Blog # 9 - Day 8/ Rd.9 – Friday, July 26


1. This blog is duplicate posted: a) on the FQE Canadian Open website ("Follow the tournament"); b) on the CMA Chesstalk. But the FQE website has the great advantage that it includes a game-viewer. So my Rd. 2 game, and that of Mario’s, that are in the text, can be immediately played over. The URL for the blog there is: .
2. The advantage of the Chesstalk site, is that there is capacity for anyone to comment and discuss any CO matters. The URL is:

Starting the Day Off Right – Wee Hours of the Morning

After midnight Saturday, I continued work on the draft Blog # 8 (covering Friday), analyzed my Rd. 8 Game, and finished both. Mario went to bed about 2:00 AM, after doing some packing for checking out of the hotel about 9:30 AM Saturday. I then got the blog out to FQE and posted it on Chesstalk about 3:30 AM. Then, finally (whew!) I went to bed..


I awoke at 5:30 AM (2 hrs.?? come on!). So I decided to try to go back to sleep, and surprisingly was successful – got up again at 7:30 AM. So I checked e-mails, dealt with my FB site obligations, my daughter and I sent a few e-mails back and forth (she lives in Montreal and we had had a delightful lunch together on Tuesday), started work on this Blog # 9, and I started packing up.
Mario got up about 8:30 AM. So we finished packing. We had arranged for Omar Shah of our section to get a ride back with me. I thought we had agreed he’d come to our room before check out. But if he wasn’t there, he’d keep his bags in the playing hall during Rd. 9. When he didn’t appear, we checked out at 9:30 and went directly to move the car to another lot for the 6 hours.
Then Mario and I had breakfast in the food court below the hotel – an OK breakfast (not at Timmies or McD’s, as we had been want to do on prior days.
On the way back to the hall, Omar spotted us from the lobby: “Where were you guys?” He said that he had said he’d meet us in the lobby at 9:30 for check out and he thought we had agreed. The problem was we checked out on-line, and did have to go to reception in the lobby. And we had been expecting him upstairs. We just went directly to parking down below, so he didn’t see us! Omar had been waiting for us for an hour! There were apologies all around (sigh). Then Mario and I both realized we’d left our chess clocks in the car, so Omar came to the car with us to put his bags there.
On the way back, we picked up coffees, teas, etc., to get us started in Rd. 9. We just got to the playing hall at 11:00 AM.

My Games

(Because new readers come to the blog from time to time, I want them to have the following information, and so I am repeating the template of it each day – I’d ask the daily readers of the blog to tolerate the repetition)

As I’ve said in prior year’s blogs, I like to think “class” games, like those in the U 2000 section, down in the middle of the bowels of the tournament, have some interest. I believe in some ways they are more educational to class players than GM games, if properly annotated. They are understandable, because we all think similarly – GM moves are many times incomprehensible to us class players.
For years now, I’ve used a chess website, Chess5 ( ), as my own personal chess games blog and back up storage site – I have gotten to know the owner/administrator Eydun, quite well over the years. I introduced Canada to his website, after I first saw it. Canada is now one of the main posters to this on-line databank. I post all my games, using what I call my “Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS)”, hoping that this makes them even more helpful to viewers. In prior years, this is where I have posted my Open games for those interested to play over. Click on the heading link “public games”, and you get a list of games posted this month so far. There is an option to go back and look at posted games from prior months. In past years, my Can. Op. games have been posted there during the tournament. But I am not doing that this tournament, since I am now blogging on the FQE website, and there now is a gameviewer in my blogs.
My games may not be dramatic, but I am told I am a somewhat messy (I prefer the phrase “somewhat unorthodox”) and adventurous player (I lose a lot!), and that my games, win or lose, are often interesting to play over (some friends say, so they’ll learn how not to play chess…sigh). However in this tournament so far, I must admit I have played quite conservatively, even passively, in the first three games (all losses). My Rd. 5 & 7 games showed more spirit – though only one was a win. The Rd. 6 game is kind of messy, and I never really was in it. But in any event, the viewer will decide. The Rd. 8 game is marred by 2 blunders.

The U 2000 Top Finishers (Post Rd. 9 Final)

1/ 2. – 7 ½  pts. – 2 players –) - Weston, Paul (1963 – QC ); Pinho, Tiago (1889 – Portugal)
3/ 4. 7 pts. – 2 players –Germaine, Michel (1947 – QC); Kajan Thanabalachandran (1798 – ON);
4/ 9. – 6 ½  pts. – 6 players – Michael Chang (1912 – QC); Gunapalan, David (1872 – QC); Joanis, Marc-Andre (1830 – QC); Mok Yuen Tak (1816 – QC); Perna-Fraser, David (1812 – QC); Petit, Raymond (1789 – QC); Pulfer, Luke (1784 – BC).

Our section started with 13 top players who I termed the “favourites”. They were all in the 1900’s. But a number of them were not in the full Can. Op.; they were only in the Mini-COC and so they should not have been in our favourites group, which should have been only 7 players. 3 of them are now among the top 9 finishers set out above. Here are the true remaining 5 non-leader favourites and their scores:

1. Shah, Omar – 1999 – ON – 5 ½ pts.
2. Have, Didier - 1992 – QC – 5 ½ pts.
3. Pomerantz, Daniel – 1937 – 5 ½ pts.
4. Sarra – Bournet, Marc – 1911 – QC – 5 pts.

