Category Archives: News

The latest news for Annex Chess Club and Toronto chess in general

2022 ACC Halloween Rapid

In keeping with previous traditions, Annex Chess Club will hold its annual ACC Halloween Rapid on Monday, October 31, at 918 Bathurst Street Centre.

This scary event will be CFC quick-rated for 5 rounds using a 10-minute + 5-second increment time control, with one large section of players. The first round will start at 7:30 PM sharp. CFC classical ratings will be used for Rd #1 pairings and final prizes. Unrated players are eligible to win only the 1st place prize.

ACC members get free entry into this fun event, as do all FIDE-titled players who register. Other players may attend by paying a $30 registration fee, which will be used to cover some expenses plus the prize fund. The prize fund (est. $600) would be split as follows: 1st – $300; Top U2200 – $150; Top U1800 – $100; Top U1400 – $50.

Three prizes will also be provided for the best three Halloween costumes worn by players and invited guests.

Online registration is now OPEN to only ACC Members and FIDE-Titled players until Monday, October 10 at 6:00 PM. After that date, other players may also register and pay their individual $30 registration fee.

Notes: The Toronto Closed (TC) will hold its Rd #7 games in both the Sun Room and the Star Room, while the Halloween Rapid will run in the Great Hall (aka “the Sanctuary”). TC Players who want to attend the Halloween Rapid would need to schedule a makeup game with their opponent’s agreement (and then communicate that to ACC club management) before registering themselves for the Halloween Rapid.

The planned maximum capacity for the ACC Halloween Rapid is 102 players. The normal ACC weekly tournament (Rd #3) will skip this night. Casual chess will run downstairs in L5/L6. Chess classes also continue downstairs in L3/L4.

This Monday at ACC – Sept. 26, 2022

This week, Round #3 of the Toronto Closed will be taking place in The Great Hall along with the players from our regular 5-week tournament (Back to the Grind, Round 4).

Below is a tentative seating plan for The Great Hall this coming Monday. The numbers represent the # of boards per table. We will be using our red table cards for the TC players and our white ones for the 5-week tournament players. Click on the image to see a larger version of the seating plan.

Combining both tournaments in The Great Hall will allow us to reduce setup and tear-down time for the evening. Nevertheless, after this Monday’s play is completed, we will be seeking feedback from all players as to which configuration (that we have recently tried) works best. Factors such as temperature, social distancing, lighting and noise are all important considerations for the players.

For the Toronto Closed, we have now added to our website Ranking Crosstables, which will be updated after each round. You can find them under our menu item SPECIAL EVENTS – 2022 Toronto Closed (In Process). Make-up games are also identified there so that one can project the potential impact of those games on the current standings. We have also added identification of the opening/variation used in each published TC game.

Casual chess will be back in the upstairs Sun Room this week, while chess classes will continue downstairs at our 918B rented facility. The upstairs Star Room may be used as a waiting area for parents and other visitors.

Note: For any players and/or accompanying guests attending Monday evening, who would like to help us as volunteers, please try to be onsite for 5:00 p.m. (or earlier). We can really use your help setting up tables, lights and chess equipment!

ACC in St. Louis

Hi, Keith Denning here, ACC’s Tournament Director. I’ve been having a lot of fun over the past six months learning the ropes for my TD position. Based on my experience directing tournaments for both Annex Chess Club and Chess Institute of Canada, I was recently accredited as a licensed National Arbiter (NA) for Canada by both CFC and FIDE.

ACC recently sent me to St. Louis, Missouri to attend a three-day seminar and earn a FIDE Arbiter (FA) norm. I’m very grateful to ACC for this wonderful opportunity and decided to write about my experience.

St. Louis is one of the most important cities in the world for chess. Five games of the 1896 World Chess Championship between Steinitz and Zukertort were played in St. Louis, but in recent years St. Louis was put on the map for chess by Rex Sinquefield, whose ongoing support has made the St. Louis Chess Club, the World Chess Hall of Fame, and various important chess tournaments possible.

This was my first trip to St. Louis, and I wasn’t prepared for the chess adventure that awaited me! On the day of my arrival, the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament concluded. After checking in at my B&B, I decided to familiarize myself with the neighbourhood, and as I was walking towards the St. Louis Chess Club, Fabiano Caruana passed me on the street!

I checked out the beautiful St. Louis Chess Club and, after watching a few games played on the chess tables outside, I looked across the street to the World Chess Hall of Fame only to see Alireza Firouzja being photographed in front of the world’s largest chess piece, hoisting his trophy for having won the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz. The World Chess Hall of Fame was entirely dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary Fischer-Spassky World Championship Match of 1972.

To put your minds at ease, this wasn’t just a sightseeing trip. The seminar and exam involved three eight-hour days of work. I also took in two evening classes at STLCC, one with GM Elshan Moradiabadi, who did a simul at ACC in 2013.

The seminar was conducted by Aris Marghetis, a Canadian International Arbiter (IA) and FIDE Lecturer. Among the other attendees were IAs David Hater and Chris Bird. All three had recently been in Chennai as part of the huge arbiter team for the 2022 Chess Olympiad. Chris would go on to have a very interesting time as the Chief Arbiter of the Sinquefield Cup. The seminar was incredibly enlightening. We had breakfast each morning at the Kingside Diner across the street from the club, and our seminar and exam were conducted in a meeting room in a nearby hotel.

