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  • March 03, 2023 8:28 AM | Deleted user


    IM Mark Plotkin

    Annex Chess Club is pleased to announce that Mark Plotkin, International Master (IM), has officially joined ACC's chess instructor team.

    This is an exciting development for ACC, as Mark has developed a comprehensive online chess curriculum aimed at those students who are currently playing in rated tournaments and have a CFC ELO of approximately 1000 and higher. Mark's specialty is in working closely with junior players who are looking for rapid ratings growth, and are able to handle advanced chess topics such as positional chess, maneuvering chess, strategy and tactics, attacking and defending, and endgames.  

    When asked about this new development, ACC Board Member Michael Sutton, said:

    "We're really honoured to have IM Mark Plotkin join our teaching program at ACC. His commitment to work with younger players is exciting, and fits our mission. We expect many new masters in the future. Great for our Club, great for Canada!"

    Mark's first online offering for ACC will be "Positional Chess – Challenges and Rewards." This 8-week course will run on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 PM beginning on March 28, 2023.

    Mark writes the following about the topic of his first ACC class:

    "Positional chess refers to a style of chess where a player focuses on creating the best possible position for themselves rather than going for an attack, or winning through a tactic. Such examples will be to have control over key squares, establishing space, dominating your opponent’s pieces, and improving your own pieces. A player that plays through a 'positional' style will rely on plans that unfold in a few moves rather than searching for the quick kill shot that ends the game, and you will see incremental progress. Thus, an important idea that is taught is to be patient, gradually improve your position and don’t look for flashy moves.

    Positional chess is often associated with players who have a deep understanding of the game and can see several moves ahead. It requires a good knowledge of chess strategy, including an understanding of pawn structure, piece placement, and the strengths and weaknesses of different types of positions. While it can be less exciting to watch than tactical chess, it can be just as challenging and rewarding, and many of the greatest chess players in history, such as Anatoly Karpov and José Raúl Capablanca, are recognized today for their strong positional play."

    We are pleased that Mark will be providing online classes Tuesday evenings, while FM Michael Humphreys will continue providing his online classes Thursday evenings. Together, these two great instructors allow us to expand our coverage of advanced chess topics. An additional discount will be provided to those students who want to take both online classes simultaneously.

    Plans for the rollout of Mark's online classes for Tuesday evenings include a complimentary Introduction to Positional Chess class on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. This will be for advanced chess players of all ages who are seeking to improve the quality of their play and improve their ratings.

    Mark continues to be an active tournament player and in 2022, he played in the following ACC events:

    • Ontario Open (tied for 2nd with 4.5/6 pts)
    • Toronto Blitz (tied 4th with 11/14 pts)
    • Halloween Rapid (1st with 4.5/5 pts)
    • GTCL Cup (team and individual 1st)

    He also actively participated in ACC’s 2022 Hikaru Nakamura Blitz Event on October 16, 2022 by playing blitz games with Club members and other visitors.

    Welcome aboard Mark!

  • February 09, 2023 3:06 AM | Deleted user

    Last night, Joey Votto came to the Club to see us on his way down to the Raptors game. Michael Sutton, fellow ACC Board member, and I presented Joey, a registered ACC member, with a couple of our red hats as a gift from the Club. Outside of our Board members, ACC red hats have, until now, only been given to chess Grandmasters who visit the Club.

    One of the two hats Joey received has ACC’s normal motto (“Chess for Everyone!“) engraved on the back of it. The other hat’s custom engraving says “Chess for Joey Votto!

    We also gave Joey a chess book from our library, “100 Chess Master Trade Secrets,” written by GM Andrew Soltis, and published by Batsford Books in 2013. This book will no doubt help Joey further develop his chess technique, so watch out fellow chess players—Joey’s got focus!

    Joey leaves us for a while as he begins his journey back to active Major League Baseball, starting with spring training. We wish you continued great success Joey, and we thank you for recently shining your light on Annex Chess Club.

    Joey and George

    Joey Votto and George Supol

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