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ANNEX CHESS CLUB

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  • September 27, 2023 11:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our most recent tournament has had a name change! Originally called "Harvest Moon," we've decided to rename it the "2023 Ted Winick Memorial."

    As many club members will know, Ted founded the club in 2010. ACC is one of the most successful clubs in Toronto, hosting many major tournaments with great success, and welcoming a number of big names in chess, including Wesley So, Nigel Short, Aryan Chopra and Hikaru Nakamura.

    Ted's impact on the Canadian chess scene can hardly be overstated, having also founded National Chess Camp and Chess Institute of Canada. Ted passed away, far too young, in 2019.

    As Ted's birthday is in late September, ACC will name any of our regular tournaments that run at that time after him.

    ==

    ACC now uses the program Swiss Manager for pairing. Updates and results from our tournaments are now on chess-results.com

    ==

    We're pleased to announce that in our regular tournaments our Crown section (1800+, with the option of playing up for those 1700+) is now FIDE-rated, as well as CFC-rated.

    ==

    We are working on a Master section for our tournaments. The hard floor for this section will be 2200, with no playups. Any interested participants should email the club at info@annexchessclub.com.

    ==

    The 2023 Toronto Women's Closed is currently on hold, but we hope to re-open registration soon!

    ==

    Our next big event is the 2023 Hallowe'en Rapid! Please register for this today!


  • August 17, 2023 9:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ACC hosted the 2023 Toronto Blitz Championship this past Monday, August 14. We've hosted this event for the past eight years, and were pleased to do it again.

    We're grateful for the support of the GTCL.

    The event attracted nearly 100 players, including eleven titled players. The Blitz Championship is a seven double-round tournament with a time control of 3+2, meaning that nearly seven hundred games of chess were played in one fairly hectic night!

    The arbiter team was sometimes a bit overwhelmed, but we fell in to a good rhythm and kept the event moving smoothly for the most part. Keith was the chief arbiter. Thanks to Abdul, Riley and club member Daniel for their hard work.

    At the end, we had a $1500 prize fund, which was awarded to the overall winners, as well as the following prizes:

    • 1st Place: IM Nicholas Vetesse (13/14, $600)
    • 2nd Place: Jeffrey Zhao (11.5/14, $300)
    • 3rd Place, three-way tie: IM Artiom Samsonkin, IM Shiyam Thavandiran, AFM Saarthak Malakar (11/14, share $150 prize)
    • Top Scoring Woman: WFM Oksana Golubeva (10/14, $90)
    • Top Junior: AFM Saarthak Malakar (11/14, $90)
    • Top Female Junior: Haneul Park (8/14, $90)
    • Best U1800: Noah Velasquez (9.5/14, $90)
    • Best U1400: Artur Jankobayev (9.5/14, $90)

    Jeffrey Zhao's performance was particularly impressive, gaining over 200 rating points!

    A great deal of fun was had by all! Thank you to our photographer, Leo.


  • June 19, 2023 10:20 AM | Deleted user

    1. IM Ilyass Msellek plays Rapid/Blitz Simul at ACC

    Ilyass Msellek, an International Master from Morocco, will play a rapid chess simul at ACC this evening, Monday June 19, starting at 8:00 PM, for a couple of hours.

    Ilyass recently played in our Canadian Transnational Chess Championship, Crown Section. He had a nice performance finishing T17/38 in the Blitz, T11/34 in the Rapid and T14 in the Classic. He finished 16/29 Crown players who played in all 3 events. In total, 63 players participated in at least one Crown section event.

    The simul is free for all ACC members and $10+HST ($11.30) for non-ACC members. This is our normal casual play drop-in fee. Several players will simultaneously play Ilyass using a 10|5 rapid time control. Players will be continuously rotated at the end of each round. There may also be some blitz games.



