Friday, November 18, 2011

Hey all,

I didn't get a great sleep (as most of us were up 'til the early morning), but got a bit which was better than nothing! Took me and my roommate (Loren Laceste) a while to get the air conditioning up and running until we
could go to bed peacefully. We got up at around 9:30 AM to get breakfast, and chilled around for most of the day until it was close to the round. I reviewed a bit of main-line and sidelines but could not find too many of my opponent's games because of the inefficient internet service. Today was the first round, and we went into our rounds today without too much preparation. I was playing first seed (Karen Grigoryan), an IM with 2484 Fide, and although he is a strong player, I was not affected performance wise by his rating.

The game started with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4, I pondered here whether to play Bg7 or c6, but since I was used to the c6 position, I decided on 4 ... c6. Soon I had a solid center and had already castled, while he was developing pieces around d4. As black, I was not playing too aggressive as I knew he would be trying to complicate the position to gain an advantage. I broke open the center and traded off queens and at this point I had equalized with a confident position. I wasn't afraid of going into an endgame as we were both left with a lot of pawns, a light-squared bishop, knight and two rooks. I saw a tactic that could potentially put a lot of pressure on his kingside pawns but very unfortunately missed an easy/obvious move that trapped my rook. I blundered the exchange with 30 minutes on my clock. We played it out for a bit more and eventually I resigned as I had no chance left. It was a very regretful loss as I had a solid position. 1-0

Everyone is still getting used to Brazil/Caldas Novas but I think most of us are enjoying the best of it. Although the whole resort just blacked out, the power will be coming in soon (hopefully). Most of the Canadian team has brought back good news, and noone lost without a good game (except for mine :()! First round we had 2 players facing top seeds, 1 player facing 2nd seed and a bunch of other Canadians playing against FMs, IMs, etc. Best of luck to all players, and I'm going to recover from this 1st round loss and will hopefully play better tomorrow!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WYCC 2011 Pre-Tourny

Hey all,

After a 30 hour long trip, the Canadian team has all arrived at Caldas Novas, Brazil. The flight was a tiresome journey, but everyone is in the hotel. Most of the team is currently living in the Thermas diRoma Hotel. The hotel is all right, although it's not comparable to '09 Turkey WYCC, it still seems like a fine place and am looking forward to a fun tournament. I will be trying to update this blog every night after the round, so keep in tune!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Canadian Youth Chess Championships 2011 - Richmond Hill, Ontario

Hey guys,

Haven't blogged in a full year but that's okay will start again soon.

This year, the CYCC was held in the Sheraton hotel of Richmond Hill, Ontario. The tournament hall was professional, the playing schedule was well organized and the overall tournament was a huge success.

I was seeded 6th but at this age I've grown to realize that rating is not that important and I didn't really play Chess while focused about elo. My aim was first, but if not - I'd do my best.

Round 1

Our room's air conditioning was pretty cold and I didn't get much sleep, so I had some tiredness while playing my first opponent. I was playing black against a 1600 rated player in the exchange Caro-Kann as 6th seed. I sacrificed the exchange for an extra pawn on the 2nd rank which allowed me to complicate the position and put a lot of pressure on his rooks and king. I finally found a tactical blow after the 4 hours of a slow position. 0-1

Round 2

After a quick eat, I came back to face Simon Gladstone as white. He prepared for me a little in the French, and I forgot some theory in the Bd3 line. Black quickly equalized and I realized he had a better endgame. I offered a draw after the queens were exchanged. 1/2-1/2

Round 3

A little better sleep this time, but I was a little sick and feeling feverous because of the room temp. I finally fixed the airconditioning and felt a little better later on. I was paired up against Richard Leu (2046 CFC) as Black. I had a decent position with a pair of bishops in a closed d4 line with fianchettoed kingside for black. I soon started to open up the position and breaked his center, I won a pawn and then a piece while he was in time pressure. 0-1

Round 4

This was a key game, as I was paired against the top seed in the U16 Open section, Nikita Gusev. He seemed to have good results in the positions he was familiar in his mainline Sicilian positions so I prepared the c3 variation. After a couple of natural mainline moves, he misplaced his knight and allowed me to get a more developed position. After some repeated moves, he offered me a draw but because he was .5 ahead of the tournament, I declined but forgot about the 3 move repetition rule and he claimed a draw after 3 repeated moves. 1/2-1/2

Round 5

During my preparation, I realized that to likely win the tournament I had to win my next 3 games with 2 blacks. In this round, I was paired black against Aquino Inigo (2088 CFC). I had to play very seriously and cautiously because I could not afford a draw nor a loss. After hours of prep, he played a familiar Gruenfeld line and I played very quickly, with 1:24 on my clock and about 10 minutes on his after the 20th or so move. He sacrificed a pawn but could not complete the attack, I found a winning end game tactic which caused a blockade so that his rook could not capture my pushed pawn. I queened and he resigned. 0-1

Round 6

This was a very crucial round, as it was my only white for the last 3 round of the tourny. While Tanraj Sohal was 2nd seed of the tourny, I had no choice but to play for a win if I wanted the champion title. He went into a Sheveshnikov side-line which we both didn't know much theory on. To my point of view, I had a decent position as I controlled the d5 square and his king was unable to castle sitting on e7. He opened up the position but my bishop was stronger than his knight and eventually he gave up a pawn for some compensation for my back rank. I found h4 which freed up my king and allowed me to keep the pawn in a QvQ up a pawn endgame. I dawdled around for 30 moves but finally got my king to safety and queened my pawn. 1-0.

