Russia-Israeli online chess tournament held over Zoom

Russian and Israeli amateur chess players met online for a gentlemen's game in a first of its kind event to promote the construction of cultural bridges between the two peoples.

Russian-Israeli chess tournament participants  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Russian-Israeli chess tournament participants
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Some 175 young and talented chess players from all age groups from Russia and Israel participated in a first-of-its-kind live chess game held over Lichess, an online chess playing platform, and aided by Zoom, a video conferencing application.
The event, aimed to construct cultural bridges between the two nations, was initiated by Anna Keenan, spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in Moscow, and Lior Aizenberg, who serves as the CEO of the "Chess4all" club, a Hebrew online chess platform for learning and practicing.
The launching and closing ceremonies that accompanied the event were held in the presence of  Ze'ev Elkin, Higher Education and Water Resources Minister, MK Evgeny Sova from Yisrael Beytenu, and Natan Sharansky, the famous soviet refusenik, who themselves happen to be amateur chess players in their spare time.
Professional commentary accompanied the live-streaming of the event, and grandmaster Boris Gelfand sent a video wishing good luck to the participants.
Ultimately, the Russian team won in a duel that lasted less than two hours, winning 403-371.
However, the Israeli team gave a serious fight, with Matan Poleg earning 34 points and being followed by another Israeli player who earned 27 points.
The best 20 players on each team will receive awards in their home countries. The event is undoubtedly a major milestone in strengthening the cultural ties between Russia and Israel.