    GM Hikaru Nakamura (left) plays blitz against IM Ilyass Msellek at CTN post-tournament play


    2. Toronto Closed Makeup Game Evening at ACC

    This evening, the Toronto Closed Chess Championship continues with 9 makeup games, as follows:

    Championship Section:

    • Board #1 (DGT): Fred Gandolfi vs IM Michael Barron (M4) - Rd #9
    • Board #2 (DGT): Isaak Huh vs Abhinandan Mohan (M7) - Rd #3
    • Board #3: Tony Bohan Bao vs Hugh Siddeley (M5) - Rd #3

    Reserve Section:

    • Board #4: Ryan Xu vs Daniel Sirkovich (M3) - Rd #1
    • Board #5: Saarthak Malakar vs David Southam (M9) - Rd #3
    • Board #6: Toy Chack Kwan vs Sean Liu (M12) - Rd #4

    Development Section:

    • Board #7: Nicolas Bonnard vs Peter Grucza (M2) - Rd #5
    • Board #8: Beau McArthur vs George Supol (M11) - Rd #4
    • Board #9: Sudhir Pokhrel vs Karandeep Basi (M19) - Rd #6

    Next Monday, June 26, will be the final round of the Toronto Closed. Participating players in this round-robin event are competing, in their respective sections, for 1st, 2nd 3rd place prizes. The total prize fund is $2,000, with $500 going to first place in the Championship Section.


    3. Hazy Days 5-Week Rated Tournament Continues

    Round #2/5 continues. The June 12 results for Rd #1 are presented here.

    It is possible that several (of the 12) players not competing this week in the Toronto Closed makeup games may decide to get their weekly ACC chess fix by participating in our weekly tournament.

    Players may register online here.


    4. ACC Chess Classes Continue

    In-person chess classes continue tonight, as follows:

    • Beginner kids and adults, weeks 3/4 (1.0 hrs. class) - taught by Sue Foster
    • Intermediate kids and adults, weeks 3/8 (1.5 hrs. class) - taught by NM David Filipovich
    • Advanced kids, week 3/8 (1.5 hrs. class) - taught by FM Michael Humphreys

    Online classes continue tomorrow evening, as follows:

    • Intermediate/Advanced Maneuvering Class for Club Players, participating in weekly rated tournaments - Class #2 (Maneuvering in Queenless Middlegames) - Tuesday, June 20 at 7:30 PM - taught by IM Mark Plotkin
    Students may register for single drop-in classes or 4- or 8-class bundles for both in-person and online courses. Discounts are available for both ACC members and non-members. Registration and pricing options are available here.

    Students of both in-person and online classes may pop in and out of classes as long as they have pre-registered/paid for each attended class.


  • June 17, 2023 6:46 AM | Deleted user

    CTN Official Image


    Classic Crown Section Play in Montreal


    Classic General Section Play in Montreal

    The 2023 CTN Prize Funds were distributed as follows (all figures in CDN $'s):

    Crown Section

    • Classic - $3,500
    • Blitz - $1,500
    • Rapid - $2,050
    • Bonus Pool - $6,500

    Total - $13,550

    General Sections

    • Classic Open - $1,750
    • Classic U1600 - $700
    • Classic U1300 - $450
    • Classic Special - $100
    • Blitz - $500
    • Rapid - $950

    Total - $4,450

    Combined Total - $18,000

    Here are the CTN Classic Prizes for all sections:

    1. Classic – Crown Section

    • 1st - GM Toms Kantens (LAT) - 7.5/9 - $2,000
    • T2nd - IM Shawn Rodrigues-Lemieux (CAN) - 6.5/9 - $750
    • T2nd - GM Marteusz Bartel (POL) - 6.5/9 - $750
    Total - $3,500

    2. Classic – General Section (Open)

    • 1st - IM Thanh Nha Duong - 5/5 - $1,000
    • T2nd - Daniel Pomeranz - 4/5 - $187.50
    • T2nd - Derek Wang - 4/5 - $187.50
    • T2nd - WIM Omya Vidyarthi (USA) - 4/5 - $187.50
    • T2nd - Mathieu Duval - 4/5 - $187.50

