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19 September 2017

Championnat ouvert du Québec 2009

Le Championnat ouvert du Québec accueillera au moins 11 GMs cette année dont l'un des meilleurs juniors au monde : Yaroslav Zherebukh d'Ukraine. Date : 18 au 25 juillet 2009 au Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf à Montréal.

GM Vladimir Georgiev won the Open section with 6.5/9.
Shiyam Thavandiran made an IM norm.
GM Anton Kovalyov and GM Yaroslav Zherebukh won the 56-player blitz event with 9.5/12.

19 September 2017


2006 Canadian Closed Chess Championship, Toronto

How do you feel?
I feel exhausted, but exceedingly happy.

What does the Canadian Zonal 2006 tournament mean to you?

It meant the crown of the new Canadian Champion and once again handing off the torch to a younger individual and in this particular tournament a junior who I watched grow up in Toronto since the beginning of his chess career. Igor is a peer of my son. It was particularly happy for me to see how his father Ranko showed up with camera in hand. You could not wipe the smile off his face. In addition we crowned two new FMs Shiyam Thavandiran and Jonathan Tayar, who once again I saw when they took their first chess lessons in Toronto. And of course, Vicente Lee Jr is Canada ’s newest IM. We are thrilled to see his success taking back his title to Alberta. It was a successful completion of one of the eight zonal tournaments which takes place in the world. Every round started on time and every round was incident free. There was no need to call the appeals committee.

I am thrilled that this is the first Canadian Closed Zonal Championship that had every single game broadcast live thanks to the development of the MonRoi technology and thanks to the MonRoi team which assisted us this year. Specifically we are so impressed with the customer support Zeljka, who worked tirelessly and cheerfully to assist not only us but parents and players throughout the entire event. As a result of using this new system we saved hundreds of hours in man hours inputting PGN games. We had complete PGNs of all rounds at the end of the tournament, unlike some events which are still scrambling to get games published. We were able to reduce our staff size through the addition of MonRoi to the team. Because of the live coverage we felt it particularly important to put the first class performance both with the live broadcast and photos which were taken daily at the event, not only by the MonRoi staff but the tournament committee. This is the event that has more pictorial coverage than any other chess tournament in history with over 1000 picture and nearly 300 PGNs posted on MonRoi and

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I learned chess in grade four. Our teacher taught us to play chess. I worked so hard to complete my work, to be able to compete with my teacher. My interest in chess was really peaked in 1972 at the Fischer – Spasky match in Iceland. I used to deliver newspapers the Star and the Globe and Mail as a teenager. It was so exiting for me to see this game in the newspaper. I taught my brother to play and we joined the Toronto chess club. We eagerly learned how to do pairings from Paul, the Tournament Director. I had a keen interest in how to run tournaments as well. I also became involved with the CFC as a governor. I’ve been a governor at the CFC for 30 years. I am on the board of directors of the OCA, and I am the communication director of the greater Toronto ’s chess league. I run three chess clubs, and I started the web-site for the GTCL. My professional background was in advertising. I worked for the Toronto Star and had my own advertising agency together with my family. We sold the company and I retired. I became involved in chess very actively in 1993. Through the late nineties I conducted weekend Swiss tournaments in Toronto and by the end of 2000 we also ran Toronto International tournaments. My wife and I opened up a chess club, and we opened a Chess’n Math store in Toronto. Vlad Dobrich now runs the club- it is called the BayView Club, and includes other games. I completed my application form for the International Arbiter, because I ran so many tournaments. It was expedited and I became officially an IA in 2004, just in time for the Canadian Closed Zonal.

My highest chess rating was 2100. I have a USCF rating. I played chess in many countries around the world. I played the World Open, the British open, and in Moscow as well. Having seen those events, I tried to improve the conditions of chess. I did not like when chess tournament did not start on time and finished late. I try to set an example as a tournament organizer. I first designed my own scoresheets and it had time columns. It is a perfect feature on that MonRoi scoresheets include time printed on the paper. I wish that MonRoi was available when I was playing chess actively.

What are some of the future plans?

I want to continue to excel in chess and continuing to grow the chess community. Enthusiasm is important. We need to celebrate the success of the tournament, and have a positive reinforcement, such as the closing ceremony. Barry has organized a banquet. It is good to see the attitude of players willing to participate and enjoy the social event with their peers. This ties right into our objective to make chess tournaments more fun, enjoyable events and not a quick game, rushing out, counting how much money you won.


