Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

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  • Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

    2011 Eastern Ontario Open

    The Eastern Ontario Open is traditionally the championship final event in the EOCA (Eastern Ontario Chess Association) Grand Prix. With the 2011 edition, we tried a few different things than have been usual the last few years. First we moved the dates from mid-June to the Canada Day long weekend. Some local players thought this was a suspect idea, but many travelling players expressed that they thought this would be a great idea, so we tried it! An early concern was finding affordable lodging for the same time that the newlywed royal couple was visiting, but we had affordable Carleton University next door.

    Moving to the Canada Day long weekend also invited adding a 6th round, which we added to the eve of Canada Day. In turn, that 1st round happened to be on a Thursday evening, which is when the RA chess club generally meets. Therefore, we also hatched up the idea of having all RA chess club members play in the 1st round of the Eastern Ontario Open, regardless of whether they were registered to play the rest of the weekend. That led to local players who do not normally play in weekenders, to be paired against incoming travelling players, and such variety in opponents seemed to appeal to most folk.

    As the dust was settling on onsite registrations, it became apparent that we had misread what players were looking for in the EOCA championship event! My leading suspicion is that the new date of the Canada Day long weekend, whereas very appealing to many of the participants, was a show-stopper for almost 2 dozen players. We had over 70 players in 2010, and whereas the crosstables this year include almost 70 players, when the RA-only players from the 1st round were deducted, that left us with just over 50 players. I am eager for any opinions about this, and I will run a poll before scheduling for 2012.

    Don't get me wrong, it seems virtually everyone had a great long weekend playing chess in the nation's capital! But, receiving almost 20 less players than had been expected, necessitated some structural modifications, unfortunately at the last minute. Especially with 6 rounds, we just could not stay with 4 smallish sections, so we combined the 2 CFC&FIDE sections, and also the 2 CFC-only sections. This made pairing much easier than we had feared. We also spread more class prizes than usual, as we expected more tied results, which seems to happen as class leaders meet higher players in late rounds.

    And now on to the results! As the 4th round wound down on the Saturday evening, the top players, GM Bator Sambuev and IM Tom O'Donnell, were finally matched together on Board 1. They battled late into the evening, actually being the very last game to finish. As Bator won that game though, it seemed quite obvious that he was going to run away with the tournament. Hold on just a minute, no one told Michael Humphreys! In a wonderful upset in Round 5, Michael defeated GM Bator, thus injecting some great drama into the top boards in the final round. When the smoke had cleared, GM Sambuev and Joey Qin, both with just a single loss, finished clear ahead of everyone, finishing 5-1. They shared 1st and 2nd prizes, which worked out to a decent $400 each.

    In testament to how tight this section was, 5 players followed with scores of 4-1. However, with 2 of those 5 qualifying for larger U2200 class prizes, that left 3 players to share 3rd and 4th place. IM Tom, Michael, and Mate Marinkovic, thus each won $100, rounding out the $1100 up for grabs for top players.

    Also impressively scoring 4-1, despite being lower-rated, Zhiyuan Zhang and American Randel Eng, shared 1st and 2nd in the U2200 class prizes, which worked out to a nice $250 each. There was also a $100 U2200 3rd place class prize, which 3.5-2.5 should have been enough to win. However, 2 players who scored that much, Serge Gagnon and Claude Carrier, were both playing as Amateurs! Therefore, congratulations to Bill Doubleday and Quebec teenager ZhaoYang Luo, who won $50 each for scoring 50% in a section with very many higher-rated players. And they both won their last game to do it!

    Moving on to the CFC-only section, it was reserved for players with all their Regular CFC/FIDE/FQE/USCF ratings under 1900. Despite the section not being all that large, and especially with 6 rounds to determine clear winners, it was quite surprising to find 4 players tied with 4.5-1.5 at the top! As there was $600 set aside for the first 3 places in this section, the following 4 players have won $150 each: Kevin Zhang, Shafkat Ali, Kevin Wan, and Benjamin Yang.

    Finishing off with the U1600 class, this was the only prize all weekend that was clearly won outright by just a single player. David Zhang, and yes, he is the brother of U1900 co-winner Kevin Zhang, scored 50% to win the $200 U1600 class prize. Note that even though the crosstables include 19 players in the U1600 class, only 3 of them were playing for money prizes! A local chess figurehead recently complained to me that the prizes for the U1600 sections had been too low, and I had countered that almost all of the U1600 players would register as Amateurs. We had a bit of a spirited chicken-and-egg discussion, so I decided to make the prize, at $200, clearly large for only 3 non-Amateur U1600 players! If more players upgrade from Amateur, I will gladly increase it!

