2022 Ontario Open Chess Tournament:

The Tournament

The 2022 Ontario Open was awarded by the Ontario Chess Association to Annex Chess Club (ACC) on March 9, 2022. The Tournament will run over the Victoria Day long weekend, May 21 through May 23, at the beautiful West Toronto Masonic Temple, at 151 Annette Street west of Keele in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood.

The six-round tournament will have two rounds per day at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., with a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move. Players may request up to two half-point byes after registration. The tournament has four sections: Crown, U2200, U1800 and U1400. Initial details appeared in the official tournament flyer, though there have been some updates.

First-time Canadian resident players are required to have a current Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) membership. These memberships may be purchased at CFC online or at the ACC front desk on Monday nights. They may also be purchased at the tournament site.

Note: This tournament is now sold out. Please refer to our Guestlist Registration site for details. We have also posted both our Refund and COVID-19 Masking Policies for the Tournament there.

As of May 19, 2022, the 2022 Ontario Open combined players’ list (161 players) includes, spread across 4 sections (Crown, U2200, U1800, U1400), the following:

  • 28 titled players (including 25 in the Crown section) as follows: 2 GMs, 2 WGMs, 7 IMs, 3 WIMs, 4 FMs, 1 WFM, 2 CMs, 6 NMs, and 1 AIM
  • 60 junior players (<18)
  • 34 unrated players playing in a chess tournament for the first time
  • 20 players playing up a section

This distribution of players confirms that over-the-board chess is back in the GTA in a big way, even while we continue to deal with the residual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACC Board is pleased to see the strong representation of titled players (including some top women players), junior players and unrated players in the tournament.

In addition to normal monetary prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place in each section), there will also be special monetary prizes for: the top woman player in the Crown Section; the top U1000 player; and a total of 5 unrated players’ prizes. The total tournament prize fund is now estimated to be in the range of of $8,500 to $9,000, depending on final player numbers and event costs.

Here are links to the current players’ lists for all four sections:

First round pairings will be available online around 1:00 A.M. Saturday morning on the Chess-results.com server.

A few spots will likely be made available Saturday morning (details to follow). Those successful in getting a late registration ticket will get a half-point bye for Round #1 and be paired for Round #2.

Members of the media are expected to be onsite for partial coverage of the Ontario Open. In addition, ACC will also have its own videographer present each day of the tournament.

Management of the Tournament

The Tournament Organizer is long-time Annex Chess Club Board Member, George Supol.

Alex Ferreira is Tournament Arbiter.

Long-time ACC Board member and Chess Institute of Canada instructor, Keith Denning, is Assistant Arbiter.

ACC Board members (Salim Belcadi – Board Chair/President, Keith Denning, Michael Sutton and Melanie Directo) are all helping to co-manage different aspects of the tournament.

Jacques Katz Spirit of Chess Award

The Jacques Katz Spirit of Chess Award will be presented at the tournament prior to the start of Rd #4 (i.e. 4 p.m.) on Sunday afternoon.

This award is normally handed out on an annual basis by the management of two organizations—Annex Chess Club and Chess Institute of Canada. The award recognizes the great work done by a recipient in making a meaningful contribution to the advancement of chess in the GTA, while demonstrating the highest and best spirit associated with the game of chess. Previous recipients of the award were Ted Winick (2018) and Alex Ferreira (2019).

Through this award, we honour the life and contributions of Jacques Amir Katz, an Annex Chess Club member who died in 2017. We remember Jacques for: his sportsmanship; his love of chess; his setting a positive example for others to follow; and for promoting and teaching chess to children. We also remember how Jacques enjoyed his time playing chess and interacting with other members of our club, even while he was engaged with his own personal health struggles.

Here is a link to the Jacques Katz Memorial Scholarship Fund webpage.

Members of the Katz and Winick families will be present at the tournament.

Chess Brilliancy Prize & Tournament Article

American Chess Magazine (ACM) will make available to tournament players a number of free copies of its magazine plus some other free swag. ACM is an award-winning, print-only, glossy magazine about chess—with over 100 pages per issue, six issues per year.

In addition, ACM is providing a chess brilliancy prize for the tournament. During the tournament, players may submit their games for consideration of the brilliancy prize. A small team of chess enthusiasts will assist tournament organizers in identifying the the top game of the tournament (from both submitted and unsubmitted games). Both players of that game will win free subscriptions to the magazine and be asked to annotate the game for inclusion in a larger ACM article to be written about the tournament.

