Welcome to the Alberta Chess Association!
The Alberta Chess Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion
of chess in Alberta. We are affiliated with the Chess Federation of Canada and provide
support to players and organizers province wide.
We gratefully acknowledge the support we receive from the Recreation and Physical
Activity Division of Alberta Culture and Tourism!
ACA Contact Info
Executive Director: Leah Hughey
February 20: 2017 Northern Alberta Open Concludes
This weekend, the Edmonton Chess Club hosted the Northern Alberta Open, in which 37 players
participated. Ratings favorite Bitan Banerjee won clear first (4.5/5) with a final round victory over
close competitor Rafael Arruebarrena. Omid Malek and Dante Briones shared second place (4.0/5).
Class prizes were awarded to Peter Kalisvaart and Daryl Bertrand (U-2200), Bhavik Dave, Damon
MacLeod, and Rick Pedersen (U-2000), and Mark Ivanescu and Cameron Ratte (U-1800/U-1600).
February 20: New Executive Director Hired
Thank you to Vladimir Pechenkin for serving as the Executive Director for the last few years.
As of February 20, the ACA has hired Leah Hughey as his replacement. Please continue using
firstname.lastname@example.org for all ACA related inquiries.
January 19: ACA is seeking a full time Administrator (Executive Director)
January 8: 2017 John Schleinich Memorial Sectional
The traditional annual event was held at the Calgary Chess Club over the course of the weekend and
featured 4 sections of 6 players, slotted according to their ratings. In Section A FMs Dale Haessel and
Ian Findlay shared the first place with 4/5, the third place went to Jerry Kobalenko (3.5/5).
Section B was won by Behrooz Ebrahim-Shirazi (4/5). Bradley Willis finished second (3.5/5) and
Dustin Rogers took clear third (3/5).
Section C again featured a tie for the first place between Brian Timmerman and Ian Zhao. Both
players ended up with 4/5. The third place was also shared by two players as both Arul Papneja and
Arthur Milne scored 3/5.
Finally, Section D was won convincingly by Anand Rishi Chandra with a score of 4.5/5. Steve
Sklenka took clear second (4/5) and Frank Knoll finished third (3/5).
The tournament was organized and directed by Frank Kluytmans. Final standings for all four sections
January 8: Executive Director (ED) Position
The ED position will become vacant on January 23. Interested individuals are invited to submit
details will be posted up soon.
December 19: WBX Team Tournament
The competition was extremely tight this year as no squad managed to score 10 points out of 15.
After the proverbial dust had settled, two teams tied for the first place with 9.5/15: Stampede City
Sharks (Roy Yearwood, Mohamad Fellah, Nimai Koneru) and The Fast Food Variation (Vladimir
Pechenkin, Robert Brazeau, Dustin Koperski). Three more teams led by Bitan Banerjee, Robert
Gardner and Butch Villavieja shared the third place with 9/15.
December 8: Alberta Chess Report (ACR)
PGN file with annotated games can also be downloaded. Minor corrections are possible before the
issue goes to print.
December 4: Southern Alberta Open is concluded
Gary Ng scored 4.5/5 for the fourth straight year. This time, however, Belsar Valencia finished with
the same result and qualified for the 2017 Alberta Closed by virtue of having a better tie-breaker.
FMs Dale Haessel and Ian Findlay shared the third place (4/5). Final standings.
December 3: Southern Alberta Open is underway
website. The winner will qualify for the 2017 Alberta Closed.
November 21: Alberta Junior Championship
The tournament took place at the Edmonton Chess Club on November 19-20. Dustin Koperski
organized and directed the event. The Championship section was once again a round-robin of 6
players. The rating favorite and the defending champion Diwen Shi from Calgary scored 4.5/5 and
took clear first. Mohamed Fellah had a good weekend and finished right behind the winner with 4/5.
Chenxi Wu ended up third (3/5).
The Open section was won by Karlo Gasparac with a result of 4.5/5, Anand Rishi Chandra finished
clear second just half a point behind. The Under 1300 section was tightly contested; Paul Le emerged
victorious with 5/6. Three players tied for the second place with 4/6: Yash Darvekar, Piaoyi Wu and
November 17: ACA Budget Meeting
The next ACA Board meeting will take place in Red Deer on November 27. The most important item
on the agenda will be the 2017 budget of the Association. Interested parties are invited to submit
November 14: Banff Open Results
A total of 32 players participated in the 2016 edition of the Banff Open. Robert Sasata and Jerry
Kobalenko tied for first with a score of 5/6. FM Ian Findlay, Omid Malek and Georgi Kostadinov
shared the third place with 4.5/6. Final standings are available on the tournament webpage.
October 31: Edmonton Fall Sectional is concluded
FM Ian Findlay dominated Section A and took the first place with 4.5/5. Rob Gardner finished with
3/5, which turned out to be good enough for clear second. Section B was much closer: Alvin
Guevarra and Bhavik Dave tied for first with 3.5/5, while Dante Briones ended up third (3/5). Section
C was similar to Section A: Cristian Ivanescu won easily with 4.5/5, Matthew Zita took second with
3/5 and Dustin Koperski finished third (2.5/5). Finally, Secion D was won by Mark Tuvera with a
perfect score. Dean MacDonald, Leonard Relling and Ron Offengenden shared the second place with
October 25: Edmonton Fall Sectional
24 players have registered for the Sectional. They are slotted in 4 groups of 6 and will play round-
robin tournaments on October 29-30. The pairings may be viewed on the event webpage.
October 25: ACA Strategic Planning Board Meeting
The meeting will take place in Red Deer on November 5th. The focus will be the 2017 ACA calendar
but other projects may be discussed as well. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals before
October 25: Calgary Junior Regional Championship
Open section: Chenxi Wu and Andre Tolentino finished with 4/5. Chenxi won the tie-breaking match
and qualified for the Championship section of the upcoming Alberta Junior. Ian Zhao and Patrick
Tolentino finished with 3.5/5, Ian taking the third place on a tie-break.
Under 1300 section: 1) Kevin Qin; 2) Khino Tolentino; 3) Yash Darvekar.
Under 800 section: 1) Parth Sheth; 2) Matt Fu; 3) Ammar Adurashidov.
Girls section: 1) Luth Gallemaso; 2) Alice Ding; 3) Prerana Manoj.
October 19: 22nd Annual Medicine Hat Open has been rated by the CFC
FM Ian Findlay won another tournament with a perfect score (5/5). Steven Panteluk finished clear
second with 4/5, and there was a five-way tie for the third place. Final standings are now available on
October 13: ACA Annual General Meeting
The meeting was held at the Days Inn Calgary South on October 9. A new Board of Directors was
elected; a complete list of names is available here.
Another important development was a motion to increase Tournament Director (TD) honorariums.
Effective immediately, the TD fee will be $50 per day. Moreover, if a TD broadcasts online at least 3
games per round, the honorarium will be $75 per day.
October 10: Daniel Kazmaier is the 2016 Alberta Open Champion
In the last round of the tournament Daniel defeated FM Dale Haessel with the black pieces and
claimed the title with a score of 5.5/6. FM Ian Findlay finished clear second (5/6), while Belsar
Valencia ended up clear third (4.5/6). Final standings in the Open section may be viewed on the event
webpage. Daniel is the first player who qualified for the 2017 Alberta Closed.
October 2: Edmonton Junior Regional Championship
Marcos Boo Vallejo won the Open section with 4/5 and qualified for the Championship section of the
upcoming Alberta Junior. Mark Ivanescu finished clear second with 3.5/5 and a surprising upset over
the winner. There was a three-way tie for the third place; Kaixin Wang was awarded the trophy by
virtue of the best tie-breaker.
The Under 1300 section was dominated by Ron Offengenden and Paul Le. Ron won the head-to-
head encounter and took clear first with 4.5/5; Paul finished second just half a point behind.
September 26: Canadian Women's Championship and Zonal
The Alberta Women's champion WIM Agnieszka Matras-Clement represented Alberta at the 2016
Canadian Women's Championship and Zonal. The tournament was held in Ottawa and was organized
for the first time since 2012. This year the event has a "Zonal" status meaning that the winner will
represent Canada at the next Women's World Championship.
