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Expect to see regular contributions about the goings-on at the Calgary Chess Club.

Sklenka, Stefan

Welcome Players, Enthusiasts and Chess Friends

Calgary Chess Club

On behalf of the Calgary Chess Club I am honoured and delighted to announce a pair of exciting events that we hope will be remembered as landmarks in our club's history.

It is our sincere hope that we are taking important and necessary steps towards making chess in our city more visible and popular than it has ever been.

Our new website for the first time provides the club with a professional online presence that fully integrates a centralized membership database with functionality capable of handling and displaying online Event registrations, up-to-the-minute Rating lists of top players, current news and reports, as well as instructional articles of all types. In time we will add even more features. It is our sincere hope that we are taking important and necessary steps towards making chess in our city more visible and popular than it has ever been.

To commemorate the launch of the new website, the club is hosting a very special invitational blitz tournament spread over two evenings on March 12 and March 14 between 19:00-22:00.   

The participants include twelve of Calgary's top players from the past 35 years who have mostly been coaxed out of retirement for this double-round event called the Tournament Of Legends Blitz. Spectators are welcome!

The participants are twelve of Calgary's top players from the past 35 years who have mostly been coaxed out of retirement for this double-round event called the Tournament Of Legends Blitz.

The event start list, given here in order of highest historical rating, consists of Greg Huber (2385), Rob Hawkes (2362), Arthur Odachowski (2336), Dale Haessel (2332), Robert South (2328), Knut Neven (2327), Andrew Lapides (2326), Fred South (2300), Christopher Demers (2285), Ted Wilson (2245), Sean Perron (2210), and Gordon Campbell (2127). Between them, this group holds hundreds of titles at the city and provincial levels and beyond...

Finally, I would like to thank the entire Calgary Chess Club Executive Board including Dale Haessel, Colin McCaffrey, Gordon Campbell and Blaise Evans, along with special thanks to Knut Neven who have all worked tirelessly to implement the many positive changes clearly evident at the Calgary Chess Club in recent times.

Tournament Reports

Reports on recently finished events at the club and elsewhere. We try to cover major tournaments with participants from the Calgary Chess Club.

calgarychess.com

2018 World Seniors Championship

FM Dale Haessel

I recently travelled to Bled, Slovenia to play in the World Seniors Over 50 tournament. Although I didn't play well, I still managed to gain 27 rating points. Fellow Canadian Michael Dougherty gained 52 points. Overall the Canadians gained a tonne of rating points out of the event. I always remember GM Joel Benjamin saying he was underrated. When asked he stated that everyone is underrated in North America. I can definitely concur with such a statement and anyone who wants to have a rating boost just has to play in foreign tournaments because hundreds of rating points are available for free.

My tournament was marred by an extremely slow start and an opponent who failed to show up. The organizers used a 30 minute forfeit rule compared to the standard 60 minute rule in North America. The tournament was extremely well organized and featured top notch accommodations. I definitely recommend the tournament for anyone who is over 50 or 65.

The tournament was extremely well organized and featured top notch accommodations. I definitely recommend the tournament for anyone who is over 50 or 65.

There were many GMs playing, however no one really famous except GM Evgeny Sveshnikov. I was expecting people like John Nunn and Jan Timman to play. I managed to struggle to 7.5/11 to finish 11th in a field of 106 including nine GMs. The Canadians who played included Alberta's IM Edward Porper, Ian Findlay, Steven Peters, and myself. Also attending from Canada were David Cummings, Michael Dougherty and Victor Plotkin.

Articles

Anything goes! We are looking for contributions with an instructional angle. Played a nice game lately? Travelled to an interesting event out of town? Read a good book on the Catalan? Let the rest of the members know about it. And you don't have to be a top player either to publish something worthwhile. Even better if you include an annotated ChessBase file with your article. Got an idea?

calgarychess.com

Attacking the Scheveningen

White had a commanding lead after the opening only to give most of it back in one move. The advantage shifted, but Black's last mistake was too much to salvage.

Many players focus almost exclusively on opening preparation in their chess studies. The idea of catching an opponent in a prepared line and scoring an easy point is an appealing one, even if reality isn't quite so accommodating. That opening advantage and the final result are usually separated by several hours and dozens of moves where anything can happen...

The following slugfest, played at the 2013 Schleinich Memorial in Calgary, on a very cold day in January, proved entertaining enough to earn the Most Interesting Game award of the event, and was therefore published with analysis by up-and-coming Canadian talent GM Eric Hansen.

So did White's preparation prove decisive here? What about White's 20th move? Arguably much more important than an objective advantage from the opening was my inability to calculate a convincing finish. Lukas defended an inferior position very well for a long time and might have reversed the outcome when I overplayed my hand a dozen moves later in a risky attempt to regain lost ground. The 31st move was the final decisive turning point of the game, and it had nothing to do with opening preparation for either player. The Sicilian Scheveningen was tested but not breached, and neither player found all the right moves!

Columns

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Brebrich, Branimir

Early History 1930 to 1971

Branimir Brebrich

Looking for a chess club in Calgary, some fifty years ago, was an adventure! There was enough interest in playing chess with friends or family at home, but to play in a club, that was something different. Somehow, around fifteen brave players found each other and gathered every Monday night in Maccabees Hall on Fifth Avenue between 9th and 10th Street SW. This was the year 1968.

Much earlier than that, chess was also played at a club called Eagles of Britain all the way back in the 1930s. One of the players of that era still played the game into 1980, and regretfully we never heard the entire story from those days many years ago. Some day, perhaps, someone else can fill that void with records from local newspapers or stories heard through friends...

Once we started, back in 1968, we tried hard to promote ourselves. There were simultaneous chess exhibitions at Westbrook Shopping Centre, Market Mall and others. The club grew to number 50 members in just one year. Branimir Brebrich became our first president. This was the year 1969.

But just when the club looked poised to take flight in earnest, disaster struck in the prosaic but serious situation of a $27 debt owed in past rent!

But just when the club looked poised to take flight in earnest, disaster struck in the prosaic but serious situation of a $27 debt owed in past rent! Members were summoned to talk about options in case we were to be evicted. One interesting idea was to join the German-Canadian Club in Bowness, but that would mean losing our own identity. After much lively discussion the name stayed, and the rest is history.

The crisis had been averted, and the club now formally registered its existence with the authorities. Two letters, sent to the Government of Alberta and the Albertan newspaper, respectively, and signed by Branimir Brebrich, J. Kassay Farkas, R.C. Korpan, R. Gjesdal, and B. Van Wieren asked to sponsor Branimir Brebrich's appearance at the 1971 Canadian Open in Vancouver. That application was rejected. This was the year preceding the famous Match of the Century between Robert James Fischer and Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in the following year. Chess finally made headlines!

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