Canadian Open: Nine players lead after penultimate round

7/19/2009 – Just a round ago it was four players, now a total of nine share the lead with 6.5/8 points. Shirov and Adams drew their round eight games, while Ganguly beat Zhe Quan and Perlshteyn beat Kovalyov to join them. IM Irina Krush, US, won her last three games to take a place in the top berth. Congratulations! Pictorial report with round seven commentary by GM Alexander Shabalov.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!

Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!


2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship, Edmonton

The Canadian Open is underway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This open Swiss tournament with a Classical time control has attracted a few very strong GMs such as Alexei Shirov, Ni Hua and Michael Adams. Top Canadian players like GM Mark Bluvshtein are playing, as well as many other professional and amateur players. 203 players are competing, all in one section. The playing venue is a ballroom within a large shopping mall in downtown Edmonton, with restaurants, a movie theatre and shopping all just minutes away. And with just one game every day, unlike most Opens in North America, there is plenty of time for entertainment and tourism.

Standings after eight rounds

Now a total of nine players are in the lead, with 6.5/7 points. The top seeds Shirov and Adams drew their games, Ni Hua actually lost (to FM Theo Hommeles). At the same time Ganguly beat IM Zhe Quan and Perelshteyn beat GM Anton Kovalyov to join the top group. With deep gratification we register that IM Irina Krush won her third game in a row, beating IM Dmitry Zilberstein, and is now up there with the leaders – with the same score as Shirov, Adams and Ganguly, and a full point better than GM Ni Hua, rated 2701. In the final ninth round Irina faces Michael Adams with the white pieces. We wish her luck.

# Name Rtng Pts.
1 GM Alexei Shirov 2748  6.5
2 GM Michael Adams 2699  6.5
3 GM Surya Ganguly 2637  6.5
4 GM Mark Bluvshtein 2598  6.5
5 GM Eugene Perelshteyn 2588  6.5
6 IM Edward Porper 2510  6.5
7 IM Irina Krush 2481  6.5
8 FM Theo Hommeles 2412  6.5
9 FM Jonathan Tayar 2392  6.5
10 GM Xue Zhao 2544  6.0
11 FM Eric Hansen 2472  6.0
12 FM John C Yoos 2442  6.0
13 Victor Plotkin 2310  6.0
14 GM Hua Ni 2701  5.5
15 GM Victor Mikhalevski 2631  5.5
16 IM Artiom Samsonkin 2612  5.5
17 GM Anton Kovalyov 2586  5.5
18 IM Leonid Gerzhoy 2530  5.5
19 IM Zhe Quan 2465  5.5
20 IM Dmitry Zilberstein 2437  5.5
21 FM Raja Panjwani 2418  5.5
22 IM Leon Piasetski 2406  5.5
23 FM Michael Barron 2357  5.5
24 FM Ian Mackay 2328  5.5
25 Jeff Reeve 2314  5.5
26 Alexander Martchenko 2314  5.5
27 Nicolas Haynes 2290  5.5
28 Liam Henry 2280  5.5
29 FM Dale Haessel 2276  5.5
30 FM Kevin Gentes 2270  5.5
31 Peter Kalisvaart 2255  5.5
32 Keith MacKinnon 2241  5.5
33 Noam Davies 2214  5.5
34 Avinaash Sundar 2210  5.5
35 Tanraj S Sohal 2072  5.5
36 IM Joseph Bradford 2459  5.0
37 FM Vladimir Pechenkin 2366  5.0
38 WIM Alisa Melekhina 2315  5.0
39 FM Michael Langer 2313  5.0
40 Zhichao Li 2264  5.0
41 Lucas Davies 2244  5.0
42 Nicholas Moloney 2230  5.0
43 William Doubleday 2198  5.0
44 Aron Kaptsan 2159  5.0
45 WFM Dina Kagramanov 2140  5.0
46 Daniel Van Heirzeele 2137  5.0
47 Alex Yam 2060  5.0
48 Richard Wang 2045  5.0
49 Jason Manley 2045  5.0
50 David Zhang 1999  5.0
51 Brendan Fan 1992  5.0
52 Richard Huang 1952  5.0
53 Dezheng Kong 1890  5.0

British GM Michael Adams, who in the final round has black against...

