Thursday, April 28, 2011

A 'Handy' Brain Teaser

How many hands might you find at a standard chess game involving two people?
Assume there are no other people around, and pieces do not have hands.

(Answer below)


Answer: Eight! Two hands per player and two sets of hands on a chess clock (if it is analog).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GM Mark Bluvshtein at WLU

This event was held quite awhile ago (Mar. 30), but I thought I should post these photos anyway:

Mark did a great job communicating with participants. Above, he answered a question before the start of this participant's game. As you can see, when Mark speaks, he commands attention of everyone around him - people were so interested in what he had to say!

Mark made his way around the simul tables at a very fast pace. Sometimes he would stop at a board, but rarely stand directly in front of it. Above, you can see his angled posture - ready to take down his next opponent!

Making another move...

...and proceeding once again.

I would call this my 'front row seat', at least for a simul. Notice the intensity!

The camera on my phone has a cool black and white option. Personally, I think photos look very artistic in black and white.

My 'front row seat' view in black and white.

Here he comes!

Crowds grew quite large throughout the simul. Students, faculty members, even parents and people from the community! Above, my photo got squeezed out by the crowd, but I love it!

More crowds!

People were literally standing everywhere!

This photo was a bit of a joke. My friend didn't want me to take a picture of him playing his game, so we agreed his hand could be famous instead :)

There were a bunch of cool Laurier posters that completely roll up after use (talk about convenient storage!) and a microphone for announcements + speeches. At the microphone above is Dr. Hasan Shodiev, a physics professor interested in promoting chess at Laurier. He organized the whole event!

We also had a few journalists and photographers! Smile!

Even that chair was intimidating :)

A few people rolled their eyes when I took this photo, but I couldn't help it. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful building!

Mark's sponsors donated an assortment of chess equipment, including this giant display board, for use in the WLU Chess Club next year. I will be the incoming president of the club, and will work with Dr. Shodiev to organize activities + a team. I was surprised when Mark said there wasn't really a chess team he could play on when he was at York University, yet this simul alone gave him a lot of positive energy. Therefore, I hope to see chess increase at the academic level (especially in universities) in the future!

Thanks to GM Mark Bluvshtein and Dr. Hasan Shodiev for an amazing event!

P.S. Mark won all his games!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 OGCC Happy Face Pin Coupon

I will be volunteering at the 2011 Ontario Girls' Chess Championships on May 7. If you wish to receive a free happy face pin (blog gift) at the event, please print this coupon. Note that only the first five coupons presented to me in person at this event will be accepted. One free pin per family. You do not need to be a participant in the OGCC to claim the gift. Expires May 7 at 4 pm.

Would You Rather? - my answers

1. Would you rather play chess in a room that's a bit too bright or a bit too dark?

Seeing that I already like to dim my computer screen, I guess I'd prefer a bit dark to a bit bright in a chess room.

2. Would you rather have a chess-themed picnic or chess-themed campfire? long as no one invites the ants :) I've never been much of a camping person.

3. Would you rather receive a bag of promotional items (pens, coupons, etc.) or free refreshments (water, coffee, juice, etc.) at a chess tournament?

Well, with a sore throat right now, I feel biased towards refreshments. However, on a usual day, I would prefer the promotional bag - I love surprises! Plus, I suppose a promotional bag means the tournament got sponsorship, which is a huge benefit for chess.

4. Would you rather have a friend/family member play on the board next to you or on the other side of the room?

Next to me, especially if we're on the same team. It's nice having family support nearby (just not in front - wouldn't really want to play against a family member unless it's for fun).

5. Would you rather play a chess game in a beautiful plaza (with cafe, fountain, trees, etc.) or next to a beautiful ocean?

Hmmm...maybe a plaza. I'm picturing one in Europe, or in Boston (Harvard Square is beautiful).

6. Would you rather play online chess games under your own name or a made-up name?

I don't play online chess much, but since it's just for practice/fun, I would make up a name to change things up a bit.

