Chess tournament strengthens ties between Israel and West African countries

A solidarity chess event took place between Israeli and West African chess teams on Wednesday evening as part of the Chess4Solidarity initiative.

the Chess4Solidarity Initiative was created in memory of the late Shlomo Hillel, who served as Israel’s first Ambassador to Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Hillel passed away 4 months ago.
More than 180 people from West African countries attended the event, including the countries of Niger and Algeria which do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Long-distance chess tournament participants between Israeli and West African chess players. (Credit: Long-distance chess tournament participants between Israeli and West African chess players.)
Among the guests at the opening ceremony of the event were Ciando Popano, Minister of Tourism of Côte d’Ivoire; Natan Sharansky; Eli Etzion, president of Elitzur Israel; the African Magic System group; Leo Vinovsky, Israeli Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire; and Lior Aizenberg, director of chess4all. The event was organized in collaboration with the Elitzur Israel Center and the Israeli embassies in Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal, and “chess4all”.
This was the 21st event hosted by the Chess4Solidarity project last year, and they hosted tournaments between 90 different countries with 4,500 participants to date.

One of the judges for the long distance competition was Jonas Ben Jalon from Morocco.

A prize of $ 2,000 was awarded to outstanding students from participating countries, and the event was broadcast on Facebook pages in Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Israel.

The first place winner of the competition was Guy Levin, 17, of Rishon Lezion, Israel, who finished with 7.5 out of 9 possible points in the main category of the event.

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