Sunday, October 24, 2010

Israeli Chess Master Breaks Iranian Record, Playing 523 Simultaneous Matches

Israeli chess grand master Alik Gershon has set a new Guinness world record of playing 523 simultaneous chess games.  He started Thursday and finished overnight, winning 454 of the matches, losing 11 and drawing in 58. 

On Friday, Guinness World Records in London confirmed that the Israeli was the new record holder, replacing an Iranian chess champion who previously held the record of 500 simultaneous matches.

Reporting for the Associated Press, Matti Friedman writes,
The new record holder acknowledged the tensions between the countries. "Hopefully this is the only war we are going to have with this enemy, ever," Gershon said.
He also noted the game's ancient origins in Persia - now Iran.
"Taking the record from an Iranian in a game that was invented by Iran - it's going to be even sweeter," he said as his record attempt was getting under way Thursday.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency adds, 
Gershon began to learn chess at age 2 and by 5 was competing. He became an Israeli youth champion, won the world championship in 1994 for youth up to age 14, and became Israeli champion in 2000.
Many of Gershon's opponents, who are registered and ranked by the Israel Chess Federation, as per the requirements of the Guinness Book of Records, are immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Gershon, 30, is a native of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, who immigrated to Israel in 1990.
Watch Gershon in action as the world's latest "pawn star", as he is being called in some media reports, in the video below.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment