Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

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  • Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

    The Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong) - Part I

    Surprise!! The Canadian Open U 2000 Blog is going to be here on Chesstalk after all!

    You will have seen in my earlier posts, that the plan had been for it to just be posted on the FQE Website for the Canadian Open. And it is being posted - here is the link for Blog # 1: http://echecsmontreal.ca/co/blogEN.html .

    But the difficulty is that the blog format on the site has no capacity for viewers to discuss items of interest, comment, question, etc. So I spoke with the lead FQE organizer, Felix Dumont, and we agreed that there was no problem with the blogs being duplicate posted, both there, and here. And Chesstalk has the big advantage that it allows for a discussion format. And in order to promote this discussion aspect of the blog, it was felt that just posting a link would be insufficient. So the whole blog is set out below. So this blog site will be the one that will serve as the discussion group. Because of the late change of plans, some of the blog content is now obsolete, but it will not be confusing, with this intro having been read.

    I hope CT'ers enjoy the blog, and will have comments for all to read and discuss.

    Bob Armstrong


    2014 Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong) - Part I

    The “Day Prior” – Friday, July 18 (Blog # 1)

    Introduction

    Well, the biggest annual Canadian chess tournament, the Canadian Open, is now upon us in Montreal, Quebec. And for all the chess aficionados across Canada, tuning in to the day by day struggles, I, Bob Armstrong,

    Armstrong(13)29.jpg

    have to hand out a warning. I am once again inflicting myself on the Canadian chess public, and posting my 2014 Canadian Open U 2000 Blog!
    After a 35 year absence from playing in Canadian Opens, I, starting with 2006, have now played in 7 of the 8 consecutive Canadian Opens. I don’t remember which year I started blogging my tournament section, but I know I have done it for at least three years now (one of the years, when I played in the Toronto International, rather than the BC CO, I blogged it).
    Usually, the Chess ‘n Math Association (Larry Bevand) has graciously consented to my posting my blog on their national discussion board, Chesstalk. In that forum, I was averaging 500 views per day for my 8 – 10 blogs (varied a bit from year to year).
    This year I am trying something different. FQE inquired whether I might blog for them this year, and we agreed that my blog would not be on Chesstalk this time, but right on the FQE website. I noted that my French was merely minimal now (though I was almost able to get along in Quebec in my younger years – but both my adult kids have resided here in Montreal now for many years – a consequence of Ontario French Immersion). FQE advised that this was satisfactory, and that they would not be having someone translate it…..what they hoped to achieve, through people coming to their website for the blog, was to raise the profile of Quebec chess in English Canada. So I am hopeful that I may be able to go some way in achieving this for them. One of their tournament staffers will be working with me to do the technical posting of the material I present to them.


    My Prior CO’s/TIO

    I have to say, that I treat the Canadian Opens as a “chess holiday”! My recent prior eight adventures ( 7 CO’s outings and the 2012 Toronto International Open…which, as I said, replaced the 2012 CO in BC) were fabulous – lots of chess, good socializing, doing some touristy things, and getting some R&R between rounds.
    Speaking about “chess”, how did I do in this prior eight years? Well, I did a little digging for my 2013 blog, and I’ll reproduce it here and update it:

    1. 2006 – Kitchener – Sections - Played in the U 2000 Section (1999 to 1600) – rated 1711 – finished with 5/9 (slightly over 50 %), tied # 21 - # 30 out of 81 players; performance rating of 1832.

    2. 2007 – Ottawa – One Section Swiss (with hyper-accelerated pairings) - Was in the U 1800 Class Prize group (1999 to 1800) – rated 1746 – finished with 5.5/9 (over 50 %), tied # 73 - # 113 out of 280 players. Shared a Class Prize – tied for # 3 - # 15 (the split meant a very modest payoff!) – performance rating of 1928.

    3. 2008 – Montreal – Sections - Played up a section in the U 2000 Section (1999 to 1800) – rated 1783 – finished with 6.5/9 (72 %), tied # 4 - # 8 out of 77 players. Shared some prize money (again, rather modest due to split) – performance rating of 1940. With this tournament I was given an FQE rating of 1845.

    4. 2009 – Edmonton – One Section Swiss (no acceleration) - Was in the U 2000 Class Prize Group (1999 to 1800) – rated 1831 – finished with 4/9 (slightly under 50 %), tied # 110 - # 139, out of 203 players; in my class I finished tied # 30 – # 40 out of 48 players – performance rating of 1797.

    5. 2010 – Toronto – One Section Swiss (hyper-accelerated pairings) - Was in the U 2000 Class Prize Group (1999 to 1800) – rated 1800 (ranked last of 56!) – finished with 4.5/9 (50 %), tied # 111 - # 150, out of 265 players; in my class, I finished tied # 25 - # 44 out of 56 players – performance rating of 1829.

    6. 2011 – Toronto – Sections – Played in U 2000 section (to 1600) – rated 1744 - 76 players & I was ranked # 27 – finished # 20/31, with 5/9 pts. – had a TPR of 1690, and lost 19 rating points.

