2014 Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

Blog # 2 - Day 1/ Rd. 1 – Saturday, July 19

NOTE: this blog would have been posted earlier today (Sunday), but there were apparently arbiter issues in our section, and the results of Rd. 1 for our section only were posted late Sunday morning at about 11:00 AM. I could not complete my blog until I had those results, so I had to delay, though the rest of the blog was all finished earlier and ready to go (subject to the one results section being needed). And then I had to play Rd.2 and so could not deal with this ‘til about 3:00 PM after my game.

Starting the Day Off Right – The Wee Hours of the Morning

Friday night, I started the Blog # 1 on the “Day Prior” to the tournament. I finished it very early Saturday morning at about 1:00 AM, and sent it off to Roman, the FQE staff member working with me, who was to post it about noon Saturday on the FQE website, to start off my tournament blogging for the next 8 days. He was adding my Blog heading under the “Follow the tournament” page, so it would be readily seeable.
My chess friend, Mario Moran-Venegas, with whom I’m sharing a Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel room, and I, then went to bed around 2:30 AM Saturday morning.
For those who know me, they know that I sleep about 5 hours per night on average (I guess if you are retired, old, doing little exercise, and sitting at a computer all day, you don’t use many calories up, and hence aren’t too tired). But it is worse when it comes to sleeping during tournaments. I have now self-diagnosed, and determined I have what is known as “chess tournament sleep disorder”! My average sleep is usually around 3-4 hours. Adrenalin effect??
For example, though I went to bed at 2:30 AM Saturday morning, and had driven earlier in the day, the 5 ½ hours from Toronto to Montreal, I woke up at 4:00 AM!?? 1 ½ hrs.?? I lay there for a while hoping to go back to sleep……..I knew this wasn’t going to work…I was wide awake!
In this situation, I just acknowledge it, and get up and do whatever. Fortunately for Mario and I, there is a small alcove at one end of the room where we are sharing a table as our office away from home. We’ve both got our laptops on the same table, both hooked into the wireless, and we each do our own thing (we got a second chair for the table so we could arrange this). And I have the bed closest to the alcove, so when I work at odd hours, and have turned on the desk light, Mario in the far bed can still happily saw logs on the dark side of the room. So I made a short post on attending the CO on my Facebook account wall (had 7 of my friends “liking” it by 7:00 AM). I checked e-mails. I looked at lots of recent tweets on my Twitter account. I checked my FB chess discussion group (run by a partnership of 4), Chess Posts of Interest (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cooperativechesscoalition/ ). I checked out a few chess websites. It doesn’t occur to me to prepare for the tournament  ? .
I will check later in the morning whether Roman has had a chance by then to post my Blog # 1. He said he was shooting for noon.
Then I followed my normal pattern of starting the draft of my Blog # 2 (Round 1, Sat., July 19). There is quite a bit I can actually fill in initially, leaving blanks for the coming information I require to complete it (like this section).

The Sort of Early Morning

At 6:00 AM I got dressed, and decided to go see if our local Timmies was now open – get some fresh air, a nice large coffee, and a bagel and cheese for, for me, a now mid-morning snack! Oh rapture…..it’s a 24/7! No matter what my sleeping pattern, I’ll always be able to go hang out, usually alone except for the server!

