Tournament cross-table and round-by-round pairings are on the results page
Artiom Samsonkin is the fourth highest-rated chess player in Ontario and the top-rated player in this event. He was awarded the International Master (IM) title by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 2007, and became Canadian Champion the same year. In 2008, he was Canadian Junior Champion.
Behind Samsonkin is one of Canada’s hottest young chess players, Roman Sapozhnikov. Sapozhnikov is the top-rated Junior player in Ontario, and the third-best Junior in Canada. He earned the FIDE Master (FM) title in 2011, and came second in last year’s Toronto Thanksgiving Open behind IM Nikolay Noritsyn.
Next by rating is Victor Plotkin, the defending 2011 Toronto Chess Champion. Plotkin won the 2010 Championship as well, so he is going for a threepeat in 2012! He faces a tough field this year, but he is an FM and an experienced veteran. Nobody should count him out!
Only one rating point behind Plotkin, Michael Kleinman is another strong Junior. Kleinman is third on the Ontario under-18 list and eighth on the national Junior list. He earned the FM title in 2011, and has been improving rapidly, gaining some 150 rating points in the last year.
What is the Toronto Closed?
The Toronto Closed Chess Championship is an annual tournament, sanctioned by the Greater Toronto Chess League (GTCL). The event pits the top Toronto players who register against one another in a Round Robin tournament. With one round per week and pairings announced in advance, players can prepare specifically for each opponent. This traditional championship format has a long history, from the days before the Swiss pairing system and the large Open tournaments so popular today. Records of Toronto Chess Champions date back to 1854. (See history of the Toronto Closed; see also cross-tables from recent Toronto Championships.)
The tournament also includes a Reserve section, running parallel to the Championship section. This second section sees the next eight players, by Chess-Federation-of-Canada (CFC) rating, competing for a free berth in next year’s Championship section.
This year’s city championship is proudly hosted by the Annex Chess Club. We are a new downtown Toronto chess club, only a year and a half old, meeting on Monday nights near Bloor and Bathurst, in the heart of the city. We are pleased to have several of our club’s players participating in the event, including Michael Humphreys (our new Club Champion) and three members of one of our club’s most illustrious chess families, the Renterias. Rolando Renteria is a certified FIDE Instructor (FI), and his two children, Manuela Renteria and Alejandro Renteria, were under-12 and under-10 National Champions in Colombia.
Players from Around the City
In another chess family story, Mark Plotkin, who is the son of defending champion, Victor Plotkin, has also registered. Mark Plotkin was the lowest rated player in the 2011 Guelph ProAm, but he tied for 4th, only a point behind the leaders, with a performance rating over 2200. He is a member of the Knights of Chess school in North York.
Rounding out the Championship section, Michael Barron and Vlad Birarov are the president and tournament coordinator of the GTCL. Both gentlemen have been instrumental in coordinating and promoting this year’s Toronto Closed. Barron is an FM and also a previous two-time winner of the Toronto Closed, in 2007 and 2009.
Finally, with the expansion of the Championship section to a 10-player Round Robin, Dave Southam has joined the top section. Southam is one of many strong Toronto chess players who play at both the Annex and the Scarborough Chess Club (which meets on Thursdays near Kennedy and Ellesmere).
In the Reserve section, Juliaan Posaratnanathan is another co-member of both Annex and Scarborough; Zehn Nasir is an Annex player (and his is another of our club’s chess families – Zehn’s dad, Jack Maguire, is rated under 1600 but comes armed with a dangerous opening repertoire); Dmitry Chernik is a member of the Willowdale Chess Club (which meets on Tuesdays in Earl Bales Park); and Stephan Tonakanian is from Richmond Hill – he tied for fifth in the under-2000 section of this past summer’s Canadian Open, but his rating has already jumped more than 100 points since then.
Registration and Pairing list
Registration for the Toronto Closed is now CLOSED. Lots were drawn at 7:00 pm on March 19 for Round Robin pairings. (See pairing numbers and pairings, below.)
Pairings are shown by pairing number, based on FIDE Berger tables
As per our FIDE registration listing, the official start date of the tournament is April 26. However, please note that based on previous commitments, we are still scheduling four rounds in advance of this date, starting Monday March 26, then April 2, 16, and 23. Rounds continue April 30, May 7, and 14. And the Championship section continues for two final rounds May 28 and June 4. Note that April 9 and May 21 are holidays.
G/90’+30″ – Each player has 90 minutes for the game, plus a 30-second increment (30 seconds per move added from move 1). Clocks will start at 7:30 pm.
The tournament will determine the 2012 Toronto Chess Champion. In addition, there are modest cash prizes:
Toronto Champion wins a trophy, $420, and re-qualifies for the 2013 Toronto Closed. (2nd and 3rd prizes are $240 and $180.)
Reserve winner qualifies for 2013 Toronto Closed, and wins $200. (Reserve 2nd prize is $120.)
Performance prizes: top relative performance (difference between performance and rating) in each section earns $100.
The trophy is awarded by the GTCL, which also covers rating fees for the event. The prize fund comes from players’ entry fees. In addition, an anonymous sponsor has provided two $100 performance prizes and donated another $100 to the prize fund.
The chief arbiter of the 2012 Toronto Closed is Alex Ferreira.
David Cohen, chess historian and author of the Canadian Chess Info files (which now form much of the content of the new CFC website), has announced the Canadian Chess Player of the Year – GM Mark Bluvshtein!