Round 9

I was paired down. With only 2 lonely points, Christine Gao (1587) and I (1645) were the
bottom board in our section.
I won an error-filled game (see below). I finished with 2 wins, 6 losses, and 1 forfeit win. I placed # 70 out of 90 (the shows 98 players, but 8 were only in the Mini-COC, and so ought not to be really counted as in the main Can. Op.). Considering I was playing up a section, and initially ranked probably around # 80, I suppose I could put on rosy glasses, and say I finished above expectations (but my play was sub-par all tournament in my view, though not terrible. The games were interesting and enjoyable, but I was simply, by the endgame, outplayed – a number of games I lost a P somewhere, and the games went over 40 moves, and eventually I lost).

My Round 9 Game

The time control is 40/90 min. + SD/30 min, with a 30 sec increment from move 1.
In this tournament, so far, I have presented my games, despite a flaw or two, on my theory that you can learn from any game, and the games weren’t too bad, and had some interesting points.
But that being said, I think I do have to maintain some shred of this low bar, and admit that some games are just not of “Blog Quality”. Games for the blog did not have to be great, but I think neither should they be terrible. This game was terrible: Christine dropped a minor and two P’s. Then I missed a tactic and dropped a minor. Then, in a great show of cockiness and of tactics, in a complicated position, I moved in about 10 seconds – a brilliant Queen sac! Turned out to just lose the Q. But Christine, being shocked by the move (she should have been; it was ridiculous, though looking decisive), took it the wrong way, and I got her Q in exchange. Then, up 2 P’s into the ending, I had major difficulty making progress as Christine totally stymied may attempt to push forward my passed P. I eventually did, and she was lost. But in coming to the finale, I missed a 2-move mate, though I did see it when given a second chance.
So, subject to viewer demand on the wild west Chesstalk, I’m going to initially omit this catastrophe from Rd. 9.
Mario won (Against an 1860 player; Mario is 1707; ended with 5 ½ pts.) and Omar drew (with a 1664 player; he is 1999; he also finished with 5 ½ pts.)

Late Afternoon

At 4:30 PM, the three of us headed for the car, after thanking some of the organizers we saw from time to time during the afternoon. But getting out of the underground parking proved a problem! Of course, there was no one in the office to help. First Mario’s credit card was declined when we tried to pay to get the gate up and get out. Then Omar’s card was declined. Then mine! Something wrong with the system…we were trapped for eternity in an underground parking in Montreal! Then Omar managed to get it to take $10 cash and we considered we had been saved from a terrible fate. We happily headed back to Toronto, all having enjoyed a very nice “chess holiday”.

Late Evening

We got back to Toronto in about 6 hrs., with two pit stops. I dropped Omar off at his place in Scarborough, and then we headed to may place just over the border from the old East York. Mario then headed home (he lives about an hour and a half drive north-west of Toronto).
I unpacked. About 11:30 PM, I headed up to my office, and checked to see what the final standings were. I dealt with e-mails, and my FB pages/groups (both non-chess and chess). I did a bit of work on this Blog # 9, but by 12:30 AM Sunday, I had to admit I was tired, and hit the sack

Mid-Morning Sunday

I woke up at 6:00 AM (nothing wrong for me to get 5 ½ hrs. sleep – a bit more than my usual average). I then started work on completing this Blog (covering Saturday).
I finished it at 8:00 AM and shipped it out to FQE (Roman – Roman, when I spoke to him yesterday before I left – his techie support for my blog was great – thanks Roman – had said he’d been working long hours without break since the start of the CYCC four days before the Can. Op. – he assured me he would not be up early Sunday morning to post my blog! Roman …you slacker! But I guess you have your priorities right). Then I posted the blog on Chesstalk.

Top Finishers in the Top Section (After Rd. 9 Final)

First prize is $ 4,000. There were 42 registered players (one shown is actually in U 2400).
Here are the Leaders:

1/3. - 6 ½ pts. – 3 players

GM Tiviakov, Sergey (2656 – Netherlands – top seed)

(note from Roman : Tiviakov won the armageddon tiebreak for the title. Videos will be posted soon)

GM Van Kampen, Robin (2636 – Netherlands)

GM Ghaem-Maghami, Ehsan (2586 – Iran)

4/ 6. – 6 pts.

GM Kovalyov, Anton (2636 – Canada – top FIDE-rated Canadian, playing for Canada)

GM Moradiabadi, Elshan (2586 – Iran)

GM De Firmian, Nick (2509 – USA)


Unfortunately, the website format FQE uses, does not allow for any comments, questions, etc. concerning the blog material. This is why it is being duplicate posted on the Chess ‘n Math Association national chess discussion board, Chesstalk. There this can be done. So, I'd like again to invite everyone to join into the discussion on Chesstalk by making comments, suggestions, questions, constructive criticisms :) , etc. Anything to do with the Can. Open is welcome. I will try to respond on Chesstalk if that seems appropriate.
Though, Round 9 was the final round, this Blog # 9 is just my second-last blog. I intend to inflict on you one last “wrap-up” Blog # 10 on Monday (my birthday! 69 years young. How did it creep up on me so fast? Like, I’ll be starting on the big “SEVEN ZERO”??)

Bob Armstrong, the Aging Blogger :)