Later in the Morning

Mario got up about 7:00 AM., just when I returned. We thought we had to register for the tournament around 11:00 AM, so we still had some time to ourselves. So I went back to working on the draft Blog # 2. Mario checked out some chess stuff on his laptop, and decided for some reason he’d better do a virus scan.
Mario checked the FQE and CO pages, but couldn’t find out when check-in registration started. So about 9:15 AM we went down to register. On the way, we met the FQE Executive Director, Richard Berube, whom I have met on previous occasions. He advised that the registration desk would start at 10:00 AM. Then we ran into Zoltan and Isabel from Windsor, and chatted a bit about her plans for after the CYCC, in which her son had played. Mario was famished, so we then headed out for a quickie breakfast at our now favourite 24/7 Timmies.
We then returned to the hotel and played on our laptops for a short time, and then went down to register a bit after 10:00 AM. It was then set up. But when we checked, they advised it was only to take on-site registrations. Those on the pre-registered list did not have to check in. And at the desk was Roman, the FQE staff member I was working with, and we got to meet each other face-to-face for the first time. We had worked out, as mentioned above, that he would add a special heading for my blog on the Canadian Open “Follow the tournament” page, which was going to be awesome! He advised he’d have it all up by noon.
While at the desk, Bill Doubleday of Ottawa showed up. He and Mario and I chatted a bit about him being a former Canadian Seniors Champion, and having played in Europe a couple of times in the World Senior. He advised he was again playing in the Canadian Senior in Kitchener in August, and regardless of whether he won and got “official Canadian representative” status, he was again going to the World Senior.
Then Jaime Solis from Ontario came in to check in. We explained he didn’t have to do anything since he was pre-registered. Then Mario was tired (got a little less sleep this morning than he’s used to), and felt he could take a nap before the Round 1 started at 1:00 PM. I was not tired (no way I’d nap) and so I just continued working on my Blog # 2 draft, checked some e-mails, and visited a few of my normal chess websites.

Early Afternoon

Mario slept for about an hour. He then got onto his laptop since his scan was now finished – no viruses. About 12:30 PM, he and I went to Timmies, since Mario wanted a light lunch before the round started. We then returned to the 2nd floor to see what was going on prior to the start of Rd. 1.
I saw my friend Mike Sharpe, who comes from my hometown, Sarnia. At one time he was President of the Sarnia CC. We chatted a bit about the fact that both of us have ratings below 1700 (me – 1645; Mike – 1526), and that we both had decided to play up in the section above us, the U 2000 section. Often this does work to your advantage if you play decently. You play so many players higher rated than you, that if you win a few, it covers all the rating points drop from the losses!
My friend from BC, Paul Leblanc, CFC Rating Auditor, then joined us. He had been in Ontario the prior week visiting relatives of both he and his wife – Paul was raised in Ontario originally, and the family in Ontario still runs a farm started by earlier generations. Then he and Mike and I got into a conversation about the CFC’s Chess Foundation of Canada, for which Paul does the investing. We discussed whether it was now time for CFC to consider having the Foundation stand alone as a separate corporation (it is now like a subsidiary of CFC, though having its own CFC-appointed trustees).
For multiple unexpected reasons, pairings had to be redone, and we started over an hour late. Also, they were short of clocks and our board didn’t have one. The advertising had not said to bring clocks……but in an abundance of caution, I had brought mine, and so went and got it.
The time control is 40/90 min. + SD/30 min, with a 30 sec increment from Rd. 1.

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 (http://www.chess5.com ), 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, including mine from this Open.
But this year I am adding another feature since I am blogging on a website this time. I will be including my games, annotated, right in this blog. I had discussed with Roman the possibility of a game viewer capacity, so that viewers of the blog could immediately play over my game on the screen. If I can manage to get a copy of one of the top board games in our section, I will be trying to include it in this blog as well. Roman advised that he would be able to set up game-viewer capacity.
My games may not be dramatic, but I am told I am a somewhat messy 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). I hope they will be worth a look though.
Also, Mario had been looking at the pre-registration list re some odd ratings being used in our section, and he checked the website and explained that for our U 2000 section, for non-Quebecers, the rating used is the highest of the CFC and FIDE ratings (any FQE rating is not used). My ratings are: FQE 1845, CFC 1645 and FIDE 1555. So the rating I’m ranked with in my section of 88 players should be the CFC rating, putting me # 80/88 in the higher section.
But in fact an error was made that I tried to correct months before the tournament, by e-mail to Roman. He at that time asked that it be corrected. It was in one place, but not in another. They are using my FQE rating for pairings! The consequence of this error is more than technical.
I am playing up in the U 2000. My CFC rating (which is legally supposed to be being used), is only 1645. I am playing up to play stronger opposition, not minding if I may lose rating points. But in fact, over the years, on playing up I have won significant rating points, just by scoring better than expected. With them now using my FQE rating of 1845, I am in the top half of the draw. So I am always being paired down.

