Monday, November 30, 2009

Chess in the snow!

This week's theme is...Snow (and ice)!!!!
To start off, here are some cool pictures I found online. Amazing!
Playing chess anywhere...any season

His opponent must be a rock-solid player!

Beautiful sculptures

I hope my opponent won't mind if I take a bite...

Ice is nice

And of course...get ready to count down!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Top Ten

The chess player's top 10 ways to stay warm this winter:

1. Play chess! While skiers and snowboarders are out catching colds, chess players can enjoy the warmth of their local indoor chess club.

2. Play blitz/rapid. The fast pace sure generates some heat!

3. Play a super grandmaster. Trust me, you won't have time to think about the cold.

4. Remember to shake hands with your opponent. Perfect for melting the frost before an important match.

5. Travel to a tournament abroad, such as the 19th annual North American Open in Nevada (December 26 - 29)

6. Make sure the organizer has turned on the heater (if possible). You may be fine at first, but nobody likes coughing five hours later.

7. Dress warmly. I know you want to wear your patriotic chess t-shirt, BUT please don't forget a sweater!

8. Don't stay in one spot the whole time. By moving around every so often, your body generates much needed heat. When not playing a game, also look for opportunities to get some exercise.

9. Eat properly. Hot foods and drinks are good choices to re-energize. Eat regularly to regulate your metabolism and keep warmer!

10. Enjoy yourself. You are much more likely to feel cold for extended periods of time when you get tired or bored. Have fun and time will just fly by!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Winter Super Challenge for Juniors

Yuanling Yuan and her school, Victoria Park C.I., are hosting the 2009 Winter Super Challenge next week.

For: K - 12
Date: Sat. Dec. 5, 2009 (9 am - 6 pm)
Location: Victoria Park C.I.
CMA rated. CFC rated for higher sections.

Today is the LAST DAY to sign up for the advanced entry fee of $25.75 using Paypal. Late fee is $10.

Preregistered List:

Hazel's Jokes!

Continuing with my "desert" theme...

Why would Tutankhamun always lose (or draw) at chess?
Answer: Because a king can never checkmate!

Tutankhamun was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh who lived and ruled in the early 14th century BC/BCE. Today, he is commonly known as "King Tut", or the "Boy King".

In chess, a lone king cannot checkmate because it never directly attacks the enemy king. Instead, a player must use other pieces in order to achieve a win.

To find out more about the interesting life of King Tut, visit:

The Art Gallery of Ontario is also hosting a Tutankhamun exhibition from November 24, 2009 to April 18, 2010: "The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Egyptians and Chess

Sorry this is so late. I didn't forget to post today, but I had to study for a surprise math quiz.

Anyway, along the lines of my "desert" theme, I thought you might enjoy learning a little about a board game in ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians played a variety of games before they became popular in the modern era. This included wrestling, tug of war, ball games, ..., and senet! This game was played by two opponents, each controlling seven pieces. The pieces could be maneouvered on a perw, a 3 x 10 checkered board that resembled the 8 x 8 versions used in chess and checkers today. Moves were determined by throwing astragals, or sticks. The stick positions would guide pieces around a track while landing on certain squares (representing good or bad fortune), which would then affect the player's strategy. Simple versions of the game were sometimes marked out on pavement or stone, though more precious boards could be found in the tombs of the wealthy (including Tut's). It was Egypt's national game for 3000 years!
You can play a modified version of the game at:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thinking About Drier Places...

A rainy day in Waterloo gave me a much "drier" idea.

Two camels were slowly marching through a large, dry desert. Time only inched forward, and the camels often found themselves extremely bored. They were tired of simply basking in the they decided to look for something new.

One early morning, something caught their eye. Through the dense air, they could see someone playing a game, but they didn't know what it was. As they approached, the image appeared to be fading. The first camel said "We must be hallucinating!" -- yet his friend refused to agree. They approached further, and further. Eventually the image faded. What was this game?

The camels contemplated for days, but found no clues. They were beginning to lose hope.

Then, all of a sudden, the image came back. They could see it quite clearly in the distance, but still couldn't make out what it was. The camels moved quickly towards it, despite weakness in their legs from a long haul the previous day. They pushed on and on. Finally, they reached it...a small table and two men....playing a game they called "chess". be continued!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

World Youth comes to an end...