    7. 2012 – Toronto International – Sections – Played in the U 1900 section (to 1600) – rated 1645 – 34 players and I was ranked second-last – finished # 23/26, with 2.5/7 pts. – TPR of 1629 – lost 3 rating points.

    8. 2013 – Ottawa – One big swiss (no acceleration) – 178 players - played in the U 1600 prize group – rated 1590 (hadn’t been in the 1500’s for about 7 years) – finished # 127/148, with only 3.5/9 pts. – but gained 2 rating points (TPR – 1602)!

    So here I go again in 2014 in Montreal, this time in the U 2000 section. I am rated for this tournament using my FQE rating, achieved in the 2008 CO – 1845. But I’m afraid it has been some years now since I’ve been there in my CFC rating (now 1645). But in either case, I would be in the U 2000 section. As of Friday’s registration list update, there are 79 players in the U 2000 section. With my FQE rating, I am ranked # 22/79. But the truth is 1645 (sigh) – at this rating I am not even a dark horse ………. # 73/79! From this distance, I can’t even see the top seeds in my section! And with a first prize of $ 1000!

    Prepping Is Important

    At my Scarborough Chess Club in Toronto, our last tournament went to June 26 (my club closes for July & August). Since then I have played no chess games. For those who know me, they know I have never really studied chess (except to analyze my own games). So doing no studying or prepping for this tournament really doesn’t affect me much – just in the same situation as always…..relying on my native talent……which, if I had any…has now left the building! But I simply love to play officially rated tournament chess, and I just let the chips fall where they may. And I definitely am not preaching myself as any role model for upcoming juniors. I am the anti-role model – do the exact opposite to get better! Study, play a lot, and do prep for your opponents if given a chance.

    The Montreal CO

    The CO starts today, Saturday, July 19 with Rd. 1 @ 11:00 AM. We will be playing in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel (the same one the CYCC has been held in for the last four days – finished yesterday with play-offs). So I am doing this blog in the wee hours of the first day of the tournament (Sat.), though blogging about the “day prior”….Friday.

    Expectations for the 2014 CO

    - I am shooting for a tournament performance rating in the high 1700’s (which I haven’t achieved since May 2012!)
    - I am shooting to bring my CFC rating back up into the 1700’s
    (rather modest, but I hope achievable, goals.)

    The Blog Plan

    - hope to report on the playing day by the next morning before noon (but I will shoot for it to be as early as I can manage it, and working with the FQE staffer, who has to find time in his rat-race to post it for me).

    Favourites/Dark Horses

    I will designate the 1900’s as the “favourites” (though I know there will be some sharp-shooting lower rated juniors that will also come to the top soon enough). There are 6 of them out of 79.

    “Favourites” (1900’s)

    1. Villeneuve, Robert – 1993 – QC
    2. Have, Didier – 1992 - QC
    3. Weston, Paul – 1963 – QC
    4. Rodrigo-Lemieux, Shawn – 1927 – QC
    5. Chang, Michael – 1912 – QC
    6. Sarra-Bournet, Marc – 1911 - QC

    I will designate the 1800’s the “dark horses” – there are 11 of them out of 79.

    “Dark Horses” (1899 – 1850) (note – since my rating is really now an old inflated rating, I will not include myself, despite my 1845 FQE rating). There are 11 of these.

    1. Leblanc, Paul – 1893 – BC
    2. Pinho, Tiago – 1889 – Portugal
    3/ 4. Nardone, Raul – 1887 – QC
    3/ 4. Barko, Maxim – 1887 – QC
    5. Lee, Brendon – 1875 – ON
    6. Yie, Kevin – 1874 – ON
    7. Gunapalan, David – 1872 – QC
    8. Langlois-Remillard, Alexis – 1860 – QC
    9. Libersan, Mattieu – 1857 – QC
    10/11. Miettinen, Eric – 1854 – QC
    10/11. Itkine, Victor – 1854 - ON

    The U 2000 Prize Fund

    Top Finishers - $ 1,000; $ 600; $ 300; $ 200;
    U 1900 - $ 250
    U 1800 - $ 150
    Best Female - $ 125
    Best Senior - $ 125
    Best Junior (U 20 as of Jan. 1/14, according to the FQE website) - $ 125
    Best Cadet (15 years and less, according to the FQE website) - $ 75

    Continued below in Part II
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Pt. II- Blog #1 - Day Prior: Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

    Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong) - Continued - Blog # 1 - Part II

    Day Prior – Friday, July 18
    (Rd. 1 Today, Sat. July 13 @ 11:00 AM )

    The week before this, my wife and I were being visited by my son and his partner at Spirits’ Den (our hobby farm/swamp 3 hrs. drive northwest of Toronto). My wife and I have mutually agreed that our farm is a computer free zone…so….no chess (I now hate trying to study with a board). It just so happened that they were able to stay ‘til Thursday at the farm, and we returned to Toronto Thurs. night late. This allowed me to give them a ride to Montreal yesterday (they live in Montreal).
    My good chess friend, also a Scarborough Chess Club member, Mario Moran-Venegas,