    Finally, I would like to thank some people. Peter Arseneau and Marc D'Aoust served as our floaters so that no one ever had to sit with a forced bye! IA (International Arbiter) Serge Archambault and his sweetheart Marina dropped by almost the whole weekend, covering for me inumerable times when I needed to zip out to the rest room, or to ask building administration for something. They also provided a tremendous amount of valuable feedback on how to run events, even on how to simplify event announcements, which I really appreciate. Thanks also to Sanjiv Kalra for hosting them at his family home in nearby Nepean. It might not be obvious to many people, but our prize fund was quite bigger than usual for only 50 or so players. That was partly due to the RA club providing some assistance for rating costs, and veteran local player Roger Hubley, even though he could not attend, made a donation! Thanks!

    Please visit the weblink below for a PDF of the wall chart. It should be up there in a day or so, followed by links to the CFC crosstables later this week.

    Yours in chess,

    Aris Marghetis, FIDE Arbiter
    Organizer/TD, EOCA President
    http://www.eoca.org/htm/tournaments_2010-11.html

    My next event will be the Ottawa Autumn Open, which will probably be scheduled for late September, but the exact dates will be booked in a few weeks.

    If you would like to receive details about this next event directly by email, please email arismarghetis@rogers.com to be added to my private email list.

  • #2
    Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

    Hi again, Serge Archambault, with help from his sweetheart Marina, has sent me over a dozen candid photos from the tournament last weekend. Some are so candid that they are tremendously neat captures of some of the people there. For example, they caught me in what looks like prayer pose over the pairing cards, which made me laugh out loud! There are also pictures of both elite players, and just regular players deeply immersed in their chess thoughts. One really special shot is of Michael about ten or so moves into his upset win over Bator! Now, I don't have a website of my own, and I am trying to get everything together to head out to Toronto for the Canadian Open in a few hours. So, would anyone be interested in receiving these JPGs from me, and posting them for all?

    Thanks and regards, Aris.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

      if they are not copyrighted, then send them to me :)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

        Originally posted by Aris Marghetis View Post
        Hi again, Serge Archambault, with help from his sweetheart Marina, has sent me over a dozen candid photos from the tournament last weekend. Some are so candid that they are tremendously neat captures of some of the people there. For example, they caught me in what looks like prayer pose over the pairing cards, which made me laugh out loud! There are also pictures of both elite players, and just regular players deeply immersed in their chess thoughts. One really special shot is of Michael about ten or so moves into his upset win over Bator! Now, I don't have a website of my own, and I am trying to get everything together to head out to Toronto for the Canadian Open in a few hours. So, would anyone be interested in receiving these JPGs from me, and posting them for all?

        Thanks and regards, Aris.
        Did you mention *twice* that Marina is a sweetheart?
        Ok, now we have to see pictures... :)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

          Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post
          Did you mention *twice* that Marina is a sweetheart?
          Ok, now we have to see pictures... :)
          LOL - I just used "his sweetheart" because I cannot remember if she is his wife, fiance, girlfriend, etc. I know he told me, but I remember that as well as I play the King's Indian.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

            Originally posted by Aris Marghetis View Post
            I remember that as well as I play the King's Indian.
            The King's Indian has a way of making white look good if he knows what he's doing. It's a defence I tossed when I overhauled my openings.
            Gary Ruben
            CC - IA and SIM

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

              Originally posted by Gary Ruben View Post
              The King's Indian has a way of making white look good if he knows what he's doing. It's a defence I tossed when I overhauled my openings.
              Hi Gary

              I know of some defences that you don't like to play as Black, including the KID (e.g. the French Winawer, Alekhine's, Modern/Rat, Caro-Kann).

              I remember you once posting words of praise for the Najdorf, while also stating in the past that you've used the Marshall Attack and Bogo-Indian. Any other defences that you've used since your overhaul, and/or have words of praise for, that you're willing to opine about here on chesstalk? :)
              Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
              Murphy's law, by Edward A. Murphy Jr., USAF, Aerospace Engineer

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

                Originally posted by Kevin Pacey View Post
                Hi Gary

                I know of some defences that you don't like to play as Black, including the KID (e.g. the French Winawer, Alekhine's, Modern/Rat, Caro-Kann).