Fan favourites (based on an online vote)
1. Melissa Giblon (won Canadian Girls’ U-12 at CYCC)
2. Nikolay Noritsyn (won Québec Open, Toronto Thanksgiving Open, =1st at Toronto Labour Day Open, etc.)
3. Mark Bluvshtein (the official winner; see above)
sober post-tournament statistical analysis by Victor Plotkin on ChessTalk
all the .pgn game files I was able to find from the official site (Thanks, Jonathan Berry)
Rounds 8 and 9 (Nov 25-26)
Montreal’s Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte, who had held first place in the U12 Open section through six rounds, earned his second and third straight loss, finishing 40th.
Meanwhile, Richard Wang won two in a row, finishing 10th in the U14 Open. Yuanchen Zhang got a draw and a win, finishing 9th in the U10 Open. And little Taylor Zhang got her third and fourth win in a row, finishing 5th in U8 Girls!
But Canada’s biggest winner this WYCC was Michael Song. Michael lost to Hungarian FM (and U12 silver medallist) Benjamin Glendura in Round 8, but won his game in Round 9, finishing tied for third (and with the best tie-break) at 7.0/9.
Michael Song has won again! At 5-0-2, he is still undefeated. And with 6.0/7, he is now in a three-way tie for first in the U12 Open section, 3rd on tie-break. Kenta, who had been leading the section through six rounds, finally lost his seventh-round game. Kenta is now ranked 11th.
Luke, with a loss, is still 9th in the U8 Open. Yuanchen, with a loss, is 12th in the U10 Open. And Loren Laceste, with a win, has 5.0/7 and is now tied for 8th (12th on tie-break) in the U18 Open!
Two rounds to go, Friday and Saturday… Go, Team Canada!
Round 6 (Nov 23)
Our U12 boys, Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte and Michael Song, are world beaters! Kenta got a draw and Michael won, so they’re both at 5.0/6. Kenta is still ranked 1st in the section, with the best tie-break, and Michael is tied for 6th.
Meanwhile, in U10 Open, Yuanchen Zhang is in a massive tie for 2nd with 5.0/6 (=7th on tie-break).
And in U8 Open, Luke Pulfer has moved up to =3rd with another win and 5.0/6.
Round 5 (Nov 22)
Through five rounds, Montreal’s Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte is still leading the Canadian team, and his U-12 Open section, with 4.5/5, having given up just one draw, in round 5. His U-12 teammate Michael Song from North York is in 8th place in the same section with 4.0/5. Michael is also undefeated, with a record of 3-0-2, .
Three other Canadian players have 4.0/5: Luke Pulfer from Surrey BC in the U8 Open (9th), Yuanchen Zhang from Markham ON in the U10 Open (11th), and Richard Wang from Edmonton AB in U-14 Open (9th).
Rest Day (Nov 21)
The WYCC scheduled a rest day on Monday. Here are some pictures from Toronto’s Liza Orlova (U18 Girls) – with US players, Emily Tallo and Mikhail Vilenchuk. Liza reports that “Canada and America are best friends this WYCC.”
Rounds 3 and 4 (Nov 20)
Sunday saw double-round action. Several of our young superstars have impressive records in the first four rounds:
Kenta is still perfect at 4.0/4, and leads the U12 Open – clear first! His U-12 teammates, Michael Song and Razvan Preotu, are close behind at 3.5/4 and 3.0/4. Qiyu has 3.5/4 in U12 Girls (her third-round win is posted below). Myriam Roy has 3.0/4 in U16 Girls.
Sergey Noritsyn and Luke Pulfer, have 3.5/4 and 3.0/4 in the U8 Open. Richard Wang has 3.5/4 in the U14 Open. And Loren Laceste has 3.0/4 in the U18 Open (his third-round win is posted below).
Here are Qiyu’s and Loren’s Round-3 games:
Round 2 (Nov 19)
All three Canadian boys in the U12 Open won their second-round games: Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte, Michael Song, and Razvan Preotu are heading into round 3 with perfect 2.0/2 records!
In U12 Girls, Qiyu Zhou defeated her section’s top seed, Ivana Maria Furtado (IND)! Check out her game, below (annotated by John Upper, and posted on ChessTalk.) Qiyu has a perfect 2.0/2 record.
Round 1 (Nov 18)
In U8 Open, Sergey Noritsyn and Luke Pulfer won their first-round games. Here is Luke’s game against Arman Baradaran (USA) – with a sense of humour at the end.
This year’s Canadian team coaches are Nikolay Noritsyn, Andrew Peredun, and Mikhail Egorov; head of delegation is Andrew Giblon; assistant head of delegation is Gary Gladstone; and CFC youth co-ordinator is Patrick McDonald.
WYCC is an annual world chess championship for youth under 18, with boys’ and girls’ U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, and U18 categories. It takes place this year from November 17 to 27 in Caldas Novas, a hydrothermal resort town in Brazil. The event was last in Brazil sixteen years ago, in 1995, albeit under a different name. (The tournament was previously known as the World Children’s Cup, and still earlier, the Cadet Championships.)
The big news from last year’s WYCC was Jason Cao winning gold for Canada in U10 Open. Jason placed third at this year’s CYCC (he’s now playing in U12 Open) but he has decided not to join the Canadian WYCC team in Brazil.
Canada has several strong entrants in this year’s World Youth Championship, particularly in the U12 Open section, where Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratte, Michael Song, and Razvan Preotu are initially ranked 8th, 12th, and 22nd.