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.

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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