...this contender for first place in the event: IM Irina Krush of the US

Round seven commentary by GM Alexander Shabalov (highlights)

Alexander Shabalov (born September 12, 1967) is an American chess grandmaster of Latvian origin, and like his fellow Latvians Alexei Shirov and Mikhail Tal he is known for courting complications even at the cost of objective soundness. He is a four-times winner of the US Championship and currently rated 2580 on the FIDE ratings list.

Until recently Shabalov regularly lectured chess players of all ages at the House of Chess, a store that he ran at the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until it closed in mid-2007. He has been known to play against anyone who shows up, and to be similarly obliging to autograph-seekers.

In the following we bring you a selection of Shabalov's excellent daily commentary of the Canadian Open. By clicking the link at the end of each game you can view the full commentary (including additional games we have given here). Remember that on our JavaScript replay board you can click on the notation to follow the moves on the graphic chessboard.

Shirov,Alexei (2748) - Ganguly,Surya (2637)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (7), 17.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

Alexei Shirov vs Surya Ganguly in round seven

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 13.Qxc3 0-0-0 14.Rb1 Nf5 15.Rg1 d4 16.Qd3 Na5?! This is one of the sidelines where Surya had some sweet memories (see the game below). But the main line that remains in question is 16...f6! 17.g4 Nh4 18.exf6 e5 19.f5 e4 20.Qxe4 Rge8 21.Qf4 Ne5 22.Rg3 Qxc2 23.Rb2 Qc5 24.f7 Nxf7-/+ 1/2 Goloshchapov,A (2519) -Svane,H (2159)/Esbjerg] 17.Rb4! [17.g4!? This direct attempt to punish Black backfired in 17...Ba4 18.c3 (18.gxf5 Bxc2 19.Qb5 Rxg1 20.Nxg1 a6? led to a loss after 21.Qb6 Bxb1 22.Qxb1 Nb3 23.Kd1 in 1-0 Smirnov,P (2575) -Arslanov,S (2365)/Dagomys RUS 2009, but(20...Rd5! equalizes 21.Qe8+ (21.Qb2 is a scary move to play after either 21...d3 or 21...Nb3) 21...Rd8 22.Qb5 Rd5=) ) 18...Bc2 19.Qxc2 d3 20.Qa2 Qc5 21.Rg2 Ne3 22.Ng3 Rxg4 23.Rf2 Nac4 24.Qb3 b6 25.Qa4 Nc2+ 26.Rxc2 dxc2 27.Qxc2 Ne3 28.Qe4 Rd1+ 29.Ke2 Nd5 30.Bd2 Rxb1 31.Qxb1 Rxf4 32.Qd3 Rf2+ 33.Kd1 Qxa3 34.Qa6+ Qxa6 35.Bxa6+ Kb8 36.h4 Rh2 37.h5 Rh3 38.Be1 Nf4 39.Be2 Nxe2 40.Kxe2 a5 41.Kf3 a4 42.Kg4 Rh2 43.c4 a3 44.Kg5 a2 45.Bc3 Rg2 46.Kg4 Rc2 47.Ba1 Rxc4+ 48.Kg5 Rc1 49.Bb2 Rg1 50.Kf4 Kc7 51.h6 a1Q 52.Bxa1 Rxa1 53.h7 Ra8 54.Kg5 Kc6 55.Ne4 Rh8 56.Kh6 Kd5 57.Nd6 Rxh7+ 58.Kxh7 Kxe5 59.Nxf7+ Kd5 60.Kg6 b5 61.Ng5 b4 62.Nf3 e5 63.Kf5 e4 64.Ng5 e3 65.Kf4 e2 66.Nf3 b3 0-1 Volokitin,A (2645)-Ganguly,S (2571)/Moscow. 17...Nc6. Also not enough is 17...a6 18.g4 Ne3 19.Nxd4 Nd5 20.Rb2+/-. 18.Rc4 Be8 19.g4 Nh4 20.Rg3 f6. This meets beautiful refutation by Alexey, but the Black position is pretty grim anyway. 20...Qa5+ 21.Bd2 Qd5 22.Bb4 Kb8 23.Bd6+ Ka8 24.Rc5 Qh1 25.Qh7 Rxg4 26.Rxg4 Nf3+ 27.Kf2 Nxh2 28.Qh3 Nxg4+ 29.Qxg4 Bd7 30.Qh3 Qe4 31.Bg2 Qg6 32.Qh1 1-0 Peli,G-Oren,I/Israeli CC Champs. 21.exf6 Bg6