Seems like yesterday it had just begun...but now the World Youth has come to an end. Congratulations to all participants. Special congrats to Richard Wang (U12) who is bringing home the bronze!

(Please let me know if anyone is missing from this list or if I have made any errors)

U8 Open

Yuanchen Zhang 6/11 --> 48th place/129
Biggest upsets: Drew top rated CM Jorian Jared Acosta Cubides (2015 COL) who finished 26th place, and beat Arda Coskun (TUR) who finished 47th place.

Kevin Wan 5/11 --> 77th place/129
Biggest upset: Beat Rad Jannesar (IRI) who finished 39th place.

U8 Girls

Jiaxin Liu 6/11 --> 31st place/85
Biggest upset: Beat top rated Dharewa Khushi (1612 IND) who finished 12th place.

U10 Open
Dezheng Kong
William Graif
(Sorry, the crosstable seems incomplete. I will update this later.)

U10 Girls
Melissa Giblon 4.5/11 --> 62nd place/83
Biggest upset: Beat Maria Fe Romo Herrera Ibarrola (MEX) who finished 46th place.

U12 Open
Richard Wang (2044) 8.5/11 --> 3rd place /142 WOW!!!
Biggest upsets: Beat FM Evgeny Zanan (2168 RUS) who finished 31st place, Oleg Artemenko (2157 UZB) who finished 13th place, Alexey Zenzera (2142 RUS) who finished 15th place, and FM Tuan Minh Tran (2105 VIE) who finished 18th place. Drew FM Jan-Krzysztof (2079 POL) who finished just ahead at 2nd place.

Jack Qian 4/11 --> 125th place/142
Biggest upset: Beat Daehynn Choi (1577 KOR) who finished 114th place.

U12 Girls
Rebecca Giblon 5.5/11 --> 58th place/108
Biggest upsets: Drew Nozima Aripova (1844 UZB) who finished 61st place, Qizi Baghirova Khatin Mahammad (1809 AZE) who finished 19th place, and WFM Liza Kisteneva (1797 RUS) who finished 11th place.

U14 Open
David Zhang (1998) 6/11 --> 59th place/138
Biggest upset: Drew Sebastian Kaphle (2152 GER) who finished 47th place.

Thomas Kaminski (2112) 5.5/11 --> 61st place/138
Biggest upset: Drew top rated IM Kiprian Berbatov (2463 BUL) who finished 12th place.

David Itkin 4/11 --> 121st place/138
Biggest upsets: Beat Mehmet Boztuna (1785 TUR) who finished 102nd place. Drew Shanaka Munasinghe (1811 SRI) who finished 105th place.

U14 Girls
WCM Alexandra Botez 6.5/11 --> 31st place/101
Biggest upsets: Beat WFM Daria-Ioana Visanescu (1920 ROU) who finished 47th place, and Burcu Sasmazel (1891 TUR) who finished 42nd place. Drew Izzat Rauf Qizi Rahimli (1907 AZE) who finished 60th place, and Patricija Vujnovic (1888 CRO) who finished 34th place.

(Note: For U16 sections below, no ranking is noted on the official website. I will revise this later.)

U16 Open
Karoly Szalay (2128) 6/11
Biggest upset: Drew Jaroslav Bures (2300 CZE) who finished with 6/11, and beat Jahongir Vakhidov (2216 UZB) who finished with 5/11.

Jesse B. J. Wang (1976) 5/11
Biggest upset: Beat Vahe Baghdasaryan (2294 ARM) who finished with 6/11.

U16 Girls
Dalia Kagramanov (1835) 5/11
Biggest upsets: Drew WFM Irina Petrova (2010 UKR) who finished with 6/11. Beat Zhanna Karabayeva (1994 KAZ) who also finished with 6/11.

Karen Lam 3.5/11
Biggest upset: Beat Divvya Sethumathacan (KEN) who finished with 3/11.

