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Yochanan Afek
Number of games in database: 298
Years covered: 1977 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2248 (2284 rapid, 2128 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2381

Overall record: +108 -121 =66 (47.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (61) 
    B22 B40 B30 B90 B23
 French Defense (30) 
    C02 C13 C11 C05
 Caro-Kann (10) 
    B13 B10 B14
 Four Knights (8) 
 Robatsch (5) 
 English (5) 
    A13 A15 A17 A18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (65) 
    B29 B32 B76 B22 B25
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (17) 
    D21 D20
 King's Indian (13) 
    E70 E60 E66 E95
 Sicilian Dragon (12) 
    B76 B39 B70 B35 B75
 English (8) 
    A15 A16 A17
 English, 1 c4 c5 (8) 
    A36 A35 A38 A30 A34
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R Donker vs Y Afek, 2012 0-1
   Y Afek vs Kosteniuk, 2000 1-0
   Y Afek vs M Kotliar, 1986 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   16th Unive Open (2012)
   Groningen Open (2012)
   Corus Group C (2006)
   11th Essent Open (2007)
   Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament (2007)
   15th Unive Open (2011)
   13th Unive Tournament (Open) (2009)
   Groningen Chess Festival (2009)
   Amsterdam Chess Tournament (2006)
   Hastings 2007/08 (2008)
   Oslo Chess International (2011)
   Groningen Chess Festival (2011)
   Isle of Man Masters (2014)
   Groningen Chess Festival (2013)
   Isle of Man Masters (2015)

GAMES ANNOTATED BY AFEK: [what is this?]
   Anand vs Bologan, 2004

   🏆 Isle of Man Masters
   D Gormally vs Y Afek (Oct-11-15) 1-0
   Y Afek vs P V Vishnu (Oct-09-15) 0-1
   F Rambaldi vs Y Afek (Oct-08-15) 1-0
   Y Afek vs Vaisser (Oct-07-15) 1-0
   R Jedynak vs Y Afek (Oct-06-15) 0-1

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FIDE player card for Yochanan Afek

(born Apr-16-1952, 66 years old) Israel

[what is this?]
Yochanan Afek (ne Yohanan Kopelovich) is an International Master who was born in Tel Aviv. He is also a GM in chess composition (2015) and an International Arbiter in OTB and composition chess (1988). He is also a FIDE master in problem solving (2005). He is the only person in the world to possess titles at all these facets of chess. (1)

(1) Wikipedia article: Yochanan Afek

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 298  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Y Afek vs M Stean  0-1401977HarrowC02 French, Advance
2. Y Afek vs S Joksic  0-1391979Biel IM opB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
3. Murey vs Y Afek  1-0541985MontpellierA35 English, Symmetrical
4. Y Afek vs M Kotliar 1-0121986IcelandC46 Three Knights
5. Y Afek vs Blatny  0-1371988activeC45 Scotch Game
6. Y Afek vs Gulko 0-1451988Lugano OpenC02 French, Advance
7. Y Afek vs Psakhis 0-1491990IsraelC02 French, Advance
8. Y Afek vs Beim  0-1461990Tel-Aviv BIKURIB06 Robatsch
9. Igor Ivanov vs Y Afek  1-0421991WerfenE70 King's Indian
10. Y Afek vs B Schipkov  ½-½261991Kecskemet4B30 Sicilian
11. Uhlmann vs Y Afek  1-0531991WerfenA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
12. Y Afek vs Blatny  0-1281991BudapestB30 Sicilian
13. Y Afek vs Zsofia Polgar  1-0441991BudapestB23 Sicilian, Closed
14. I Rogers vs Y Afek  1-0451991BudapestA22 English
15. Beim vs Y Afek  1-0381992Rishon Le ZiyyonA38 English, Symmetrical
16. Hebden vs Y Afek  0-1501992Rishon Lezion URUMOD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
17. Y Afek vs Sutovsky  ½-½301992MULTICOOP opB40 Sicilian
18. Smirin vs Y Afek 1-0101992IsraelB30 Sicilian
19. Csom vs Y Afek  1-0251993Budapest FS09 GMA04 Reti Opening
20. Psakhis vs Y Afek  ½-½511993HerzliyaA21 English
21. Beim vs Y Afek  ½-½421993Rishon Le ZiyyonA20 English
22. Y Afek vs N Davies 0-1251993Hertzliya (Israel)B06 Robatsch
23. Beim vs Y Afek  ½-½461993HerzliyaA04 Reti Opening
24. Csom vs Y Afek 0-1341994KecskemetA15 English
25. N Davies vs Y Afek  0-1461995HamburgA00 Uncommon Opening
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 298  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Afek wins | Afek loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-04-07  atripodi: Is there anyone who's done better at both OTB play and composition? Is there a GM in one who has a title in the other or anything?
Apr-04-07  Plato: <atripodi> I'm a big fan of chess compositions. Afek is a brilliant problemist indeed, and I'm surprised that nobody has posted on his page before.