Due to timing, the brilliancy prize may not be announced until after the end of the tournament. This info will be mentioned at the tournament prior to the start of Rd #1 (i.e. 10:00 a.m.) on Saturday morning.

Sponsors of the Tournament

Annex Chess Club is honoured to receive financial sponsorship of this tournament from an impressive group of corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals. Sponsors will be introduced at the tournament prior to the start of Rd #3 (i.e. 10:00 a.m.) on Sunday morning.

The eight sponsors listed below all agree that learning and playing chess is a wonderful pursuit for people of all ages, and their businesses and philosophies align nicely with the “we support chess” proposition. Sponsors are listed below in the order in which they signed on.

Ontario Chess Association (OCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and promoting chess within Ontario. It directs, develops and administers programs to encourage the development of chess activity in leagues, clubs, schools and other groups. It also gets directly involved in directing, coordinating, supervising and promoting interleague chess championship matches and tournaments. To learn more about OCA, click here.

Spirit of Math is an innovative leader in after-school mathematics education through its 40-campus global teaching community, and Spirit of Math Central Toronto Campus successfully addresses the needs of high-performing downtown Toronto students and their families. Scientific studies show that there is a significant positive link between learning math and learning chess. This SOM Campus is owned and operated by the Winick Family, long-time supporters of chess in the GTA. In addition, we honour the memory of both Ted and Heidi Winick for their past support. To learn more about Spirit of Math, click here.

OXO Innovation is a great global content partner to have when expanding your business beyond borders. With its team of in-house advisors, translators, copywriters and localization engineers, OXO helps companies deliver a premium customer experience in any language. Whether it’s on the chessboard or in the boardroom, OXO believes that thinking strategically is the key to success. That’s why OXO supports you, the client, through every step of your globalization journey, from planning and implementing your content strategy, to measuring your localization ROI. Learn more about OXO here.

LearningChess.net has built an internationally recognized online chess instruction system. It provides a playful and interactive way to study chess instead of relying on “heavy” books and long videos. Students and their coaches can easily track/monitor a chess student’s progress throughout their chess learning journey. Learn more about LearningChess.net here.

Chess Institute of Canada (CIC) is a Canadian registered charity that delivers integrated chess and life skills education programs to children and other learners. Through its Chess to Life™ programs, CIC makes learning and playing chess fun and stimulating for students in both in-person and online settings. As students develop new chess skills, they also learn to apply this knowledge in ways that mitigate life’s day-to-day challenges. As a result, CIC students create a toolkit of life skills that help them to achieve resiliency, leadership fundamentals, and self-concept. Learn more about CIC here.

Royal Antique Rugs is a century-old business owned and operated by the Bakhshi family of Tehran. It specializes in the buying, selling, cleaning and expert restoration of antique rugs and hand-woven textiles. Owner David Bakhshi is recognized internationally for his extensive knowledge and superior restoration skills. The company is located in Toronto and Kingston and is a new but enthusiastic sponsor of chess. Learn more about Royal Antique Rugs here.

The Herzig Family has supported chess teaching organizations in the past principally through donations from Mrs. Rivette Herzig, co-founder of Herzig Somerville Limited, a well-known high-quality commercial prepress/printing firm that operated in the GTA for many years. Mr. Ernie Herzig (co-founder, dec.) thoroughly enjoyed playing casual chess and we honour his memory and thank Mrs. Herzig for her continued support. Barcode Graphics Inc., a company owned by John Herzig (their son) is also providing Annex Chess Club with free QR codes/consulting for use at the tournament. Learn more about Barcode Graphics here.

EION Wireless, a division of Eion Inc., is a privately owned Canadian technology company, based in Kanata, Ontario. Its broadband wireless portfolio delivers last-mile 4G LTE, CBRS, PTP, PTMP Wireless, and Wi-Fi solutions for enterprises, service providers, defence agencies, security agencies, and remote communities. Through a combination of a wide range of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio systems, plus robust and scalable broadband gateways, EION is able to deploy and support multiple applications. The Company’s carrier-class IP experience, wireless networking skills, and security expertise help it to bring highly reliable and secure communications solutions to a global list of clients. Learn more about EION Wireless here.

Chess for everyone