7. Would you rather play chess on top of the Great Wall of China or directly below the Eiffel Tower?

Part of me thinks the Great Wall would be amazing, but I don't think I could handle the smog. You can't see much directly beneath the Eiffel Tower (I've been there once before, after the WYCC), but I would probably choose that option anyway, play my game, then go up the Eiffel Tower or walk to another area of Paris to enjoy the wonderful sights!!! Now, if only someone would pay my travels fees :)

8. Would you rather come to a chess tournament on a bad hair day or after getting only four hours of sleep?

Again, this would depend on the circumstance. If I've been getting a lot of sleep most days, and only four hours one night, I would survive quite easily. However, if it's something similar to exam week, where I'm getting four hours or so regularly, I would choose the bad hair day.

9. Would you rather play in a chess tournament at a moderately-nice venue with free parking or a deluxe venue with pay parking?

It doesn't take much to excite me, so a moderately-nice venue is usually good enough. Pay parking is a bit of a turn-off so yet another reason to choose the moderately-nice venue. However, I do have to say, the way the Canadian Open has organized its Toronto venue is starting to change my mind a bit, in terms of large, prestigious tournaments.

10. Would you rather have pairings made under the Swiss system (with large section size) or Round Robin system (with small section size)?

I've always preferred Swiss. As mentioned, I like surprises, and the fact that you can be matched in many different ways, and face a variety of opponents is exciting. It's true, Round Robin can help with preparation and managing expectations, but it works two ways. If I can prepare against my opponent, he/she can usually prepare against me. So it's not as straightforward as it sounds...therefore, I prefer the surprise :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tournaments and Results!

Wow, time can really fly! Just finished exams & starting to get better from illness (I must have caught a flu), yet trying to keep busy...'the show must go on' :D

This tournament section will be updated monthly from now on. I'm making important changes to my academic priorities and general schedule that will allow enough flexibility to improve my blog structure and punctuality. I really appreciate communication with readers, so thank you for following along, and please send me an email if you have any comments/suggestions!


This weekend - 5th Annual Grand Pacific Open in Victoria, BC, Alberta Closed in Calgary, AB, and Canadian Junior in Mississauga, ON! Good luck to all participants!

Note - Good luck to participants in other Easter weekend tournaments, including the Philadephia Open

Oriole Chess Club
- Junior Tournaments
- Every Sunday
- Oriole Community Centre, Toronto
- 12:45 - 1:00 pm registration, 1:15 pm start
- $12 per tournament, $80 for membership + ten tournaments
- Snacks and drinks provided

Chess for Children (Swansea Chess Club)
- Every Saturday
- Swansea Town Hall Community Centre
- 12:45 - 1:00 pm registration, 1:00 - 4:00 pm tournament
- $15 per tournament, family discount available

Knights of Chess Sunday Rated Tournaments
- Every Sunday
- 5635 Yonge Street, Suites 201 - 202, Toronto
- 3:30 - 3:55 pm registration (pre-registration by phone or email recommended), 4:00 - 6:00 or 7:00 pm tournament
- $18 per tournament, family discounts available

* The three regular tournaments listed above can also be found on the CMA calendar

Chess in the Library (17 locations and counting!)
- free games and lessons!
- Toronto Star

London April Open
- April 30
- Hillside Church, London
- 9:30 - 9:55 am registration, 10:00 am start
- $20
- Bring your own equipment

30th Annual Arnprior Open
- April 30 - May 1
- Nick Smith Centre, 77 James St., Arnprior
- Saturday 9 am, 2 pm, 7 pm, Sunday 9 am, 2pm
- $50, $30 amateur

Ontario Girls' Chess Championship
- May 7
- Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S., Toronto
- 10:15 - 10:45 am check-in, 11:00 am start
- $30
- Lunch and snacks included
- Activities, parents/siblings tournaments, and more
- Register and pay by April 27 to receive a souvenir t-shirt at the event

Guelph Spring Pro-Am
- May 6 - 8
- Peter Clark Hall, Guelph University Centre
- Friday 6 pm, Saturday/Sunday 10 am & 4 pm
- Pro $60, others $40, add $10 for on site entry, add $20 per 100 points to play up sections
- Equipment and snacks provided

3rd Canadian Forces Championship
- May 6 - 8
- Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston
- 8:30 am & 1:30 pm each day
- $25
- Canadian Forces (CF) members or civilians working for CF or DND
- Accommodation available if confirm in advance

