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Sklenka, Steve

Junior Battle of Alberta

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The annual Junior Battle of Alberta took place in Red Deer on September 28, 2019 with defending champions Team South once again the favourites to win. They had prevailed 17-7 in 2018, and were this year even stronger. The entire roster on all twelve boards was composed of Calgary Chess Club members! Aditya Raninga wasn't available, but a strong contingent averaging Elo 1779 faced a Team North with an average Elo of just 1555.

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The more than two hundred point Elo rating difference should be easily decisive, with only the actual margin of victory for Team South in question. In the end seven out of the twelve Team South players went 2-0, three players went 1.5-0.5, while two matches tied 1-1. Team South won on 10 out of 12 boards and did not lose a single match en route to a convincing and lopsided 20.5-3.5 victory.

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Team South consisted of Ian Zhao (+140), Maxim Vasic (+108), Paul Wang (+108), Patrick Angelo Tolentino (+9), Andrew Chen (+53), Anand Rishi Chandra (-29), Hemant Srinivasan (+231), Kevin Qin (+458), Pranav Pathak (+287), Jonathan Wu (+373), Cathy Xie (+232) and Helen Chen (+196).

For those of you wondering, the number in brackets behind each player is the Elo rating gain, or loss, of the player in the last twelve months. On average, it turns out, that is a gain of +181 points in 2019 so far!

Congratulations to Team South! It will be interesting if Team South can continue asserting their dominance in years to come, or if Team North can rebound with a strong effort of their own.

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