19 September 2017


Montreal, Canada

The 2006 Quebec Open saw a change of venue after a number of years at the CEGEP de Vieux Montreal. The new location was the third floor of the Just For Laughs Festival headquarters at 2111 St. Laurent Blvd. It was there, from July 7-15th that 168 players gathered to compete in three sections for a prize fund of $10,500.  Ukrainian Grandmaster Alexander Moiseenko allowed only two draws, to GM Abhijit Kunte of Indiaand National Master Sylvain Barbeau ofMontreal, en route to 8/9 and clear first in the Open section. He collected $2000 for his efforts. Tied for second through fourth were the aforementioned Kunte, WGM Ghate Swathe, also from India, and Montreal IM Michael Schleifer with 6 ½ /9 for $858. The top section prize list was rounded out by Quebec Masters Roland ChabotSteve Bolduc, and Sam Kleinplatz on 6/9 for $288 each. The Reserve Section (Under 2000) was taken by Dominic Menard, who scored 7 ½ /9 for $500 and the winner of the Amateur Section (Under 1600) was Aleki Morin-Duchesne who gave up only one draw en route to an 8 ½ /9 score, good for $300. The MonRoi Personal Chess Manager (PCM) was used for all the games in the open section, with simultaneous live broadcast on the World Databank of Chess. MonRoi Engineer Jianjun Zhou was on hand to implement the system.  A theater located off the main tournament hall saw the live projection of the top six boards on a large white screen. Pictures of the players, which player was on the move and the time remaining until the next control were indicated as well.  Spectators commented that this is a great improvement over demonstration boards until now, which have required the presence of a monitor to physically move the pieces at every turn. The Quebec Chess Federation has now invested in the MonRoi system, along with the Chess and Math Association. Both organizations have purchased several PCMs and a Professional Tournament Manager so they can broadcast their events live on the Internet. Daniel Rousseau, president of the Quebec Chess Federation said, “MonRoi represents the future of tournament chess organization.”  Richard Berube, the Director General of the same organization is equally enthusiastic about the MonRoi system. “We want to use it in all our tournaments,” he said.  “It’s a really impressive technology!” MonRoi would like to congratulate all the winners and commend all the participants in the 2006 Quebec Open. We look forward to seeing you next year.

19 September 2017


Philadelphia, USA

The 34thAnnual World Open was held at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel, in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania from June 28th to July 4th, 2006. Despite heavy rainfall in the area, around 1500 players in total came to this year’s World Open.   The open section attracted 237 players, including 46 GM’s, 26 IM’s, and 5 WGM’s (all of the WGM’s from India !). When the smoke had cleared there was a nine way tie for first place between GM’s Gata Kamsky, Ildar Ibragimov, Jaan Ehlvest, Vadim Milov, Leonid Yudasin, Alexander Ivanov, G. Kacheishvili, Aleks Wojtkiewicz and Joel Benjamin.They all collected approximately $6000 for 7/9.

Fifty PCM’s were available to players in the Open Section. For the first two rounds the devices were offered only to those players who had used them before. After that there was a waiting list because so many competitors were keen to try it out. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura used the electronic scoresheet with ease, and the players who did get a chance to enter their moves on the innovative PCMs were delighted with the sharp looking paper printout they received from the central server, including the time used for each move. Over the course of the tournament MonRoi broadcast 250 games in real time. We were happy to be part of another successful World Open. Thanks to the tournament organizer Bill Goichberg, Chief Arbiter Carol Jarecki and the entire team of organizers. Susan Grumer, journalist said: “In my opinion you have a wonderful product and it certainly enhanced the enjoyment of the World Open for the many chess players around the world who could not be here in person.” We are already looking forward to the 2007 World Open.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk drew in the fourth game of the 2008 World Chess Championship finals with WGM Yifan Hao of China to win the coveted diamond studded crown and a prize money of $60,000. Number one world ranked women’s chess player GM Judith Polgar of Hungary, number three GM Jun Xie of China, and number seven IM Marie Sebag of France did not participate, while number two world ranked women’s chess player GM Koneru Humpy of India and number six GM Pia Cramling of Sweden lost in semi-finals.