22.Rxc6!! Qxc6 23.Nxd4 Qh1 [23...Qc7 24.Qb3] 24.f5 exf5 25.Bf4 Be8. Trading queens leads to a funny checkmate in three: 25...Qe4+ 26.Qxe4 fxe4 27.Rc3+ Kd7 28.Bb5#. 26.Qc4+ Bc6 27.Qe6+ Bd7 28.Rc3+ 1-0. [Click to replay]

Kovalyov,Anton (2586) - Ni,Hua (2701)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (7), 17.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Qa4+ Bd7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 a6! 7.Qb3. Anton played this line before.The main move [7.d4 led White to some serious troubles in 7...b5 8.Qb3 c5 9.dxc5 Bg7 10.e4 0-0 11.Be2 Be6 12.Qc2 Nbd7 13.Be3 Rc8 14.c6 Rxc6 15.Nd4 Rd6 16.Rd1 Ng4 17.Bxg4 Bxg4 18.f3 Ne5 19.Bf2 Nc4 20.Nc6 Bxc3+ 21.bxc3 Qc7 22.Nb4 Be6 23.0-0 Rfd8 24.Bd4 a5 25.Nd3 b4 26.Nf4 Qd7 27.Rc1 Na3 28.Qf2 Nb5 29.Bc5 Rd2 30.Qh4 f6 31.cxb4 axb4 32.Qh6 Rxa2 33.Nxg6 hxg6 34.Qxg6+ Kh8 35.Qh6+ 1/2 Nakamura,H (2701)-Kamsky,G (2720)/Saint Louis USA] 7...b5 [7...Bg7 8.g3 b5 9.a4 bxa4 10.Nxa4 0-0 11.Bg2 Bc6 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.d3 Rb8 14.Qc2 Bd5 15.Nd2 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 c5 17.Nc4 Qc7 18.Bf4 e5 19.Be3 Nd5 20.Nc3 Nb4 21.Qd2 f5 22.Bh6 Bxh6 23.Qxh6 Nf6 24.h3 Nc2 25.Rac1 Nd4 26.Ra1 Rfe8 27.Kh2 Re6 28.Qd2 Rbe8 29.Qd1 Kh8 30.e3 Nb5 31.Qe2 f4 32.Ne4 Nxe4 33.dxe4 Rf8 34.Qg4 Ref6 35.Kg1 fxg3 36.Qxg3 Re6 37.Rad1 Qb7 38.Rd5 Rfe8 39.Rfd1 Nc7 40.Nd6 1-0 Kovalyov,A (2557) -Zinchenko,Y (2527)/ICC INT] 8.a4 Be6 9.Qa3 b4!? 10.Qxb4 Nc6 11.Qc5. White should look at 11.Qh4 for possible improvement. 11...Qd6 12.Qxd6 exd6 This endgame is known to be better for Black. 13.g3 Nb4 14.Nd4 Bd7 15.Bg2 Rb8 16.0-0 Bg7 17.Rb1 0-0 18.b3?! White's defencive strategy (18.b3, 20.Ne1) doesn't look very convincing. Black kept his position better at all times, but probably was not decisive enough to win it. 18...c5 19.Nf3 Rfe8 20.Ne1?! The original game saw 20.Bb2 Be6 21.d4 Bxb3 22.dxc5 dxc5 23.Nd2 Bc2 24.Rbc1 Nd7 25.a5 c4 26.Ba1 Nc5 27.Na2 Bb3 28.Nxb4 Rxb4 29.Bxg7 Kxg7 30.e3 Rd8 31.Nf3 Ba4 32.Ne5 Bb5 33.Bc6 Nb3 34.Rc3 Nxa5 35.Bxb5 axb5 36.Ra1 Rd5 37.Nxg6 hxg6 38.Rxa5 Rb1+ 39.Kg2 b4 0-1 Avrukh,B (2644)-Svidler,P (2728)/Germany. 20...Nc6. 20...Bf5! 21.d3 Ng4 would win a pawn back while the remaining white pawns are still good targets. 21.Nc2 Nd4 22.Nxd4 cxd4 23.Nd5 Bxa4. Black correctly asseses the resulting position as better for him, but 23...Bf5 24.d3 Rxe2 25.Rd1 Ng4-/+ would be even stronger. 24.Ra1 Bxb3 25.Nxf6+ Bxf6 26.Rxa6 Bc4 27.Rxd6 Bxe2 28.Re1 Kg7 29.Bc6 Re7 30.Ba3 Bg4 31.Be4

