ACC “Hit the Books” Swiss

reading chess books

When Toronto chess players feel that end-of-summer nip in the air, it means only one thing: not that the malls are in back-to-school mode, nor that the CNE is in full swing, but that the Toronto Labour Day Open is just around the corner. In other words, it’s time to hit the books and prepare for the 2014-2015 chess season.

The ACC Hit the Books Swiss is a five-round regular club tournament, divided in three sections by CFC rating – Crown (minimum 1800), Reserve A (under-1900; minimum 1400), and Reserve B (under-1500). Tournament games are CFC-rated, and games in the Crown section are FIDE-rated.

Rounds are every Monday night, August 18 to September 22 (except September 1, Labour Day).

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Round 1 – August 18

The tournament starts with only 40 players – I hope the name didn’t scare anyone! As in every Swiss, Round One sees David-versus-Goliath matchups – and it’s fun to report the upsets.

In the Crown section, Hugh Siddeley scores an upset win over SCC Champion Dave Southam, Hanyuan Ye defeats 100-point favourite Daniel Wiebe, and Miroslav Stefanovic does well to draw Rodrigo Oliveira, the winner of our last club tournament.

In U1900, newcomer Nicholas Wu scores an upset win over Daniel Sirkovich, the highest-rated player in the section.

Finally, while U1500 is free of major upsets, we’re happy to welcome to the club unrated newcomers Jimmy Fitzgerald, Leon Gagarin, and Kamran Amirirad.

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Round 2 – August 25

Before the round starts, players are treated to a lecture by Omar Shah, “Musings from Canadian Open: Montreal 2014.”

The lecture focuses on an interesting moment from one of Shah’s games at this year’s COCC, and uses the audience’s thinking about the position to mine gems of insight about the process of chess analysis.

Reflecting on the analytic process has been a preoccupation of Shah’s for the past year. For those interested in following him on this journey, he recommends starting with Soltis’ The Inner Game of Chess. Shah’s lecture also includes some advice on attending an out-of-town Canadian Open: don’t do it alone. The lecture is lively and interactive, with plenty of audience participation throughout. Thank you, Omar!

The round gets started at 7:30 pm.

Both Tigran Ghazarian and Jack Maguire, winners of last tournament’s U1500 and U1900 sections, are taking advantage of the opportunity to play in a higher section in this event, but both received full-point byes in the first round because of odd numbers. Now entering round two with a full 1.0/1, they each face tough veteran opponents in their sections. Amazingly, Tigran Ghazarian manages to take down Hooshang Abbarin, and now has a 2-0 record in U1900! Maguire, however, is not so lucky against Bill Evans in the Crown section.

Along with Bill Evans, the crème de la crème atop the Crown section includes Jonathan Yu and Club Champion Michael Humphreys, all with 2.0/2.

In U1900, Tigran Ghazarian is joined at the top by Ulli Diemer and Vlad Nitu, all with 2.0/2. U1900 play also sees newcomer Irina Saneblidze, who hasn’t played chess since she was young, start her triumphant return in fine style with a win against young Arhant Washimkar. Congratulations, Irina!

In U1500, two players are still perfect: Jean-Marc David and Qi Zhou stand atop the section with 2.0/2.

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Round 3 – September 8

In the top section, Michael Humphreys, with a win over Jon Yu, and Bill Evans, with a win over Arkadiy Ugodnikov, are the only two who remain with perfect 3.0/3 records. Next week, Humphreys, the club champion, will face off against Evans, the veteran master. Southam, Yu, and Ferreira are just a point behind at 2.0/3.

In U1900, young Tigran Ghazarian, fresh from the U1500 section, is mopping up in the middle section as well! If he wins the U1900 section, he’ll be able to play in the Crown next tournament. With a win over Ulli Diemer, Ghazarian is now the only player with 3.0/3, but Vlad Nitu is just a half point behind at 2.5/3.

In U1500, there’s a three-way tie for the lead as unrated Kamran Amirirad, with a win over Richard Morrison, catches up with Jean-Marc David, who took a bye, and Qi Zhou, who was held to a draw by Raymond Lin.

Thanks to Pepin Manalo for sharing his game from the Crown section!

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Round 4 – September 15

The cold weather seems to be bringing players back to the club; the Crown section has reached 20!

In that Crown section, three-time Club Champion Michael Humphreys stands undefeated after a win over Bill Evans. Standing a point ahead of the competition at 4.0/4, and having defeated both 3/0/4 contenders, Humphreys has clinched the event! Next week, he’ll have the opportunity for a victory lap to make it a perfect 5.0/5.

In the middle (U1900) section, Tigran Ghazarian’s streak is held in check as he and Hooshang Abbarin draw their game. Nevertheless, Ghazarian leads the section by half a point with 3.5/4 going into the final round.

In the bottom (U1500) section, Jean-Marc David takes a bye, allowing Qi Zhou, with a win over Kamran Amirirad, to catch him. Zhou and David enter the final round, both with 3.5/4.

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Round 5 – September 22

The final round sees the champions take perfect results. In the Crown section, Michael Humphreys makes it a perfect 5.0/5, with a win over Daniel Wiebe. In the U1900, Tigran Vaganian wins by forfeit over an absent Vlad Nitu to take the section with 4.5/5. And in the U1500, Qi Zhou defeats Jean-Marc David to take first with 4.5/5.

Congratulations, Michael, Tigran, and Qi!

A new club tournament starts at 7:30 pm next Monday September 29. New players are welcome. Arrive by 7:00 if you’re not already registered!

See complete results on the standings table below.

