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Visiting my native country

Visiting my native country

I spent the last 3 weeks in my native country of Israel. Those weeks were mostly warm and lazy (and tasty too!) ones meeting family and friends. After all I had spent there 48 years of my life. Nevertheless there was some chess involved too. Besides playing a game for my new club of Kfar-Saba I held there 2 workshops: one about planning after the opening and another one demonstrating brilliant games from Wijk aan Zee. Reactions were fairly enthusiastic so I may expect some more of the same soon enough.

Workshop in Kfar-Saba Chess Club ( photos: Leon Landa)

The club, led by the tireless evergreen Amiram Kaplan, is 60 years old and can really boast rich and successful tradition with its 27 teams and a number of individual and team titles. Among the club’s leading players are GMs Eduardas Rozentalis, Anatoly Bikhovsky, Alik Gershon, Alex Finkel and Yakov Zilberman as well as IMs Danny Raznikov, Avital Borokhovsky, Asaf Givon and Gabi Livshitz. Hundreds of juniors enjoy quality tuition in its chess school led by manager Leon Landa, chief trainers IM Ilya Botvinnik and GM Ram Soffer and a team of dedicated tutors. The youth teams of the club have won many times the national championship titles in all age groups. Various tournaments are run non stop for all levels and ages. The summer weekend tournament has been run for 3 decades already attracting some 200 players every year.
The club initiates regular chess activities in all parts of the city of Kfar-Saba for kindergarten and schoolchildren as well as for adults and elderly people. A lot more about this lively club can be read here though for the time being just in Hebrew:

Israeli Problemists

Following a lengthy break I took part this year again in the annual meeting of the Israeli Problemists. It was great to meet my good old friends as well as some fresh young faces. I was even invited to show a selection of my own more players’ friendly studies. Surprisingly I was even selected to act as the Israeli delegate to the world congress for chess composition in Batumi (Georgia) next September. I believe that the Last time I acted as the delegate was in Malinska (now Croatia) in 1977! The last time I visited Georgia was in Sukhumi (Abkhazia) in 1988 for a seminar of chess trainers led by the legendary Yuri Averbakh with such trainers, among others, as Evgeny Sveshnikov, Eduard Gufeld, Alexander Panchenko, and Boris Zlotnik  At the very same venue a training camp (!) of the best still Soviet study composers was held as part of their preparations for their match against the rest of the world. The whole event was a tremendous experience for me, especially meeting in person all those names whom I had only known from above the diagrams in books and magazines….
The last congress I attended was Jurmala (Latvia) in 2010. I feel it’s going to be special to meet the Georgian legends and all other composers once again!  
You may find more details about the activities and publications of the Israeli problemists association here:

Batumi Congress

The official website of Batumi congress:
Meanwhile I got the good news of winning yet another special prize in 2010 tourney of Mat Plus run for so many years by my late old friend Milan Velimirovic:

Judge GM David Gurgenidze: “An elegant miniature with theoretical significance”.
The entire award both in PGN and PDF files may be found here:    

Posted: April 4 - 2013

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