Nabaty, Tamir (2638)
Israeli Championship, Haifa, 13.03.2021

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bf5 3.Bg2 c6 


This position has often been reached at the highest level.

4.Nh4 But this concrete, early attack on the f5-bishop has rarely been played. One must always be prepared for the attack after placing the bishop on f5. It’s annoying for Black at the very least!

4...Bg4 5.c4 A logical move. Should Black lose focus, even the white queen could create problems for the g4-bishop by going to a4.


5...dxc4 Black is still solid with his pawn on c6, but this capture might help White some other way.

6.Na3 e5 7.Nxc4 The knight is well-placed now. From e3, it could briefly trouble the black bishop again.

7...Nd7 8.d4 Bb4+?! 


Black wants to develop quickly, but to exchange the piece that was guarding the d6-hole does not seem to be a good idea.

9.Bd2 Qe7 10.Ne3 [Stronger was the simple 10.0-0! and White has a big edge.]

10...Be6 11.Nef5 Bxf5 12.Nxf5 Bxd2+ 13.Qxd2 Qf6 


14.Bh3 [Perhaps the best was 14.e4 exd4 15.Nxd4 Nh6 16.0-0 0-0 when White has many great possibilities. He could, for example, advance with his majority on the kingside.]

14...g6?? Black has badly placed pieces, weaknesses in his position and lacks development, but he is only finally lost after this serious tactical error.


15.dxe5 Nxe5 [15...Qxe5 16.Nd6+ Ke7 17.Nc8+ did not work either.]



16...Kf8 [16...Ke7 17.Ne4 would have been terrible as well.]

17.f4 The black knight is lost. 1​-0

Victor Mikhalevski

Victor Mikhalevski also won the Israeli Championship in 2014 | Photo: Mark Lyvshitz

Final standings - Open section (top 10)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Mikhalevski Victor 7,0 0,0
2 Gorshtein Ido 6,5 1,0
3 Nabaty Tamir 6,5 0,0
4 Boruchovsky Avital 6,0 0,0
5 Kobo Ori 6,0 0,0
6 Gorodetsky David 5,5 0,0
7 Birnboim Nathan 5,5 0,0
8 Parkhov Yair 5,5 0,0
9 Smirin Ilya 5,5 0,0
10 Postny Evgeny 5,0 0,0

...32 players

All available games


Women’s tournament

Rating favourite Yuliya Shvayger, who won the title for the first time in 2018, dominated the women’s section, scoring 8/9 points to finish 2 points ahead of Nadejda Reprun. WFM Michelle Katkov, who beat Shvayger in round 3, got third place on 5½/9. 

Yuliya Shvayger

Yuliya Shvayger | Foto: Dorit Ritvo

Final standings - Women’s section (top 10)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Shvayger Yuliya 8,0 38,50
2 Reprun Nadejda 6,0 23,25
3 Katkov Michelle 5,5 28,00
4 Federovski Adi 5,5 24,25
5 Orian Noga 5,0 21,25
6 Kochavi Dana 5,0 18,75
7 Lian Marina 5,0 16,00
8 Gadasi Noam 4,5 16,00
9 Golovchanskaya Alina 4,0 14,75
10 Vardi Shlomit 3,5 13,25

...14 players

All available games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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