Kosteniuk became the first Russian to win the title in almost 45 years after Elisabeth Bykova held it from 1958 to 1962. Alexandra is a chess Grandmaster with a FIDE rating of 2510, presently ranked tenth in the women chess world, according to FIDE’s July rating list.

In the press conference, Kosteniuk dedicated this victory to her daughter and husband. "My daughter hasn't seen her mother for almost a month and a half. I am hoping to catch up soon." - she added.

Alexandra Kosteniuk was born in Perm, Volga Federal District. She learned to play chess at the age of five after being taught by her father. She has a younger sister named Oxana, who is a master level chess player. Alexandra graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education in July of 2003. During the 2004 FIDE Congress in Calvia she was awarded the title of Grandmaster, and became 10th woman in the history of chess to receive this title.

chess players alexandra 2
Alaxandra has been promoting chess in the capacity of a fashion model and ambassador of chess in order to spark interest in the game around the world. Apart from chess, she is involved with writing poetry, books and articles. She loves to do fashion modeling and has played a part in a movie, which she considers the most fun thing she has ever done in her life. Kosteniuk's mottos have been "chess is cool" and "beauty and intelligence can go together". She is the host of a podcast "Chess is Cool" which informs listeners about Alexandra's life and current chess events.

Alexandra spends much of her time in Miami Florida with her husband Diego Garces of Switzerland and their daughter Francesca Maria. Francesca Maria was born on April 22, 2007 while Alexandra was born on April 23.

chess players alexandra 3

Alexandra’s website:

All Women's World Champions

1 Vera Menchik 1927–1944 Czechoslovakia / UK
2 Lyudmila Rudenko 1950–1953 Ukraine
3 Elisabeth Bykova 1953–1956 Russia
4 Olga Rubtsova 1956–1958 Russia
5 Elisabeth Bykova 1958–1962 Russia
6 Nona Gaprindashvili 1962–1978 Georgia
7 Maya Chiburdanidze 1978–1991 Georgia
8 Xie Jun 1991–1996 China
9 Susan Polgar 1996–1999 Hungary / USA
10 Xie Jun 1999–2001 China
11 Zhu Chen 2001–2004 China
12 Antoaneta Stefanova 2004–2006 Bulgaria
13 Xu Yuhua 2006–2008 China
14 Alexandra Kosteniuk 2008 Russia

GM Pia Cramling of Sweden, the winner of 2007 MonRoi International Women’s Chess Grand-Prix reached 2008 Women's World Championship semi-finals. Over 17 % of women who qualified for the women’s world championship, held in the Russian city of Nalchik in the Caucasus, did not participate at the tournament mostly due to security considerations published by their country Foreign Affairs (including IM Marie Sebag of France- number 7 as per FIDE’s July rating list,former world chess champion GM Maya Chiburdanidze of Georgia, WIM Natalia Khoudgarian of Canada and two of MonRoi International Women’s Chess Grand Prix finalists IM Irina Krush of USA and IM Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia & 7 other players). FIDE disqualified them from competing for the 2008 Women's World Chess Championship title.

Candle's Dream

In the deep dark of night, a candle was crying.
She shone through the dusk, while ardently trying
With tears and with work, to bring back the brightness of day.
She was melting, but time never goes in the opposite way. 
It was not her fate to see morning light.
It was not her fate to make day out of night. 
Yet still, she warmed the darkness with her passionate gleam, 
While burning down, she held the faith in a beautiful dream.

Sasha Kosteniuk 

19 September 2017



Igor Zugic is a 24-year-old International Master from Toronto. He works as a software engineer at Siemens. Igor holds an engineering degree from the University of Toronto.

When did you learn to play chess?
My father thought me to play chess when I was five. I played my first tournament when I was eleven. It was a weekend open tourney.

What was your best tournament?
I really like the Canadian Championship 2006. It is very well organized. A team of GMs versus a team of juniors in 2003 was great as well.

Was it easy to win the Canadian Zonal? Which game is your favorite?
It was very challenging. I am happy that I won. My favorite games are with Robert Hamilton and Tomas Krnan.

What do you think about your game with Pascal Charbonneau, the former champion of Canada?
I sacrificed my knight, and I am not sure if this was the right thing to do. I was playing aggressively to win, but offered a draw at the moment when it was clear that the first place was secured.