It's not very well known these days but Tarrasch was also a talented chess composer, as was Lasker. Even the supposedly "lazy" Capablanca composed a few nice problems (probably didn't take him too long). Reti is still famous for his endgame compositions, of course.

More modern GMs: Paul Keres had some elegant compositions to his name. Yuri Averbakh composed some nice endgame studies between the 50s and 70s. Pal Benko, Jan Timman, Alexander Beliavsky, John Nunn, and Pavel Blatny also come to mind. (I remember a particularly beautiful composition by Pavel Blatny which he personally demonstrated for a delighted audience at a tournament some years ago.)

Of course, in my opinion the greatest chess composers were not the Grandmasters. In no particular order, I would say the greatest problemists were Loyd, Troitzky, Kubbel, Kasparian, and Liburkin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <In no particular order, I would say the greatest problemists were Loyd, Troitzky, Kubbel, Kasparian, and Liburkin.>

All great names, but perhaps with a slight slant in favour of endgame study composers. :-) To add some (mainly) non-study problemists off the top of my head, I'd suggest Vukcevich, Loshinsky, Caillaud, Petkov (with an amazing 303,50 FIDE Album points!), Rehm, Petrovic etc...etc...

Apr-04-07  atripodi: Thanks guys. Can you give me any pointers with which to get started in the world of chess composition? I know the PCCC website but that's it.
Apr-04-07  Plato: <acirce> I know very little about the non-endgame compositions, hence the slant! I'll have to look into the work of some of those people you mention.

<atripodi and other chess problem enthusiasts:> From my "top-five" list, a lot of people might think it's too much to include Liburkin in the same category as the other four. It's probably true that he didn't compose *as many* brilliant studies as the others listed (though he still composed a lot of them!), but the best compositions of Mark Liburkin are right up there with the best of the others. I will post my favorite of Liburkin's compositions here because unfortunately there is no ChessGames page for this great problemist.

Mark Liburkin died tragically in his early 40s. He composed the following problem at the age of 23:

<M. Liburkin, 1933.
White to move and win:>

click for larger view

White has a huge material advantage, of course, but Black makes use of his opponent's vulnerable King position to create some serious threats with his three remaining pieces. In order to win, White needs to play like a magician:

1. Ne4+ Kd3
2. Nc5+ Kc3
3. Nb3 Be5
4. f4 Bg7
5. e8N!

The first underpromotion, a knight, which is necessary to avoid mate.

5... Bh8
6. f5 Be5
7. Bh2! Bxh2
8. b7 Be5
9. b8B!

The second underpromotion, a bishop -- getting a queen would be a blunder because Black can force a draw after 9.b8Q?? Kxc4+, 10.Qxe5 c1Q+, 11.Nxc1 stalemate.

9. ... Bxb8
10. Nc7! Bxc7
11. e7 Be5
12. e8R!

The third underpromotion, a rook -- getting a queen would allow the same forced stalemate as before

12... Bf6
13. Re6

and Liburkin's original composition stops here. For completeness, the win is clear after:

13... Bd4
14. Re1! Bf6
15. Rb1! Kd3+
16. Rb2 Ke2
17. a4 Kd1
18. a3 c1Q+
19. Nxc1 Kxc1
20. c5 Bxb2+
21. Ka2 Be5
22. a5

and the pawns are unstoppable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Hi atripodi - here's the best known game from a match between another double IM and the one guy I know who's an answer to your original question: Black was OTB IM, comp GM in Chekhover vs Kasparian, 1936. If you go to the Smyslov page and very hurriedly to page 10 there are three wonderful studies posted by capanegra, which I think show Smyslov had the talent as a composer, but I don't think the title.
Apr-04-07  Plato: <If you go to the Smyslov page and very hurriedly to page 10...>

LOL ;-)

Apr-04-07  atripodi: Something else I just found out: Afek also as the FM title in problem solving. This gives him three FIDE titles, as well as the title of international arbiter. Surely no one tops that.
Apr-16-07  gambitfan: Player of the Day PLOD 16/04/2007
Apr-16-07  BIDMONFA: Yochanan Afek

AFEK, Yochanan

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <atripodi>Is there anyone who's done better at both OTB play and composition? Is there a GM in one who has a title in the other or anything?

