Israel, New Zealand face off in virtual chess games amid COVID-19

Upcoming events are also set to be held on Tuesday with Chile and Spain.

Chess pieces (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Chess pieces
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Israel and New Zealand faced off in online chess matches as part of the Chess4Solidarity event.
The event itself was part of the Chess4All initiative, and was supported by the Savyon Municipality and the Israeli Embassy in New Zealand.
While the Chess4Solidarity event is relatively new, Chess4All goes back decades. It was first launched 20 years ago by Lior Aizenberg who imagined bringing people together from across cultural, national and political boundaries through the chessboard.
And after 20 years, Aizenberg hasn't given up hope. Indeed, the initiative brought hundreds of Israeli players in October to play chess with players from Sudan, ahead of the announced normalized ties between the two countries.
Aizenberg has also held events with other Arab nations, including Syria, Morocco, Algeria and even the Palestinian Authority, taking advantage of the lack of borders over the Internet.
And while New Zealand has had healthy relations with the Jewish state for decades, that by no means makes their activities any less important. This is because Chess4Solidarity focuses on providing countries with solidarity amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The games are hosted through Zoom, with commentary provided via Twitch.
Upcoming events are also set to be held with Chile and Spain on Tuesday.
Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.