Nabaty wins Israel Championship

by Yochanan Afek
12/19/2021 – The Israel Open Championship saw 102 players compete in nine Swiss rounds for the top honours as well as for the 80,000 NIS prize-fund. Quite a few of the country’s best junior players were among the participants. GM Tamir Nabaty, the highest rated participant, emerged winner despite an early defeat, ahead of GM Evgeny Postny and Israel’s best female player IM Marsel Efroimsky. Report by Yochanan Afek. | Photo: Ritvo photography.

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The Israel open championship was held on December 8-16 2021 in the old northern city of Tzfat (Safed) by the Israel chess federation, under the auspices of the local municipality and Mifal Hapais (the national lottery). 102 players, including nine GMs and nine IMs competed in nine Swiss rounds  for the top honours as well as for the 80,000 NIS prize-fund. 4 members of the national team led the starting rankings being the natural favourites: GMs Tamir Nabaty, Ilya Smirin (both former Israeli champions), Victor Mikhalevski (the current champion) and Evgeny Postny (former winner of the open championship). Quite a few of the country’s best junior players were among the participants too led by IMs Or Bronstein, Yair Parkhov and Ido Gorshtein. 

GM Tamir Nabaty, the highest rated participant, emerged winner on 7.5 points despite an early defeat in round three, ahead of GM Evgeny Postny, Israel’s best female player IM Marsel Efroimsky, both undefeated, and 19 year-old IM Yair Parkhov on 7.0. They were followed by GMs Ori Kobo, Victor Mikhalevski and Israel Caspi, IMs Ido Gorshtein and Or Bronstein and FM Yotam Shohat on 6.5 points each. Best u-18 was FM Yeshaaiahu Tzidkiya on 6. GM Avigdor Bykhovsky was declared best senior, while the best female prize was awarded to WCM Ronit Levitan – both on 5.5. 28 players in total shared the money prizes in all categories.

Final Ranking crosstable.

 

Two games by the winner

Photos by  Ritvo photography

Mayor Shuki Oçhana playing the ceremonial first move on board one in the first round.

GMs Ilya Smirin and Victor Mikhalevski having good time in the opening ceremony

Mayor Shuki (Joshua) Ochana and Dr. Zvika Barkai, chairman of the ICF award GM Tamir Nabaty with the winner’s trophy.

Best u18 player FM Yeshaaiahu Tzidkiya

Best senior GM Avigdor Bykhovsky

Tournament director Olga Volkov

Chief arbiter 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).

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