31...Rc7?! There was a bunch of interesting possibilities on the previous moves for Black, but he simply got tired exploring them all and allows White to liquidate into a drawn endgame. 32.Rxf6 Kxf6 33.Bd6 Rbc8 34.Bxc7 Rxc7 35.f3 Be6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Adams,Michael (2699) - Zhao,Xue (2544)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (7), 17.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

Michael Adams vs Zhao Xue in round seven

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Be2 Bf5 7.0-0 Nd7

8.Bg4! This is the move to remember from this game. The exchange of the light square bishops leads to a position where Black lacks any counterplay. [8.Nf3 was White's automatic choice before this game.] 8...Bxg4 9.Qxg4 White improves on the visibly unnatural move by the author of "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg". Mike was always a man of tradition. [9.Nxg4 e6 10.c4 N5f6 11.Nc3 Nxg4 12.Qxg4 Nf6 13.Qh4 Be7 14.Rd1 Qa5 15.Qg3 Rd8 16.Bf4 Qf5 17.Bc7 Rd7 18.Bb8 0-0 19.Bxa7 b5 20.Bb6 bxc4 21.a4 Bd6 22.Qf3 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Nd5 24.Bc5 Bxc5 25.dxc5 Rb7 26.Rd2 Ra8 27.a5 Rba7 28.Ra4 Rxa5 29.Rxc4 Ra1+ 30.Kg2 Ne7 31.Rcd4 Nd5 32.Nxd5 exd5 33.Rb4 Rc1 34.Rb6 Rxc5 35.b4 Rc4 36.b5 cxb5 37.Rxd5 g6 38.Rdxb5 Kg7 39.Rb7 Ra6 40.Rb4 Rc5 41.R4b5 Rcc6 42.Rb4 Rf6 43.Kg3 Rac6 44.Rf4 Rxf4 45.Kxf4 Rc1 46.h4 Rg1 47.Rb4 Rg2 48.Ke3 Rh2 49.Rf4 Rh1 50.Ra4 Kh6 51.Rb4 f5 52.Ra4 Kh5 53.Ra7 h6 54.Kf4 Kxh4 55.Rg7 Rg1 56.Ke5 Kh3 57.f4 h5 58.Kf6 h4 59.Rh7 Rg4 60.f3 Rg3 61.Rh6 Rxf3 62.Kxg6 Kg4 63.Rh5 Rxf4 64.Rg5+ Kf3 65.Rh5 Kg3 66.Kg5 Rb4 67.Kf6 h3 68.Rg5+ Rg4 69.Rxf5 Rf4 0-1 Pogonina,N (2429)-Zhao Xue (2500)/Krasnoturinsk] 9...e6 [9...Nxe5 10.dxe5 Qd7 11.Qe2 0-0-0!? was the only chance to radically change the situation on the board] 10.Rd1 N5f6 11.Qe2 Be7 12.c4 0-0 13.Nc3 Re8 Eventually Black just suffocates. 14.Rd3 Nf8 15.Bf4 Qb6 16.Rad1 Rad8 17.b3 Qa6 18.h4 N6d7 19.h5 Nxe5 20.Bxe5 f6 21.Bf4 Qa5 22.Ne4 Rd7 23.Rg3 f5 Now Black loses on the dark squares, but the 24.Qg4 threat was too strong 24.Be5 Bh4 25.Nf6+ Bxf6 26.Bxf6 Rf7 27.Be5 Nd7 28.Bf4 e5 Black doesn't want to die a slow death, but if you have to give a pawn like this to Mike you may resign just as well 29.dxe5 Nc5 30.Re3 Ne6 31.g3 Qc7 32.Red3 h6 33.Rd6 Kh7 34.Qf3 Qe7 35.Kg2 Qc7 36.b4 Qc8 37.a4 Rfe7 38.Qd3 Rf8 39.Be3 Kg8 40.f4 a6 41.Bc5 Nxc5 42.bxc5 Qe8 43.Qe2 Qf7 44.Rg6 1-0. [Click to replay]