Charlottetown Open
- May 7 - 8
- UPEI, Charlottetown, PEI
- 9:00 - 9:20 am registration, see link for round times
- $40, $30 for juniors, $20 for elementary school students , pre-register to save $5

2011 Canadian Closed and Zonal Championship
- May 7 - 11
- Peter Clark Hall, Guelph University Centre
- Accommodation available
- SAP (sponsor)

Calgary International Active Fundraisers
- May 8 and May 15

2011 Calgary International
- May 19 - 23
- Norm opportunity

36th Annual Paul Keres Memorial
- May 20 - 23
- River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond, BC
- See link for schedule and fees (discounts available)
- $4000 guaranteed prize fund
- All equipment provided
- Open section is FIDE and CFC rated

Ontario Open 2011
- May 21 - 23
- Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, Hamilton
- 10 am & 4 pm each day (registration 9 am - 9:45 am)
- $60 by May 1, $70 by May 20, $80 cash at door
- Bring your own equipment

Victoria Day East Toronto Pre-Qualifiers for CYCC
- May 23
- 58 Deerbrook Trail, Scarborough
- 9:30 am arrival, 11 am start
- $40
- Half of participants in each section will qualify for the CYCC
- Free refreshments

23rd Canadian Chess Challenge
- May 22 - 23
- University of Victoria, BC
- For provincial qualifiers
- Beach Festival May 21
- pairing schedule

London May Open
- May 28
- Hillside Church, London
- 9:30 - 9:55 am registration, 10:00 am start
- $20
- Bring your own equipment

Ontario Youth Chess Championships
- May 28 - 29
- CYCC qualifier

Chicago Open
- May 26 - 30
- Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel

2011 KWCC Teams Active Challenge
- June 18
- Kitchener City Hall
- 10 am registration, 10:30 am start
- $40 per team of four
- Equipment provided

London June Open
- June 25
- Hillside Church, London
- 9:30 - 9:55 am registration, 10:00 am start
- $20
- Bring your own equipment

Montreal Summer Chess Camps
- Check out other summer chess camps in Toronto and Ottawa

North American Youth Championship
- June 25 - 29

Eastern Ontario Open
- June 30 - July 3
- RA Centre, Ottawa
- See link for times and fees (discounts available)
- Accommodations available
- CFC and FIDE rated
- Bring your own equipment

CYCC (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
- July 6 - 9

Canadian Open (Toronto, Ontario) + chess camp
- July 9 - 17

Quebec Open 2011 + chess camp
- July 23 - 30
- Norm opportunity
- camp:

2011 BC Open
- July 30 - August 1
- Executive Airport Plaza Hotel, Richmond, BC
- See link for schedule
- $60 by June 24, $65 by July 26, $70 on site, additional $20 to play up a section
- Accommodation deal available until June 1
- $1000 guaranteed prize fund
- All equipment provided

Montreal City Championship
- September 9 - 11

Braeside Men's Chess Clinic
- September 24
- Braeside Camp, between Cambridge and Paris, Ontario
- 10:00 - 10:30 am registration, 10:45 am start
- $35
- Light lunch and BBQ dinner included
- Hans Jung teaching clinic, simul at noon
- For all levels of experience

Richmond Friday Chess

Tournaments in Victoria, BC

Various CMA Events for Juniors (many locations across Canada!!!)

Toronto regular scholastic tournament dates (Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S.)
Jun 5

GRAND PRIX #3 May 1 (Marshall McLuhan Catholic S. S.)

CMA Fee Increase

CMA Chess Lessons

More Tournaments Outside Ontario

FQE (Quebec) Calendar

FIDE (International) Calendar
- more international:

Tournaments in the U.S.

