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I'm the Champion-:)

Posted by Victor Mikhalevski on July 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Only a few days have passed since the rapid tournament in Kfar Saba and the players met in Beer-Sheva to take part in the Individual Israeli Championships. The latter run on June17-26 with a free day on Saturday, June 21st in a very nice location, Leonardo Hotel, Beer-Sheva http://www.leonardo-hotels.com/israel-hotels/beer-sheva-hotels

I managed to take an early lead, while being the only player with 2 out of 2. The Elo favourites started slowly: Ilya Smirin(2660) had to be satisfied with two draws, Evgeny Postny(2641) lost in the first round, while Michael Roiz(2589) started with three draws. After a draw in round three I was cached up by Dan Zoler(2503). We extended the lead with round four wins. In round five we parted with a draw after a tought fight, but in the next round I took the lead again with a win over the early surprise of the tournament, Israeli soldier and  FM Hanan Mordechai. In that round Zoler was stopped with a draw by Evgeny Postny. With the draws in rounds 7 and 8 I managed to retains a half-point lead before the last round, but pre-tournament favorites came very close with only half a point behind me. Here are the standings before the last round: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr137295.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=8&wi=821 I had to play with the black pieces against Ilya Smirin, when a draw hasn't secured the win as Dan Zoler had a better tie-break before the final round and played with another surprise of the tournament FM Pinchas Kantarji with the white pieces. I played the opening inaccurately and Ilya obtained a powerful attack, but instead of going with a fast attack he played a slow move and I was back in the game. Soon Ilya offered a draw and indeed the position was roughly equal, but I wasn't sure if Kantarji gonna hold against Zoler and reject White's offer with only 1.5 minutes till the first time control. Probably Smirin was surprised and started to err. I obtained a big edge, but started to force matters too early and by move 41 most of my advantage has gone. Fortunately, Zoler has already agreed to a draw, as well as Roiz and Golod, who also had a good Buchgoltz. Now I was sure that a draw will suffice for a win in the tournament even though the game Huzman-Postny was still in progress. I offered a draw to Ilya in a slightly better position, which he couldn't reject. Despite Huzman's win I won the 2014 Israel Championship  on a much better tie-break. We both scored 6.5 points out of 9 with, while the GMs Zoler, Golod, Roiz and Smirin tied for the places from 3 to 6, when Zoler wins the Bronze medal. Here are the final standings of the tournament: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr137295.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&wi=821

I have to say that this was my first win in the Israeli Championships, though I have already tied for first on two ocassions:1996 and 2008, but was third on tie-breaks in both cases. In 1998 I lost in the final of the only knock-out championship and had to be satisfied with the silver medal. I've been third on 4 ocassions including last three championships and so this win was very sweet.

Israeli Women Championship was won by Olga Vasilieva for the second consecutive time with the convincing 8.5 points in 9 games in a round robin tournament, though it has to be admitted that her main rivals didn't tak part in the tournament.: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr137296.aspx?lan=1&art=1&wi=821

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