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August 4, 2019 1:12 pm

Israeli Chess Prodigy Refuses to Compete in Championships Set on Yom Kippur, Tisha B’Av

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A chess game (illustrative). Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A chess prodigy from Israel has turned down the opportunity to compete in chess championships in India and Slovakia because they are set to take place on two of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Friday.

Yair Hoffmann, 14, declined an invitation to compete in the European Youth Championship in Bratislava in August since it includes games on Shabbat and Tisha b’Av, a Jewish day of fasting and mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples. He is also sitting out October’s World Youth Chess Championship in India because it has games that fall on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.

The teenager, who attends a religious high school in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, won the Israel chess championship in his age category and achieved a draw in a game against former world champion Viswanathan Anand, according to JTA.

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