9th Edmonton brings Ivanchuk and So

by Albert Silver
6/28/2014 – The 9th Edmonton chess festival, held in Edmonton, Canada, is one of the most important events in the Canuck chess calendar, allowing players to fight for norms often against elite opposition. Although hardly homogeneous in its lineup, the eclectic selection of players does mean chess fans will see the widest possible variety of games, while Ivanchuk and So give master classes.

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At the very top are both Vassily Ivanchuk, and Wesley So, who are the lopsided favorites, but such favoritism has a price: an upset can be costly indeed. Shortly after are Anton Kovalyov, 22 years old and 2636 Elo, who changed his federation from Ukraine to Canada last year after residing in Montreal since 2009. Following are Sam Shankland (2632) from the US and Irina Krush, the first US woman to become a full-fledged grandmaster.

Vassily Ivanchuk and Wesley So are the stars of the Edmonton International tournament

Next are a number of Canadian masters such as IM Raja Panjwani (2440), who is on his way to becoming one of Canada's next grandmasters, and already has a GM norm, 15-year-old IM Richard Wang (2365), FM Vladimir Pechenkin (2311), FM Alex Yam, who qualified via the Edmonton International Qualifier, and FM Dale Haessel (2168), who has played in all nine editions of the tournament.

Kovalyov is the highest rated Canadian player. Facing him is Alex Yam who won the qualifier.

After six rounds, the leaders are unsurprisingly Wesley So and Vassily Ivanchuk, with the 20-year-old Philippine player in the lead with 5.5/6 and a huge 2934 performance. Bear in mind he defeated both the 2600 players in the event, so his score was not achieved by collecting 'easy' points. Ivanchuk is right behind him with 5.0/6, having been held to a draw by both So and Irina Krush.

Ivanchuk was unable to break Krush

Pechenkin is known as a hard player to defeat, but received a master class by Ivanchuk

Here is a fine win by Ivanchuk in round five:



Standings after six rounds


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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