    Moran-Venegas(13)3(Zeromskis).jpg

    was going to drive us all, but then plans changed and he got a ride with us. Mario and I have attended a number of CO’s together previously, with him doing the driving. Mario has, therefore, from time to time figured rather prominently in some of my prior blogs. So he is back again this year in his role of Watson, to my Sherlock! And although he does seem to regularly up-stand me, I would ask that you all refrain from sending him marriage proposals, as has happened in prior years .
    So at shortly after 10:00 AM yesterday, the four of us set of to Montreal. I dropped the two kids off at their place, and then we headed for the hotel (GPS is so nice – I don’t have one (not techie at all), but Mario did, and his was, fortunately, portable!) We got registered, settled in to our room, and then went down to see who was still around from the CYCC (playoffs had been held yesterday morning).
    We first met Rebecca Giblon (we’ve played a number of times in Ontario weekend tournaments) who had tied for first in the U 18/U16 Girls section, but came 2nd after the play-off (However, I may be wrongly remembering our conversation on this – the cross-table seems to show her third)– still an excellent result. Congratulations Rebecca!
    Then we met Sandra Vettese, with her husband Jeffery, and their older son (Nicholas, the younger son, came second in the U 10 Open). Jeffery and I have been discussing all things in the world over the last year or so, on Facebook, but had never met, though we both felt that we did know each other. We agreed we’d carve out some time to talk face-to-face later in the tournament.
    Aris Marghetis was arbitting the CYCC, and we met him in the hallway, on his way to somewhere to keep all things in order.
    We went into the playing hall, and two of my junior friends from Ontario, Mark Plotkin and Zach Dukic saw me and waved from the front of the hall. Mark came over and we chatted a bit. They play in the U 1600 Open, and Mark had come third, and Zach fourth. Congratulations guys.
    Then out in the hall again, we met the CFC President, Vlad Drkulec, of Windsor, Ontario,

    Drkulec(13)1.jpg


    along with Zoltan, another Windsorite, who has numerous times volunteered to help supervise Windsor junior players at tournaments. Mario joined us and we discussed the recent CFC Presidential elections (Vlad was elected to a second term). We also discussed the recent, somewhat controversial, CFC Executive decision to endorse the FIDE Presidential incumbent, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (the Challenger is 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov).
    Then a chess friend, Victoria Jung-Doknjas, of BC, and a friend of hers came up to speak to Vlad about the WYCC in South Africa. She told me that her son Joshua (she has three playing) came second in the U 16 Open section in a play-off – congratulations Joshua!

    Dinner

    Mario and I were now starving, so we left, and went to a great pizza place at Square Phillips and St. Catherine. We then returned to the hotel, for me to do my blog and he to do non-studying (playing games on-line – mustn’t take this tournament too seriously!). He also assumed the coveted role of Blog Researcher, checking some of my facts from memory (my memory is awful!)

    The Blog # 1

    I had advised Roman (staff for FQE) that I would shoot to get him this Blog # 1 by 11:00 PM Friday night). Well it took longer than I thought, and so didn’t get it off to him ‘til Saturday, in the wee hours of the morning (a bit past 1:00 AM). So when he’ll be able to fit posting this on the website into his busy schedule, I am not sure, since I missed our mutual deadline (which was apparently quite fine for him to post it before midnight). But it will get posted sometime today. And it will likely be the case that my Blog # 2 ( of Day 1 of the tournament) will get to him sometime in the late evening of today (before 11:00 PM), and he’ll also be able to post it today before midnight.

    Invitation

    I hope you enjoy my musings and fact reporting over the course of this Canadian Open. It will help to make this blog even more interesting if viewers post their responses, facts they may know, their own stories, in response to my daily material, if commenting on my blog is possible on the FQE website (I had forgotten to inquire on this when we made our current arrangements). If possible, I hope to hear from many of you as the week passes! I will try to respond whenever it seems appropriate, if it is possible.
    Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Monday, 21st July, 2014, 05:52 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Day 1/Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Canadian Open U 2000 Blog # 2 (Armstrong

      My blog # 2, covering Rd. 1 on Saturday, July 19, is now fully prepared to post....except that the U 2000 results have still not yet been posted - apparently, from my conversation with Felix Dumont, FQE lead organizer, last night, there were some arbiter issues in our section, and this was causing delay. I cannot finish my blog until I have the results of the top players in our section, for Rd. 1 (whom I have designated the "favourites").

      If I have time before Rd. 2, that starts today @ 11:00 AM, and the results do get posted before 11:00 AM, I hope to get this blog # 2 out before the start of Rd. 2.

