Tag Archives: Liza Orlova

CANCELLED – Chess lecture by Liza Orlova – Jan 6

UPDATE – this event is now cancelled. We regret to inform you that Liza has come down with a cold/flu and is unable to give her lecture.

Annex is starting the new year off with a special guest lecture by Woman National Master / WCM Liza Orlova.

Liza won numerous regional titles as a young player in Toronto, and played on the Canadian Women’s Olympiad team. She also founded Pub Chess Toronto. More recently, she has published a beginner chess book, streams on Twitch, and has launched the Vancouver Chess Club. Liza currently lives in Vancouver, where she teaches chess and studies graphic design.

Chess for Beginners, by Liza Orlova, Nov 2018

Liza’s lecture will cover an exciting game between four-time US Champion Yasser Seirawan and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. If you bring your copy of her chess book (#1 on Amazon Kindle and #3 for paperback) – she’ll be happy to sign it for you.


Monday January 6
459A Bloor Street West, Toronto
Doors open – 6:00pm
Free lecture – 6:30-7:30pm
Regular club tournament – 7:30 (sign up before 7:00)

Annex Women’s Chess Club

Liza Orlova is running a new Women’s Chess Club at Annex. The club is open to women and girls age 12 and up.

Liza wants to help women learn chess not just to play the game, but to benefit from it in many aspects of their lives.

The club meets from 7:20 to 8:20 on Monday nights in a room of their own at 918 Bathurst. The club features chess lessons and games for women and girls at either a beginner or an intermediate level.

Brand new players will start at the very beginning with how the pieces move, and more advanced players will work on understanding strategies and tactics.

Join the club for a course of seven one-hour sessions from March 13 to May 1 for $140.

Register on site March 13. If you’re not sure whether chess is something you want to learn or whether the course is a good fit, go ahead and take the class on a trial basis – there’ll be no charge if you decide not to continue.

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Where did the girls go?

Many girls stop playing chess in high school. Either it’s not cool in the opinion of their peers – or they fear it won’t be – or boys’ behaviour in and around the game becomes unappealing.

There’s a lot of judgement in high school; everyone is constantly judging others and intensely aware of being judged. Despite her previous success with chess and much to her later regret, Liza found herself in a place where she thought that if she were known as a chess champion, it would be seen as a bad thing. She kept it a secret as much as possible and quit playing for over a year.

Many boys and men quit chess too at one point or another, but usually for different reasons and often to return later. For too many girls, their departure is permanent.

Not enough women competitors

It’s a problem that begets itself. The girls who do continue with chess often look around in a tournament hall full of players and see they’re the only woman there – or at most they see just one or two others. No wonder they start to feel out of place!

Not enough female coaches

Then, as the previous generation matures, girls coming up in the next cohort have few female role models among their chess teachers. And it’s not just a problem for the girls: boys too are deprived of the opportunity to see women in this role.

Not enough chess moms

Many moms support and encourage their kids to learn the game, but when these kids come home from their lessons, in many cases only their dads can understand what they’ve learned or help with their homework. Combined with other factors, it can be hard for girls to stick with an activity they can’t see their mothers doing.

How can you benefit from taking these chess classes?

The Women’s Chess Club invites new players to learn chess for the first time and former players to come back to a game they once loved.

Taking this course can lead to great opportunities for young women to teach chess in lunch, after-school, or evening classes either in schools or in learning centers. And students of all ages will realize many aspects of learning chess can be applied to real life. (For example, patience, concentration, short and long-term planning, etc.)

Who is Liza Orlova?

Liza is a young and talented chess professional, an experienced teacher, and a popular coach. As a player, she has won many championship titles and has represented Canada in the Chess Olympiad.

Liza Orlova running some post-game analysis during a tournament at U of T (onlookers L-R: Arthur Calugar, Nick O’Bumsawin, Matthew Nicholson)

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The woman in the featured image is Tania Sachdev, a top female player from India. Her mom taught her the game when she was six.

ACC Frankenstein Swiss

... I had selected his features as beautiful
… I had selected his features as beautiful

As chess players, we can all relate to Victor Frankenstein: we’ve all dedicated long hours to our arcane studies – and we’ve all been in a position where our own creation doesn’t work out as beautifully as we’d planned.

In honour of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the ACC Frankenstein Swiss runs on Monday nights through October, with the first round on Monday September 29, and the last round on Monday November 3. Note that the club is closed on October 13: don’t miss the 2014 Thanksgiving Open running all weekend long at St. Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Hall.

The image above is from a beautiful clothbound edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Bernie Wrightson.

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Round 1 – September 29

The first round sees the most mismatched games as the top half of each section is Swiss-paired with the bottom half. And there are always a few upsets as underdogs find a way to defeat their monster opponents.

