Daily report by Erik Malmsten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Sperry on Sat, Jul 17 2010 (04:15)

July 11, 1:51AM


 Only 1 last-minute entrant turned away and I don't think that there were any wins on forfeits. Still problems with cellphones ringing -- you lose.
The politician's opening speech mentioned that chess teaches kids to think before you act. Hal and Brian Fiedler looked great in a suit and Hal's two assistants stood out in their referee shirts.

Also standings, no big upsets, but many draws.

The playing play is air-conditioned and spacious with soft chairs and ice water. I posted a display on the early history of the Canadian Open and David Cohen posted the portraits of the members of the Canadian Chess Hall of Fame.


Players haven't yet learned to get coffee and juice from the variety store one building east. Although the outside doors lock and it's a pain to cross the street to the hotel, up to the walkway and back in to the playing hall.

Lots of people on the street going to the island or harbourfront. Choice of hot dogs or soft ice cream. But noise doesn't seep in to the playing hall, except when the fire alarm went off ....
Many people looking forward to tomorrow morning's simul by GM Mark Bluvshtein, the ches960 simul on Monday and people even signing up for the FIDE Arbiter's seminar.

Daily report by Erik Malmsten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Sperry on Sat, Jul 17 2010 (04:13)

July 12,11:08PM


 Shabalov had quite a busy day. He played a 13 game simult of chess960 and found it alot of work. I though the funniest starting position was with a bishop at h1. 1.g3 and the bishop is already finachettoed. Every game is completely different, no beating players in memorized opening lines. One opponent said if felt like playing in the middlegame right from move one.

Michael Sutton did a great job organizing this event, making a nice flyer and getting a manufacturer to make dice to set the opening position, which all players got to keep. Zeljka helped in taking photos and scanning the scoresheets. Ted Winick provided a demo board. Michael as also been the volunteer at the phone check booth and generally helping out.
Then Shabolov came back to give a middlegame lecture with many examples of two main ideas to improve one's chess:
1) Improve the placement of your worse piece
2) push pawns to create weaknesses on the opponent's side.
27 players attended the 90 minute lecture.
Lots of visitors to the playing hall, including Imtiaz Husain, at one time SCC master, now from Michigan.
Also going on in the daytime was a fun first day at the kids camp and the CFC AGM. More people are registering for the Arbiter's training.
…Round 2 Vinny Puri (Canadian Junior Champion) holds on to a draw with GM Alexander Shabalov…

July 12, 2:51AM
GM Mark Bluvshtein simul Olympiad Fundraiser Sunday 11:00 Mark scored 16-0 and, the players got to use Monroi devices.
The event raised $320 for the Canadian Olympiad team and tournament organizer Brian Fiedler has agreed to match that amount, challenging others to also do so. Our sponsor Deloitte would point out that you get a tax receipt.
Will the visiting GMs also go without a draw or loss? Stay tuned . . .
Maurice Smith, Michael Sutton and two women smoothly handled giving out the registration kits. The light blue tournament golf-shirts are great.

Daily report by Erik Malmsten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Sperry on Sat, Jul 17 2010 (04:10)

July 14 10:29 PM



 There will be a Lexus Brilliancy prize of Blue Jay tickets, Deliotte prize of Michael Buble concert tickets for the best game of the Canadian Open.
There's also the CN Tower upset award (meal at the top of the CN tower), Strategy Games trivia contest ($100 gift certificate),Mark's Best Dressed ($100 Mark's Clothing Gift Certificate) and some lucky draw prize to be announced.

This double round-robin was a fun event. There were more spectators than players. Players were polite, no screaming or clock pounding (or complaints about the pairings). Two teams used the strategy of speaking in Bulgarian or German but the idea that a piece mates clearly came out.

July 14, 1:48 AM
Tied for first and second with 8-2
Team Chess (Aman Hambleton, Elias Oussedik) ahead on tie-break as willing to have a playoff No Names (FM Dale Hassel, Karl Sellars)
6 Team Hart House (Kyle Morrison, Bindi Cheng)
4.5 Team Ordanje (WCM Alexandra Botez, Alexander Florea)
3.5 Team Durlach (Bernd Wagner, Helmut Fritzsche) 0 Team Girl Power (Melissa Giblon, Rebecca Giblon) Melissa finally got a win in casual games with Karl as her partner.

