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Israeli Chessmaster Sets New World Record

Alik Gershon plays 527 simultaneous matches for 19 hours.

By: Dan Verbin
Published: October 22nd, 2010 in News » Israel
ChessPic: Chess

Early Friday morning, 30-year old Israeli grandmaster Alik Gershon set a new Guiness World Record by playing 527 simultaneous chess matches in Tel Aviv.

According to the New York Times, Gershon won 454 of the matches, tied 58 and lost 11 for a winning percentage of 92.

The consecutive games, known as simul, lasted 19 hours, with his opponents lined up in Rabin Square.

For Gershon to break the official record, he had to win at least 80 per cent of the matches.

The Jewish Journal is reporting that Israeli politician and former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky was one of his opponents. Also present were several members of the Knesset.

During the grueling 19-hour marathon, Gershon commented, “It is a personal challenge," adding that it took months of intense physical preparation to be able to compete.

The record had previously been held by Iranian chess player Morteza Mahjoob who played 500 games in 18 hours in August 2009. In the last few years, the record has been broken several times.

Gershon told the Associated Press that he was happy that he had taken the record from Mahjoob, especially considering the tensions between the two nations. He said, “Hopefully this is the only war we are going to have with this enemy, ever.”

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