Alberta Chess Association

                                                                                 2016 News

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)
December 2016 edition of the ACR is now available online at the Alberta Chess Report webpage. A 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
32 players participate. Round 4 pairings and standings after round 3 are available on the tournament 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 Kevin Qin.
Final standings for all 3 sections are on the event webpage.

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 proposals by Sunday, November 20, by sending an email

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 3/5. Final standings for all 4 sections are on the
tournament webpage.

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 midnight, October 29th, by sending an email to

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 the event webpage.

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 more.
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:
Dispute Resolution and Appeals
Conflict of Interest and Commitment
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 here.

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 viewed on the event

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 leading with a perfect score. View
full standings and live games on the tournament website.

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
July 2016 issue is online. Visit the ACR page to download a pdf version as well as a pgn file with 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 registration.

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 Rockies Chess Challenge organized by Jonathan Day is
scheduled for July 23-24. Please click on the 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
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 tournament webpage.

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. View the final team and individual standings.

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 and Shaira Munoz tied for
second with 4/5. View final standings.

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 standings are now available on the event webpage.

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 morning.

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

March 16: Junior Chess in Edmonton
Edmonton Chess Club will host a Junior tournament on March 19. View the event flyer for more details.

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.
Final Standings

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 available on the ACA website.

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
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 tournament webpage.

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

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 submitted to by interested parties by midnight, January 18.

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).