    Total - $1,750

    3. Classic – General Section (U1600)

    • 1st - Leo Auersperg - 5/5 - $400
    • T2nd - Marcus Sanders - 4/5 - $75
    • T2nd - Sartaj Banger - 4/5 - $75
    • T2nd - Ting En Ryan Wu - 4/5 - $75
    • T2nd - Xavier Portier - 4/5 - $75

    Total - $700

    4. Classic – General Section (U1300)

    • 1st - Vigneshwaran Krishnamurthy - 4.5/5 - $200
    • 2nd - Joseph Nguyen - 4/5 - $150
    • T3rd - Jean-Phillippe Cloutier - 3.5/5 - $34
    • T3rd - Rohan Mullur - 3.5/5 - $33
    • T3rd - Sasha Corps - 3.5/5 - $33

    Total - $450

    5. Classic – General Sections (Special)

    • < 12 ans/years old - TBD - $50
    • Top Femme/Woman - TBD - $50

    Total - $100

    Here are the CTN Bonus Pool Prizes for the Crown Section:

    6. Bonus Pool – Crown Section

    • T1st - GM Awonder Liang (USA) - 12.875/18 - $2,250
    • T1st - IM Shawn Rodrigues-Lemieux (CAN) - 12.875/18 - $2,250
    • 3rd - GM Marteusz Bartel (POL) - 12.625/18 - $500
    Total - $5,000
    • 1st Woman - WGM Thalia Cervantes Landeiro (USA) - 8.375/18 - $1,000
    • 2nd Woman - WGM Yulesy Hernandez Moya (CUB) - 5.875/18 - $500
    Total - $1,500

    Combined Total - $6,500

    Crown Section Bonus Pool Prizes were determined based on a relative weighting of Blitz (25%), Rapid (50%) and Classic (100%) points earned. Here is a list of the raw and weighted points earned in the CTN Crown Sections of all three events. The Blitz was played in Toronto on June 3. The Rapid was played in Toronto on June 3-4. The Classic was played in Montreal during the week June 6 - 11.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Prizes will be distributed shortly.

    Here is a link to our previous news post on the CTN Blitz and Rapid events. That post summarized the winners and prizes earned.

    Note: Any errors or omissions should be immediately brought to the attention of the CTN Organizers.

  • June 12, 2023 3:49 AM | Deleted user

    1. Canadian Transnational Completed

    Canadian Transnational Chess Championship (CTN) was completed on Sunday June 11 with the end of the 9-round Classic norms tournament in Montreal.  The previous weekend, CTN Blitz and Rapid tournaments were held in Toronto. 

    CTN was co-organized by Annex Chess Club of Toronto and Maplewood Chess Club of Montreal. It had one of the strongest fields in the history of Canadian chess. More than 60 titled players, including 18 International Grandmasters (GMs) and 5 Woman Grandmasters (WGMs) participated in the three CTN events. Fifteen different chess federations had participating titled players.

    Please see our main HOME page for details about the excellent performances by some of the event's key players.  

    Most notably, Canadian IMs, Shawn Rodrigues-Lemieux and Nikolay Noritsyn, successfully earned GM norms as a result of their excellent performances in the Classic.


    Shawn, Salim Belcadi (Organizer & ACC President), and Nikolay

    We are also pleased that IM Mark Plotkin, an online chess instructor for Annex Chess Club also put in nice performances in CTN finishing T8th in the Classic (5.5/9), T7th in the Blitz (8.5/14), and T19 in the Rapid (5/11). Mark was close to earning a GM norm in the Classic. See more info about Mark's new Maneuvering course below under item 5. ACC Chess Classes Continue.

    ACC Arbiter, Keith Denning, also earned his FIDE Arbiter (FA) norm. Way to go Keith!

    Special Visit

    Super GM, Hikaru Nakamura made a special visit to the CTN Classic. He made a short speech and also played blitz games against some of the titled players, after the conclusion of the Classic. More pics of Hikaru are available on our Facebook page

     

    Hikaru, Organizers and Officials

    Shawn plays Hikaru blitz chess

    Please see our home page links to the Chess-Results.com server to see how all the players, including the General Sections, fared.