Porper,Edward (2510) - Mikhalevski,Victor (2631)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (7), 17.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Bd7 11.Rb1 Qc7 12.Bd3 Rfd8?! Less popular, but not necessarily a lesser alternative to the main line. [12...Rad8 13.Qc1 Bc8 14.Rd1 b6 15.h3 Bb7 16.f4 cxd4 17.cxd4 e6 18.Rb3 Qd6 19.Bb1 Ba6 20.e5 Qd7 21.Ng3 Ne7 22.Ne4 Nd5 23.Bf2 Rc8 24.Qd2 Rc6 25.g4 f5 26.exf6 Nxf6 27.Nxf6+ Bxf6 28.Rc3 Rxc3 29.Qxc3 Bb7 30.Re1 Bg7 31.Qd2 Qd6 32.Be4 Bxe4 33.Rxe4 Rc8 34.Qe3 Qd5 35.Rxe6 Bxd4 36.Re8+ Rxe8 37.Qxe8+ Kg7 38.Qe7+ 1/2 Aronian,L (2754)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2684)/Paris FRA] 13.h3 Be8 14.d5 Ne5 15.c4 a6!? It might easily have been an improvement over [15...e6 16.Nf4 Rab8 17.Be2 Rd6 18.Qc2 Ra6 19.Rb5 Bf8 20.a4 Bxb5 21.cxb5 Rd6 22.Qc3 Bg7 23.Qxc5 Rc8 24.Qxa7 b6 25.Qxc7 Rxc7 26.Rd1 Bf6 27.dxe6 Rxd1+ 28.Bxd1 fxe6 29.Bb3 1-0 Topalov,V (2791)-Svidler,P (2727)/Nanjing CHN] 16.Nc1 Rab8? if Black would follow it with [16...e6!? now that the white knight is away from the f4 square. This way he falls into a very passive position.] 17.f4 Nd7 18.Qc2 Nb6 19.Ne2 Na4 20.e5 b5 21.Nc3 Nxc3 22.Qxc3 e6 23.Be4 exd5?! This loses control over the f5 square and Black succumbs to a direct attack. 24.cxd5 c4 The Black passers are no match to White's moveable center 25.Bd4

25...f5?! Victor panics. [25...Qb7 with the idea Rxd5 would distract White from the immediate f4-f5 breakthrough.] 26.exf6 Bf8 27.Be5 Qc5+ 28.Kh1 Rb7 29.f5 Rxd5 30.Bxd5+ Qxd5 31.Rbd1 Qc6 32.Rd8 b4 33.Qg3 c3 34.Bd6! Exchanging the most important defender. 34...Bxd6 35.Rxd6 Qb5 36.Re1 Rb8 37.Qe3 c2 38.Qe7 Qb7 39.Qxb7 Rxb7 40.Rxe8+ Kf7 41.Rc8 1-0. [Click to replay]

Bluvshtein,Mark (2598) - Panjwani,Raja (2418)
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (7), 17.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

Raja Panjwani and Mark Bluvshtein before the start of their critical round seven game

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Be3 c6 I think the real test of White's move order must start with [6...c5] 7.Nf3 a6 Since I play c6 and a6 in the King's Indian myself sometimes, I must admit that this is just a demonstration that Black doesn't know the mainstream theory. 8.e5 Good reaction.Also very effective is [8.c5 b6 9.cxd6 exd6 10.Bd3 b5 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Re1 Re8 13.Bg5 Qb6 14.Rc1 Bb7 15.a3 c5 16.e5 Nd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.dxc5 dxc5 19.Bxg6 Qb7 20.Bf5 Bxf3 21.Qxd7 Bxg2 22.Rxc5 Bh1 23.Qxb7 Bxb7 24.Bd7 Reb8 25.Rc7 Bd5 26.f4 Be6 27.Rd1 h6 28.Bh4 b4 29.a4 Bxd7 30.Rdxd7 1-0 Miroshnichenko,E (2667)-Weiss,C (2424)/Graz AUT] 8...Ne8 9.Be2 Nd7 10.exd6 Nxd6 11.0-0 Nf5 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bf4 g5 14.Bh2 Qb6 15.Na4 Qa5 16.a3 b5 17.Nc3 bxc4 18.Bxc4 Qb6 19.Na4 Qa7 20.d5!? [20.Qc2! was much stronger. 20...Nxd4 21.Nxd4 Bxd4 (21...Qxd4 22.Rad1 Qf6 23.f4->) 22.Rfe1 e6 23.Rad1 with ovewhelming initiative.] 20...Bb7?! This move leaves a target - Nf5. Black should have started with [20...cxd5 21.Bxd5 Bb7 with equal chances.] 21.Qc2 Nd4 22.Nxd4 Qxd4 23.dxc6 Bxc6

