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Sklenka, Steve

Grand Tour Leg #1

At the Start
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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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