      But...as is said....the best laid plans of mice and men.....(= often get blown to smithereens). We'll see how the universe unfolds today for this harassed blogger! :D

      Bob A
      Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 08:20 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

        In the U2000, Robert Villeneuve would be my pick to win, with Louis Morin a strong second. A sentimental favourite would be Michel Germain...and there's always the venerable Serge Lacroix. :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Pick the Winner!: Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

          Originally posted by Hugh Brodie View Post
          In the U2000, Robert Villeneuve would be my pick to win, with Louis Morin a strong second. A sentimental favourite would be Michel Germain...and there's always the venerable Serge Lacroix. :-)
          Hi Hugh:

          Thanks for giving your favourites. The section is going to be very, very competitive from what I have seen so far.

          For example, Omar Shah, who shares the top seed spot with Dennis Gauthiers (both at 1999) could only manage a draw.

          Does anyone agree with any of Hugh's picks as a final winner: Robert Villeneuve (1993)? Louis Morin (1812)? Michel Germain (1947)? Serge Lacroix (1647)?

          If not, who is your favourite?

          Let's get a pool going??

          Bob A
          Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 08:52 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Results?: Day 1/Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Can Op U 2000 Blog # 2 (Armstrong)

            Does anyone know the results in the U 2000 section for these "favourites"?

            1/2. Gauthiers, Dennis – 1999 - QC
            3. Villeneuve, Robert – 1993 – QC
            4. Have, Didier – 1992 – QC
            5. Liard, Serge – 1984 - QC
            6. Weston, Paul – 1963 – QC
            7. Germain, Michel – 1947 – QC
            8. Vettese, Nicholas – 1943 – ON
            9. Pomerantz, Daniel – 1937 – QC
            10. Ingram, Richard – 1929 – QC
            11. Desjardins, Michel – 1925 - QC
            12. Chang, Michael – 1912 – QC
            13. Sarra-Bournet, Marc – 1911 - QC

            If I can get all the results from those knowing these players, I can complete Blog # 2 without having to wait for the official results posting!!

            Bob A
            Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 10:17 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Results?: Day 1/Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Can Op U 2000 Blog # 2 (Armstrong)

              Do I understand this correctly, the first round finished about 16 hours ago, and the organisers still don't have the results? The second round starts in about 90 minutes, let's hope things are sorted out before then.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pairing Problem Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Canadian Open U 2000 Blog # 1

                My CFC rating is 1645. In our section, for non-Quebec residents, the ranking rating is the highest of CFC and FIDE rating. My CFC is higher.

                My FQE rating (obtained in 2008) is 1845. But it was not to be relevant.

                Here comes the problem:

                The FQE rating was used to pair me in Rd. 1 !??

                Using my FQE rating for pairing in Rd. 1, I am # 27 on the list. Therefore I should play # 70 on the list under normal, non-accelerated pairing programs, given 88 players in the section.

                And who is # 70 on the list, but my Rd. 1 opponent, Ken Cashin.

                So my wrong rating is being used to pair me for this Can. Op.

                I intend to bring this to the attention of Alexandre Ber who is doing the pairings to my knowledge, and Roman who is also involved I believe.

                Bob A

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pairing Problem Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Canadian Open U 2000 Blog # 1

                  Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
                  So my wrong rating is being used to pair me for this Can. Op.
                  It's frustrating. I've seen examples in which the rating used has been changed during the event, so that a posted rating differs from the rating listed after the event as the one they used. Perhaps a TD makes an error regarding a rating and then corrects it, without telling anyone, during the event.

                  Don't let this stuff annoy you, Bob. Note it in case you need to take some steps, but focus on playing your best chess.
                  Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pairing Problem Rd. 1 (Saturday, July 19) - Canadian Open U 2000 Blog # 1

                    Hi Nigel:

                    Thanks.

                    I have spoken to Roman about it, and he advises he had earlier told them to change it when I first drew it to their attention months ago. They did change it in one place, but not the other. He said he would try again.

                    It is not just a technical complaint. I am playing up in the U 2000. My CFC rating (which is legally supposed to be being used), is only 1645. I am playing up to play stronger opposition, not minding if I may lose rating points. But in fact, over the years, on playing up I have won significant rating points, just by scoring better than expected.

                    With them now using my FQE rating of 1845, I am in the top half of the draw. So I am always being paired down.

                    One might think this an advantage. For other people yes. But I in fact play better chess against stronger players, than weaker ones (some kind of deep psychological problem!!). So I am being affected negatively by this mistake.

                    But, it is a big tournament, the FQE has done a great job breaking recent history records, and I don't want to in any way, with my little problem, denigrate the great job they are doing.

                    So I will do no more on this now. It has been brought to their attention twice, and now it is time to play chess.

                    Bob A

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good luck, Bob!

                      Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
                      But, it is a big tournament, the FQE has done a great job breaking recent history records, and I don't want to in any way, with my little problem, denigrate the great job they are doing.

                      So I will do no more on this now. It has been brought to their attention twice, and now it is time to play chess.

                      Bob A
                      Absolutely. This is the right attitude, make your point and move on.