    2. Toronto Women's Chess Club Meets

    Tonight, WGM Anna Burtasova will hold the 8th meeting of the TWCC. The topic for the evening is GM Yifan Hou, the former woman's world chess champion from China. Yifan is still the highest-rated woman player at FIDE 2628 (Std). TWCC starts at 6:30 PM in the Sun Room at 918 Bathurst Street and runs until 8:00 PM. All women are invited free of charge. The meeting consists of lecture followed by some casual play.

    GM Yifan Hou

    3. New 5-Week Tournament Starts

    A new 5-week tournament, "Hazy Days," starts tonight. Players may register online here.

    Players are reminded to check their CFC membership in case of expiry.

    In addition, several players' ACC memberships have recently expired and players are reminded that there is only a 30-day grace period after expiry, to renew your membership before it lapses. Once a membership has lapsed, a player will be charged a $25 (+HST) reinstatement fee in order to be eligible to play again at ACC.

    4. Toronto Closed Continues

    The Toronto Closed event continues tonight with Round #8 of this 9-round round-robin event. There are three sections in play, each with 10 players competing for a share of the estimated $2,000 prize fund. First place in the Championship section is $500. There are prizes for the first three winners (including ties) in each section.

    The Toronto Closed finishes on Monday, June 26, 2023. There are still 11 makeup games to be played across the three sections prior to the finishing date.  Competition in this event is fierce in all sections.

    5. ACC Chess Classes Continue

    In-person classes continue tonight with: Week 2/4 (Beginner Kids and Beginner Adults); Week 2/8 (Intermediate Kids and Intermediate Adults); Week 2/8 (Advanced Kids). Registered students may generally jump into these classes at any time. These classes are taught by a team of great instructors including Sue Foster, Nick Grachev, NM David Filipovich and FM Michael Humphreys.

    Advanced online classes continue with: IM Mark Plotkin's new Maneuvering course on Tuesday's for 8 weeks. This course is aimed at club players already playing in rated tournaments. Students should already be familiar with the concepts covered in our Adult Intermediate Course. Junior players may attend this course with the instructor's permission, though their parents will pay the adult fees including HST. Registered students may also generally join these classes at any time over the 8 weeks.

    ACC is providing a FREE Drop-in to Class #1 of Mark's new Maneuvering Course. Simply register at no cost to attend the free first class online on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 7:30 PM.

    About Maneuvering

    Maneuvering refers to the strategic positioning of your pieces in a way that improves your chances of winning the game. It involves identifying weaknesses in your opponent's position, creating threats, and improving the mobility and coordination of your own pieces. Maneuvering is an essential skill for any serious chess player.

    Below are the individual classes being taught by Mark in his Maneuvering course:

    • Lesson 1: Maneuvering Major Pieces
    • Lesson 2: Maneuvering in Queenless Middlegames
    • Lesson 3: Maneuvering in the Opening
    • Lesson 4: Maneuvering in the Endgame
    • Lesson 5: Maneuvering Minor Pieces
    • Lesson 6: Maneuvering with a Concrete Idea
    • Lesson 7: Maneuvering Inactive Pieces
    • Lesson 8: Winning Material

    Each class is a mix of lecture and reviewing example positions. Homework problems are given each week in order to reinforce the principles learned in the previous week. The homework is reviewed at the start of each class. Students also receive links to the recorded Zoom sessions for their personal use as well as access to the related Lichess studies.

    This is an excellent course for players focused on advanced chess improvement.

    IM Mark Plotkin played in the Canadian Transnational tournament (see the first news item above) and put in a strong performance against other high-rated players.

    Note: We are still deciding whether to continue FM Michael Humphrey's Thursday evening Marvellous Chess classes during the summer months. Chances are, we will hold these classes on one Thursday each month.

  • June 05, 2023 12:38 PM | Deleted user

    The Canadian Transnational (CTN) Blitz and Rapid Tournaments were held over the June 3-4, weekend, at St. Casimir's Parish Hall, located in the charming Roncesvalles neighbourhood about 1.5 kilometres from Toronto's downtown core. St. Casimir's provided an intimate setting for 94 players and numerous friends and spectators to compete, observe games being played, and also mix and mingle between rounds and at lunch. This was speedy chess at its finest!