24.Bxf7+?! This wins a pawn, but it might led to an almost equal endgame. [24.Rad1 Qf6 25.Nc3+/= White dominates in the center, ready to explore g5 activity.] 24...Rxf7? This automatic move loses the game. Black should have employ the idea from famous Adams-Shirov, Biel 1991 Dragon encounter [24...Kxf7! 25.Qxc6 Rac8 26.Qf3+ Kg6 27.Qd1 Nc5 28.Nxc5 Qxd1 29.Raxd1 Rxc5+/=] 25.Qxc6 Raf8 26.Qc2 It may seem like Black has some play for a pawn, but with few safe moves White consolidates. [26.Rad1? Rxf2] 26...Nb6 27.Nc3 Nc4 28.Rad1 Qc5? Black misses his last chance to ensure some fight. [28...Nxa3 29.Qe2 Qc5+/-] 29.Ne4!+- With this move White not only dominates the black knight, but also forces favorable exchanges. 29...Qc8 30.Rc1 Nb6 31.Qxc8 Nxc8 32.Rc6 Nd6 33.Nxd6 exd6 34.Bxd6 Rd8 35.Bc5 a5 36.b4 axb4 37.axb4 Rd2 38.b5 Rc2 39.Be3 1-0 [Click to replay]

Pictures and videos

FM Victor Plotkin, who has a vague resemblance to Garry Kasparov, as people repeatedly point out

FM Vladimir Pechekin, formerly the top player at the University of Toronto, and a member of the UofT team that won the Canadian University Chess Championships a few years ago. He is only an FM, but managed to draw GM Adams in the third round.

Robert (Bob) Armstrong is a class 'A' player that has recently drawn three Masters (two in the Toronto Open, one in the Canadian Open), after losing to every other Master he has played in his life. One of the drawn Masters was GM Mark Bluvshtein's father. As a senior his game seems to be rising to a new level, which is entirely unexpected for a player of his age (just over 60). More practically, he is one of the most active governors with the Chess Federation of Canada, and was a governor with the Ontario Chess Association – fulfilling the term of a resignee. He does his part to hold the executive accountable to the rank-and-file, serving as an unofficial liasion between the two.

Michael Barron, President of the Greater Toronto Chess League, and former Canadian Zonal President (a.k.a. FIDE Representative)

IM Leonid Gerzhoy, rated 2530, is another acquisition from overseas. Leonid was an IM before he got here, and won the Canadian Junior Championship in 2007 – with a perfect score – ahead of two of our best home-grown talents, Raja Panjwani and Nikolay Noritsyn (who went on to become Canadian Closed Champion later that same year).

IM Zhe Quan, rated 2465, is currently top board on New York University's chess team. He tied for first in the U14 Canadian Boys Championship, with FM Raja Panjwani, back in 2004. He also won the Canadian Junior Championship in 2004 – one of the youngest to win that title.

Francois Nadeau, 1760, from Northern Ontario. Canada has an interesting structure for its provincial youth chess championships, as Ontario is divided into two "provinces" – Northern Ontario and Ontario. In 2001, Francois tied for first in the U14 Boys championship for Northern Ontario.

Photos Tracy Kolenchuk and Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi, captions by Michael von Keitz

Video impressions of the Canadian Open by Zeljka Malobabic

Here is the remaining schedule:

Round 9 Sunday July 19th 12:00 PM
Awards Presentation  Sunday  July 19th 6:00   PM


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and a selection on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register