                      I am looking forward to some of your games but may I suggest that you only put your (initial) comments on the games, if any, and that way you will get the maximum benefit of doing your own analysis before using any chess engine. Things like "What were you thinking here?" and other factors can make for a good commentary. Anyone can turn on an engine and unthinkingly re-gurgitate the silicon analysis; only the competitors, however, know what goes on inside their heads and contributed to their decision-making at the board.

                      I had my best success at the Open in 2012 when I kept focusing on my next game and ignored the games I had just played. I realize that you can't do that due to the blog commitments, but make sure you get your rest; I'm sure you know very well how a long event can be exhausting. Good luck on behalf of older guys!
                      Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 02:26 PM.
                      Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pick the Winner!: Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

                        Originally posted by Bob Armstrong View Post
                        Hi Hugh:

                        Thanks for giving your favourites. The section is going to be very, very competitive from what I have seen so far.

                        For example, Omar Shah, who shares the top seed spot with Dennis Gauthiers (both at 1999) could only manage a draw.

                        Does anyone agree with any of Hugh's picks as a final winner: Robert Villeneuve (1993)? Louis Morin (1812)? Michel Germain (1947)? Serge Lacroix (1647)?

                        If not, who is your favourite?

                        Let's get a pool going??

                        Bob A
                        I nominate you, Bob. Go get em'.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pick the Winner!: Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

                          Originally posted by Zach Dukic View Post
                          I nominate you, Bob. Go get em'.
                          Hi Zach:

                          Thanks....but boy is your radar off!!:D Don't go bet the shop. I've lost my first two games to players rated under 1700 (I'm CFC 1645 and am playing up a section to be in the U 2000 section).

                          But I'll keep trying!

                          Bob A

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Pt. I - Blog # 2 - Day 1/ Rd. 1 – Saturday, July 19 - Can Op U 2000 (Armstrong)

                            2014 Canadian Open U 2000 Blog (Armstrong)

                            Blog # 2 - Day 1/ Rd. 1 – Saturday, July 19 - Part I

                            NOTE:

                            1. this blog would have been posted earlier today (Sunday), but there were apparently arbiter issues in our section, and the results of Rd. 1 for our section only were posted late Sunday morning at about 11:00 AM. I could not complete my blog until I had those results, so I had to delay, though the rest of the blog was all finished earlier and ready to go (subject to the one results section being needed). And then I had to play Rd.2 and so could not deal with this ‘til about 3:00 PM after my game.
                            2. this blog is also posted on the FQE Canadian Open website ("Follow the tournament"). It has the great advantage that it includes a gameviewer, so my Rd. 1 game that is in the text can be immediately played over. The URL for the blog there is: http://echecsmontreal.ca/co/suivre_en.html .

                            Starting the Day Off Right – The Wee Hours of the Morning

                            Friday night, I started the Blog # 1 on the “Day Prior” to the tournament. I finished it very early Saturday morning at about 1:00 AM, and sent it off to Roman, the FQE staff member working with me, who was to post it about noon Saturday on the FQE website, to start off my tournament blogging for the next 8 days. He was adding my Blog heading under the “Follow the tournament” page, so it would be readily seeable.
                            My chess friend, Mario Moran-Venegas, with whom I’m sharing a Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel room, and I, then went to bed around 2:30 AM Saturday morning.
                            For those who know me, they know that I sleep about 5 hours per night on average (I guess if you are retired, old, doing little exercise, and sitting at a computer all day, you don’t use many calories up, and hence aren’t too tired). But it is worse when it comes to sleeping during tournaments. I have now self-diagnosed, and determined I have what is known as “chess tournament sleep disorder”! My average sleep is usually around 3-4 hours. Adrenalin effect??
                            For example, though I went to bed at 2:30 AM Saturday morning, and had driven earlier in the day, the 5 ½ hours from Toronto to Montreal, I woke up at 4:00 AM!?? 1 ½ hrs.?? I lay there for a while hoping to go back to sleep……..I knew this wasn’t going to work…I was wide awake!
                            In this situation, I just acknowledge it, and get up and do whatever. Fortunately for Mario and I, there is a small alcove at one end of the room where we are sharing a table as our office away from home. We’ve both got our laptops on the same table, both hooked into the wireless, and we each do our own thing (we got a second chair for the table so we could arrange this). And I have the bed closest to the alcove, so when I work at odd hours, and have turned on the desk light, Mario in the far bed can still happily saw logs on the dark side of the room. So I made a short post on attending the CO on my Facebook account wall (had 7 of my friends “liking” it by 7:00 AM). I checked e-mails. I looked at lots of recent tweets on my Twitter account. I checked my FB chess discussion group (run by a partnership of 4), Chess Posts of Interest (https://www.facebook.com/groups/coop...hesscoalition/ ). I checked out a few chess websites. It doesn’t occur to me to prepare for the tournament  .
                            I will check later in the morning whether Roman has had a chance by then to post my Blog # 1. He said he was shooting for noon.
                            Then I followed my normal pattern of starting the draft of my Blog # 2 (Round 1, Sat., July 19). There is quite a bit I can actually fill in initially, leaving blanks for the coming information I require to complete it (like this section).