John Nunn, Jonathan Mestel and Ram Soffer have received the GM title for both OTB play and chess compositions.

Getting back to Afek, as well as being a player, composer and arbiter, he is also a pretty good chess journalist as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 1/ <Y. Afek, 1972 >

click for larger view

White to move wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: i wish he could still compose problems at age 58...happy birthday Yochanan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 3/ <Y. Afek, 1976 >

click for larger view

White to move wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 5/ <Y. Afek, 1981 >

click for larger view

White to move draws

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Tibor Karolyi's good friend Yochanan Afek earned a grandmaster norm at age 50!
Oct-25-11  Rook e2: <wordfunph: i wish he could still compose problems at age 58...happy birthday Yochanan> He still does, I think he lives in The Netherlands now a days. He composed for the Univé tournament, as well as in previous years I think: He also composed for the 'Atlantis tournament' in Groningen and he wrote a book not to long ago, I think it is called: Making the invisible visible, or something.
Oct-25-11  Rook e2:
Apr-24-13  Abdel Irada: Excellent composition, <Plato>.

Multiple underpromotions in one problem are rare, and here they are all necessary. Quite a tour de force.

Jul-16-13  Lovuschka: Here are some photos of Yochanan Afek training the "Prinzen", i.e. the German youth.

Unfortunately I did not meet Afek personally yet, but we have every now and then contact about chess studies. The contact mostly is because he is editor of "The Problemist" chess studies, the magazine of the British Chess Problem Society, so if I send something in he checks it. He's a very nice correspondent from what I can tell and also very valuable for chess studies.

The following wonderful study was based on a World Chess Championship game (Kramnik vs. Anand, WCH 2008, game 5: Kramnik vs Anand, 2008) but adds new aspects thereby artistically surpassing the game.

click for larger view

Yochanan Afek, Schach December 2008 & January 2009, 2nd prize in biennial tourney 2008-2009 White wins

1.Sd6!! cxd6 2.cxd6 Re1+ 3.Kc2!/i Re2+ 4.Kc3 Re3+ 5.Kc4 Re4+ 6.Kc5! Re5+ 7.Kc6 Re6 8.Rd8 Rf6!/ii 9.Kc5!!/iii Rf5+ 10.Kd4 Kb7 11.d7 Se7 12.Tb8+!

i - 3.Kd2? Re6=
ii - 8...Rh6 9.h5! zugzwang
iii - 9.h5? Rh6!= zugzwang; 9.Kd5? Kb7 10.Ke5 Rh6! 11.d7 Sd6! 12.Rf8! Sf7+! 13.Rxf7 Kc7=

Jul-16-13  solskytz: I have a personal pleasure of knowing Yochanan since spring 1989. He always impressed me as a warm personality, with a great sense of humor and love for chess and chess players. With him it really expands to all chess territories.

I will never forget that first April afternoon, when I went for the first time into his chess club, an over-confident 17 yo guy who finally manages to beat all of his friends after reading a couple of books.

I was feeling like a great authority on chess, and wanted to play a master (Ran Shabtay) right then and there!

The master himself wasn't so sure about it... and later Afek simply suggested that I try a couple of the fifth-category (1600ish) kids first...

Of course I was in ties and knots over my head after 12 moves or so, game after game...

It was at that moment that I realized that indeed, a chess club does have something to offer in way of some higher understanding...

On another note, it's remarkable how similar he looks today, to how I remember him from 24 years back.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Mr Afek was recently awarded the GM title for chess composition, only of only seven living holders. Here is an article in Dutch (easy enough to decipher with Google Translate) by his pupil and friend GM David Klein
May-11-15  ketchuplover: kudos
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