What do you think about the MonRoi system?
I adore it - it’s very simple, clean, no mistakes, no different languages. Personal Chess Managers should become a standard at all the official tournaments. My parents and friends followed my games live at the MonRoi web-site - This was great!

How will you prepare for the World Championship? Will you play chess online?
I will analyze openings and games of my opponents. Maybe I will play a strong tournament. I do not play much chess online.

How chess influenced your life?
Chess had a very positive impact on my development in many ways.

What is the most challenging to overcome in a tournament?
Chess players are under pressure. It is challenging to overcome loss. It took me a long time to win my fears of losing a game. Now, I have no fears – I just give my best every time.

How do you spend your free time?
I have a lot of friends - we like to go out and have fun. I also play basketball and tennis.

Who are your favorite actor and actress?
Al Pacino and Sharon Stone. I like action movies.

Who is your favorite chess player?
Today - Veselin Topalov.


19 September 2017



Start-Up Business

Montreal’s October Girl Geek Dinner was held at Capriccio Restaurant in Old Montreal where guests were graciously hosted by entrepreneur Stephen Walsh and Chef Rich Tajiouti. This evening featured an in-depth presentation by Brana Malobabic-Giancristofaro, MonRoi’s founder, who covered all the bases of how to create a start up. It was a passionate, organized and very well-organized presentation which referenced many top business thinkers, philosophers and psychologists.


monroi blog girl geek dinner queen

First off, Brana showed the group a video spoke to the global interest that there is for this game and how MonRoi helps to deliver a powerful solution for managing the data behind chess.

Brana talked about the history of MonRoi and detailed her idea on how to transition the cumbersome paper-based system for tracking chess moves to that of using a PDA.

Tips for entrepreneurs

Brana provided 15 tips for entrepreneurs and in short a few noteworthy ones include:

    Find meaning
    Believe and act
    Dare - Get rid of your fears
    Be adaptable
    Build trust
    Trust your intuition
    Keep it simple
    Embrace your values

monroi blog girl geek dinner tanya
Brana Malobabic Giancristofaro and Tanya McGinnity, Girl Geek Dinner Administrator

Brana demonstrated a strong analogy between business and chess. Here are the slides from her presentation, if you're interested in reading more about start-up business strategies.

GGD Start Up Business Strategies

 Click here to see the MonRoi presentation.



The Best Caption

monroi blog girl geek dinner sheep
The best caption: "The black sheep will have their day!"- Jennifer Cyr, Reference Librarian at Concordia University.

monroi blog girl geek dinner jennifer
Jennifer Cyr, Concordia University

The finalists included “Stand out from the flock”- Kathy Grauer, Women Associates of McGill University and
“Take the leap… Leave the rest to count and sleep”- Gillian Roper, System Analyst at Concordia University

The selection committee for the best caption was coordinated by Danny Greig, BDO Partner and Denis Chatelois, Federal Government. If you are starting or running a technology business, Matthew Harrison at BDO in Montreal is specialized in accounting for start-ups.

More great quotes from chess fans:
“Where is the ninth sheep?” Ahmet Salt, Turkey
“Can I take en baaassent in this position??” Polly Wright, USA

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Anne Howard, Rush PR News

Government Grant Announcement

Alain Robitaille, Coordinator Economic Development of Saint Laurent announced entrepreneur’s grant. PME Acadeémie is an initiative of Développement économique Saint-Laurent (DESTL) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Saint-Laurent, in collaboration with TD Bank Financial Group. The project needs to be submitted by January 15, 2010 and you could win up to $100,000 in financing to start up your business, including a cash prize of $30,000, offered by TD Bank Financial Group. The eight finalists will have an opportunity to consolidate their business plans with the help of experienced advisors and specialists during a three-month training program. In March 2010, the public will be invited to vote online for the most promising project. 

monroi blog girl geek dinner alain
Alain Robitaille, Economic Development of Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent is a major high technology hub. Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint Laurent and his team provided outstanding support to MonRoi's chess tournament in January of 2005. Click here to read "Around the World in 60 days" - Chessbase.