                I remember you once posting words of praise for the Najdorf, while also stating in the past that you've used the Marshall Attack and Bogo-Indian. Any other defences that you've used since your overhaul, and/or have words of praise for, that you're willing to opine about here on chesstalk? :)
                I sometimes play the Modern/Rat but it depends who I'm playing. It's the Marshall variation in the Ruy Lopez I like. My praise for the Sicilian Najdorf is only from the white side. When that comes up I feel like I've won the lottery. :)

                Regarding Gambits, if it were not for them I'd have chucked the game of chess decades ago. The gambits are the marrow of the game of chess. Where a player can cast off the shackles of mind numbing theory and rely on his own creativity to bring home the win.

                By the way, I've completed my last correspondence game and am wondering if I should retire. On the one hand it's a nice thought. On the other hand, I'm too young to retire from chess.
                Gary Ruben
                CC - IA and SIM

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

                  Originally posted by Aris Marghetis View Post
                  I don't have a website of my own... would anyone be interested in receiving these JPGs from me, and posting them for all?
                  send them to me and I'll find a way to post them

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

                    Originally posted by Gary Ruben View Post
                    I sometimes play the Modern/Rat but it depends who I'm playing. It's the Marshall variation in the Ruy Lopez I like. My praise for the Sicilian Najdorf is only from the white side. When that comes up I feel like I've won the lottery. :)
                    Strange. I seem to recall that years ago you advised Ben Daswani not to 'nickel & dime' opponents with the Modern/Rat, and instead suggested playing a 'nice Najdorf', among other choices that have I forgetten (maybe these included the Nimzo-, besides the Bogo-, Indian ?).

                    At least with the 6.Bg5 Najdorf, which I recall you like as White, the Poisoned Pawn was Black's way to avoid disadvantage and get a draw, in your view at some point in time, if not still now. Maybe your opinion of the theoretical status of the Modern/Rat and the Poisoned Pawn has changed?!

                    Originally posted by Gary Ruben View Post
                    Regarding Gambits, if it were not for them I'd have chucked the game of chess decades ago. The gambits are the marrow of the game of chess. Where a player can cast off the shackles of mind numbing theory and rely on his own creativity to bring home the win.
                    I find that the gambits that I have played (e.g. the Evans or Goring) tend to offer somewhat less room for creativity, and a narrower choice of lines that are theoretically or personally acceptable, than many mainline openings that I play. At least the mainline openings that are at least somewhat positional.

                    Originally posted by Gary Ruben View Post
                    By the way, I've completed my last correspondence game and am wondering if I should retire. On the one hand it's a nice thought. On the other hand, I'm too young to retire from chess.
                    Another thing I seem to remember from long ago is that you thought players who use a narrow repertoire might get tired of chess sooner than players with wide repertoires might. You've got a wide repertoire, I assume, even if a lot of it is based on gambits. Playing a variety of types of positions, plus learning new openings or variations now and then, might help keep your interest in chess up.
                    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
                    Murphy's law, by Edward A. Murphy Jr., USAF, Aerospace Engineer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

                      Originally posted by Kevin Pacey View Post
                      Strange. I seem to recall that years ago you advised Ben Daswani not to 'nickel & dime' opponents with the Modern/Rat, and instead suggested playing a 'nice Najdorf', among other choices that have I forgetten (maybe these included the Nimzo-, besides the Bogo-, Indian ?).

                      At least with the 6.Bg5 Najdorf, which I recall you like as White, the Poisoned Pawn was Black's way to avoid disadvantage and get a draw, in your view at some point in time, if not still now. Maybe your opinion of the theoretical status of the Modern/Rat and the Poisoned Pawn has changed?!
                      I don't recall that with Ben unless I was suggesting he use a broader repetoire.

                      Theory changes but at the time 6. Bg5 pretty much busts the Najdorf and the poisoned pawn variation is OK for black. Sometimes I play 6. Be3 or 6. f3 followed by 7. Be3 if my opponent likes the 6. Be3 Ng4 line.

                      I gave away my theory magazines some months ago so I could not be led into temptation. :) Yes, it's true.
                      Gary Ruben
                      CC - IA and SIM

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Eastern Ontario Open: the event report

                        Do you think we'll see much of this at the CO? :)

                        Gary Ruben
                        CC - IA and SIM

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