Ivanchuk, Shirov, Bologan at Canada Open

7/11/2005 – It is not often that one gets to see the world’s top players in Canadian tournaments. But the Canada Open in Edmonton is starring Super GMs Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexei Shirov and Viktor Bologan. Shirov even treated the spectators to a lecture – on quiet positions, would you believe it. Illustrated report.

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Canadian Open Chess Championship, Edmonton 2005

Report by Adrien Regimbald, Co-organizer

The excitement has been building for a long time now, and the Canadian Open Chess Championship 2005 is exceeding everyone’s expectations. It’s not very often that we get to see the world’s top players in Canadian tournaments, and now we have three Super GMs right here in Edmonton, Alberta. With all these chess superstars playing in the tournament, it’s no surprise that a large number of chess players have descended on Edmonton to get a piece of the action. In total, 215 players are playing in the tournament, and this is an exceptional number for a Canadian Open in Western Canada.


Top three boards at the start of round one

The three most famous players participating in the tournament are Super GMs Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexei Shirov and Viktor Bologan. Joining these elite players are GMs Alexander Moiseenko, Alexander Shabalov, Igor-Alexandre Nataf, Mark Bluvshtein and Dmitri Tyomkin, as well as IMs Pascal Charbonneau (current Canadian Closed Champion), Irina Krush, Michael Mulyar, Thomas Roussel-Roozmon and Eric Lawson. To top it all off, the Indian national teams are also playing in the tournament. The men’s team consists of GMs SS Ganguly, Abhijit Kunte and Sandipan Chanda as well as IMs S. Kidambi, MR Venkatesh and SR Chowdhury. The women's team includes WGMs Nisha Mohota and Swathi Ghate and WIMs Bhagyshree Thipsay and Anupama Gokhale.


Young guns: IM Charbonneau, IM Krush, GM Bluvshtein

On the first day of the tournament, everyone was treated to an interesting lecture by Alexei Shirov. Everyone associates Shirov with exciting and tactical play, but the subject of this lecture was of a more quiet nature. It centered around quiet positions and how it is often still possible to break through. Shirov’s lecture was interspersed with humour and anecdotes, and was a real crowd pleaser for the 100 or so people who attended.


"Fire-on-the-board" Alexei Shirov lectures on "quiet positions"

The Canadian Open is a 10 round open swiss event, running over 10 days at the Delta Centre Suites Hotel. So far two rounds have been completed and there have been no upsets on the top boards as of yet. Over the next few rounds, we should start to see some major tilts on the top boards. There will be plenty of side events to keep the players busy throughout the week, including simuls from Ivanchuk, Krush, Bluvshtein, Shabalov and Bologan. Some events are targeted specifically at juniors, such as the Bluvshtein simul which will be held at West Edmonton Mall, and a quick chess session with Roussel-Roozmon. Besides these events with the featured players, there will also be a speed chess tournament and a bughouse tournament.

For those who are not familiar with the city of Edmonton, it is the capital city of the province of Alberta, one of the western provinces of Canada. Edmonton is probably most famous for West Edmonton Mall, the largest indoor mall in the world. The river valley area in Edmonton makes up the largest park area in North America and is 21 times larger than Central Park in New York. Edmonton is also known as a festival city, with plenty of events coming throughout the summer. Some of the events which will be going on this summer include the World Masters Games, Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton, Klondike Days, the Street Performer’s Festival, blues and jazz festivals and plenty more to match anyone’s interests. Other attractions include Fort Edmonton Park, where one can relive Edmonton’s early history, the Muttart Conservatory, featuring over 700 species of plants, and the Odyssium, which is an interactive space and science museum.

1   Moiseenko, Alexander  2704 gm    3
2 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2792 gm 3
3 Shirov, Alexei 2745 gm 3
4 Nataf, Igor-Alexandre 2623 gm 3
5 Bluvshtein, Mark 2529 gm 3
6 Krush, Irina 2492 im 3
7 Yoos, Jack 2441 fm 3
8 Chowdhury, SR 2421 im 3
9 Lawson, Eric 2373 im 3
10 Kunte, Abhijit 2601 gm 3
11 Roussel-Roozmon, Th. 2417 im 3
12 Quan, Zhe 2396 fm 3
13 Mulyar, Michael 2449 im 3
14 Ganguly, SS 2636 gm 3
15 Krnan, Tomas 2462 fm 3
16 Bologan, Viktor 2740 gm 3
17 Shabalov, Alexander 2633 gm 3
18 Tyomkin, Dmitri 2549 gm 3
19 Charbonneau, Pascal 2527 im 3
20 Reeve, Jeff 2364 3
21 Chanda, Sandipan 2600 gm 2.5
22 Venkatesh, MR 2475 im 2.5
23 McGowan, Gary 2249 2.5
24 Haessel, Dale 2230 2.5
25 Henson, Joshua 2221 2.5
26 Neven, Knut 2233 2.5
27 Miller, Brian 1870 2.5
28 Sasata, Robert 2323 2.5
29 Kidambi, S. 2524 im 2.5
30 Ghate, Swathi 2281 wgm 2.5
31 Peter, Steven 2297 2.5
32 Aird, Ian 2053 2.5

We will be providing more updates as the tournament progresses, but for the most up to date pairings, crosstables, etc, you can visit the official website.

Edmonton Photo Gallery


Alberta Legislature Building


Muttart Conservatory


Edmonton City Hall


View of downtown Edmonton


The Edmonton Queen Riverboat on the North Saskatchewan River


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