    In the Crown Section, 40 titled chess players participated, including 18 Grandmasters and 4 Women's Grandmasters.  This was one of the strongest fields ever assembled for a Canadian chess tournament. In the General Section, another 54 chess players participated. All players competed for cash prizes and rating points in their respective sections.

    Saturday's 7-double round Blitz tournament had a short time control of 3 minutes plus a 2 second increment. The Rapid tournament had a longer time control of 15 minutes plus a 5 second increment, and was distributed over Saturday (3 evening rounds) and Sunday (8 daytime rounds).


    More pics are available below and here.

    Below are the results of the two tournaments, including player details, ratings, scores and total and individual prizes:

    CTN Blitz - CROWN SECTION (Max of 14 pts.) - $1,500

    • 1st place - Marin Bosiocic (GM, CRO, FIDE 2576) - 11 pts. - $750
    • 2nd place - Awonder Liang (GM, USA, FIDE 2508) - 10.5 pts. - $500
    • T3rd place - Mateusz Bartel (GM, POL, FIDE 2521) - 9.5 pts. - $84
    • T3rd place - Cristhian Cruz (GM, PER, FIDE 2502) - 9.5 pts. - $83
    • T3rd place - Shawn Rodrigues-Lemieux (IM, CAN, FIDE 2502) - 9.5 pts. - $83

    CTN Blitz - GENERAL SECTION (Max of 14 pts.) - $500

    • 1st place - Ethan Moon (CFC 2024) - 11 pts. - $250
    • Top U1600 - T14 - Joshua Bakradze (CFC 1535) - 8 pts. - $75
    • Top U1600 - T14 - Ryan Puri (CFC 1155) - 8 pts. - $75
    • Top Jr. (U12) - T2nd - Aaron Reeve Mendez (CM, CFC 2331) - 10.5 pts. - $50
    • Top Woman - T2nd - Cindy Qiao (CFC 1986) - 10.5 pts. - $50

    CTN Rapid - CROWN SECTION (Max of 11 pts.) - $2,050

    • 1st place - Awonder Liang (GM, USA, FIDE 2508) - 8.5 pts. - $1,000
    • T2nd/3rd place - Razvan Preotu (GM, CAN, FIDE 2532) - 8 pts. - $525
    • T2nd/3rd place - Shawn Rodrigues-Lemieux (IM, CAN, FIDE 2532) - 8 pts. - $525

    CTN Rapid - GENERAL SECTION (Max of 11 pts.) - $950

    • 1st place - Richard Douglas (CFC 2116) - 9 pts. - $500
    • Top U1600 - T18 - Arya Sen (CFC 1524) - 6 pts. - $100
    • Top U1600 - T18 - Ademar Gonzales (CFC 1265) - 6 pts. - $100
    • Top Jr. (U12) - T2nd - Aaron Reeve Mendez (CM, CFC 2331) - 8.5 pts. - $100
    • Top Woman - T11th - Cindy Qiao (CFC 1986) - 6.5 pts. - $100
    • Top Unrated - T36th - Jayson Whiteford (CFC UNR) - 4 pts. - $50
    Congratulations to all the winners. Monetary prizes will be distributed soon.



    CTN Classic Starts Soon in Montreal

    The CTN Classic Tournament starts soon in Montreal as close to 60 titled players gather together for 9 rounds of classic chess from June 6 to 11. Most of the GMs, WGMs and other titled players that played in the Toronto events will travel from Toronto to Montreal by train or car for this event. They will be joined in Montreal by another 20 or so additional titled players that did not attend the Toronto events. The non-GMs will  be playing in the Classic with the hope of earning a Grandmaster (or an International Master) norm through a strong performance against higher titled players.

    In addition, 100 or more non-titled players are expected to compete for prizes and rating points in the accompanying General Section for 5 rounds of classic chess from June 9-11. Registrations are still open for the General Section. Please visit our annexchessclub.com main home page to register and for further information.

