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      Did Iran 'Checkmate' Israel?

      Iranian chess player claims he has defeated a world record set by Israel for simultaneous chess games.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 2/11/2011, 5:57 AM / Last Update: 2/11/2011, 8:45 AM

      Yoni Kempinski

      An Iranian grandmaster is claiming that he has taken back a world record in chess that was set by an Israeli last October.

      AFP reported this week that 28-year-old Ehsan Ghaem Maghami claimed that he regained the Guinness record for simultaneous chess games after facing more than 600 players in over 25 hours. He said that he won 96 percent of his games which began on Tuesday in the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, and had to win 80 percent of the games in order to break the record.

      A representative of the World Chess Federation was present during the event but did not confirm Maghami's victory.

      The previous record was set by Israeli grandmaster Alik Gershon last October in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Gershon played against 525 other players simultaneously, and beat 454 for a victory rate of 86 percent. Another 58 games ended in a tie, Gershon lost 11 games, and 2 players withdrew from the competition.

      Maghami assured Iran’s ISNA News Agency on Wednesday that the World Chess Federation would report his win to Guiness, and added that he would have played with the same zeal even if the previous title holder was a non-Israeli.

      “Iran is great and deserves the best,” said Maghami. “Let's not talk politics... even if this record was held by another person, I would have gone all out to break it.”

      He added that “now I have to break my sleep record,” and said that he would not be surprised if his record will also be broken soon.