U18 Open
FM Eric Hansen (2409) 7/11 --> 16th place/104 Awesome!
Biggest upset: Beat GM A. R. Saleh Salem (2472 UAE) who finished 7th place.
Interesting to note: Played against both U18 Canadian teammates. Beat Kevin Me, and drew Victor Kaminski.

Victor Kaminski (2235) 5.5/11 --> 52nd place/104
Biggest upsets: Beat FM Teodor Anton (2363 ROU) who finished 50th place. Drew FM Eric Hansen (2409 CAN) who finished 16th place, as well as three other players above 2300 rating.
Interesting to note: Played against both U18 Canadian teammates. Beat Kevin Me, and drew Eric Hansen.

Kevin Me (2119) 4.5/11 --> 83rd place/104
Biggest upset: Kevin had many results, but no clear upsets. Possibly one of his draws since his opponent was unrated --> Drew Saddam Davletbakov (KGZ) who finished 75th place.
Interesting to note: Played against both U18 Canadian teammates, but unfortunately lost to both.

U18 Girls
Jasmine (Yaoshen) Du 4.5/11 --> 48th place/65
Biggest upset: Drew WGM Jovana Vojinovic (2319 MNE) who finished 10th place, as well as three other players rated over 2100. All four of these draws occurred in the first four rounds!,com_turnuva/task,show/dosya,88/Itemid,88/lang,turkish/

...but remember, for many (and hopefully all) of these players, it's not the end -- only the beginning. Keep up the spirit! -- Hazel <3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snow White and Chess???

Hazel's Joke:
Why did Snow White "eat" the pawn?
Answer: The witch didn't tell her it was poisoned!

"The Art of Chess"

Snow White Set

"Goal-oriented, logical, sequential decisions create an area of focused learning and expanded development."

Enhancing learning in schools through chess...and now through chess art!

1. Choose a theme for your chess set reflecting your background and interests. Be creative!

2. Mold pieces using modelling clay.

3. Create a board using cardboard and drawing/painting supplies.

4. Play a game and have fun!!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chess Anagrams

You've probably already visited this site,, but always a good laugh. Just for fun, I decided to try some chess anagrams of my own...

Topic: popular chess tournaments attended by Canadians
(These anagrams are a lot harder to come up with than one might expect!)

1. Canadian Open
A no pain dance
There's no real violence...on the chess board that is....

2. Canadian Closed
Add loan in case 'C'
Better protect your wallet if plan A and B don't work !? (In other words, you will slowly drown in the debt of chess tournament fees)

3. World Youth Chess Championships
O shh! Why? Idols' match up in process.
This large international event can become quite noisy and overwhelming for young children. However, it also attracts many young stars (idols).

4. Canadian Youth Chess Championships
Ah, my position has chances. I can push d!
Many a kind have suffered the ferocity of this central pawn!

5. Olympiad
Daily mop
It's hard work cleaning up opponent after opponent.

6. Ontario Open
O! None to pair!
Ah...I still remember the days when pairings went smoothly...or not

7. Macedonian Open
One main code -- "nap"
If you want a good result in this master-filled tournament, your best hope is to get a good night's rest.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guelph Fall Pro-Am Results

Congrats to all participants and prizewinners!


1st: Nikolay Noritsyn 4.5/5
2nd & 3rd: Bator Sambuev, Victor Plotkin 4/5


1st: Yelizaveta Orlova 4.5/5
2nd & 3rd: Ian Finlay, Michael Zaghi 4/5


1st: Shafkat Ali 4.5/5
2nd: Zoltan Cservenyi 3.5/5
3rd: Yuanchen Zhang, Matthew Nyhus, Patrick Yu 3/5

1st: Zachary Dukic 5/5
2nd & 3rd: Damir Baizhiyenov, Sergey Noritsyn, Nathan Rossi 3.5/5


Puzzle Per Day on Facebook

Get a cool interactive puzzle each day at (must have a facebook account)
Today's puzzle...White to move & mate in 4

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chess Puzzle

USSR ( vs. the Rest of the World (Larsen...white)
Belgrade, 1970
Black to move and win.

Hazel's Jokes!

Why did the little boy eat his chess set?
Answer: Because someone said his game was sweet!

Best Wishes to WYCC participants!!!!!!

Canadian juniors begin their "battle" against the world this week!