Brana dedicated her presentation to the late Jerry Hanken, a trusted advisor, journalist and a chess player, whose chess legacy will remain forever at

monroi blog girl geek dinner jerry
Jerry Hanken, chess player and journalist, Click here to read an Interview

About Brana

Brana Malobabic-Giancristofaro, B.Sc.EE, runs a Technology Company that Webcasts Chess Tournaments Live Around the World. Prompted by a lifelong passion for chess, Brana founded MonRoi, a high technology and Internet company that specializes in patented live chess webcast system and wireless devices for score keeping. An expert in new technology development and marketing, she oversees day-to-day operations of the company, which enables spectators to follow chess tournaments in real-time on the Internet. Brana established and executed the world's first International Women's Chess Grand Prix, recognizing women in chess. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. She is affiliated with the Economic Development of Saint Laurent Investment Advisory Committee and volunteers mentoring entrepreneurs who are starting their own businesses. For her innovations she received the Alpha Gala Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce of Saint Laurent.  At Nortel Networks she completed Network Design Expert and Project Management Institute curriculum. Brana appeared on numerous TV News and was featured in engineering, business and chess magazines worldwide.

You can contact Brana at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For more information about MonRoi™ Inc, please visit


Thanks so much for all of this information. The event was exceptional and everyone who I've spoken to have been so very complementary of your talk and the evening. Thanks so much for your professionalism, your great tips and for giving us so much to think about. - Tanya McGinnity, Organizer Montreal GGD

As with all successful entrepreneurs, Brana show a lot of passion for her business and the people she works with. Her passion was so great it made me wish I still knew how to play Chess. - Jennifer Cyr, Reference Librarian at Concordia University

Congratulations on your presentation last night! - Anne Howard, Rush PR News Founder

It seems everyone had a great time, which at the end of the day is the most important thing. Hope you inspired a few girl geeks into pursuing their dreams too! - Stephen Walsh, Entrepreneur

You are an excellent public speaker, grabbing all the attention of the audience. It was a fun evening. - Kathy Grauer, Former McGill University Research

Great presentation, Brana. Thanks for sharing some of your passion with us - your work was from the heart and on the mark. I now know a little more about the Queen in chess! - Danny Greig, BDO Dunwoody Partner

monroi blog girl geek dinner danny
Danny Greig, BDO Dunwoody

monroi blog girl geek dinner team
George Maroussis (Verint Systems Inc), Brana Malobabic Giancristofaro (MonRoi Inc), Geoffrey Fisher (Baker Batshield), Kathy Grauer (McGill University), Philip Grauer (Positron Public Safety), Karen Gonzales

Click Here to read Geekin' Out with the Ladies by Jennifer Cyr


19 September 2017



For April 14, Dr. Root taught the beginners how to play "bughouse," which is the partner chess game that we usually have time for after the awards ceremony on April 21.

For April 14, the intermediate students finished on the King and Queen vs. King checkmate, which they studied before April 14 at CHESSKIDS (Lesson/Quiz: King & Queen Mate). Some intermediate students have passed their King and Queen vs. King tests, and tested on the Advanced students' checkmate instead. 
The Advanced students' checkmate is the King and Rook vs. King checkmate, which they studied at CHESSKIDS (Lesson/Quiz: King & Rook Mate). The Advanced students who have already passed the King and Rook vs. King checkmate studied the King and Two Bishops vs. King checkmate, found HERE.

The reasons for learning these basic checkmates are:

1) If you are ahead in an endgame, you need to know how to win. For example, if you have a king and pawn and your opponent has a king, you should promote your pawn (to a queen) and know how to checkmate with your king and queen vs. the opponent's king.

2) Practicing these checkmates helps students learn the differences among check, checkmate, and stalemate.

3) Practicing these checkmates helps students understand the mobility of the chessmen and how that relates to the value of each chessman.


19 September 2017



Dr. Alexey Root was interviewed for the Invest in Chess blog.

19 September 2017



Dr. Alexey Root had students try a Knight’s Tour on one blank diagram before they played Battleship Chess. Several students decided to try a Knight’s Tour again, on a new blank diagram. The Knight’s Tour is in Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities and Battleship Chess is in Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. Dr. Root continued testing students on the king and two rooks vs. king checkmate (beginners), king and queen versus king checkmate (intermediate), and king and rook vs. king checkmate (advanced).

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