2022 Ontario Open Recap

Videos of the Event

Below are two videos of the 2022 Ontario Open, from the Annex Chess Club YouTube Channel.

Tournament Recap

Tournament Interviews – Players, Sponsors, Organizers

The Tournament

The 2022 Ontario Open was successfully completed on May 23, 2022.

We think it was a great event based on what many of the players have told us either verbally, by email, or through social media posts. Players especially enjoyed the venue, the strong field, the interesting and supportive sponsors, and ACC’s organization and attention to detail.

Click on any individual image on this page to see a larger version.

Here are some links to the final cross-tables after all 6 rounds were completed.

Crown (32 players)
U2200 (37 players)
U1800 (35 players)
U1400 (67 players)

Below are some additional notes about the tournament.

The 2022 Ontario Open was awarded by OCA (see below) to ACC on March 9, 2022. The Tournament ran over the Victoria Day long weekend, May 21 through May 23, at the beautiful West Toronto Masonic Temple, 151 Annette Street west of Keele in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood (Interesting trivia: The venue’s “Blue Room” had been previously used in a promotional video—“Alex’s Gambit” made by Ken Remark, George Supol and Michael Sutton for Chess Institute of Canada.)

The six-round tournament had 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 could request up to two half-point byes after registration. There were four sections—Crown, U2200, U1800 and U1400. Initial details appeared in the official tournament flyer.

This tournament was sold out for over a month prior to the start of the tournament. Please refer to our Guestlist Registration site for additional details. We also posted both our Refund and COVID-19 Masking Policies for the Tournament there.

The final 2022 Ontario Open players’ list of 170 players was spread across 4 sections (Crown, U2200, U1800, U1400) and included …

  • 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; and
  • 20 players playing up a section.

Several spots were made available Saturday morning for purchase. Those successful in getting a late registration ticket got a half-point bye for Round #1 and were paired for Round #2.

The size and distribution of the field, and the rapid sellout, have confirmed 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 have seen the strong representation of titled players including some top women players, plus many junior and unrated players in the tournament.

Nikolay Noritsyn was the overall winner of the 2022 Ontario Open. The final prize fund of $9,201 was distributed as follows (click to see readable full-size version):

Management of the Tournament

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

Alex Ferreira was Tournament Arbiter. Long-time ACC Board member and Chess Institute of Canada instructor, Keith Denning, was Assistant Arbiter.

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

Weather Drama

On Saturday, the first day of the tournament, we had some weather drama. High winds in and around the GTA felled a tree next to the venue and it blocked the adjacent road. As well, a glass window was blown out in the skittles room (top left window on the second floor). Luckily, there were no injuries.

Chess Brilliancy Prize & Tournament Article

American Chess Magazine (ACM) made 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 roughly 100 pages per issue, six issues per year.

In addition, ACM provided a chess brilliancy prize for the tournament. Both players of the brilliancy game (won by Mail-Jade Ouellet, WGM) won free subscriptions to the magazine. A second place honorable mention was given to Nathan Hilker, winner of the U1400 section. Both annotated games are presented in the June 2020 Issue #27 of ACM.

Jacques Katz Spirit of Chess Award

The Jacques Katz Spirit of Chess Award was 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 Greater Toronto Area (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, love of chess, 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.

Due to the pandemic interfering with normal chess gatherings, the Jacque Katz Spirit of Chess Awards had been deferred but were finally presented at the Tournament as follows:

Victor Plotkin – 2020 award (presented to Victor by his son, Mark Plotkin)

Marcus Wilker – 2021 award (accepted for Marcus by Keith Denning)

Michael Barron – 2022 award (presented to Michael by Alex Ferreira)

These individuals have all helped to promote and develop chess and the spirit of chess, in meaningful ways, across the GTA.

During the presentation of the three Awards, Oren Katz gave a lovely speech about his brother, Jacques. Other members of the Katz family also attended. Maxie and Jordan Winick from Spirit of Math shared remembrances of their parents, Ted and Heidi Winick, who were long-time promoters and supporters of chess in the GTA. Maxie, Jordan and sister Kailyn continue the tradition.

Sponsors of the Tournament

Annex Chess Club was honoured to receive financial sponsorship of this tournament from an impressive group of corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals. Sponsors were 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 onto the Tournament.

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