    Links, Pics and Thanks

    We have posted pics from the two Toronto events here.

    Twitch Streamer, WGM Qiyu Zhou (akaNemsko) has posted her streamed CTN Blitz games on Twitch along with some commentary about the event.

    Here is a link more pics on our Facebook page, including John Upper's pics of the Rapid and Salim's pics from the Classic.

    Here is a link to the CTN Rapid games stored on Lichess.

    Here is a link to the Crown Players' List.

    Links to Chess-results.com may be found on our main home page.

    Thanks to everyone who participated — the talented and friendly players, our superb Arbiter team (with their yellow ACC hats), our Organizers/Board members and volunteers, and also the staff at St. Casimir's. You all did a great job in making the CTN Blitz and Rapid Events an enjoyable experience for everyone!


  • May 24, 2023 12:02 PM | Deleted user

    In January 2023, Shealaine Richardson, a teacher at Jack Callaghan Public School, in Lindsay Ontario, reached out to Annex Chess Club for some help in setting up a chess club at her school. The school did not have budgeted funds to support a chess club, so ACC's Board approved the donation of 6 chess sets to help them get started.


    We just received an update from Shealaine and it's very positive. Here's what she told us:

    "We can’t thank you enough for your extremely generous donation of chess boards and pieces to our school. The students are LOVING chess as we are meeting multiple times a week to practice our skills. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness and support. The chess club is a huge hit at our school and it wouldn’t be possible without your donation."

    We asked Shealaine some additional questions and here's her followup:

    What grade(s) do you teach chess to?

    Grades 3-8

    How often do the kids play chess, and for how long?

    Kids are playing 3-4 times a week. Roughly 1-2 hours a week during their lunch and recess time. 

    Besides the fun element, what benefits do you think your students get from playing?

    Students are gaining spatial reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and mental math skills. 

    Any feedback from the parents?

    Parents are excited that students are playing! Most families have bought their own boards and they are now playing at home.

    Congratulations to Shealaine and her students!

  • May 17, 2023 11:32 PM | Deleted user

    Marvellous Chess - New Topics This Week

    FM Michael Humphreys continues his Marvellous Chess series (#7) this Thursday, May 18 at 7:00 PM with the following topics:

    Commonly Overlooked Tactics

    The importance of pattern recognition in chess is widely understood and difficult to overstate, but some patterns occur so rarely that even masters will quite reliably overlook them.  In this lesson we'll look at comparatively rare tactics such as the cross-pin, the life-line, sneaky retreating moves, and the unexpected opening of files. 

    A Weapon for Black in the Saemisch KID

    Having read the previous paragraph, you might wonder: "Do masters really lose regularly to these tactics, or is the author suffering from some form of selection bias?"  By searching through openings which make use of these tactics on the Lichess database, we can gather reliable data on the subject and conclude that the answer is: Yes—more often than not even titled players will overlook these tactical resources.  One particularly noteworthy example occurs in a sideline for black in Panno variation of the Saemisch King's Indian. Over Ten Thousand games in this line have been played on Lichess and black's score is fantastic: they win 53% of games, draw 7% and lose just 40% against an opposition whose average rating is over 2300!  

    The Best Games of Leonid Stein

    In this lesson we'll look at the games of a master in unexpected tactics. Although not so well known in the western hemisphere, Leonid Stein was unquestionably one of the top players in the world throughout the 1960's and until his untimely death in 1973.  We'll pay tribute to this great player by examining a few of his tactical masterpieces.

    The cost to attend this week's class is only $25 ($20 for ACC members).

    What a great value!

    You can register here for Marvellous Chess.


  • May 08, 2023 9:26 AM | Deleted user

    Here's the latest ACC news for this Monday, May 8, 2023:

    Canadian Transnational Official Image

    1. Canadian Transnational

    The Canadian Transnational Chess Championship (CTN) is scheduled to start in Toronto on June 3-4. The CTN  has a blitz on June 3 and a rapid on June 3-4, both in Toronto. That will be followed by a classical norms tournament in Montreal the the following week (June 6-11). Sixty titled players, including 18 GMs, 20 IMs, 4 WGMs, 12 FMs, 2CMs and others, are scheduled to play in the 3 events.

