|2009 Canadian Closed Chess Championship Home|
Welcome to the web page for the 2009 Canadian Closed and Zonal Championship. This event runs from August 7-16 and would not be possible without the playing free facilities provided by the University of Guelph. The first game will be played on Saturday, August 8 at 3pm in room 442 of the University Centre.
The field of players this year is impressive. Leading the pack is 2009 Canadian Open Co-champion GM Mark Bluvshtein of Toronto. Also registered is the other co-champion from the Canadian Open IM Edward Porper, who currently resides in Edmonton. Considering the roster of players featured at this year's Open in Edmonton, which included elites like Shirov and Adams, Bluvshtein and Porper have demonstrated that they can rock with the best in the world.
But don't expect the rest of the field to be intimidated. The four players who finished tied for first place at the 2007 Zonal are all back for a taste: IM Nikolay Noritsyn, the defending champion, amassed 4 IM norms before scoring the IM title outright by winning in 2007. IM Artiom Samsonkin, who lost to Nikolay in the final playoff in 2007, has been ravaging the Southern Ontario weekend circuit for the past 3 years. IM Jean Hebert was the top rated player in Canada when I joined the Chess Federation of Canada in 1980. 29 years later Jean is still a dangerous opponent. In 2007 some of you may remember his 16 game blitz playoff with Noritsyn. Last but not least, IM Ron Livshits is back, hot on the heals of his participation in the Continental Championships in Brazil.
If these 4 guys lose their way several young players are standing by, hammer in hand. IM Tomas Krnan has been busy at University for the past few years and hasn't played since the Canadian Open in Ottawa 2007. If he has kept any of his tactical flare he will be a factor for sure. Maybe the most interesting dark horse is the 2009 Canadian Junior Champion FM Raja Panjwani. He has already scored 2 IM norms with his 3rd norm currently under evaluation. FM Jonathan Tayar and FM Shiyam Thavandiran are the 2 other trouble makers most likely to upset the apple cart, if I had to guess!
PS: Now that IM Leonid Guerzhoy has joined the hunt we have another contender.