Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Yochanan Afek
Y Afek 
Photo credit: 

Number of games in database: 476
Years covered: 1977 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2202 (2264 rapid, 2128 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2381
Overall record: +166 -193 =114 (47.1%)*
   * 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 (97) 
    B22 B40 B30 B90 B23
 French Defense (42) 
    C02 C05 C11 C12 C13
 Caro-Kann (16) 
    B13 B10 B14
 Four Knights (15) 
    C47 C48
 Robatsch (11) 
 Pirc (11) 
    B07 B09 B08
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (102) 
    B29 B32 B22 B76 B31
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (31) 
    D21 D20
 King's Indian (28) 
    E70 E60 E66 E64 E77
 Sicilian Dragon (19) 
    B76 B39 B70 B38 B75
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D02 A45 A46 D01
 English (10) 
    A15 A16 A17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R Jedynak vs Y Afek, 2015 0-1
   R Donker vs Y Afek, 2012 0-1
   Y Afek vs Kosteniuk, 2000 1-0
   Y Afek vs M Kotliar, 1986 1-0
   K Mokry vs Y Afek, 1998 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Corus Reserve Group (2000)
   Groningen Open (2012)
   11th Essent Open (2007)
   Corus Reserve Group (2001)
   16th Unive Open (2012)
   Werfen Open-A (1991)
   Groningen Open (1994)
   Cannes Martinez Open (1996)
   Groningen Open-A (2008)
   13th Unive Tournament (Open) (2009)
   Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament (2007)
   Liechtenstein Open (2004)
   Hastings 2007/08 (2008)
   Lisbon Open (2001)
   Isle of Man Masters (2014)

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 A Vaisser (Oct-07-15) 1-0
   R Jedynak vs Y Afek (Oct-06-15) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yochanan Afek
Search Google for Yochanan Afek
FIDE player card for Yochanan Afek

(born Apr-16-1952, 71 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 20; games 1-25 of 476  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Y Afek vs M Stean  0-1401977HarrowC02 French, Advance
2. Y Afek vs M Basman 0-1171979Biel OpenB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Y Afek vs S Joksic  0-1391979Biel IM opB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
4. Y Afek vs M Basman  0-14319793rd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenB07 Pirc
5. J Murey vs Y Afek  1-0541985Montpellier OpenA35 English, Symmetrical
6. S Dudakov vs Y Afek  ½-½551986Israeli ChampionshipB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
7. N Birnboim vs Y Afek  1-0221986Israeli ChampionshipA94 Dutch, Stonewall with Ba3
8. Y Afek vs S Kagan  0-1231986Israeli ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
9. N Grinberg vs Y Afek  1-0381986Israeli ChampionshipE92 King's Indian
10. Y Kraidman vs Y Afek  1-0331986Israeli ChampionshipE83 King's Indian, Samisch
11. Y Afek vs O Bruk  1-0681986Israeli ChampionshipB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
12. Y Afek vs V Alterman  0-1201986Israeli ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
13. I Manor vs Y Afek  1-0271986Israeli ChampionshipA58 Benko Gambit
14. Y Kosashvili vs Y Afek  0-1391986Israeli ChampionshipB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
15. Y Afek vs A Greenfeld  ½-½501986Israeli ChampionshipB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
16. Y Afek vs I Veinger  0-1381986Israeli ChampionshipB01 Scandinavian
17. Y Afek vs M Kotliar 1-0121986Israeli ChampionshipC46 Three Knights
18. Y Afek vs E Shvidler  1-0571986Israeli ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
19. Y Gruenfeld vs Y Afek  1-0331986Israeli ChampionshipB01 Scandinavian
20. Y Afek vs G Rechlis  0-1291986Israeli ChampionshipB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
21. Y Afek vs S Agdestein  0-129198610th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenC05 French, Tarrasch
22. M Bosboom vs Y Afek  0-1271987Netanya opB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
23. Y Afek vs Blatny  0-1371988activeC45 Scotch Game
24. Y Afek vs Gulko 0-1451988Lugano OpenC02 French, Advance
25. Y Afek vs B Kohlweyer  1-0341988Lugano OpenB40 Sicilian
 page 1 of 20; games 1-25 of 476  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.

Apr-04-07  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.

Jul-11-09  whiteshark: 1/ <Y. Afek, 1972 >

click for larger view

White to move wins

Apr-16-10  wordfunph: i wish he could still compose problems at age 58...happy birthday Yochanan.
Apr-16-10  whiteshark: 3/ <Y. Afek, 1976 >

click for larger view

White to move wins

Apr-16-10  whiteshark: 5/ <Y. Afek, 1981 >

click for larger view

White to move draws

Feb-13-11  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 UnivĂ© 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
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: kudos

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC