President Peres at the Shevah-Mofet Chess Academy

6/3/2009 – It is not often that the head of state drops in at a chess school or club. Last week Shimon Peres, the ninth and current President of the State of Israel, who visited the Chess Academy, where he was briefed on the aims and goals of the programme by GM Boris Alterman, former student and advisor of Garry Kasparov. Pictorial report from Tel Aviv.

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Shevah Mofet is a high school in Tel Aviv, which was established in 1946.

Since the 1990s new programs were inaugurated to meet the needs of the Russian immigrant population in Israel.


Former cabinet minister and author Natan Sharansky opens the Shevah-Mofet Chess Academy last December ...


... and gave a simultaneous exhibition (Sharansky is a Master), as did Boris Gelfand,
Maxim Rodshtein , Eugeny Postny , Mark Berkovich and Marsel Efroimsky.


Last week it was Shimon Peres, the ninth and current President of the State of Israel,
who visited the Shevah-Mofet Chess Academy

Peres, who is 85, served twice as Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of twelve cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years. He was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and, except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, served continuously until 2007, when he became President. In November 2008 he was presented with an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

Some 200 students attend mandatory chess lessons as part of the regular school program. 20 students enjoy a special chess program of six hours a week, given by IM Mark Berkovich, national coordinator of the junior squad, and other trainers. The academy team recently won the Israel championship for high schools.


Mr. Peres receives explanations from the academy founder and director, GM Boris Alterman...


... who informs him about the aims and objectives of the school chess groups

Two of the top academy students, Gil Popilsky and Marsel Efroimsky, have represented Israel in several European and world individual championships. Marcel was at the time world champion for girls U12.


WFM Marsel Efromsky, former World under 12 Champion in the chess classroom...


... and giving a simultaneous display in the Chess Academy


Marsel Efroimsky, Israeli Champion Girl Under 15 (Shevah-Mofet School, Tel-Aviv)
and Nitzan Shtainberg, Israeli Champion Open Under 11 (Haifa)


Gil Popilsky Israeli Champion Under 15 (Shevah-Mofet School, Tel Aviv)


GM Boris Alterman, General Manager of the Shevah-Mofet Chess Academy

Information and pictures provided by IM Yochanan Afek


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