In the Crown section, Daniel Wiebe, in a reprise of the last-round game from the last tournament, takes down club champion Michael Humphreys – an almost 300-point upset. Wow!

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Round 2 – October 6

The second round sees the top half (based on Round One results) play itself, and the lead group start to narrow. With a few draws, a 16- to 20-player section can get easily have only two or three players at the top with perfect scores.

In the Crown section, it’s a two-way tie between Armand Jess Mendoza, beating Bill Evans to rise to 2.0/2, and Joseph Bellissimo, beating Ian Mahoney to join Mendoza in the lead.

In the U1900, it’s a three-way tie among Max England, Marc Ben-Avraham, and Daniele Pirri, as all three players post perfect 2.0/2 records.

And in the U1500, there’s another three-way tie among Jean-Marc David, Kamran Amirirad, and Mark Gelowitz, all perfect through two.

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Round 3 – October 20

In the top section, Joseph Bellissimo has rolled into clear first with a perfect 3.0/3 record. Next round he’ll face one of the experts in the 2.0-point group.

Joseph Bellissimo
Joseph Bellissimo

In U1900, there’s a two-way tie between Max England and Marc Ben-Avraham. Both have 3.0/3; they’ll be due to face off next round!

In U1500, Mark Gelowitz has sole possession of first with a perfect 3.0/3 record.

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Round 4 – October 27

Round Four ends up with draws on all the top boards. Even Liza Orlova, making a cameo appearance at the club after a long hiatus, draws her game.

Yelizaveta Orlova
Yelizaveta Orlova

In the Crown section, the Board One showdown sees leader Joseph Bellissimo face Scarborough Chess Club Champion David Southam. With a draw in that game, Bellissimo holds onto first place with 3.5/4, a half-point ahead of Humphreys, Mendoza, and Oliveira.

In U1900, the tie-break match between co-leaders Max England and Marc Ben-Avraham ends in a draw, so England and Ben-Avraham remain tied for the lead with 3.5/4, a half-point ahead of Diemer and Pirri.

In U1500, leader Mark Gelowitz faces a challenge from Richard Morrison. After the draw, Gelowitz still leads with 3.5/4, ahead of Lin, Amirirad, Amirirad, and Cvetkovic, all tied for second at 3.0/4.

Next week is the last round. Can the leaders hold their half-point leads? Will the tie in U1900 be broken?

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Round 5 – November 3

In the final round, there’s a showdown on Board One: tournament leader Joseph Bellissimo versus club champion Michael Humphreys. When the dust finally settles (153 moves later!) it’s Michael Humphreys with the full point and enough – at 4.0/5 – to win the tournament, edging out Armand Jess Mendoza on tie-break. Congratulations, Michael!

Michael Humphreys
Michael Humphreys

In U1900, the two leaders, Max England and Marc Ben-Avraham, play different opponents, as they already faced each other last round. Daniel Pirri spoils Ben-Avraham’s chances and finishes second with 4.0/5, but Max England is victorious over Ulli Diemer to take the section, with 4.5/5. Congratulations, Max!

Finally, in the closely-fought U1500 section, Mark Gelowitz enters the final round with a half-point lead, but is taken out of the running by Milan Cvetkovic. Meanwhile Kamran Amirirad, victorious over Richard Morrison, takes the section with 4.0/5, edging out Milan Cvetkovic and Raymond Lin on tiebreak. Congratulations, Kamran!

Complete results are posted below, and a new tournament starts up next week, Monday November 10 at 7:30 pm. New players are welcome. Arrive by 7:00 if you’re not pre-registered.

Final Results after Round Five

SwissSys Standings. Frankenstein Swiss: Crown

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Michael Humphreys 131628 2323 L8 W11 W5 W13 W3 4.0
2 Armand Jess Mendoza 156958 1982 B— W9 L3 W12 W7 4.0
3 Joseph Bellissimo 147544 2209 W17 W14 W2 D4 L1 3.5
4 David Southam 102535 2157 H— D15 W19 D3 W16 3.5
5 Hugh Siddeley 120619 2047 W11 D12 L1 D9 W18 3.0
6 Ismail Ibrahim 105228 1976 L9 H— W11 D14 W12 3.0
7 Rodrigo Oliveira 152923 2140 H— W20 H— W8 L2 3.0
8 Daniel Wiebe 132137 2046 W1 D16 D12 L7 D9 2.5
9 Bill Evans 103309 2060 W6 L2 D14 D5 D8 2.5
10 Robert Bzikot 132541 1844 H— H— U— D18 W17 2.5
11 Jacob Stein 108627 1800 L5 L1 L6 B— W19 2.0
12 Daniel Zotkin 146857 2060 W19 D5 D8 L2 L6 2.0
13 Matthew Struthers 110170 2057 H— H— W16 L1 U— 2.0
14 Ian Mahoney 149124 1769 B— L3 D9 D6 U— 2.0
15 Wajdy Shebetah 148432 2028 D16 D4 H— H— U— 2.0
16 Jonathan Yu 126131 2217 D15 D8 L13 W19 L4 2.0
17 Arkadiy Ugodnikov 146626 1990 L3 L19 H— W20 L10 1.5
18 Yelizaveta Orlova 138247 2119 H— H— U— D10 L5 1.5
19 Chris Udrea 155000 1902 L12 W17 L4 L16 L11 1.0
20 Pepin Manalo 112277 1824 H— L7 H— L17 U— 1.0

