Boris Gelfand, watch out: Four sixth grade students from Ma'aleh Adumim won gold medals over the weekend in a thinking games tournament, held in Romania.
The tournament, which was part of the strategy and logic games Olympics, saw 30 teams from all over the world compete in logic games and brain twisters such as Checkers, Abalone, Octi and Corridor.
Checkers champions at work (Photo: Eshcolot Hashiva Group)
The four Israeli delegates Yehuda Klein, Aviad Luvravum, Uri Lifschitz and Avraham Klein, who study at Ma'ale Torah elementary school, managed to defeat the other teams in the two categories of the competition –personal and group games.
"It's a great joy to win the world championship, and we are very excited," said Yehuda Klein who competed in the Checkers category. "The preparation for the Olympics included training of at least two hours a day and of course checkers games during recess at school. We worked very hard and I am happy we succeeded in our mission," he added.
According to Klein, the biggest challenge is to think a few steps ahead of the rival and cause him to make the wrong move: "In one of the games I managed to mislead my rival, and after he ate one of my checkers, I ate six of his in one move."
The thinking games Olympics is being held seven years in a row, and the Israeli teams are organized by Eshcolot Hashiva group, which operates regional and national competitions on behalf of the of the Education Ministry.
Ma'ale Torah principle Rabbi Yehiel Gutvirt said that these types of games do not rely on the element of luck. "The added value of the thinking games is to teach students that in order to succeed in life you need to work hard and thing before every action," he said.
"The students' achievement is a great pride to the school, but what is important for us it the learning process that the students went through during the competition. The trophy is only the bonus," he added.