                            The Sort of Early Morning

                            At 6:00 AM I got dressed, and decided to go see if our local Timmies was now open – get some fresh air, a nice large coffee, and a bagel and cheese for, for me, a now mid-morning snack! Oh rapture…..it’s a 24/7! No matter what my sleeping pattern, I’ll always be able to go hang out, usually alone except for the server!

                            Later in the Morning

                            Mario got up about 7:00 AM., just when I returned. We thought we had to register for the tournament around 11:00 AM, so we still had some time to ourselves. So I went back to working on the draft Blog # 2. Mario checked out some chess stuff on his laptop, and decided for some reason he’d better do a virus scan.
                            Mario checked the FQE and CO pages, but couldn’t find out when check-in registration started. So about 9:15 AM we went down to register. On the way, we met the FQE Executive Director, Richard Berube, whom I have met on previous occasions. He advised that the registration desk would start at 10:00 AM. Then we ran into Zoltan and Isabel from Windsor, and chatted a bit about her plans for after the CYCC, in which her son had played. Mario was famished, so we then headed out for a quickie breakfast at our now favourite 24/7 Timmies.
                            We then returned to the hotel and played on our laptops for a short time, and then went down to register a bit after 10:00 AM. It was then set up. But when we checked, they advised it was only to take on-site registrations. Those on the pre-registered list did not have to check in. And at the desk was Roman, the FQE staff member I was working with, and we got to meet each other face-to-face for the first time. We had worked out, as mentioned above, that he would add a special heading for my blog on the Canadian Open “Follow the tournament” page, which was going to be awesome! He advised he’d have it all up by noon.
                            While at the desk, Bill Doubleday of Ottawa showed up. He and Mario and I chatted a bit about him being a former Canadian Seniors Champion, and having played in Europe a couple of times in the World Senior. He advised he was again playing in the Canadian Senior in Kitchener in August, and regardless of whether he won and got “official Canadian representative” status, he was again going to the World Senior.
                            Then Jaime Solis from Ontario came in to check in. We explained he didn’t have to do anything since he was pre-registered. Then Mario was tired (got a little less sleep this morning than he’s used to), and felt he could take a nap before the Round 1 started at 1:00 PM. I was not tired (no way I’d nap) and so I just continued working on my Blog # 2 draft, checked some e-mails, and visited a few of my normal chess websites.

                            Early Afternoon

                            Mario slept for about an hour. He then got onto his laptop since his scan was now finished – no viruses. About 12:30 PM, he and I went to Timmies, since Mario wanted a light lunch before the round started. We then returned to the 2nd floor to see what was going on prior to the start of Rd. 1.
                            I saw my friend Mike Sharpe, who comes from my hometown, Sarnia. At one time he was President of the Sarnia CC. We chatted a bit about the fact that both of us have ratings below 1700 (me – 1645; Mike – 1526), and that we both had decided to play up in the section above us, the U 2000 section. Often this does work to your advantage if you play decently. You play so many players higher rated than you, that if you win a few, it covers all the rating points drop from the losses!
                            My friend from BC, Paul Leblanc, CFC Rating Auditor, then joined us. He had been in Ontario the prior week visiting relatives of both he and his wife – Paul was raised in Ontario originally, and the family in Ontario still runs a farm started by earlier generations. Then he and Mike and I got into a conversation about the CFC’s Chess Foundation of Canada, for which Paul does the investing. We discussed whether it was now time for CFC to consider having the Foundation stand alone as a separate corporation (it is now like a subsidiary of CFC, though having its own CFC-appointed trustees).
                            For multiple unexpected reasons, pairings had to be redone, and we started over an hour late. Also, they were short of clocks and our board didn’t have one. The advertising had not said to bring clocks……but in an abundance of caution, I had brought mine, and so went and got it.
                            The time control is 40/90 min. SD/30 min, with a 30 sec increment from Rd. 1.

                            (Continued in Part II)
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                            Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 04:22 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Pt. II: Blog # 2 - Day 1/ Rd. 1 – Saturday, July 19 - Can Op U 2000 (Armstrong)

                              Blog # 2 - Day 1/ Rd. 1 – Saturday, July 19 - Can Op U 2000 (Armstrong) - Pt. II

                              Continued from Part I above

                              My Games

                              (Because new readers come to the blog from time to time, I want them to have the following information, and so I am repeating the template of it each day – I’d ask the daily readers of the blog to tolerate the repetition)