SwissSys Standings. Frankenstein Swiss: U1900

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Max England 155135 1514 W16 W4 W2 D3 W5 4.5
2 Daniele Pirri 132983 1441 W7 W6 L1 W4 W3 4.0
3 Marc Ben-Avraham 145628 1456 W17 W5 W13 D1 L2 3.5
4 Tigran Ghazarian 155438 1356 W10 L1 W8 L2 W7 3.0
5 Ulli Diemer 153538 1542 W12 L3 W14 W6 L1 3.0
6 Robert J. Armstrong 100034 1540 W14 L2 W11 L5 W9 3.0
7 Jack Maguire 144604 1619 L2 L14 W12 W16 L4 2.0
8 Hooshang Ab-barin 152910 1648 H— L13 L4 D12 W11 2.0
9 Heimo C. Haikala 107606 1786 H— H— U— W13 L6 2.0
10 Adrian Chin 155527 1604 L4 W12 H— H— U— 2.0
11 Mark A. Patton 104721 1576 L15 W16 L6 W14 L8 2.0
12 Vinorth Vigneswaramoorthy 153938 1694 L5 L10 L7 D8 W16 1.5
13 Qi Zhou 158050 1480 H— W8 L3 L9 U— 1.5
14 Antonios Valkanas 158189 1678 L6 W7 L5 L11 U— 1.0
15 Ian Mahoney 149124 1769 W11 U— U— U— U— 1.0
16 Nicholas Wu 154991 1659 L1 L11 H— L7 L12 0.5
17 Bill Thornton 131181 1632 L3 U— U— U— U— 0.0

SwissSys Standings. Frankenstein Swiss: U1500

# Name CFC ID Rating Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total
1 Kamran Amirirad 158329 1386 W17 W15 L4 W11 W6 4.0
2 Raymond Lin 150193 1218 W11 L4 W9 W5 W8 4.0
3 Milan Cvetkovic 150817 1243 H— W20 H— W10 W4 4.0
4 Mark A. Gelowitz 126627 1359 W16 W2 W1 D6 L3 3.5
5 Abdolreza Radpey 149018 1355 L10 W14 W13 L2 W12 3.0
6 Richard Morrison 135889 1388 H— W10 W8 D4 L1 3.0
7 Rahul Gangolli 156023 971 L8 W17 H— D15 W10 3.0
8 Jean-Marc David 151900 1358 W7 W9 L6 H— L2 2.5
9 Eli Teram 107314 1134 B— L8 L2 D14 W17 2.5
10 Larissa Souchko 145490 966 W5 L6 W15 L3 L7 2.0
11 Derek Chen 156690 835 L2 W16 W20 L1 U— 2.0
12 Brendan Grady unr. H— H— U— W16 L5 2.0
13 Hewitt Ho unr. H— H— L5 L17 B— 2.0
14 Dylan Xiong 152060 949 H— L5 D17 D9 D15 2.0
15 Dennis Li 153129 1214 W18 L1 L10 D7 D14 2.0
16 Kaizen Liu 152053 1019 L4 L11 B— L12 W19 2.0
17 Howard Halim 153419 1107 L1 L7 D14 W13 L9 1.5
18 Salim Belcadi unr. L15 H— H— U— U— 1.0
19 Rose Tuong 158024 unr. H— H— U— U— L16 1.0
20 Jian Rashid 156998 1046 H— L3 L11 U— U— 0.5

Meet Chess Queen Yelizaveta Orlova

WNM Yelizaveta Orlova
WNM Yelizaveta Orlova

Women’s National Master Yelizaveta Orlova will hold court once again at the third annual Harbourfront Centre Chessfest on June 25-26.


As an ambassador for the game, Queen Orlova meets young players and shares her love of chess.


Yelizaveta Orlova was a member of the Canadian Women’s Olympiad Team in 2010 and 2012. She is 5-time Canadian Girls’ Champion, 6-time Ontario Girls’ Champion, and 2-time Toronto Women’s Champion.

Read more in the Toronto Standard article, “Meet Yelizaveta Orlova, Canada’s Teenage Chess Ambassador.”

WCM Yelizaveta Orlova
Yelizaveta Orlova