One might think this an advantage. For other people yes. But I in fact play better chess against stronger players, than weaker ones (some kind of deep psychological problem!!). So I am being affected negatively by this mistake.

But, it is a big tournament, the FQE has done a great job breaking recent history records, and I don't want to in any way, with my little problem, denigrate the great job they are doing. So I am now leaving it to them, and moving on.

In any event, playing up will make it an uphill battle!

The U 2000 Group (88 players), Favourites & Today’s Rd. 1

In Rd. 1, our top 13 players (I listed 6 of them as “favourites” in yesterday’s blog – they are the 1900’s) did not escape unscathed (despite first rounds in a Swiss being bad mismatches generally). Here are their results (I have to apologize to Omar Shah that I omitted him from my list yesterday by being a bit confused about what ratings were being used; also, there were some on-site last minute entries into our group, and so I have updated the list accordingly):

1/ 2. Shah, Omar – 1999 – ON – drew.


  Photo by Bob Armstrong

  1. Gauthiers, Dennis – 1999 – QC - drew
  2. Villeneuve, Robert – 1993 – QC - won
  3. Have, Didier – 1992 – QC - won
  4. Liard, Serge – 1984 – QC - won
  5. Weston, Paul – 1963 – QC - drew
  6. Germain, Michel – 1947 – QC - won
  7. Vettese, Nicholas – 1943 – ON - lost
  8. Pomerantz, Daniel – 1937 – QC - won
  9. Ingram, Richard – 1929 – QC - won
  10. Desjardins, Michel – 1925 – QC - lost
  11. Chang, Michael – 1912 – QC - won
  12. Sarra-Bournet, Marc – 1911 – QC - won

Cashin, Ken (1690) - Armstrong, Robert J. (1645)

In Rd. 1, I was paired down (discussed elsewhere in this blog), and played Black against Ken Kashin (1690 - QC). I lost, though the game was close, and after he went up a P, I struggled to draw to move 77, but then had to resign as he was threatening to queen his extra P.
Here is the game, annotated with my own annotation method, called the Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS), using Fritz and my own comments:

 

Post Rd. 1

Mario and I both finished our games about the same time. Omar Shah, the 1/ 2. seed in our group, went up to see Mario to analyze their games (Omar had drawn; Mario lost), while I chatted outside the playing hall. I talked to Roman about my blog, and we discussed the fact that it needed to be duplicated on the CMA Chesstalk, for discussion purposes. Roman had my blog # 1 on the FQE website, and it looked great. So I then went and posted it on Chesstalk as well.

Then Paul Leblanc of BC, CFC Rating Auditor, Shown here with BC Junior Girl, Ashley Tapp, and Vlad Drkulec, CFC President, asked if I wanted to join them for dinner. They were waiting for Frank Lee, CFC Youth Coordinator, to appear. I asked if Mario and Omar could join us if they wanted, and they said fine, so I went and got them. Frank and his wife, and two kids, Brendon and Melissa (both playing) also joined us. Vlad knew of a good Portuguese chicken place he’d been at, but was not totally sure of where it was. But we all then set out on the search. After a few missteps, Vlad did locate it. So we all settled in for a chatty dinner, and of course, a chess board and set appeared, to help pass the time.

We returned to the playing hall around 8:30 PM, and the games were all finished, and some Rd. 2 pairings for a few sections were posted (but not ours). I saw Felix Dumont, lead FQE organizer, who had been pointed out to me on our first day in Montreal. We had corresponded but never met. So he and the FQE Executive Director and I discussed what the hold-ups had been for delaying the first round so badly. He also confirmed that FQE was fine with my blog being duplicated on Chesstalk, since the website had no capacity for commenting on the blogs.
I went upstairs then, and Mario was working on a program problem he was having with a new chess program he had loaded. I then continued working on the draft of this blog. The top section Rd. 1 pairings/results were posted, and so I was able to complete the section down near the end of this blog # 2. But the U 2000 pairings/results were not up. Later Felix appeared on Chesstalk to advise there were issues the arbiters were having to deal with in the section, and that was the reason for the delay. So I then turned to entering my round 1 game and analyzing it for this blog.