Round 7

Coming into this round I was tied for first with Nikita Gusev (5.0/7.0) who drew his previous game. I was black against Mike Ivanov and found that he had a very interesting repertoire. Not only was his openings hard to prepare against, but he was overperforming this tournament and I had to be very aggressive to win this game. He played something that I didn't prepare for but had experience with it in the past, a variation of the Caro-Kann. I thought that I had a good kingside attack planned but I realized there was nothing I could do against his fianchettoed bishop. Soon I found myself to be in an inferior position while also in time trouble. I found a chance to open up my c file and soon my pieces became more active. He missed a tactic which would've gave him a better position and sacrificed a pawn for the initiative instead. At this point, I had a winning position as I locked his g2 bishop in and had a good defense against his attack. Seeing that Nikita's position against his opponent wasn't looking bright, he offered me a draw thinking that I would most likely accept. But unfortunately I didn't have time to evaluate Nikita's position and declined. Moving with 30 or so seconds on my clock and 5 minutes on his, I was focusing my best and trying to move swiftly. I glanced to my left and saw Aquino and Nikita shaking hands as I realized Nikita had lost this game. This meant that if I drew my game, I would become national champion leading my section with just 0.5. I quickly reoffered a draw.

Little did I expect him to decline, as he was ambitious to see that my time was very low and he could also place 1st if he won our game. But this was the correct position for him as out of pressure of time and tournament, I blundered my two knights for a rook! I was furious with myself but realized I still had a decent position where it was hard for white to take advantage of my defense. I would be able to hold a draw without much problems. I kept my composure and continued to play with my time deficiency but a few moves later, I blundered the exchange and now I was down a full piece. I was panicking now, as I thought I had completely messed this game up and I was just so close to becoming the National U16 Champion. I told myself that I would play 'til mate, possibly getting extremely lucky and exploiting a mistake of his as his time was ticking as well. He got a little greedy and saw an opportunity to sneak into my position, but I found a tactic that trapped his queen! His queen was now contained, and with only a few minutes on his clock, it was not easy to find a way out. Although if he had more time, he probably would've found a winning plan and beat me, but he offered me a draw and I immediately accepted! 1/2-1/2

I was very excited to win my first CYCC and after a very busy and stressful tournament. I'll be going to the WYCC 2011 in Brazil this November so be sure to come back for a good read. ;)

I might've not been the strongest player in my section, but with a bit of luck and ambition I pulled through to become the 2011 CYCC U16 Open Champion!

Full results can be found here:

Alberta's Results:

All results are posted in sectional order.
There were no playoffs for 3rd place. Placement was determined using the
Buchholz chess rating tiebreak system.

Kaixin Wang - Tied for 4th place U8 Open - 4.0/7

Patrick Tolentino - Tied for 3rd place U10 Open - 4.5/7

Jamil Kassam - Tied for 3rd place U12 Open - 4.5/7

Richard Wang - 1st place U14 Open - 6.0/7

Patience Tram - 5th place U14 Girls - 2.0/6

David Zhang - 1st place U16 Open - 5.5/7

Nicka Kalaydina - Tied for 1st place (3rd after tiebreaks) U16 Girls - 5.5/7

David Miller - Tied for 3rd place U18 Open - 4.5/7

* As an ending note, I would like to thank the organizers, volunteers, the parents and the players that made this tournament possible as I found it to be very successful and well directed! The tourny was run very smoothly and the schedule was on time. Players and parents were very happy with the location and convenience of the playing site and area. Although there is a huge controversy about the prize distribution of the CYCC, coming from a player's perspective, I think that money is not a must, but a very nice bonus, especially to the players that are going or went to tournaments such as the NAYCC, WYCC and Pan-Ams. =] The money is not important, and if it isn't distributed to the players I hope it is used to aid tournaments and opportunities for Canadian juniors! Personally I think that second/third place in WYCC should be getting a little bit of support from the CFC from the surplus of the CYCC, but it has never happened before and I hope it will!*



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Canadian Youth Chess Championships 2010 Recap

Hey guys,

I haven't blogged in half a year, because after the WYCC I haven't been focusing on chess a lot and haven't been blogging at all.

This will just be a very brief recap of the Alberta team in the CYCC 2010, I'll be posting more about the tournament tomorrow.