In a round-robin tournament of 7 players Agnieszka scored 4.5/6 and finished clear second. The key
games that determined her position in the standings occurred in rounds 3 and 4. In round 3 she
defeated the defending champion WIM Natalia Khoudgarian with the white pieces. Unfortunately, in
round 4 Agnieszka lost to the rating favorite and the eventual winner WIM Qiyu Zhou with the black
pieces. Nevertheless, not a bad overall result although our provincial champion was surely hoping for
The crosstable of the tournament, games and photos are available here.
September 18: ACA Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM will take place in Calgary on Sunday, October 9th, after the third round of the Alberta
Open. The meeting agenda will include ACA bylaws amendments as the following policies must be
appended to the existing bylaws:
A new Tournament Director (TD) honorarium structure will also be discussed. The current TD fee is
$35/day; it is proposed to increase it to $50/day and add $25/day if the TD organizes online
broadcast of at least 3 games per round.
September 11: Battle of Alberta in Red Deer
Team South won the first round 6.5-5.5. However, in the second round Team North came back to
win the match 13-11. This is the most popular score in the history of the event, which has occurred 5
times since 1996. Technical results of the Battle are on the event webpage; the games are available
August 29: Over/Under 1800
The tournament was held at the Edmonton Chess Club on August 27-28. In the Over 1800 section
Keith MacKinnon scored 4.5/5 and finished clear first, half a point ahead of FM Dale Haessel. The
Under 1800 section was won by Alvin Guevarra (4.5/5); Dustin Koperski took second with 3.5/5.
August 25: 2016 Alberta Open
This year's edition of the annual event will be a little different from the previous few years. The
tournament will be held at the Days Inn Calgary South on October 8-10 and fill feature two sections:
Open and Under 1400. The ACA guarantees a $3,000 prize fund based on only 30 participants; the
winner of the Open section qualifies for the 2017 Alberta Closed. A blitz tournament will also take
place on Saturday after all the Open games are finished. Further details of the tournament may be
August 1: IM Razvan Preotu won 9th Calgary International with 7/9
GMs Gata Kamsky, Kayden Troff and Gil Popilski shared the second place with 6.5/9.
July 29: 9th Calgary International is underway
After 3 rounds of play IMs Razvan Preotu from Ontario and Michael Bodek from the USA are
July 17: Albertans at the Canadian Open
A few Albetans participated in the 2016 Canadian Open that took place in Windsor, Ontario, on July
10-17. In the Open section Bitan Banerjee scored 6/9 and tied for the fourth place. Diwen Shi
finished with 5/9 (tied for 17th), while Jim Daniluk ended up with 4/9. The tournament was won by
GM Gergely Antal from Hungary with a score of 7.5/9.
Jafar Faraji from Lethbridge won the Under 2000 Section with 7.5/9, a full point ahead of the second
place finisher. Chris White from La Crete and David Deimert from Grande Prairie scored 3.5/9.
Final standings for all the sections may be viewed on Chesstalk forum.
July 16: Alberta Chess Report
annotated games. Minor corrections are possible before the issue goes to print.
July 12: Grandmaster Chess Camp in Calgary
On August 2-5 Renert School will host a chess camp organized by the ACA President Vlad Rekhson.
GM Victor Mikhalevski will be the head instructor. Visit the camp webpage for details and
July 9: Games from ACA Tournaments
The ACA Games webpage has been redesigned. PGN files for select events in 2008-2016 are
available for download.
July 2: Chess Events in Banff
The town of Banff will host two Open tournaments this year. The 2016 Banff Open organized by FM
Ian Findlay and sponsored by the ACA will take place on November 11-13. The 2016 Canadian
links above for more information about the tournaments.
June 30: 11th Edmonton International Festival is concluded
GM Surya Ganguly from India started the main event with a remarkable 7/7 but it turned out to be
insufficient to win the title. In round 8 GM Sam Shankland defeated GM Ganguly with the white
pieces and grabbed the lead with 7.5/8. In the last round the American grandmaster forced a draw in
his game against IM Richard Wang that guaranteed him the title with a score of 8/9. GM Ganguly also
finished with 8/9 but had to settle for the second place because of the head-to-head tie-breaker. The
third place went to GM Alexei Shirov (Latvia) who finished with 6/9. The best Albertan Bitan
Banerjee scored his fourth IM norm with 4.5/9; Bitan just needs to increase his rating up to 2400
FIDE to claim the IM title. Final standings and games are available on the tournament website.
