The Magnetic Queen – a chess lecture

“The Magnetic Queen” by Rhys Goldstein

“Let us say that a game may be continued in two ways: one of them is a beautiful tactical blow that gives rise to variations that don’t yield to precise calculations; the other is clear positional pressure that leads to an endgame with microscopic chances of victory. I would choose the latter without thinking twice. If the opponent offers keen play I don’t object; but in such cases I get less satisfaction, even if I win, than from a game conducted according to all the rules of strategy with its ruthless logic.”
~ Anatoly Karpov

Despite his reputation for “boring” play, in this masterpiece, Karpov uses his queen like a magnet and essentially moves the enemy pieces.

Here are the PDF notes for The Magnetic Queen, a lecture given on February 13, 2017 at Annex Chess Club (just before Round Two of the What’s My Name Swiss).

And here is the featured Karpov game:

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The featured image is from the tomb of Queen Nefertari (1295-1255 BCE). She was known by many titles, including Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt), Sweet of Love (bnrt-mrwt), Lady of Grace (nbt-im3t), Lady of The Two Lands (nbt-t3wy), and in the words of her husband Ramses II, ‘The one for whom the sun shines.’ There is no record of her ever having been known as The Magnetic Queen.

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ACC What’s My Name Swiss

What is the name of this tournament? Starting on Monday February 6, exactly 50 years after Muhammad Ali’s famous “What’s my name” fight, this Swiss – which turns out to be only two rounds – is divided in three sections, Crown, U1900, and U1500. The tournament runs just two Monday nights from February 6 to February 13. (Then we’re closed February 20, and the Club Championship starts February 27.)

Coincidentally, the logician and mathematician Raymond Smullyan who wrote What is the name of this book? (1978) died at the age of 97 on that very same Monday February 6. Smullyan may be better remembered in chess circles for his Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes (1979) featuring “retrograde” chess problems in which previous moves of the game must be deduced from the current position.

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Round One – February 6

Before the first round starts, Vinorth Vigneswaramoorthy presents a half-hour lecture titled “Chess Miniatures: the first-round knockouts of chess.” (Details will be posted.)

In U1500, three brand new unrated players join the tournament and all three make a name for themselves: Sasha Chapin defeats Evgeny Kalmanson, David Chodoriwsky defeats Alex Geddie, and Brett Kingsbury defeats Eli Teram. Meanwhile, interesting Round-1 results include Harry Chen (1425) upsetting Salim Belcadi (1641) in U1900 and, in the Crown section, Max England (2042) upsetting Dave Southam (2247), who just won the previous event.

Here is the Southam/England game:

And here’s another game, this time featuring William Li and Armand Jess Mendoza:

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Round Two – February 13

Before the round, Rhys Goldstein starts the night off with a well-received lecture titled “The Magnetic Queen,” starting at 6:50 pm. In this intriguing talk, he shows a game in which former World Champion, Anatoly Karpov, uses his queen like a magnet to move his opponent’s pieces. (See the lecture notes.)

And that’s it! We’re cutting this tournament short at two rounds to make room for the six-round Club Championship ahead of our bid to host the Toronto Closed, pending GTCL approval.

Reminder: ACC is CLOSED next Monday February 20 for Family Day

Our Club Championship is a six-round event starting February 27, in two sections: Crown (min. 1700) and Reserve (under 1800).

Final Ranking cross-tables after Round 2

ACC What’s My Name Swiss Crown

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd Pts.
1 Humphreys Michael 2314 CAN 13b1 14w1 2
2 Liu Zhanhe (lambert) 2172 CAN 14b1 8w1 2
3 Noritsyn Sergey 2241 CAN 11b1 1.5
4 Zotkin Daniel 2231 CAN 12b1 1.5
5 England Max 2042 CAN 15b1 1.5
6 Malakhovets Sergey 2035 CAN 11w½ 15b1 1.5
7 Akophyan Nika 1810 CAN -1 1.5
8 Li William 2194 CAN 9w1 2b0 1
9 Mendoza Armand Jess 1914 CAN 8b0 13w1 1
10 Stefanovic Miroslav 2152 CAN 12w½ 1
11 Calvelo Jelvis 2207 CAN 6b½ 3w0 0.5
12 Fines John 1883 CAN 10b½ 4w0 0.5
13 Mcsherry Peter 2070 CAN 1w0 9b0 0
14 Qiao Cindy 1901 CAN 2w0 1b0 0
15 Southam David 2247 CAN 5w0 6w0 0