World Youth Chess Championship 2009, Kemer-Antalya, Turkey
November 11, 2009 - November 23, 2009

Good luck!

Chessca & Hart House!

Congrats to Chessca participants & prizewinners!


1st and 2nd Roman Sapozhnikov, Artiom Samsonkin 4.5/5
3rd GM Bator Sambuev, IM Tomas Krnan, Mikhail Egorov, Brian Fiedler, Alexander Martchenko 4/5

1st & 2nd Robert Bzikot, Richard Garel 3.5/5
3rd Aaron Both, Robert Gashgarian, Kyle Jolliffe, Laurentiu Grigorescu, Daniel Wiebe, Tim Knechtel, Robert Gillanders, Richard Moran 3/5

1st & 2nd Mario Piccinin, Nathan Farrant-Diaz 3.5/5
3rd Mario Moran-Venegas, Adam Cormier 2.5/5

Upcoming Events @ Hart House!!!!

Hart House Holiday Open
- December 18 - 20, 2009
- Hart House, University of Toronto
- 6 pm Friday, 10 am & 4 pm Saturday & Sunday
- $60 in advance (by Dec. 17), $70 cash only on site (5 pm - 5:30 pm)
- Extra $10 to play up each section

Canadian Post-Secondary Chess Championship
- January 15 - 17, 2010
- Hart House, University of Toronto
- 6:30 pm Friday, 10 am & 3 pm Saturday & Sunday
- $120 per team
- $20 discount if registered in advance by cheque by December 15th. Free for schools outside of Ontario (register by e-mail by Dec. 15)

Junior Update!

2009 Alberta Junior Chess Championship live games

World Youth Chess Championship: Canadian team blog & photos
(I wish there had been a blog like this when I used to play at the world's. Andrei Botez is doing a great job with it)

Junior Tournaments:
- Chess Academy of Canada tournament
- Oct 25, 2009 – Dec 13, 2009 (a new tournament every sunday)
- Thornhill Community Centre, 7755 Bayview Avenue (North of Steeles at John Street)
- 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm lessons
- 2:30 pm – 5 pm tournaments (CFC rated)

Grand Prix Event #1
- November 15, 2009
- Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S., Toronto
- 10 am, tournament starts at 11:15 am
- $25 per tournament
- For best prize eligibility, attend all three grand prix events: November 15, 2009, January 31, 2010, and May 2, 2010

Oriole Chess Club Tournaments
- November 22, December 6 & 20, 2009
- Oriole Community Centre, Toronto
- 12:45 pm, tournament starts at 1:15 pm
- $8 for members, $12 for non-members (per tournament)

Swansea Chess Club Saturday Rated Tournaments
- Every Saturday
- Swansea Town Hall Community Centre
- 12:30 pm, tournament 1 - 4 pm
- $15, second child in the same family $10

Knights of Chess Sunday Rated Tournaments
- Every Sunday
- 5635 Yonge Street, Toronto
- 4 pm, tournament starts at 4:30 pm
- $15

Regular Scholastic Tournament
- November 22, 2009
- Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S., Toronto
- 10:30 am - 11:30 am - lessons (extra $9)
- 11:30 am, tournament starts at noon
- $16 per tournament

Regular Scholastic Tournament
- December 13, 2009
- Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S., Toronto
- 10:30 am - 11:30 am - lessons (extra $9)
- 11:30 am, tournament starts at noon
- $16 per tournament

Mini Camps During Christmas Break
- December 21-23, 2009
- December 28-30, 2009
- Northern District Public Library, Toronto
- Morning 9 am - 1 pm; Afternoon 1 pm - 5 pm
- Half-day $90 per mini-camp or $160 for both
- Register before December 1 - $80; $145
- Full-day $160 per mini-camp or $285 for both
- Register before December 1 - $145; $260
- For kids 6 -14 years old & up to 1500 rating

New libraries NOW OPEN (Chess in the Library)
- Maria A. Shchuka Library
- Deer Park Library

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Poor Internet Connection

Sorry to all readers for not keeping up with my usual posts this week. The internet connection in my dorm has been really poor. I'll try to catch up when I come back to Toronto this weekend.