Israeli snatches world chess game record – from Iranian rival

Tel Aviv – An Israeli early Friday took the Guinness world record for simultaneous chess games from his country’s arch enemy – Iran.

Grandmaster Alik Gershon, 30, faced 527 amateur opponents at once on Tel Aviv’s central Rabin square, starting in the midday heat Thursday and finishing after dawn Friday.

He won 454, tied 58 and lost 11 games, Israeli media reported. To break the record, he needed to win more than 80 per cent.

The previous record was held by Iran’s Morteza Mahjoob, who in August 2009 played 500 simultaneous games.

Several Israeli lawmakers, as well as former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, now the chairman of the Jewish Agency, participated.

Gershon said he did physical exercise, including jogging and swimming, for months to prepare for the night-long challenge, which required a lot of walking between tables lined up on the square, and unrelenting focus… Reg cure

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