Scarborough Chess Club

Simcoe County Chess Club


KW Chess Club

Annex Chess Club

Ajax Chess Club

Saguenay Chess Club

Mississauga Chess Club for Kids

More Clubs

*If you wish to have your tournament/club listed, feel free to send me an email!*

Some Results:
Winter 2010/2011 (November to April)

*I'm sorry if your result was missed. Due to the long 'winter' time span, some results may not be listed.*

2010 Guelph Fall Pro-Am, November 6 - 7
1st: GM Bator Sambuev 5.0/5.0
2nd: IM Artiom Samsonkin 4.0/5.0
3rd to 6th: Victor Plotkin, Roman Sapozhnikov, IM Nikolay Noritsyn, Josh Guo 3.5/5.o
1st & 2nd: Adam Cormier, Stuart Brammall 4.0/5.0
3rd to 5th: Rob Gashgarian, Richard Moran, Robert Laszlo 3.5/5.0
1st & 2nd: Leslie Tang, Zachary Dukic 4.5/5.0
3rd: Michael Ashcroft 3.5/5.0

Toronto Junior Chess Championship 2010, November 7 - December 19
1st: Roman Sapozhnikov 4.5/5.0
2nd: Michael Song 3.0/5.0
3rd: Jesse Wang 2.5/5.0

2010 National Capital Open, November 12 - 14
1st: GM Bator Sambuev 5.0/5.0
2nd: IM Tom O'Donnell 3.5/5.0
3rd to 5th: IM Brian Hartman, Nikita Kraiouchkine, Alexandre Levkovsky 3.0/5.0
1st & 2nd: David Filipovich, William Doubleday 3.5/5.0
3rd: Halldor Palsson 3.0/5.0
1st & 2nd: Saeid Sadeghi, Mocktar Adamou-Ndiaye 3.5/5.0
3rd & 4th: Ruokai Li, Emil Smilovici 3.0/5.0
1st: Jacob Krolczyk 4.5/5.0
2nd: Kevin Zhang 3.5/5.0
3rd: Gordon Ritchie 2.5/5.0
1st: Liiban Farah 5.0/5.0
2nd to 5th: Michael Sun, Brian Murray, Kevin Eyre, Emil Levkovsky 3.5/5.0
report and photo:

2010 Southern Alberta Open, November 20 - 21
1st to 3rd: Vlad Rekhson, Rick Pedersen, Roy Yearwood 4.0/5.0

25th Annual Jack Taylor Memorial, November 20 - 21
1st: WFM Valeria Gansvind 4.5/5.0
2nd to 5th: Ed Seedhouse, Colin Aykroyd, FM Jason Cao, Greg Churchill 3.5/5.0

World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad, November/December
Captain: Gary Gladstone
First board: Nikita Kraiouchkine
Second board: Konstantin Semianiuk
Third board: Mike Ivanov
Fourth board: Simon Gladstone
Result - tied 8th place/22

William F. Darch Memorial, November
1st: Jaime Solis 5.0/6.0
2nd & 3rd: Sam Sharpe, John Erickson 4.5/6.0

2010 Winter Open, December 4
Open CFC
1st: IM Nikolay Noritsyn 4.0/4.0
2nd to 7th: Roman Sapozhnikov, Wajdy Shebetah, Josh Guo, Vinit Bansal, David Wyatt, Dante Zuniga 3.0/4.0
U1700 CFC
1st: Kajan Thanabalachandran 3.5/4.0
2nd to 4th: John Zhang, Sasha Chuchin, Sergey Noritsyn 3.0/4.0
900+ CMA
1st: Keith Tang 5.0/5.0
2nd: Daiqi (David) Wu 3.5/5.0
3rd & 4th: Jerick Siemeon, Benedict Cheung 3.0/5.0
Best Girl: Constance Wang
U900 CMA
1st: Catherine Li 5.0/5.0
2nd: Kevin Ku 3.5/5.0
3rd: Luxiga Thanabalachandran 3.0/5.0
U600 CMA
1st: Vivek Chachcha 5.0/5.0
2nd: Darwin Mahmoud 4.0/5.0
3rd & 4th: Haotong (Hazel) Guo, Kieran Gara 3.0/5.0
Best Girl: Hao Yang (Liana) Liu
Youngest Boy: Aidan Mo
Youngest Girl: Naeema Garcia