                              As I’ve said in prior year’s blogs, I like to think “class” games, like those in the U 2000 section, down in the middle of the bowels of the tournament, have some interest. I believe in some ways they are more educational to class players than GM games, if properly annotated. They are understandable, because we all think similarly – GM moves are many times incomprehensible to us class players.
                              For years now, I’ve used a chess website, Chess5 (http://www.chess5.com ), as my own personal chess games blog and back up storage site – I have gotten to know the owner/administrator Eydun, quite well over the years. I introduced Canada to his website, after I first saw it. Canada is now one of the main posters to this on-line databank. I post all my games, using what I call my “Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS)”, hoping that this makes them even more helpful to viewers. In prior years, this is where I have posted my Open games for those interested to play over. Click on the heading link “public games”, and you get a list of games posted this month so far, including mine from this Open.
                              But this year I am adding another feature since I am blogging on a website this time. I will be including my games, annotated, right in this blog. I had discussed with Roman the possibility of a game viewer capacity, so that viewers of the blog could immediately play over my game on the screen. If I can manage to get a copy of one of the top board games in our section, I will be trying to include it in this blog as well. Roman advised that he would be able to set up game-viewer capacity.
                              My games may not be dramatic, but I am told I am a somewhat messy and adventurous player (I lose a lot!), and that my games, win or lose, are often interesting to play over (some friends say, so they’ll learn how not to play chess…sigh). I hope they will be worth a look though.
                              Also, Mario had been looking at the pre-registration list re some odd ratings being used in our section, and he checked the website and explained that for our U 2000 section, for non-Quebecers, the rating used is the highest of the CFC and FIDE ratings (any FQE rating is not used). My ratings are: FQE 1845, CFC 1645 and FIDE 1555. So the rating I’m ranked with in my section of 88 players should be the CFC rating, putting me # 80/88 in the higher section.
                              But in fact an error was made that I tried to correct months before the tournament, by e-mail to Roman. He at that time asked that it be corrected. It was in one place, but not in another. They are using my FQE rating for pairings! The consequence of this error is more than technical.
                              I am playing up in the U 2000. My CFC rating (which is legally supposed to be being used), is only 1645. I am playing up to play stronger opposition, not minding if I may lose rating points. But in fact, over the years, on playing up I have won significant rating points, just by scoring better than expected. With them now using my FQE rating of 1845, I am in the top half of the draw. So I am always being paired down.

                              One might think this an advantage. For other people yes. But I in fact play better chess against stronger players, than weaker ones (some kind of deep psychological problem!!). So I am being affected negatively by this mistake.

                              But, it is a big tournament, the FQE has done a great job breaking recent history records, and I don't want to in any way, with my little problem, denigrate the great job they are doing. So I am now leaving it to them, and moving on.

                              In any event, playing up will make it an uphill battle!

                              The U 2000 Group (88 players), Favourites & Today’s Rd. 1

                              In Rd. 1, our top 13 players (I listed 6 of them as “favourites” in yesterday’s blog – they are the 1900’s) did not escape unscathed (despite first rounds in a Swiss being bad mismatches generally). Here are their results (I have to apologize to Omar Shah that I omitted him from my list yesterday by being a bit confused about what ratings were being used; also, there were some on-site last minute entries into our group, and so I have updated the list accordingly):

                              1/ 2. Shah, Omar – 1999 – ON – drew.



                              Photo by Bob Armstrong

                              1/ 2. Gauthiers, Dennis – 1999 – QC - drew
                              3. Villeneuve, Robert – 1993 – QC - won
                              4. Have, Didier – 1992 – QC - won
                              5. Liard, Serge – 1984 – QC - won
                              6. Weston, Paul – 1963 – QC - drew
                              7. Germain, Michel – 1947 – QC - won
                              8. Vettese, Nicholas – 1943 – ON - lost
                              9. Pomerantz, Daniel – 1937 – QC - won
                              10. Ingram, Richard – 1929 – QC - won
                              11. Desjardins, Michel – 1925 – QC - lost
                              12. Chang, Michael – 1912 – QC - won
                              13. Sarra-Bournet, Marc – 1911 – QC - won

                              My Round 1 Game

                              In Rd. 1, I was paired down (discussed elsewhere in this blog), and played Black against Ken Kashin (1690 - QC). I lost, though the game was close, and after he went up a P, I struggled to draw to move 77, but then had to resign as he was threatening to queen his extra P.
                              Here is the game, annotated with my own annotation method, called the Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS), using Fritz and my own comments. But in copying the game, some evaluation symbols are converted to numbers. Here is the code:

                              2 = plus (the program eliminates the plus sign)/=
                              u (with a tail) = plus (the program eliminates the plus sign)/-


                              Cashin, Ken (1690) - Armstrong, Robert J. (1645) [B08]
                              Canadian Open (U 2000) (1), 19.07.2014

                              1.e4² [0.54]

                              1...g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6?!± [Ken gets a "clear" advantage]

                              [3...Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.c4 Nb4²]

                              4.Be2 Nf6 5.Nc3 0–0 6.h3?!² [6.0–0 e5 7.dxe5 dxe5±]

                              6...Nc6 [6...c5 7.0–0 (7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8=) 7...cxd4 8.Qxd4 Nfd7=]