I (7th seed) played on par with some higher rated players in my U16 section, but I ended up with only 4.0 where I scored some depressing losses in good or dead-drawn positions. Unfortunately I had lost a critical 6th round game in an almost winning position, and could not qualify for the world's as I was behind the tied 3rd players with 0.5.

Richard Wang (1st seed) was tied for first in the U12 section with 3 others after round 7, and had won his first tiebreak game, but there are no results on the web yet, so I'll have to wait to edit this post for later reference. His performance is not ideal, as he is 400 points above the second seed but had lost to a 1900 rated player which almost caused him to falter of the top of the standings. I'm very excited to hear good news about his playoff wins tomorrow!

Nicka Kalaydina (1st seed) won her U14G section with 5.5/7, only dropping one game to a previous WYCC contender, Rebecca Giblon. Luckily for her, Rebecca had lost her last game which gave Nicka a .5 point lead to win the tournament. Congratulations!

Eric Hansen (1st seed) had been leading his tournament after his win against second seed Aman Hambleton in round 3, but his opponents' preparation and his own lack of sleep had led him to have draws against weaker players in the last two rounds, which unfortunately concluded his CYCC with 2nd place and 5.5/7.

Yuekai Wang (6th seed) was not having the best tournament start, as he had drawn both a 1360 and a 1650 (approx ratings), and had not gained any superiority in the tournament ladder. But he managed to win his 5-6 round games which gave him a chance for top 3 in the U14 section if he had beaten second seed Tanraj Sohal. Unfortunately, he was tricked in a good position, and ended up with 4/7.

Jamil Kassam (2nd seed) was having a pretty good tournament in the U10 section, but when playing 1st seed Yuanchen Zhang, he accidentally flagged in a much better position. He came out strong after that loss and ended up with 5.0/7 in 4th place, with a very high tiebreak score as well.

Ian & David McCoullough both performed much higher than their ratings, and David had scored a very nice win in round 5 where he was losing but brought it back with a good pin&win. They finished in 10th and 14th, respectively.

Patrick Tolentino had very nice positions against many of his opponents, but he had given up some of his chances in the game and did not win all of them. This is his first CYCC as a U8 contender and he got 7th place out of 15 with 4.0/7!

Overall we did score pretty well, but considering our seeding in the standings coming into this tournament, we could've done better. But there are also many other factors that influences how we played, not just our rating level.

Anyways, it's already 1 AM, so I'm going to go sleep. I'll edit the post tomorrow with updates on results and additional statistics so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Wow. Turns out I only have one photo for round 7-11. Sorry guys! Credit goes to my dad for taking the all of them.

Round 8

Videos! I want to upload them, but they take up so much space! I'll upload them on YouTube because it's faster and better than blogspot. The YouTube channel is Since it takes a long time to upload, I'll probably only be uploading a few per day.

Stay tuned or subscribe to the channel. Andrei Botez's videos of the CYCC can be found on his Facebook page. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

FM Eric Hansen Canada's Best Blitz Player?

Lol I played this nub in bullet, 1/0 and this is what happened.

White: FM Eric Hansen
Black: GM David Zhang
Time Control: 1 Minute No Increment
Site: Live Chess

1.d4 c6
2.c4 d5
3.Nf3 Nf6
4.Nc3 e6
5.cxd5 exd5
6.Bg5 Bd6
7.Qc2 h6
8.Bh4 O-O
9.e3 Bg4
10.Bd3 Nbd7
11.h3 Be6
12.O-O Qc7
13.Rad1 g5
14.Bxg5 hxg5
15.Nxg5 Kg7
16.Bf5 Bxf5
17.Qxf5 Rh8
18.e4 dxe4
19.Ncxe4 Bh2+
20.Kh1 Qf4
21.Qxf4 Bxf4
22.Nxf6 Nxf6
23.Nf3 Bd6
24.Rfe1 Rae8
25.Kg1 Ne4
26.Re3 f5
27.Rb3 b6
28.Kf1 c5
29.dxc5 Bxc5
30.Rd7+ Re7
31.Rxe7+ Bxe7
32.Nd4 Rd8
33.Ne6+ Kf6
34.Nxd8 Bxd8
35.Rd3 Bc7
36.f3 Nc5
37.Rd5 Bf4
38.Rd1 Be5
39.b3 a5
40.h4 Ke6
41.Kf2 Bf4
42.h5 Bh6
43.g4 b5
44.Re1+ Kf6
45.Rd1 fxg4
46.fxg4 Ne4+
47.Kf3 Nc3
48.Rd4 Kg7

0-1 Defeating FM Hansen as black.

Ending result:

Sorry about the WYCC photos, I will get them in tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Hey everyone! I'm back, and this time I have the internet speed necessary to upload my 10 gigs of photos. Of course I'll only be uploading a few from each round shooting players and the tournament hall. Maybe some scenery.

The day before round 1:

Team meeting:

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5 and 6

And that'll be pretty much it for the day, I'll be updating with the round 7-11 and closing ceremony photos tomorrow! Stay tuned!