Final results after Round Five

SwissSys Standings. Hit the Books: Crown

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Michael Humphreys 131628 2307 W16 W7 W2 W4 W9 5.0
2 Jonathan Yu 126131 2076 W22 W19 L1 W13 W4 4.0
3 Daniel Zotkin 146857 2061 H— H— D7 W8 W10 3.5
4 Bill Evans 103309 2027 W17 W11 W8 L1 L2 3.0
5 Matthew Struthers 110170 2018 H— H— U— W20 W13 3.0
6 Rodrigo Oliveira 152923 2216 D18 D20 D11 D10 W7 3.0
7 Hugh Siddeley 120619 1987 W10 L1 D3 W11 L6 2.5
8 Arkadiy Ugodnikov 146626 1947 H— W12 L4 L3 W16 2.5
9 Daniel Wiebe 132137 2064 L19 W22 H— W17 L1 2.5
10 David Southam 102535 2178 L7 W16 W18 D6 L3 2.5
11 Jack Maguire 144604 1608 B— L4 D6 L7 X21 2.5
12 Ismail Ibrahim 105228 2027 H— L8 L17 W22 D15 2.0
13 Alex T. Ferreira 127516 2048 H— D18 W20 L2 L5 2.0
14 Jacob Stein 108627 1746 H— H— U— U— W22 2.0
15 Ian Mahoney 149124 1747 H— H— U— D16 D12 2.0
16 Armand Jess Mendoza 156958 2001 L1 L10 W22 D15 L8 1.5
17 Pepin Manalo 112277 1824 L4 H— W12 L9 U— 1.5
18 Miroslav Stefanovic 154500 1996 D6 D13 L10 H— U— 1.5
19 Hanyuan Ye 144844 1954 W9 L2 U— U— U— 1.0
20 Nicholas Vettese 154199 1950 H— D6 L13 L5 U— 1.0
21 Wajdy Shebetah 148432 2030 H— H— U— U— F11 1.0
22 Antonios Valkanas 158189 1957 L2 L9 L16 L12 L14 0.0

SwissSys Standings. Hit the Books: U1900

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Tigran Ghazarian 155438 1288 B— W2 W6 D5 X4 4.5
2 Hooshang Ab-barin 152910 1659 W10 L1 W9 X8 D3 3.5
3 Vinorth Vigneswaramoorthy 153938 1599 H— W5 D8 W7 D2 3.5
4 Vlad Nitu 154215 1731 W12 W9 H— H— F1 3.0
5 Nicholas Wu 154991 1541 W15 L3 W11 D1 L10 2.5
6 Ulli Diemer 153538 1552 W14 W11 L1 H— L9 2.5
7 Daniele Pirri 132983 1442 L11 W10 X15 L3 U— 2.0
8 Irina Saneblidze unr. H— W12 D3 F2 U— 2.0
9 Mark A. Patton 104721 1601 W13 L4 L2 L10 W6 2.0
10 Marc Ben-Avraham 145628 1439 L2 L7 L12 W9 W5 2.0
11 Atharva Washimkar 153285 1725 W7 L6 L5 D12 U— 1.5
12 Arhant Washimkar 153286 1507 L4 L8 W10 D11 U— 1.5
13 Mark A. Gelowitz 126627 1433 L9 B— U— U— U— 1.0
14 George Supol 152286 1430 L6 H— H— U— U— 1.0
15 Daniel Sirkovich 145096 1759 L5 H— F7 U— U— 0.5

SwissSys Standings. Hit the Books: U1500

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Qi Zhou 158050 1314 W18 W4 D5 W2 W3 4.5
2 Kamran Amirirad unr. D7 W16 W4 L1 W5 3.5
3 Jean-Marc David 151900 1336 W8 W19 H— W6 L1 3.5
4 Richard Morrison 135889 1408 W9 L1 L2 W17 W12 3.0
5 Raymond Lin 150193 1199 W14 D6 D1 W10 L2 3.0
6 Dennis Li 153129 1213 D16 D5 W8 L3 W9 3.0
7 Dylan Xiong 152060 1046 D2 H— D16 D9 W10 3.0
8 Rahul Gangolli 156023 966 L3 W14 L6 W13 U— 2.0
9 Howard Halim 153419 1124 L4 D10 W14 D7 L6 2.0
10 Eli Teram 107314 1201 H— D9 W17 L5 L7 2.0
11 Adam Goldfarb 153496 1326 W15 U— H— H— U— 2.0
12 Larissa Souchko 145490 1008 H— H— U— X16 L4 2.0
13 Kaizen Liu 152053 1047 H— H— U— L8 W14 2.0
14 Leon Gagarin unr. L5 L8 L9 B— L13 1.0
15 Jeffrey Wang Zhu 154492 900 L11 W18 U— U— U— 1.0
16 Jimmy Fitzgerald unr. D6 L2 D7 F12 U— 1.0
17 Ryan Yu 156218 989 H— H— L10 L4 U— 1.0
18 Vicknam Harichandrabose 158191 611 L1 L15 H— U— U— 0.5
19 Mark A. Gelowitz 126627 1442 H— L3 U— U— U— 0.5


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“I started by just sitting by the chessboard exploring things. I didn’t even have books at first, and I just played by myself. I learnt a lot from that, and I feel that it is a big reason why I now have a good intuitive understanding of chess.”

~ Magnus Carlsen


The title picture features Tal’s Life and Games of Mikhail Tal (1997) and Sheerer’s Blackmar Diemer Gambit: A modern guide (2011) – both available from Everyman Chess (formerly Cadogan Chess).

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