See full results at

ACC What’s My Name Swiss U1900

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd Pts.
1 Ab-Barin Hooshang 1711 CAN 14w1 10b1 2
2 Diemer Ulli 1619 CAN 7b1 4w1 2
3 Ramesh Bharath 1669 CAN 8b1 1.5
4 Ugodnikov Arkadiy 1789 CAN 6w1 2b0 1
5 Armstrong Robert J. 1715 CAN 16b1 0 1
6 Qiao Joey 1475 CAN 4b0 13w1 1
7 Jevtic Dragan 1364 CAN 2w0 11b1 1
8 Pei Eric 1344 CAN 13b1 3w0 1
9 Vigneswaramoorthy Vinorth 1628 CAN 15w1 0 1
10 Chen Harry (siqi) 1425 CAN 12w1 1w0 1
11 Teram Eli 1077 CAN 7w0 0.5
12 Belcadi Salim 1641 CAN 10b0 0 0
13 Gelowitz Mark A. 1490 CAN 8w0 6b0 0
14 David Jean-Marc 1443 CAN 1b0 0 0
15 Zhang Henry Xianrui 1403 CAN 9b0 0 0
16 Abbarin Shabnam 1467 CAN 5w0 0 0

See full results at

ACC What’s My Name Swiss U1500

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd Pts.
1 Finkelstein Michael 1291 CAN 9w1 6b1 2
2 Chapin Sasha 0 CAN 5w1 13b1 2
3 Kingsbury Brett 0 CAN 10w1 8b1 2
4 Patton Mark A. 1316 CAN 13b1 0 1
5 Kalmanson Evgeny 1151 CAN 2b0 9w1 1
6 Chodoriwsky David 0 CAN 12b1 1w0 1
7 Goldfarb Adam 1384 CAN 11w1 0 1
8 Noritsyn Ivan 967 CAN 3w0 0.5
9 Souchko Larissa 889 CAN 1b0 5b0 0
10 Teram Eli 1077 CAN 3b0 0 0
11 Stahlbrand Kevin 1032 CAN 7b0 0 0
12 Geddie Alex 1133 CAN 6w0 0 0
13 Fitzgerald Jimmy 944 CAN 4w0 2w0 0

See full results at

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On February 6, 1967, Muhammad Ali defeated Ernie Terrell in a 15-round decision, repeatedly asking his opponent “What’s my name?” during the fight. (Terrell had been calling Ali by his birth name, Cassius Clay, before their match.)

Muhammad Ali died on June 3 last summer.

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Beware the Cavalry!

The knight with its funny L-shaped move is one of the hardest pieces to master, and even experienced players sometimes lose a game by missing a knight fork tactic.

“Inexperienced players have a fear of this piece, which seems to them enigmatic, mysterious, and astonishing in
its power. We must admit that it has remarkable characteristics which compel respect and occasionally surprise
the most wary players.”
~ Eugène Znosko-Borovsky, 1936

In a recent chess lecture at ACC, veteran Toronto chess player and teacher, Erik Malmsten, explains a circle visualization method and a square-colour alert to help train your brain to watch out for potential threats by these tricky pieces!

Check out the full lesson here (in .pdf format).

And here are the games (as a zipped .pgn) from the lesson – with a few bonus ones thrown in!

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The featured image is from a photograph by Maarten van den Heuvel.

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Openings Course starts Monday

Along with our regular beginner and intermediate adult chess classes, we have a new offering starting on January 9.

It’s an Introductory Survey of the Chess Openings. Beloved chess teacher, Artiom Samsonkin, will walk you through a complete opening repertoire for both sides in this 7-week course. The focus is on applying four fundamental principles: piece activity, king safety, pawn structure, and material.

Here is Artiom’s own video introduction.

  • Do some of your games get off to a good start while in others you are soon in hot water?
  • Are you looking for a way to make a smooth transition from the opening into a playable middlegame position where you can test your skills?

Course layout:
The first half of the course will work on building a repertoire for White, focusing on the Open Spanish, and preparing to meet the solid French and the dangerous Sicilian, as well as meeting sidelines such as the Pirc. The second half builds a repertoire for Black, preparing to meet both 1.e4 (with an Open Game) and 1.d4 (with the Nimzo Indian) as well as sidelines.

Learning goal:
Students will finish the course able to play one or two openings for both sides with confidence. More importantly, your games will be more stable and consistent, as you regularly get your pieces developed harmoniously and your king to safety, ready to test your skills in a good middlegame position.

Chess level:
This course is aimed at an intermediate level. Players should already know how the pieces move, and should have some idea how to assess piece activity, material, king safety, and pawn structure. Tournament players rated 1000-1600 may also be interested in the course.

Everyone welcome!
If you’re not sure whether this is going to be right for you, come try it out and see if it works.

Monday nights, 8:15 to 9:15 pm
January 9 to February 27
$140 for 7 weeks
All equipment and materials provided.
Casual club membership included for the duration of the course.

Register on site January 9. Save the date!
Questions? Please contact

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December Rapid Swiss – Dec 19

Special event – December Rapid

Toronto has snow for the holidays, and we have a special rapid tournament at ACC to end the year.

