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.
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.