After a week of play, two Israeli players are among the top-ranking participants in the European Individual Chess Championship now underway in Jerusalem.
The Ukrainian grandmaster (GM) Anton Korobov is the only player to go into the second week of competition with a perfect score of four. There are eight players – among them Israelis GM Ilya Smirin and GM Emil Sutovsky – with 3.5 points after the fourth round.
The event kicked off with great excitement as 17-year-old Itay Westreich defeated fellow Israeli chess grandmaster Victor Mikhalevski (46) in the first round.
The top-ranking players in the tourney are Czech David Navara and Nikita Vitiugov of Russia. World champion Magnus Carlsen and Israeli chess hero Boris Gelfand, who is watching the tournament, are not competing.
Over 250 participants – among them 117 grandmasters– from 33 countries are taking part in the chess tournament, running through March 8.
The players are taken on sightseeing tours on their free days – explaining how a chess board was set up in the Dead Sea over the weekend.
”Everyone should visit this special city at least once in his lifetime” says GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, President of the European Chess Union. “Combining it with a chess event of such standard would make this visit a unique and memorable experience!”