After our Thursday session, we were all invited to attend the opening ceremonies of the Sinquefield Cup, held on the beautiful grounds that hosted the 1904 World’s Fair, Forest Park. As the Sinquefield Cup is one of the strongest chess tournaments in the world, it attracted many strong players, each of whom participated in a simul. Perhaps the most notable game in the simul was a matchup between Canadian IM Eric Rosen and Magnus Carlsen. The other participants in the tournament were Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Alireza Firouzja, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Lenier Dominguez, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Legrave and last-minute addition Hans Niemann, who replaced Hungarian GM Richard Rapport when COVID restrictions made it impossible for Rapport to travel.

Some of our long-standing club members may remember when Wesley So played at the Toronto International (hosted by ACC) back in 2012, winning with 6.0/7.

It was quite wonderful to watch all of these top GMs playing in the simul. Other luminaries at the opening ceremonies were Jennifer Shahade, Yasser Sereiwan and Peter Svidler, as well as Rex Sinquefield himself. Jennifer visited ACC and did a lecture in 2017.

Ultimately, Alireza Firouzja won the Sinquefield Cup, which is the last event in the Grand Chess Tour. Firouzja also won the tour overall.

And, for those of you who were wondering, yes, I passed my exam, and now I’m working towards earning my other FIDE Arbiter norms.

Here’s a photo collage of my trip to St. Louis.

Toronto Closed Round #1 – Postings

The results and games for the Toronto Closed are now posted on ACC’s website here. The TC Postings page is also listed under our MAIN MENU as:



2022 TC – RD #1

There are actually 4 linked pages for Rd #1, one for each of the four sections. You can go straight to the section that interests you, using the links below.

Page 1 – Championship Section

Page 2 – Reserve Section

Page 3 – Development Section

Page 4 – Annex Section

In addition, we now have added separate pages for the latest list of Makeup Games and the Prize Fund breakdown. These are also easier to get to under the same category of Special Events – 2022 Toronto Closed (In Process).

Enjoy the games!

Back To The Grind, Round Two

Our regular tournament continues, and the Toronto Closed has begun. Below are the current standings after two rounds of “Back To The Grind.” Round three takes place this Monday, September 19 at 7:30 sharp.

Standings. Back To The Grind: Crown

#PlaceNameRatingRd 1Rd 2Total
11April Yunwei Zhong1528W12W62.0
22Tony Bohan Bao1938H—W111.5
33-7Merlin Nazareno **2009W8U—1.0
4 Eric Qian1975W9U—1.0
5 Nader Hadji Ghanbari **1952W7U—1.0
6 Albion Kolndreu1763W10L11.0
7 Ryan Yunhui Zhong1601L5W131.0
88-9John Fines1741L3H—0.5
9 Arkadiy Ugodnikov1715L4H—0.5
1010-13Richard Douglas **2017L6U—0.0
11 Erik Malmsten2001U—L20.0
12 Charlie Grisar **1911L1U—0.0
13 Lorne Schwartz1749U—L70.0

** Players who are playing in the Toronto Closed after Rd #1 of this weekly tournament.

Standings. Back To The Grind: U1800

#PlaceNameRatingRd 1Rd 2Total
11-2Glib Dunikov1452W15W72.0
2 Umid Allahverdi1433W22W122.0
33-6J. Armstrong Robert1595H—W161.5
4 Toy Chack Kwan1553W17H—1.5
5 Jim Sadden1506W26H—1.5
6 Sebastien Danielsunr.W24H—1.5
77-15Adie Todd1569W25L11.0
8 Shafkat Ali1564U—W181.0
9 Elliot Tseng1525W19U—1.0
10 George Supol1495H—H—1.0
11 Dania Surya1475U—W271.0
12 Jose Escobar1471W14L21.0
13 Kris Todi1132U—W221.0
14 Robert Joy994L12W231.0
15 James Taylorunr.L1W261.0
1616-21Michael Saltat1547D18L30.5
17 Adam Comer1401L4D200.5
18 Leon Noel Merse1395D16L80.5
19 Anna Gavrileva1338L9D210.5
20 Johan Todi867U—D170.5
21 Samuel Ulrichunr.U—D190.5
2222-27Ulli Diemer1553L2L130.0
23 Claudio Sottile1494U—L140.0
24 Ashley Qian1453L6U—0.0
25 Neil Goel1452L7U—0.0
26 Yazan Abusaleh1272L5L150.0
27 Alexander Wagner1101U—L110.0

Standings. Back To The Grind: U1400

#PlaceNameRatingRd 1Rd 2Total
11-3David Dunikov1277W16W92.0
2 Charlie Bain1040W21W102.0
3 Richard Kang987W26W232.0
44-6Keith Denning1146W14H—1.5
5 Justin Ryan1071W17D61.5
6 Abdullah Caglayon808W12D51.5
77-13Justin Lim1125W20U—1.0
8 Yeeshuen Li1040U—W191.0
9 Jordan Burge1011W22L11.0
10 George Flagg968W11L21.0
11 John Zabbal825L10W241.0
12 Maxim Bondarev734L6W181.0
13 Aekaay Buppulaunr.U—W261.0
1414-17Eli Teram1045L4H—0.5
15 Henry Prickett-Morgan974U—D160.5
16 Anoush Avakian946L1D150.5
17 Melanie Directo644L5H—0.5
1818-26Benjamin Kamnitzer1116U—L120.0
19 Pete Aspros1110U—L80.0
20 Andrew Monteleone698L7U—0.0
21 Tsing Yee [Tina] Hui609L2U—0.0
22 Dominick Monteleone476L9U—0.0
23 Joshua Backradzeunr.U—L30.0
24 Christian Mancounr.U—L110.0
25 Stephen Papadatosunr.U—U—0.0
26 Preston Rehdnerunr.L3L130.0