A 5-round Swiss Open tournament of 20 players was held alongside the main event. Rob Gardner
finished with a perfect score to claim the first place; Vlad Rekhson and Michael Ludwig tied for
second with 3.5/5.
June 18: 11th Edmonton International is underway
Round 1 games may be watched here.
June 5: 9th Calgary International Qualifier/Fundraiser
FM Ian Findlay won the tournament convincingly scoring 4.5/5. Second place went to Felix Rose
(4/5), while Behrooz Ebrahim-Shirazi and Mohamad Fellah tied for third (3.5/5 each). Paul Wang
scored a perfect 5/5 in the U1400 section to take clear first. Final standings are available on the
June 4: Fort McMurray Open is cancelled
Very unfortunately, the tournament will not take place this year because of the devastation caused by
the recent wildfire in the area.
May 23: 33rd Trumpeter Classic
Belsar Valencia and Butch Villavieja tied for first with 4.5/5, Chris White finished clear third (4/5).
May 23: Team Alberta finished fourth at the Canadian Chess Challenge
The team scored 6/9 points losing to the top seeds Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia but
crushing everybody else. The best individual result was achieved by Vishruth Sharma (grade 3) - 7/9.
May 23: Sydney Mah won the Alberta Girls Susan Polgar Invitational Qualifier
Sydney scored 4.5/5 (4 wins and a half-point bye) to finish clear first. Michelle Mo, Tanushka Jindal
May 19: Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) Governors
The ACA is entitled to have 5 voting members (a.k.a. governors) in 2016/2017. Any ACA member
who is interested in becoming a CFC governor can nominate himself by sending an email to
May 2: FM Ian Findlay won the 11th Edmonton International Qualifier
Ian scored two critical points on the second day of the tournament and finished clear first with 4.5/5.
He thus earned a spot in the main event of the 11th Edmonton International festival. Nic Haynes and
Omid Malek tied for second with 4/5.
April 28: Alberta Seniors Championship in Calgary
FM Ian Findlay and Brad Booker tied for first with 4/5. Thanks to the better cumulative tie-break
score, Brad won the title and a $1,000 travel grant to participate in the 2016 Canadian Seniors
Championship. Jim Daniluk finished third with 3.5/5. Final standings are on the tournament website.
April 10: Alberta Chess Challenge
The tournament was held in Red Deer on Saturday, April 9. The winners are: Colton Rostoker (grade
1), Anand Rishi Chandra (grade 2), Vishruth Sharma (grade 3), Paul Wang (grade 4), Andi
Superceanu (grade 5), Ian Zhao (grade 6), Andrew Xu (grade 7), Jeff Wang (grade 8), Chenxi Wu
(grade 9), Raphael Libre (grade 10), Diwen Shi (grade 11) and Dave McCullough (grade 12). Final
April 4: FM Ian Findlay won Lethbridge Open with a perfect score
John Quiring finished second with 4/5, and there was a six-way tie for third. A total of 28 players
participated in this annual event. Final standings are available on the tournament webpage.
March 28: Alberta Championship is concluded
Bitan Banerjee drew his last two games and finished clear first with 4/5. Second place went to Gary
Ng (3.5/5), while FM Dale Haessel ended up third (2.5/5).
March 26: Bitan Banerjee leads the Alberta Championship with 3/3
Gary Ng is second with 2/3 and will have White against the leader in round 4. Rob "Rocket" Gardner
leads Alberta Reserves with 3/3 and will have White against Butch Villavieja (2.5/3) on Sunday
March 25: Alberta Championship is underway
All three games in round 1 were decisive: FM Haessel - Ng 0:1, WIM Matras-Clement - Banerjee
0:1, FM Pechenkin - Valencia 1:0.