The Stroke of Midnight Sunday Morning (and later)

Well, there was Mario checking various chess stuff on his laptop, and I was still analyzing my game. Still no U 2000 results posted. So Mario hit the sack about 12:45 AM, and I followed about ½ hr. later. Managed to get my normal 5 hrs. sleep (up at 6:15 AM). And then went back to finishing analysis of my Rd. 1 game for this blog. The blog was then totally complete and ready to go….except for the U 2000 section results – but at 8:00 AM, still no U 2000 Rd. 1 results posted. The pairings of the section were done close to 11:00 AM for Rd. 1. Fortunately they had the points scored in Rd. 1. So down I went to get the favourites’ scores. So I no longer needed the Rd. 1 results from the internet. So I managed to send off my blog, and the ChessBase game separately, to Roman for posting.

The U 2000 Group –Tomorrow’s Round 2, Sunday, July 20

Given the results of our favourites in Rd. 1, our leader group will play slightly tougher opposition in Rd. 2, but theoretically, they should again do well since the opponents will still be lower-rated’s in the group.

My Round 2 Game:

Using my Rd. 1 loss, I was again paired down (due to FQE using my wrong rating).  Here is my Rd. 2 pairing for Sunday:

Armstrong, Robert J. (1645 – ON) – Selling, Edward (1782 according to the Results website initial ranking; 1663 – according to the last FQE Pre-registrations). I will play black for the second consecutive time.

The Top Section

Although interest in the top section is overwhelmingly overshadowed by the goings on in the U 2000 section, some may be interested in what is happening in this section with numbers of GM’s and other titled players playing for a first prize of $ 4,000. Here are the top 8 players (the “favourites) in this section (over 2500) and their round 1 results (half got nicked for ½ pt., despite the Swiss Rd. 1 mismatches!):

 

  1. GM Tiviakov, Sergei (2656 – Netherlands) 1 – 0 FM Sapozhnikov, Roman (2299 – Canada)
  2. GM Van Kampen, Robin (2636 – Netherlands) ½ FM Plotkin, Victor (2275 – Canada)
  3. GM Kovalyov, Anton (2636 – Canada – top FIDE rated Canadian, playing for Canada) 1 – 0 FM Leveille, Francois (2281 – Canada)
  4. GM Hansen, Eric (2596 – Canada – former Canadian Open winner) 1 – 0 FM Gentes, Kevin (2261 – Canada)
  5. Moradiabadi, Elshan (2593 – Iran) 1 – 0 FM Kleinplatz, Sam (2257 – France)
  6. Ghaem, Maghami Ehsan (2586 – Iran) 1 – 0 (Forfeit) FM Van Hoolandt, Patrick (2236 – Monaco)
  7. Sambuev, Bator (2526 – Canada – current Canadian Champion) ½ WGM Foisor, Sabina Francesca (2234 – USA)
  8. De Firmian, Nick (2509 – USA) ½ Rodriguez, Adrian (2203 – France)

The third highest FIDE rated Canadian is IM Leonid Gerzhoy (2481 – has been over 2500). He won his Rd. 1 game. Also to be noted are two fast-rising USA juniors: Sam Sevian (2464) and Jeffery Xiong (2441).  Both won their Rd. 1 games.


Invitation.

Finally, I'd like again to invite everyone to join into the discussion by making comments on the website re the blog - any suggestions, questions, criticisms of the blog are welcome - and of anything to do with the Can. Open. I will try to respond if that seems appropriate.

Bob Armstrong, U 2000 Blogger :)