An Iranian in Toronto

by ChessBase
8/18/2013 – "As a professional chess player for over a decade, exploring new places has always been a part of my nature. I have always wanted to visit Canada." With these words, Iranian GM Elshan Moradiabadi, currently residing and studying in Lubbock, Texas, starts his report on a visit to Toronto where he gave simuls and lectures. Here is his illustrated report.

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An Iranian in Toronto

By Elshan Moradiabadi

As a professional chess player for over a decade, exploring new places has always been a part of my nature. I have always wanted to visit Canada. Why is that? Is it the chess or the country? Curiosity was the primary reason. I wanted to see for myself the similarity and differences between the “melting pot” and the “cultural mosaic”, both terms which I learned as I researched the country for a prospective trip. I was further encouraged after I realized that I might be able to meet several ex-colleagues from high school and university who had taken up residence in Canada.

With the help of my dear friend Shabnam Abbarin, a young lady from my homeland who is in love with the royal game. It was a pity that I did not manage to see her during my visit to Toronto since she was on a trip to Europe playing in the Benasque Open in Spain.

Shabnam Abbarin in competition

The first part of my trip to Canada took me to Toronto where I visited the well-known Annex Chess Club as well as the Hart Chess Club. The Annex has already enjoyed the presence of two Super-GMs in their premises: Shirov and Short, so I had big shoes to fill.

The event flyer

Shabnam is a member of the Annex Chess club, where everyone is passionate and in love with the game. They see the royal game more than just a game. They see it as an “opportunity”, and approach it in every way possible: entrepreneurial, corporate, aesthetical etc….

Meeting my friend “Yalda” after a long a day in which she successfully defended
her PhD dissertation. We did our undergrad together at Sharif University of Technology.

Together we ate “Baghali-polo ba Mahiche”, my favorite traditional Iranian dish!

The visit to Toronto came at an inauspicious time as record floods struck it precisely during my stay, causing citywide chaos and power outages. Despit all this, we managed to do both the lecture and simul on August 8th.  It would not have been possible to do the job if there weren’t the willingness and hard work by all its members.

GM Elshan Moradiabadi pondering a move at Adrian Chin’s board

The club later reported at their site:

The theme of Elshan Moradi’s lecture is “simple chess,” which is a common chess expression used to describe calm, solid moves that simply enhance one’s pieces, creating a stronger, more logical position. Contrary to popular belief, Elshan emphasizes that these “simple chess” moves are not to be played as an alternative to complicated calculations, but rather “simple chess players do have to calculate well – and at a very deep level.” Using Capablanca as the original “simple chess” player, Elshan shows how the “simple chess” tradition is continued through Karpov and Carlsen. He also humbly includes himself in the list of “simple chess players.”

Two days later I visited the Hart Chess Club for further lectures and simuls.

Here I am standing in front of the beautiful University of Toronto

A lecture at the Hart Chess Club at the University of Toronto

From left to right: Sanja Vukosavljevic (president of the Hart Chess club at the University of Toronto), Heidi Winick (Ted’s wife), Marcus Wilker (president of Annex, he gave me a hard time in our simul), your reporter GM Elshan Moradiabadi, George Supol (charming treasure and vice president of Annex with stories), Ted Winick (simply a man of great ideas).

I would like to extend my warmest thanks to everyone who made the trip such a joy in spite of the sometimes difficult conditions.

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