    Final preparations are now being made for this important event, which promises to have one of the strongest fields in Canadian chess history.

    You don't want to miss an opportunity to rub elbows with so many chess stars under one roof. There should be lots of autograph and picture-taking opportunities for CTN-registered players.

    Important note: GM Evgeny Bareev, former World #4, and highest-rated player in Canada will be playing in the CTN in Toronto. GM Bareev played in 2022 against Hikaru Nakamura, as well as some of our Club Members, at ACC.


    2. Toronto Women's Club (TWCC)

    TWCC will be meeting this evening at 918 Bathurst from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM once again. The theme for the evening will be a lecture by Anna Burtasova on Good vs. Bad Exchanges in chess. The meeting is free for all women and girls who wish to attend.

    We view TWCC as one of the most important programs that we support for the GTA's chess community.


    3. Rapid Simul with Anna Burtasova

    This evening, Anna Burtasova, ACC's Resident Women's Grandmaster (WGM), will be playing a rapid simul at our Club's casual section (Sun Room). She will be playing several players at once beginning at 8:15 PM. for two hours. This is open to any casual players—ACC Full/Casual Members, as well as non-member guests who pay the $10 (+ HST) nightly casual play fee.

    FYI, Anna's rapid rating is currently FIDE 2265, so it should be a fun event and we'll take some photos for promotional purposes. A chess book will be available as a prize for any players who grab a win or draw against her.

    WGM Anna Burtasova will be playing in the Canadian Transnational tournament on June 3-4.


    4. Toronto Closed Continues

    Tonight is Round 4 of the Toronto Closed, a 9-round round-robin championship.

    IM Michael Barron is leading the Championship Section with a score of 3 pts. though other players are close behind,  including promising junior Isaak Huh with 2.0 pts.  Isaak has been attending ACC's Positional Chess course on Tuesday evenings, which is taught by IM Mark Plotkin.

    In the Reserve Section, four players lead with 2 pts. followed by two players with 1.5 pts. so there's a real battle going on.

    In the Development Section, two players (Sudhir Pokhrl and Karandeep Basi) lead with three points.

    This is exciting, competitive chess!


    5. May Day 5-Week Tournament Continues

    Round 2 of our latest 5-week tournament continues tonight. There are only two sections Crown and U1400, due to so many of our players playing in the Toronto Closed.  A total of 21 ACC members are playing in the Toronto Closed, out of 30 players (i.e. 70%).

    60 players played in Round #1, while another 10 players took byes.


    6. Marvellous Chess - New Topics This Week

    FM Michael Humphreys continues his Marvellous Chess series (#6) this Thursday at 7:00 PM with the following topics:

    Bishop of Same Colour Endgames

    Unlike bishop of opposite colour endgames, bishop of same colour endgames offer the attacking side excellent chances of converting even minor advantages. In this lesson, we'll examine pure cases of bishop and pawn vs. bishop as well as more complicated examples with many pawns on the board.

    The "Hanging Pawns" Structure

    "Hanging Pawns" refers to two pawns (usually c and d pawns) on half open files which can defend each other, but lack any additional support from any other pawns. Although these pawns can often be seen as weaknesses, the fact that they control many central squares can sometimes make them a valuable asset. This lesson will help differentiate between these two scenarios.

    Taimanov vs. Karpov 1973

    When it comes to playing against the "hanging pawns", the game Taimanov vs. Karpov 1973 is regarded as a model game. Computer analysis has not been so kind to it, however. Although Karpov's positional pawn sacrifice still withstands scrutiny, there are many elements which do not. The "double exclamation marks" which were once awarded to one of Karpov's more subtle moves, are now replaced by Stockfish with a "?!". This game also features what must be one of the most premature resignations in chess history.

    The cost to attend this week's class is only $25 ($20 for ACC members).

    What a great value!

    You can register here for Marvellous Chess.

