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Welcome to the 4th Annual Battle at the Border

Updated 5-Sep: After three rounds of play, the only perfect scores remaining belong to the two grandmasters. They are closely followed by a quartet with 2.5: Hansen, Yoos, Gardner, and MacKinnon. Nakamura defeated IM Teplitsky in a theoretical 4.Qc2 Nimzoindian, while Charbonneau took his young junior opponent Richard Wang into relatively unexplored territory with a 2.b3 Sicilian. Eric Hansen and Robert Gardner drew their game, after Hansen missed a couple of opportunities to strengthen his promising position.
Updated 4-Sep: The intensity of the competition has increased-evident by some of the rating favorites having had their perfect scores shaved. Rating favorites Jack Yoos and Keith MacKinnon only managed draws against Aaron Sequillion and Jim Daniluk, respectively. On lower boards, junior Jason Xiao overcame a 600-point rating point difference to draw against Len Steele, while Jason Danner scored a win against Roger Blum, who may have still been hurting from the thrashing he suffered earlier courtesy of Nakamura. On the top board, Nakamura employed a Suttles-esque (Suttlesian?) formation to dispatch master Alex Yam from Calgary.
The social festivities continue tonight with a gathering at the local Boston Pizza. We will update later with any adventures fit for publication. Hopefully the spilled liquid of choice will be beer, not blood.
Updated 4-Sep: There were no upsets in the first round of the Battle at the Border; all of the higher-rated players demonstrated their numerical superiority and left the nominally weaker players with a tidy row of goose eggs. In the longest game of the round, IM Yan Teplitsky had a somewhat rough time after emerging out of the opening with a passive position, but as his time decreased, the coordination of his minor pieces increased and ultimately helped him bag the full point. On the top board, Roger Blum's unconvincing play against Nakamura's provocative 5.g4!? in the Closed Sicilian led to his collapse a mere 14 moves later.
Door prizes were awarded to earlybird registrants prior to the start of the second round. Fortuitously, Eric Hansen won a golf shirt, which should serve him well as a replacement for the $30 Armani shirt that was ripped and bled upon in a wrestling challenge with organizer Jamin Gluckie the previous night.
Updated 23-Aug: Unfortunately, two players have dropped out of this year's Battle. On a positive note, two more players have taken their place! Thanks to Ali Razzaq and Jim Daniluk we still have 35 participants for this year's Battle. Remember that the deadline for a reduced entry fee ends August 27th.
Updated 9-Aug: Hotel rooms for the Battle are selling out fast! I phoned the Ramada and the West Harvest Inn today and both hotels are sold out of double occupancy rooms (suites remain, as do some rooms with a queen size bed). The Tropical Inn has approximately 20 rooms remaining. If you are in need of accommodations for this year's Battle, please arrange some soon.
Updated 3-Aug: IM Eric Hansen is the latest person to join the 2010 Battle at the Border. Eric's presence at this tournament will no doubt add some tough competition on the top boards and give everyone an additional possibility to play an International Master over the board.
Updated 2-Aug: Two more players have signed up for the Battle before the July 31 early deadline. This brings the number of entrants to 34. If the pairings were done today the top boards would be:
Nakamura V Blum
Charbonneau V Steele
Teplitsky V Bentley
Yoos V Pedersen
Even though the opportunity to play in the 2010 Battle for $40 has ended, you can still register before August 27 for only $50 (a $10 discount off full price).
Updated 29-Jul: Three more players have signed up for the Battle, and many more have contacted me via email. The deadline for your $20 discount is coming soon. If you want to take advantage of this, send me an email ASAP and let me know if you'd rather mail me a cheque or pay via Paypal.
Updated 19-Jul: Huge news to annouce for the BATB! Pascal Charbonneau and Yan Teplitsky have both booked their plane tickets and are scheduled to arrive in Lloydminster on September 2. Moreover, six more players have registered for the tournament, bringing our total count to 29. In the next week Jamin will be emailing many more potential players to help them register before the $40 deadline of July 31 passes.
Updated 21-Jun: Jon Drury has registered for the Battle, which brings the number of players to 22.
Updated 10-Jun: Jack Yoos has booked his airfare for the Battle! Along with Hikaru that makes two featured players down, two to go.
Updated 8-Jun: Three more players have signed up for this year's Battle, and all of them are from Saskatchewan. This now makes the ratio of AB/SK players 8/9 and brings the total number of participants to 21.
Updated 31-May: Another sponsor has been secured for the Battle: Signs 'N More has donated two large promotional signs for display at the tournament site. These will be used to decorate the conference room and frankly, they look great!
Updated 3-May: Five more players have registered for the Battle, which brings the number of advanced entries to 18. Visit the Players page to see who's coming.
Updated 24-Apr: GM Hikaru Nakamura has booked his plane ticket for the 2010 Battle at the Border! Also, we have secured another corporate sponsor for the tournament: Enhanced Engineering. Please check out the Sponsors page to learn more.
Updated 18-Apr: Another sponsor has been added for this tournament: BAR Engineering has generously offered financial support to cover traveling expenses for our featured players. Please visit the Sponsors page to learn more about this company. Also, we can now accept entry fees via Paypal. If you'd like to use this method to register for the Battle, simply send Jamin an email and you will receive an invoice that you can pay using your Paypal account. Thanks to Tim Kowalyk for this suggestion.
Updated 11-Mar: Former Edmonton Chess Club champion Brad Willis has joined the 2010 Battle at the Border. Visit the Players page for more details. As well, two corporations in Lloydminster have agreed to sponsor the Battle: Nexen Inc. and Techmation Electric and Controls. Please stop by the Sponsors page to learn more.
Updated 18-Feb: 13 players have registered for the 2010 Battle at the Border. Visit the Players page for more details.
The Battle at the Border is a tournament held annually in Lloydminster, Alberta designed to provide a unique chess experience. In addition to uniting players from across Western Canada in chess competition, the Battle is an event where the social aspects of our game are brought to the fore, resulting in a tournament that benefits not only the players, but chess in the Prairies as a whole.
Although the 2010 Battle shares many similarities with its predecessors, this year organizers have more ambitious goals for attendance, amenities and tournament attractions. To start with the tournament is taking place on a long weekend, which allows an increase in the number of rounds from four to six without exceeding two rounds per day. The familiar Lakeland College classroom is being replaced by one of the largest conference rooms in the city, and most importantly, several notable players including GM Nakamura, GM Charbonneau, IM Teplitsky and FM Yoos have been invited to play.