Jul 15, 2010 22:25 ET
Canadian Open Chess Championship half-way through
chess 960, Fischer random chess, blindfold, grandmaster, teenager

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TORONTO, ONTARIO PRESS RELEASE–(Marketwire – July 15, 2010) – The 47th Canadian Open Chess Championship with a $32,000 prize fund, being held at the Westin Harbour Castle, is past the half-way point. Among the 261 players there are 7 International Grandmasters (GM), 7 International Masters (IM), 14 FIDE Masters (FM) and a Woman International Master (IWM). There are around 60 players over 50 years old and 60 players under 18 all competing together.

In this type of tournament the foreign grandmasters usually draw with each other and defeat the local players. Toronto teenaged FIDE master Aman Hambleton has been the sensation of the tournament upsetting Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Maluniuk and American GM Joshua Friedel, the only losses by Grandmasters in the event. Hambleton, with a score of 5-1, is tied for first with GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Merab Gagunashvili, GM Harikrishna Pentala, GM Eduardas Rozentalis, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, and IM Nikolay Noritsyn. Nineteen year old Noritsyn was the 2008 Toronto Closed Champion, 2007 Canadian Closed Champion and is a member of Canada’s chess Olympiad team.

Two of the exciting side events are a simultaneous display of Chess960 (Fischer random chess) and blindfold.

On Monday American GM Shabalov gave a simultaneous exhibit of Chess960 on 13 boards. The game similar to Fischer random chess (except that there is traditional castling) invented by American World Champion Bobby Fischer rearranges the starting pieces to avoid memorization of the opening moves. There are 960 different starting positions. Special dice were made for this event to generate the starting position. Players have to think from move 1. Shabalov said it was the hardest simultaneous he has ever given. Shabalov won 10 tied 3, had a lunch break, gave a lecture then played a 4-hour slow game in the tournament.

On Friday there will be a simultaneous blindfold exhibit by FIDE Master Hans Jung, the Chess Co-ordinator of the City of Kitchener. Hans has given blindfold simultaneous exhibitions over 25 year period, playing on 26 boards 1993. Blindfold simuls are the hardest chess simuls to perform (because of the complexities of having a move messenger and retaining all the positions in your mind just to begin with describing)-a mental marathon – that is rarely seen in modern times. He is one of only six surviving players in the world out of only twenty to ever attempt 20 boards blindfolded (or more). More info on blindfold chess at www.blindfoldchess.net.

On Saturday night at 8 pm there will be a 5-minute blitz tournament, a whole game in 10 minute, open to members of the public to play or watch.

Those unable to attend in person are able to follow the games live over the internet at www.monroi.com as players on the top boards will be entering their moves on handheld wireless devices developed by MonRoi Inc., a Montreal based company.

The last three rounds start at 6:00pm Friday July 16, 2:00pm Saturday July 17 and 10:00am Sunday July 18. Photos are only allowed during the first five minutes of play.

/For further information: Organizers:

Michael Barron, President, Greater Toronto Chess League
416 739-6257 barron045@yahoo.com

Brian Fiedler
416 733-3199 fiedlerbrian@yahoo.com.au

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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