March 16: Junior Chess in Edmonton
Edmonton Chess Club will host a Junior tournament on March 19. View the event flyer for more
March 14: March of Kings Tournament in Calgary
Congratulations to Behrooz Ebrahim-Shirazi on taking clear first with 4.5 points.
Junior Jeff Wang tied with NM David Miller for 2nd-3rd with 4.0 points.
CCC returnee Dustin Rogers taking U2000 first with 3.5 points.
Four-way tie for U1800 1st-4th with 3.0 points: Art Milne, Brian Timmerman, Gerald Pfeffer and Ian
Zhao. Finally, a 5-way tie for U1400 1st-5th with 2.0 points: Luth Gallesmaso, Andrew Chen, Arul
Papenja, Vishruth Sharma and Anand Chandra; all juniors.
Prize money in cheques and cash for U1400 may be collected at the CCC any Tuesday from 7:00 to
11:00 PM, any Thursday from 7:00 to 11:00 PM, or any Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
March 9: Alberta Chess Challenge
The tournament will take place at Lindsay Thurber school in Red Deer on April 9.
March 1: Calgary Chess Challenge (Grades 1-12)
The tournament will be held at the Calgary Chess Club on March 19. Details and pre-registration
February 28: Belsar Valencia is perfect at the Northern Alberta Open
Belsar won the tournament with 5/5 and thus qualified for the 2016 Alberta Closed. Nic Haynes, Rob
Gardner and David Miller shared the second place with 4/5. The following class prizes were awarded.
U2200 1st/2nd: Erik Tam, Kim Nguyen and Omid Malek - 3.5/5.
U2000 1st/2nd: Atheer Jawad and Arthur Milne - 3/5.
U1750 1st: Bhavik Dave - 3/5; 2nd: Brad Kroeker, Suresh Kadavil and Peter Pisanski - 2/5.
U1600 1st/2nd: Leonard Relling, Jordan Rohatynski and Prayus Shrestha - 2/5.
February 23: University Battle of Alberta
University of Alberta hosted this year's edition of the event. Grant MacEwan team led by David Miller
participated in the Battle for the first time. The tournament was an 8-round Swiss Open played with an
active time control. As usual, students from the same university did not play each other.
The rating favorite Bitan Banerjee (U of A) scored 7.5/8 and took clear first. David Miller and Sardul
Purewal tied for second with 7/8.
Photos from the playing hall as well as from the Saturday chess night out are available on Facebook.
February 21: Alberta Youth Chess Championship in Calgary
Final standings may be viewed on the event webpage. The winners are: Ron Offengenden (U8), Mark
Ivanescu (U10), Ian Zhao (U12), Kaixin Wang (U14), Mohamad Fellah (U16) and Diwen Shi (U18).
February 6: Alberta Active Championship in Red Deer
16 players participated in this year's edition of the event. IM Ian Findlay and Nic Haynes tied for first
with 4/5. FM Dale Haessel and Omid Malek finished half a point behind. Final standings are on the
February 6: Edmonton Seniors Championship
Gerald Aspler won the tournament with a result of 3/4. Robert Brazeau, Sardul Purewal and Terry
Seehagen tied for second with 2.5/4.
January 26: Road Warrior in 2016
The ACA Board of Directors has changed the structure of the Road Warrior program at the ACA
Budget Meeting. New regulations are on the Road Warrior page.
January 13: ACA Budget Meeting
The next ACA Board meeting will be held in Red Deer on January 24. Financial proposals may be
January 12: John Schleinich Memorial Sectional
The 2016 edition of the annual event featured 4 sections of 6 players. In Section A Jim Daniluk
demonstrated strong performance and was close to taking clear first. However, with the last round win
Vlad Rekhson managed to catch the leader; both winners thus ended up with 3.5/5. Section B was
dominated by Jerry Kobalenko who scored 4.5/5. Mohamad Fellah finished second with 3.5/5 and
turned out to be the only player who drew the winner. Section C ended up with another tie for the first
place between Steve Sklenka and Frank Kluytmans (3.5/5 each). Finally, in Section D the winner was
Raphael Libre (4.5/5), while the second place went to Arul Papneja (4/5).