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Sklenka, Steve

Grand Prix Leg #2

Round 1
Calgary Chess Club

The event began with a start list of 22, including Rex Yumen who won the first leg of this year's Grand Prix. By doing so, Rex becomes the latest club member to break the 2000 Elo barrier. As always, FM Dale Haessel is expected to be in contention, defending his overall Grand Prix title two years running! Maxim Vasic and Roy Yearwood are also poised to do well. Newcomers this year include Omar Sazon, Niko Forsyth, Matthew Atwood and Alexander Pawelko. And among the always improving, and thus always dangerous juniors are Connor Pavl, Jerry Ming, Jonathan Wu and Avery Li.

In a surprise result, Zeeshan Munir posted the only upset of the round by defeating the much higher rated Alexander Pawelko. In the next round, top seed FM Dale Haessel will meet the experienced Brian Miller.

With the player start list known ahead of time we are able to email pairings to all registered players 24 hours prior to the start of the event. At the same time, the common and quite unnecessary delays resulting from last minute onsite registrations by a handful of stragglers are largely a thing of the past, as are many of the associated accounting headaches for our staff.

The Calgary Chess Club is following the lead of many prestigious tournaments worldwide by offering an online event registration system to streamline our services. The benefits are many. With the player start list known ahead of time we are able to email pairings to all registered players 24 hours prior to the start of the event. At the same time, the common and quite unnecessary delays resulting from last minute onsite registrations by a handful of stragglers are largely a thing of the past, as are many of the associated accounting headaches for our staff. We would like to encourage the few remaining players who do not yet take advantage of our pre-registration process to begin using it; if nothing else, your online registration and payment saves $10 per event!

Round 2

India's Janak Patel joined the event this round and becomes the club's newest member. Frederick Yang and Michael Blanchard also threw their hats in the ring and might be contenders in the remaining rounds. Brian Miller scored a huge upset by defeating FM Dale Haessel, making the latter's task of winning the event a much more difficult one. Dale will need help from the other front runners to win this leg. The remaining games concluded as player ratings suggested. Maxim Vasic and Rex Yumen lead the way with perfect scores. The next round is shaping up to be a great one, with the leading players matched up in important games.

Round 3

Rex Yumen prevailed over Roy Yearwood, with Maxim Vasic and Brian Miller also posting perfect 3/3 scores with two rounds to play. Young Jerry Ming scored an impressive draw against veteran Abdul Husain Ali, building on a string of notable improvements in recent months. Mateo Jackson, playing remotely from Lethbridge, scored his first win by defeating avid fisherman and true gentleman Phil Evans. Mateo's success is matched by Michael Anderson, who also won his first game. Michael, by the way, is also generously donating his time by hosting our new Friday Nights at the Club events. These are intended for casual drop-in and geared towards introducing new members in a friendly and non-competitive setting. For additional details and times, see our About page.

Round 4

We had a gratifyingly busy night with several visitors filling the skittles area while the competitive games continued in the main room!

Rex Yumen and Brian Miller contested a nail biter on top board, which ended with the demise of Brian's exposed king late in the game. The question on everyone's mind is whether or not Rex can claim his second Grand Prix win in a row? With a single round to go, Rex Yumen and Maxim Vasic, both at a perfect 4/4, lead the pack and will face each other in the final round.

Repeat Winner

Rex Yumen repeats as Grand Prix winner by defeating Maxim Vasic in the final round and reaching a perfect 5/5. The latter ended tied for second at 4/5 with FM Dale Haessel. Patrick Angelo Tolentino was top U2000, Avery Li top U1750, Phil Evans top U1500, while our youngest junior Conor Pavl claimed his first section win by sharing top U1000 with Zeeshan Munir.

Nearly 30 players participated in the event, with the Tuesday evening Grand Prix series very much in a period of rapid growth and popularity. Unfortunately however the next leg of the series has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information about event re-scheduling and club hours please refer to our Blog.

Rex Yumen has emerged as one of the club's newest stars, having won the first two Grand Prix events as well as sharing top spot in the recently completed Alberta Blitz Championship. His rating is quickly approaching 2100 Elo, and almost certainly will continue onward from there!

Nearly 30 players participated in the event, with the Tuesday evening Grand Prix series very much in a period of rapid growth and popularity. Unfortunately however the next leg of the series has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information about event re-scheduling and club hours please refer to our Blog.

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Calgary, AB
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