Najer wins Maccabiah rapid

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Maccabiah 2009Evgeny Najer won the strong Maccabiah rapid tournament in Netanya, Israel yesterday with a score of 9.5/12. The Russian grandmaster finished a full point ahead of his compatriot Ian Nepomniachtchi. Veteran Alexander Beliavsky finished on a fine third place in a field that included Boris Gelfand and Judit Polgar.

The 18th Maccabiah Games are held July 12-23, 2009 at the Blue-Bay Hotel in Netanya, Israel. The Maccabiah Games have included chess tournaments for more than 30 years. This year a number of elite chess players from all over the world participate.

The festival includes several events: a very strong international rapid tournament with players like Boris Gelfand, Judit Polgar and Pavel Eljanov; an invitational tournament with norm opportunity, an open tournament, a youth tournament for players who were born between 1991 and 1994 and several simultaneous exhibitions by the three players mentioned above.

The sponsor of the festival is Richard Riordan. From the organizers:

RiordanIn 1981, successful lawyer, businessman, hi-tech investor and venture capitalist Richard Riordan created the Foundation that bears his name. His simple goal: enable people to acquire skills necessary to compete successfully in society. He had an equally simple plan: teach children to read and write at an early age, and nurture leadership skills in young adults. The Riordan Foundation has an impressive record of computer-based, early childhood literacy programs across America and youth development and leadership programs with over 2,400 graduates. Its signature Rx for Reading programs have distributed over 25,500 computers to over 2,140 schools in 40 states and provided funds for over 172,000 books purchased for elementary schools.

Richard Riordan won a decisive election victory in Los Angeles in 1993, and quickly became one of the most successful and admired of big city mayors in the USA. He won a second term by a landslide in 1997, and had he not himself imposed the consecutive-terms limit, he would undoubtedly have been Mayor after 2001. For 8 years, he accepted a salary of exactly $1 per year. In 2003, he was the natural choice to serve as California Secretary of Education in Governor Schwarzenegger's first cabinet.

It will not surprise any chess player to learn that Richard Riordan, the confirmed believer in the power of early education, is also a lifelong aficionado of chess and a friend of many leading players. When his advisor and friend Steve Soboroff formed the Los Angeles Committee of 18, Richard Riordan was moved to sponsor the 18th Maccabiah Chess Festival in recognition of Maccabi World Union's encouragement of young chess players in many countries.

The rapid tournament, proudly called "Super-Tournament" by the organizers, took place July 12-14. The rate of play was (15 minutes per person per game + 5 seconds increment per move). Evgeny Najer, who won the World Open in Philadelphia recently, was again successful, winning the event with 9.5 out of 12.

The tournament had a strange finish. In the final round Najer was totally crushed by tailender Emil Sutovsky, who had played a dreadful tournament until then. This meant that Ian Nepomniachtchi, who we'll also see in Mainz later this month, could still catch him but... the Russian also lost quickly, to Avrukh.

Richard Riordan Rapid 2009 Final Standings
Maccabiah 2009

Below are the games. As so often, they're retrieved from TWIC, where Mark Crowther is still doing a tremendous job after all those years (this can and should be said, every now and then). He notes that the PGN hasn't been fully sorted out yet, and that the games Golod-Gelfand and Fridman-Sutovsky could in fact be the other way round as they are unlabeled on the website.

Game viewer

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work. Silverlight works on all browsers and platforms except for Linux, but this should be fixed soon. Contact us for questions, not in the comments section, please.

Maccabiah 2009

Boris Gelfand moves, in his game against Boris Avrukh

Maccabiah 2009

Ian Nepomniachtchi: clear second - here playing against Vitaly Golod

Maccabiah 2009

Judith Polgar back in a tournament, here with the white pieces against a concentrated Boris Avrukh

All photos courtesy of the official website (more here), published with permission


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