Gideon Japhet Memorial Open Chess Tournament 2014


Gideon Japhet
Gideon Japhet
1928-2013

“But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?”, Job 28:12


Attorney Gideon Japhet was born and raised in Jerusalem. He was a passionate lover of chess and sports. His parents were Rosa Braz and Chaim Japhet, who was among the founders of social welfare in Israel and the deputy of Henrietta Szold. After graduating from the Gymnasia Rehavia, Jerusalem’s first modern Jewish high school, Gideon served as a Noter in Kfar Szold, protecting the Jewish population in the Galilee. He was an active member of the Haganah, was arrested by the British and imprisoned in the Kishle, and released when the British departed following the declaration of the State of Israel. He fought in the battles for Jerusalem in the War of Independence in the Moriah Battalion, took part in accompanying the convoys to Jerusalem and commanded a mortar crew. After the war he studied law at the Sorbonne in Paris and established a law office in Jerusalem, which operated and thrived for over fifty years. He was also the first Jewish lawyer who represented the Arab community in East Jerusalem and the West Bank after the Six Day War.
Gideon was a well-known and beloved figure in Jerusalem. His dramatic appearances in court and eloquent biblical language were memorable. Chess was chief among his hobbies and the love for chess, which spanned over seventy years, was passed on by him with devotion to his children and grandchildren. Chess and sports, for the development of a healthy mind in a healthy body, were in his mind the winning combination for a full and happy life. He devoted many hours each day to them and gathered around him many soul mates and fans. Throughout the years he took part in marathons and half-marathons, and even at the age of 80 he participated in the veteran race for 10 km. He was very proud that he was the only player who achieved a draw in a simultaneous chess game in Jerusalem against Grandmaster Alexander Huzman, to which he was invited as the oldest player.

This tournament, which aims to promote chess in Israel, is dedicated to preserving the memory of Gideon Japhet, and we are proud to continue his path and perpetuate his legacy. May his memory be blessed.


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