                              7.Be3 e5

                              8.Qd2 [8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Qxd8 Rxd8=; 8.d5 Ne7 9.Qd3 (9.0–0 c6=) 9...c6=]

                              8...a6 9.0–0 b5 10.a3 exd4 11.Nxd4 Bb7 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.f3 Nh5 14.Bf2 Be5 15.Rab1 Ng3 16.Rfe1 Qf6 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Nxe2 19.Rxe2 Qf4?= [19...Bxb2 20.Re3 Be5µ]

                              20.c3 h5 21.Qd2 Qh2 22.Kf1 c5 23.Bg1 Qg3 24.Qe1 h4 25.Qxg3 [25.Bf2 Qh2 26.Bxh4 f5=]

                              25...Bxg3?± [25...hxg3 26.Be3 Rfe8=]

                              26.Bf2 Bxf2 27.Kxf2 Kg7 [27...Rfd8 28.Rd1 Kf8±]

                              28.Rd1 Rfb8 29.Rxd6 [Ken goes up a P]

                              29...b4 30.axb4 cxb4 31.e5?!² [31.Rd3 bxc3 32.Rxc3 Rb5±]

                              31...bxc3 32.bxc3 a5 33.e6 fxe6 [33...a4 34.Rd7 Rf8²]

                              34.Rexe6 Rb2 ?!± [34...a4 35.Rxg6 Kf7²]

                              35.Re2?!² [35.Kg1 Rb1 (35...Kf7?! 36.Rf6 Ke7 37.Rxg6 Rb5 – 2.01; 35...a4?! 36.Rxg6 Kh8 – 2.01) 36.Kh2 Kh8±]

                              35...Rb3?!± [35...Rxe2 36.Kxe2 a4²]

                              36.Rd7 ?= [Ken has lost his advantage. Fritz seems to be saying I can now draw this ending. But can I play the ending correctly, and hold the draw?]

                              [36.Re7 Kf8 37.Rc7 Rb2 38.Kg1 a4±]

                              36...Kf6 37.Rc7 [37.Rh7 a4 38.Rxh4 Rxc3=]

                              37...a4 38.Ra2 a3 39.g4 hxg3 40.Kxg3 Rb2?!² [my first slip in the ending]

                              [40...Ke5 41.Kf2 Kd6=]

                              41.Rxb2 axb2 42.Rb7 Rc8 [ ]

                              43.Rxb2 Rxc3 44.Rb5 g5 45.Rb4?!= [45.Rb6 Kf5 46.Rb1 Rc2²]

                              45...Kf5?!² [45...Rc1 46.Rd4 Rg1 47.Kf2 Rh1=]

                              46.h4?!= [46.Rb1 Rc8 47.Re1 Rc5²]

                              46...gxh4 47.Rxh4 Kg5 48.Rd4 Kf5 49.Rd5 Ke6 50.Rb5 Kf6 51.Kg4 Rc1 52.Rb6

                              52...Ke5?? plus -– [a fatal ending blunder; I throw away my draw; Ken gets a "winning" advantage]

                              [52...Ke7 53.Rb7 Kd8=]

                              53.f4 Ke4 54.Re6 Kd5 55.Re2 Rg1 56.Kf5 Rf1 57.Kg5 Rg1 58.Kf6 Kd6 59.f5 Rg4 60.Rd2 Kc7 61.Kf7 Rg5 62.f6 Rg4 63.Kf8 Rf4 64.f7 [from here, I started counting for the 50–move draw rule (no pieces taken; no pawn moves). But I am lost now.]

                              64...Rf5 [8.55]

                              65.Rd3 Rf2 66.Rd4 Rf3 67.Ke7 Re3 68.Kf6

                              68...Rf3 ?? plus – [leads to mate]

                              [68...Ra3 69.Ke6 Ra8 – 8.88]

                              69.Ke6 Kc8 70.Ra4 Kc7 71.Rg4 Rf1 72.Re4 Kd8 73.Rd4 Kc7 74.Ke7? plus– [14.03 (verified depth 21). This would imply that Ken has now missed the mating line. But this is impossible. With best play this is still clearly a mate, even with this inferior move. The problem is the "horizon effect" limitation on computers. Given that human beings live in "time", and need to practically have results by outside-determined deadlines, the computer often cannot get to the right result in the time allotted. It cannot "see" far enough, fast enough. So at the depth I've allowed it to go, Fritz thinks there is no longer a mate here! Clearly wrong. But it is not Fritz' fault. The problem is my inability to give it infinity to reach the right answer! So we must, based on human intuition, reject the current answer of the computer as just wrong.]

                              [74.Rd5 - plus– mate in 40 moves]

                              74...Re1 75.Kf6 Rf1 76.Ke6 Rf2 77.Rd5 plus– [Mate in 24 moves]

                              1–0

                              (Continued in Part III below)
                              Last edited by Bob Armstrong; Sunday, 20th July, 2014, 04:21 PM.

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