After six rounds of rapid play, at 9’+3″, Sergey Noritsyn is first with a perfect 6.0/6. Top U1900 is Nika Akophyan with 4.0/6, and top U1500 is Kevin Li with 3.0/6.

ACC Founder and current Chair of the Board Ted Winick is a real-life Santa, just back from carrying on the Honest Ed turkey tradition with he and Heidi’s math school Spirit of Math Central Toronto and his friend Dan Freeman’s Freeman Real Estate.

Final Ranking Cross-table

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd 3.Rd 4.Rd 5.Rd 6.Rd Pts.
1 Noritsyn Sergey 2158 CAN 12w1 13b1 10w1 6b1 9w1 4b1 6
2 Calvelo Jelvis 2206 CAN 15w0 19b1 12w1 14b1 6w1 7b1 5
3 Humphreys Michael 2331 CAN 14w1 6b0 8w1 20b1 4w0 18b1 4
4 Li William 2173 CAN 16b1 20w1 7b0 15w1 3b1 1w0 4
5 England Max 2056 CAN 24w1 15b1 6w0 18b1 8w0 19b1 4
6 Malmsten Erik 1923 CAN 27b1 3w1 5b1 1w0 2b0 20w1 4
7 Akophyan Nika 1799 CAN 25w1 23b1 4w1 9b0 10w1 2w0 4
8 Bellissimo Joseph 2252 CAN 21b1 9w½ 3b0 11w½ 5b1 16w1 4
9 Washimkar Arhant 1983 CAN 18w1 8b½ 23w1 7w1 1b0 10b½ 4
10 Malakhovets Sergey 2054 CAN 17b1 26w1 1b0 16w1 7b0 9w½ 3.5
11 Qiao Cindy 1882 CAN 19w0 24b1 18w0 8b½ 26b1 21w1 3.5
12 Giffen Glenn 1552 CAN 1b0 29w1 2b0 27w1 21b½ 22w1 3.5
13 Ab-Barin Hooshang 1716 CAN 28b1 1w0 16b0 19w0 29w1 26b1 3
14 Belcadi Salim 1666 CAN 3b0 17w1 26b1 2w0 19b0 24w1 3
15 Vigneswaramoorthy Vinorth 1611 CAN 2b1 5w0 28w1 4b0 18w0 23b1 3
16 Diemer Ulli 1600 CAN 4w0 27b1 13w1 10b0 23w1 8b0 3
17 Li Yun Hong (kevin) 1375 CAN 10w0 14b0 24w1 23b0 28w1 29b1 3
18 Jevtic Dragan 1333 CAN 9b0 21w1 11b1 5w0 15b1 3w0 3
19 Pei Eric 1271 CAN 11b1 2w0 20b0 13b1 14w1 5w0 3
20 Ugodnikov Arkadiy 1814 CAN 29b1 4b0 19w1 3w0 22b½ 6b0 2.5
21 Armstrong Robert J. 1619 CAN 8w0 18b0 25w1 29b1 12w½ 11b0 2.5
22 Zhang Henry Xianrui 1453 CAN 23w0 25b0 27w1 28b1 20w½ 12b0 2.5
23 Mcsherry Peter 2081 CAN 22b1 7w0 9b0 17w1 16b0 15w0 2
24 Goldfarb Adam 1384 CAN 5b0 11w0 17b0 -1 25w1 14b0 2
25 Noritsyn Ivan 943 CAN 7b0 22w1 21b0 26w0 24b0 -1 2
26 David Jean-Marc 1442 CAN -1 10b0 14w0 25b1 11w0 13w0 2
27 Szucs Gregory 1302 CAN 6w0 16w0 22b0 12b0 -1 28w1 2
28 Razmgir Rahim 0 CAN 13w0 -1 15b0 22w0 17b0 27b0 1
29 Geddie Alex 1143 CAN 20w0 12b0 -1 21w0 13b0 17w0 1

More tournament analysis is available on the Chess-Results server


There are Tim’s gift cards for
1st: Sergey Noritsyn 6.0/6 $20
2nd: Jelvis Calvelo 5.0/6 $10
3rd (tied): Michael Humphreys, William Li, Max England, Erik Malmsten, Joseph Bellissimo, Arhant Washimkar 4.0/6 $5
Top U1900 (and also tied for 3rd): Nika Akophyan 4.0/6 $10
Top U1500: Kevin Li 3.0/6 $10

Closed for the Holidays

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone! Annex Chess Club re-opens in the new year on January 9 with Rd. 2 of the ACC New Year Swiss.

After-chess Chess

It’s a weekly tradition to meet at Pauper’s Pub after we close the club for food and drink, chess analysis and tandem games.

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Chess for everyone