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Grand Tour Leg #3
First of the Last
FM Dale Haessel, returned very recently from his World Seniors Championship adventure in Romania, is the clear favourite to take the final leg of the 2019 Grand Tour. Most of our top juniors are taking a rest after a very busy year, although year-end assignments and final exams at school are sure to keep them working through much of the coming holiday season!
After a strong debut at the just completed Southern Alberta Open, newcomer Rex Yumen surprised veteran Roy Yearwood in the noteable upset of the round. In the skittles room, the newly configured television continues to be a hit with players needing a break from the heavy concentration at the board and visitors alike.
Round two of the event was joined by new top seed Fred South, who predictably won his first game by defeating Husain Ali. To his great credit, Husain put up a valiant fight, first winning a pawn but eventually succombing to a fierce kingside attack. Vastly improved junior Jonathan Wu lost to second seed Dale Haessel, but this game also wasn't a walk in the park for the experienced Master. Jonathan certainly has a bright future ahead of him! Three rounds remain, with the club's annual Christmas party next up on Friday evening!
Middle of the Road
The results mostly went with the rating favourites. Fred South will miss the next two rounds, so Dale Haessel must be considered the strong favourite to win the event and the Grand Tour overall.
Next year already promises to become the best club season ever, with the Steinitz Menchik Classic moving into a three day time slot. That puts the tournament on par with other premier events on the calendar, including the Banff Open and Alberta Open. Pre-registrations are already open for the entire 2020 season at the Calgary Chess Club. Visit Events to start planning your season today!
The club is looking more and more inviting with the recent addition of several Robert Bateman and Georgia Jarvis art pieces. But even in a setting as nice as that, the 2019 season is quickly coming to an end. Next year already promises to become the best club season ever, with the Steinitz Menchik Classic moving into a three day time slot. That puts the tournament on par with other premier events on the calendar, including the Banff Open and Alberta Open. Pre-registrations are already open for the entire 2020 season at the Calgary Chess Club. Visit Events to start planning your season today!
Grand Tour Leg #2
At the Start
The event featured a total of 22 players, notably missing FM Dale Haessel who is presently away and competing at the World Seniors Championship. He played only three of the five games. Instead FM Fred South joined the Grand Tour and thus became the highest rated player in the competition. With Behrooz Ebrahim Shirazi also joining, the overall Grand Tour title this year looks up for grabs!
Among the newcomers were juniors Frederick Yang and Rexcy Yumen, who was there with her father Rex Yumen. He, in turn, would have a big role to play at the Southern Alberta Open later in November. Both Maxim Vasic and Hemant Srinivasan needed a break from their busy schedules. After several exciting and unbalanced matches, Behrooz Ebrahim Shirazi won the tournament. With one Grand Tour event left to play, the overall winner is yet to be decided!
Grand Tour Leg #1
At the Start
A record 28 signed up for the first event in the 2nd annual Grand Tour series, and with six players rated over 2000 Elo the event promises to be a competitive one. For the first time ever, those players who pre-registered and paid for the tournament online were paired for round one the night before! Most of the favourites won, as the chase for the $1,200 overall Grand Tour prize gets underway.
A late start of the second round, imposed by the Annual General Meeting that concluded 90 minutes later than expected, did not prevent FM Dale Haessel and Kim Nguyen from continuing their winning ways and a share of top spot with an as of yet perfect 2/2.
Visiting Karoly Gerecs from Sydney, Australia joined the tournament with a win over former board member Blaise Evans. Richard Canal, back at the club recently and playing in only his second tournament in 13 years will be on top board versus top seed Dale Haessel in the next round.
In a key third round matchup Kim Nguyen defeated Andrew Chen and now shares the lead with FM Dale Haessel and Behrooz Ebrahim Shirazi, all at a perfect 3/3. The round featured one notable upset, as Nerio Sibulo rated just 1561 defeated top junior talent Hemant Srinivasan rated 2044.
Even though round four met with an early winter blizzard, almost everyone braved the cold and turned out to play. Kim Nguyen, though by now in the lead with 4/4, unfortunately had to withdraw from the upcoming last round. That leaves Anand Rishi Chandra facing FM Dale Haessel for at least a share of top spot. Dale needs only a draw to clinch first.
The Calgary Chess Club recently purchased beautiful new Marshall chess pieces and boards from House of Staunton, replacing many legacy sets that were no longer suitable for use. Everything looks and feels great!
The Finish Line
FM Dale Haessel defeated Anand Rishi Chandra in the last round to secure victory. Meanwhile Fred South, one of Calgary's all-time top players, drew his game against Behrooz Ebrahim Shirazi. The remaining legs of the Grand Tour promise to be competitive, with no less than seven players rated over 2000 joining the chase for the overall top prize of $450. In total, $1200 are up for grabs. The Grand Tour Leg #2 starts October 22, 2019.
The remaining section winners were Andrew Chen in 1750-1999, Nerio Sibulo in 1500-1749, Avery Li in 1000-1499, with Gerecs Karoly and Tristan Wensley sharing U1000 and Unrated.