    FM Michael Humphreys will be playing in the Canadian Transnational tournament on June 3-4.


    7. IM Mark Plotkin's New Course is Coming

    IM Mark Plotkin's exciting new 8-week ACC online course is "Maneuvering – An Essential Skill for the Serious Player" and it will commence on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 7:00 PM. Below are some notes Mark has prepared in order to explain his new Zoom course. Each class runs 1.5 hrs. and is aimed at club players (both adults and juniors) already playing in rated tournaments.

    Maneuvering refers to the strategic positioning of your pieces in a way that improves your chances of winning the game. It involves identifying weaknesses in your opponent's position, creating threats, and improving the mobility and coordination of your own pieces. Maneuvering is an essential skill for any serious chess player.

    Below are the individual 8 classes being taught by Mark in his Maneuvering course:

    • Lesson 1: Maneuvering Major Pieces
    • Lesson 2: Maneuvering in Queenless Middlegames
    • Lesson 3: Maneuvering in the Opening
    • Lesson 4: Maneuvering in the Endgame
    • Lesson 5: Maneuvering Minor Pieces
    • Lesson 6: Maneuvering with a Concrete Idea
    • Lesson 7: Maneuvering Inactive Pieces
    • Lesson 8: Winning Material

    Each class is a mix of lecture and reviewing example positions. Homework problems are given each week in order to reinforce the principles learned in the previous week. The homework is reviewed at the start of each class. Students also receive links to the recorded Zoom sessions for their personal use as well as access to the related Lichess studies.

    This is expected to be an excellent course for players focused on their chess improvement. Advance registrations will be opening soon for this new course.

    IM Mark Plotkin will be playing in the Canadian Transnational tournament on June 3-4.


  • May 03, 2023 11:29 AM | Deleted user

    This week (Thursday, May 4) at 7:00 PM, has our fifth Marvellous Chess class. 

    This is an online class taught by FM Michael Humphreys. There's great pricing (see below)!

    Marvellous Chess (MC) means targeted online chess instruction that:

    • is practical and useful, yet inspiring and creative;
    • you can quickly add to your Monday night tournament-play repertoire;
    • you choose in order to meet your specific needs and interests; and
    • you take less frequently and on an ad hoc basis, thereby lowering both your overall time and financial commitments.

    MC is targeted at club players who are at the intermediate or advanced level. Most players in our U1400 tournament section will benefit from this class as will many players from our U1800 section. Over the course of 90 minutes, students will receive instruction on three different topics (30 minutes per topic).

    This week's three topics are as follows:

    1. Bishop of Opposite Colour Endgames

    Bishop of opposite colour endgames have a very drawish reputation—indeed, the attacking side often fails to win even with an advantage of two (or sometimes three!) extra pawns. In this lesson we'll examine the correct methods in both attack and defence and ensure that you'll optimize the result regardless of which side you're playing.

    2. A Surprise Weapon in the Grunfeld

    One of white's most theoretically promising lines against the Grunfeld is the so-called Russian variation (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3). Here we will examine an interesting sideline sometimes referred to as the "Handszar Odeev Variation" named after the Grandmaster from Turkmenistan. Never heard of this variation before? After this lesson, it won't be something that you'll soon forget!

    3. Bogoljubov vs. Capablanca 1924

    In this classic game we will watch the legendary Capablanca convincingly outplay a future world championship challenger. The methods that Capablanca uses to achieve this are worthy of careful study by any player wishing to improve. Matching strength against weakness, exchanging the right pieces, and improving the position of the worst-placed piece are all themes that will be studied closely in this positional chess masterpiece.



    Click on the image to Register

    What a great new selection of topics!

    A single drop-in class for Marvellous Chess, with  the 20% ACC member's discount, is now only $20.00 incl HST ($25 incl HST for non-members). Four-class bundles are also available. This is our special pricing to promote the Marvellous Chess theme.

    Registering for the class will help you improve your game, and possibly even give you a winning edge in your ACC tournament game this next Monday evening.

    Remember that knowledge is power!

    Link to our original news post on Marvellous Chess.



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