Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Israel attacks Iran ... on the chess board
An Israeli chess grandmaster on Thursday began a marathon chess match against 520 players in an attempt to beat the Guinness record for simultaneous chess games, currently held by Iran.
The tournament began in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square with grandmaster Alik Gershon shaking hands with every single player as he walked along rows of tables lined with chess boards.
In order to set the world record, the Ukrainian-born Mr Gershon must win at least 80 per cent of the games.
"I'm going to be breaking the Guinness world record for the biggest simultaneous chess game. The record today belongs to an Iranian grandmaster on 500 boards," Mr Gershon told AFP.
"I'm going to make it 520 and hopefully I will win over 80 per cent of the games."
Training for the event, which is likely to continue through the night and into Friday morning, was purely physical and included a lot of jogging and swimming, the 30-year-old former Israeli champion said.
"There are a lot of kilometres to walk and you have to stay focused," he said, noting that his Iranian rival Morteza Mahjoob walked 40 kilometres (25 miles) to secure his record.
Mr Mahjoob set the current record of 500 games in August 2009 in a feat which took him 18 hours with less than five seconds for each move.
"Hopefully all our wars against Iran will be on the chess board," said a smiling Mr Gershon. "For such wars, I am prepared."