Press Release by Erik Malmsten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Sperry on Sat, Jul 17 2010 (04:08)



The 47th Canadian Open Chess Championship with a $32,000 prize fund is being held at the Westin Harbour Castle July 10-19. Among the 261 players there are 7 International Grandmasters (GM), 7 International Masters (IM),
14 FIDE Masters (FM) and a Woman International Master (IWM). There are around 60 players over 50 years old and 60 players under 18 all competing together.

In this type of tournament the foreign grandmasters usually draw with each other and defeat the local players. Toronto teenaged FIDE master Aman Hambleton has been the sensation of the tournament upsetting Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Maluniuk and American GM Joshua Friedel, the only losses by Grandmasters in the event. Hambleton with a score of 5-1 is tied for second behind GM Luke McShane with GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Merab Gagunashvili GM Harikrishna Pentala, GM Eduardas Rozentalis, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, and IM Nikolay Noritsyn. Nineteen year old Noritsyn was the 2008 Toronto Closed Champion, 2007 Canadian Closed Champion and is a member of Canada’s chess Olympiad team.

Two of the exciting side events are a simultaneous display of Chess960 (Fischer random chess) and blindfold.

On Monday American GM Shabalov gave a simultaneous exhibit of Chess960 on
13 boards. The game similar to Fischer random chess (except that there is traditional castling) invented by American World Champion Bobby Fischer rearranges the starting pieces to avoid memorization of the opening moves.
There are 960 different starting positions. Special dice were made for this event to generate the starting position. Players have to think from move 1. Shabalov said it was the hardest simultaneous he has ever given.
Shabalov won 10 tied 3, had a lunch break, gave a lecture then played a 4-hour slow game in the tournament.

On Friday there will be a simultaneous blindfold exhibit by FIDE Master Hans Jung, the Chess Co-ordinator of the City of Kitchener.  Hans has given blindfold simultaneous exhibitions over 25 year period, playing on
26 boards 1993. Blindfold simuls are the hardest chess simuls to perform (because of the complexities of having a move messenger and retaining all the positions in your mind just to begin with describing)—a mental marathon — that is rarely seen in modern times. He is one of only six surviving players in the world out of only twenty to ever attempt 20 boards blindfolded (or more) More info on blindfold chess at

On Saturday night at 8 pm there will be a 5-minute blitz tournament, a whole game in 10 minute, open to members of the public to play or watch.
Those unable to attend in person are able to follow the games live over the internet at as players on the top boards will be entering their moves on handheld wireless devices developed by MonRoi Inc., a Montreal based company.

The last three rounds start at 6:00pm Friday July 16, 2:00pm Saturday July
17 and 10:00am Sunday July 18. Photos are only allowed during the first five minutes of play.

Daily report by Eric Malmsten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric on Sat, Jul 17 2010 (00:03)

 July 16, 11:41PM


  The Arbiter’s Course was interesting. Stephen Boyd has had decades of experience and its interesting hearing how things are different in France.
For example, if a player doesn’t show up to a game they get suspended for
3 months -- a good idea. Hal Bond was also a great assistant, contributing examples and interpretations of the FIDE rules. We learned when and when not the arbiter can intervene. With time increments there are less time scramble issues.

 Apparently in FIDE blitz chess chopping the king is an illegal move and loses. And there was the player whose phone rang while waiting for his opponent who arrived late to win by forfeit. With a forfeit there can also be a 0-1/2 result.

We hand-paired a small tournament and I struggled with colour alteration being more important than top half versus bottom half. We also looked at calculating ratings and norms and tie-breaks, the latter used for prizes in Europe. Zeljka also demonstrated the MonRoi program.

The class of 14 took the 4-hour open-book exam and I don’t know how many passed. But it was an excellent way of learning the rules; Having a specific problem and looking up the rules.

Hans Jung played a 5-board blindfold simult and had a few blind spots, scoring 2.5-2.5.

Before the round Brian Fiedler read out his 24 question quiz. 89 players tried it. The winners were Hans Jung and Dave Lawless with 20. Hans was one of the winners at last year’s Toronto Open trivia quiz.
With 19 were Ralph Gregory, Mike Dougherty, and Brad Willis.
With 18 was Ralph McCleary.
With 17 were David Southam, Pino Verde, and Michael Barron.

The average was 11.

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Chess Quotes

And for the chess-player the success which crowns his work, the great dispeller of sorrows, is named "combination."

-Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

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