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Sklenka, Steve

Grand Prix Leg #1

Round 1
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The 2020 Grand Prix season kicked off with 20 players, led by perennial favourite FM Dale Haessel and Roy Yearwood at the top of the rating list. The former will be defending his title from the past two editions of the event. Very encouraging for the club is the inclusion of six new players in the event this year, providing evidence that our hard work is paying off!

Rex Yumen prevailed over Mateo Jackson of Lethbridge in a noteworthy clash played over Skype! While games like this cannot be FIDE rated they are eligible for CFC inclusion, opening the door for additional experiments where out-of-town players might be able to get rated games in our regular weekly events without having to travel from places like Lethbridge, Medicine Hat or Red Deer. Player reception to this latest innovation was positive, and the game came off without any technical issues.

Round 2

The event gained four more players this week, bringing the total up to 24 participants. Predictably the favourites won, with the round actually moving from Tuesday to Wednesday night while temperatures outside dipped to -36C. Perhaps for that same reason we also experienced technical difficulties with the previsouly successful Skype transmission, which in the end led to a cancellation of Mateo's game.

The recent arrival of several new and high quality shelving units is a precursor to the opening of a large chess library. Meanwhile we are offering a number of existing items for sale inexpensively, including many books and magazines, as well as boards and pieces and other equipment. Come and take a look!

Round 3

The cancelled Skype match between Mateo Jackson of Lethbridge and Zeeshan Munir took place a day after originally scheduled, while several players who could not play on Wednesday took a bye. FM Dale Haessel predictably took the lead by winning his third game in a row!

Round 4
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FM Dale Haessel and Rex Yumen remain perfect with 4/4, with the latter upsetting junior talent Maxim Vasic in an exciting clash on second board. After a fabulous showing at the Schleinich Memorial earlier this month, Maxim has now lost two games in the Grand Prix. Rex Yumen will meet Dale Haessel in the final round to determine the winner of the event. Our online experiment continued tonight, albeit after switching from Skype to Messenger. Mateo Jackson, who of course lives in Lethbridge, is thoroughly enjoying the opportunity of meeting Calgary players in competitive games and thereby gaining experience and raising his level of play. The event has by now drawn yet another four participants, setting a new attendance record of 28 for the first round of our Grand Prix series!

Surprise Winner
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The 2020 Grand Prix Leg #1 finished with surprise winner Rex Yumen at a perfect 5/5 after defeating 2018 and 2019 Grand Prix winner FM Dale Haessel in the final round. Congratulations on a great performance. Milad Khoshooei, who had been largely inactive and rated only 1380, finished in second place. Yes, we had an event full of unexpected results!

The event set a new participation record with 28 players, including six newcomers venturing their first competitive event! The highlight of this first Grand Prix event in the 2020 series, other than the top of the leaderboard, was the experimental online participation of Mateo Jackson, who played along the locals via Messenger from Lethbridge. The only downside is that an event with remote participants cannot be FIDE rated, which may be a consideration as we continue to explore this option in future events.

The Grand Prix continues to evolve, with the next event featuring a top section in Round Robin format, while the rest of the field contests the usual Swiss event. Let us know how you feel about the idea!

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Canada

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