2010 Marcel Duchamp International (Argentina)
Charles Filion 4.5/9.0

2010 Hart House Holiday Open
1st: GM Bator Sambuev 4.5/5.0
2nd: IM Nikolay Noritsyn 4.0/5.0
3rd to 11th: IM David Cummings, Victor Plotkin, Roman Sapozhnikov, Daniel Abrahams, Yuri Aronov, Dante Zuniga, Michael Dougherty, Vladimir Birarov, Alexander Martchenko 3.5/5.0
1st: Laurence Crichton 4.5/5.0
2nd & 3rd: Alexander Friedman, Razvan Preotu 4.0/5.0
great pics:

2010 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships
University of Toronto A: tied 4th/28
University of Toronto B: tied 22nd/28

Ottawa Winter Open, January 14 - 16

2011 Canadian Post-Secondary Chess Championship, January 15 - 16
1st: University of Waterloo
2nd: University of Toronto
3rd: McGill University
more results and games:

Guelph Winter Pro-Am, February 5 - 6
Pro Section
1st: GM Bator Sambuev 5.0/5.0
2nd: IM Nikolay Noritsyn 4.0/5.0
3rd: Josh Guo 3.5/5.0
1st: Adam Cormier 5.0/5.0
2nd: Rob Gashgarian 4.0/5.0
3rd to 6th: Scott Hare, Guannan Terry Song, Mahmud Hassain, Yuanchen Zhang 3.5/5.0
1st: Sergey Noritsyn 4.5/5.0
2nd: Richard Chen 4.0/5.0
3rd: Corin Schneider 3.5/5.0

Aeroflot Open 2011 (Moscow), February 7 - 18
Section A
GM Mark Bluvshtein 4.5/9.0
GM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon 2.5/9.0
Section B
Antoine Berube 3.0/9.0
Section C
Victor Plotkin 5.5/9.0
Doug Sly 1.5/9.0

2011 Ontario Junior Championship, February 12 - 13

Fundraiser for the Grand Pacific Open (raised $231), February 20
Open: WFM Valeria Gansvind 4.5/5.0
U1700: Deron Stewart, Phynn Maison 3.0/5.0
U1400: Garth Edgar, Braven Rayne 2.0/5.0

Hart House Reading Week Open, February 19 - 21

2011 Brantford Active, February 26
1st: IM Brian Hartman 5.5/6.0
2nd: FM Doug Bailey 4.5/6.0
3rd - 5th: Adam Cormier, Li Hongyi, Keith Wight 4.0/6.0
Top Junior: Zachary Dukic, Razvan Preotu 3.5/6.0

Toronto Closed Chess Championship 2011, January 23 - March 6
1st: Victor Plotkin 5.0/7.0
2nd: Michael Kleinman 4.5/7.0
3rd: Roman Sapozhnikov 4.0/7.0
1st: Egidijus Zeromskis 4.0/4.0
2nd: Mike Ivanov 2.0/4.0

Ottawa Spring Open, March 4 -6

KW Winter Open, March

Hamilton Winter Open 2011
1st: GM Bator Sambuev 5.0/5.0
2nd to 4th: GM Wesley So, IM Nikolay Noritsyn, IM Artiom Samsonkin 4.0/5.0
1st: Ferdinand Supsup 4.5/5.0
2nd to 4th: Peter Ammerman, Victor Itkin, Daniel Coren 4.0/5.0
1st: Owen Qian 5.0/5.0
2nd & 3rd: Josh Perl, Manjot Chelli 3.5/5.0

2011 New Brunswick Chess Challenge, April 9
Kindergarten: Alexandre X. Leblanc
Grade 1: Ethan Hache
Grade 2: Simon Latour
Grade 3: Ethan Pearson
Grade 4: Etienne Saint-Aubin
Grade 5: Sam Song
Grade 6: Nathaniel Schrader
Grade 7: Xinyu (Bob) Feng
Grade 8: Nicholas Robichaud
Grade 9: Cody Carson
Grade 10: Jordan Stackhouse
Grade 11: Patric St.-Coeur
Grade 12: Jason Manley

2011 Alberta Chess Challenge, April 9
Grade 1: Ian Zhao
Grade 2: Kaixin Wang
Grade 3: Patrick Tolentino
Grade 4: Andre Tolentino
Grade 5: Jakob Kaiser
Grade 6: Diwen Shi
Grade 7: Dennis Situ
Grade 8: Yuekai Wang
Grade 9: Tony Cai
Grade 10: David Zhang
Grade 11: Jeff DeGuzman
Grade 12: Raymond Ong

