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Nice move, Jerusalem

by michael July 31 2008
Municipal newsFor the kidsSportsThings to do
Pick on someone your own size, Uri.
Jerusalemite had fifty shekels on the kid

Jews are not especially distinguished in physical sports, but they've always punished at the intellectual ones - especially chess. The ancient game, wildly popular over the last century and a half among the Jews of Europe and one of the few secular pursuits widely embraced by Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodoxy, boasts a roster of all-time champions that's fully 45% Semitic - including the late, awkwardly Jew-hating wackjob Bobby Fischer. 

So it's only fitting that the Jewish capital should play host to the International Chess Festival, a whole month's worth of chess events in Safra Square drawing champions and amateurs from all over the world. The opening event was held yesterday, a day of competition and clowning highlighted by a match-up on a colossal board between Mayor Uri Lupolianski and some adorable checkmating children (pictured above).

If you'd like to witness, or even go up against, Israel's reigning shachmat masters - or you just want to to get your kids into more intellectual pursuits - check out the full schedule of the Chess Festival. It's cerebral fun for the whole family.

Image courtesy of Uriah Tadmor and the Jerusalem Municipality.

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