2011 Quebec Chess Challenge, April 10
Kindergarten: Nikita Khanin
Grade 1: Robert Liu
Grade 2: William Lai
Grade 3: Maili-Jade Ouellet
Grade 4: Zachary Saine
Grade 5: Kelly Wang
Grade 6: Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte
Grade 7: Chang Yun
Grade 8: Qi You Wu
Grade 9: Forest Guo
Grade 10: Myriam Roy
Grade 11: Seymour Gelet
Grade 12: Mathieu Poulin

2011 BC Chess Challenge, April 10
Kindergarten: Harmony Zhu
Grade 1: Victor Zheng
Grade 2: Luke Pulfer
Grade 3: Joshua Doknjas
Grade 4: Jingzhi (Edwin) Xu
Grade 5: FM Jason Cao
Grade 6: John Doknjas
Grade 7: Jeremy Hui
Grade 8: Ryan Lo
Grade 9: Tanraj Sohal
Grade 10: Jack (Kun) Cheng
Grade 11: Roger Luo
Grade 12: Loren Laceste

2011 Manitoba Chess Challenge, April 10
Grade 1: Joshua Huston-Earle
Grade 2: Ron Amrom
Grade 3: Theo Wolchock
Grade 4: Ethan Lin
Grade 5: Alexander Iomdina
Grade 6: Justin Lin
Grade 7: Ryne Swift
Grade 8: Michael Pang
Grade 9: Leor Wasserman
Grade 10: Christopher Delos Santos
Grade 11: Aaron Green
Grade 12: Igor Raihman

2011 Ontario Chess Challenge, April 17
Kindergarten: Aidan Mo
Grade 1: Benjamin Lin
Grade 2: Frank Wang
Grade 3: Kevin Yie
Grade 4: Yuan Chen Zhang
Grade 5: Eric Song
Grade 6: Michael Song
Grade 7: Mark Plotkin
Grade 8: Christopher Knox
Grade 9: Joey Qin
Grade 10: Dan Liu
Grade 11: Arthur Calugar
Grade 12: Lloyd Mai

More Chess Challenge results -,

NAYCC 2010 games -

GM Nigel Short in Ottawa videos -,, photos, article, report for GM Nigel Short simul and GM Alexei Shirov simul, GM Alexei Shirov simul photos, more

GM Bator Sambuev simuls -,

GM Wesley So simul -,

Karoly Szalay simul for Japan Relief (raised $200) -,

FM Jason Cao -

GM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon -

Canadian accomplishments 2010 (Player of the Year incl. fan ballot - FM Jason Cao!) -

Pere Noel tournament games -

Schleinich Memorial -

Quebec Class Championships games -

2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival -

2011 Toronto Closed and Reserves -

Northern Alberta Open -

2011 Lethbridge Open -,

Montreal Ahuntsic Active games -

Richard Wang on CBC -,

GM Mark Bluvshtein's chess journey -, his lecture at Annex Chess Club, his simul at Wilfrid Laurier University

Other Canadians abroad -

IM Leonid Gerzhoy in Israel -

Request for Photos -

Endgame TV show -

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Notice

Hello Readers!

This sure is a busy season - assignments, exams, cleaning up, and so forth. As a result, I will not be posting any content until mid-April. At that time, I will simply tidy up the loose ends on what needs to be updated on this blog. Then, the exciting part comes after exams end in late April! Throughout the spring/summer, I will be adding new features + updating them regularly. I ordered some basic graphics software on top of my animations software. I will also be visiting some tournaments & generally looking for ways to support chess in Canada. As you may know by now, I'm full of surprises! 'Stay tuned' :)


P.S. The custom pins ordered for the Elaine Howie Fund have arrived. I am still looking to contact Derick Aghamalian, Jeff Zhang, Yuekai Wang, and Juliaan Posaratnanathan if they are interested in receiving their pins and/or awards. Twenty-five happy face pins (different from the Elaine Howie Fund pins) are still available for my blog readers this coming summer. See the side bar for details.