Olympic Team

Hi everybody,

I will have new material on the Olympic team soon, including player profiles.

Below is my previous post on Chesstalk regarding the team:

“The National team will consist of the following players (FIDE):
1. GM Mark Bluvshtein, 2583
2. IM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon, 2488
3. IM Leonid Gerzhoy, 2469
4. IM Nikolay Noritsyn, 2403
5. IM Artiom Samsonkin, 2397

Many of you might not know the players personally. I do.
It is unfortunate that some of our top players are unable to play.
Every Olympiad I have played, Pascal Charbonneau was sitting on a board nearby. The last three Olympiads, I was roommates with Igor Zugic.
The two players will be missed.
Kevin Spraggett is a Canadian chess legend. He would add a lot to the team. In the 2002 Olympiad, Kevin helped me a lot with my opening preparation and was a big reason for my success. I hope he will be able to join our future teams.

This Olympiad will be different. We are all young. Everybody on this team has the potential to become a GM.
Now a bit on each of the players.

Thomas is one of the most solid players Canada has ever produced. He does not lose many games. In our most famous team match in an Olympiad, he was the X-factor beating Ganguly with the black pieces. We beat the Indian team which included Anand 2.5-1.5. I believe Thomas has one GM norm.

From all the players on the team, I know Leonid the longest. Having grown up in the same city in Israel, Haifa, we have competed against each other for 15 years now. We played against each other in everything from Israeli under 10 championships to Canadian Zonals. Leonid has been playing more tournaments of late. Recently, he had 2 good performances in Moscow. I am not sure about GM norms. Leonid is our oldest player, who is turning 23 this year!

Nikolay will be playing in his second Olympiad this time around. Nikolay is well known in all major tournaments in Ontario. Unfortunately, I have rarely seen Nikolay compete in events away from Canada. This should be another good test for Nikolay, who is turning 19 this year. Nikolay played well in Dresden in 2008.

Artiom will be playing in his first Olympiad for Canada. Much like Nikolay, I have rarely seen Artiom playing in international events. This should be a good test for Artiom. He has been dominating local events for several years.

I want to update the Canadian chess community about myself. I have not had the opportunity to play much in recent years due to university. I will be finishing my degree in August. Starting in August, I am planning to play a year of professional chess. The plan is to see how far I can go. I am committed to doing everything I can to improve my chess during this year.
It will be a very interesting year. I hope the Canadian chess community will be following me on my journey. I am planning to open my own chess blog soon.
I am also currently looking for sponsors, for this year of professional chess.

I am not as familiar with everybody on the Women’s team. The team looks even younger than the National team. WIM Dina Kagramanov is the oldest player, turning 24 later this year. Liza Orlova is the youngest player on the team, turning 16 this year.

The most important part on the Women’s team has to be WIM Yuanling Yuan. She is by far the strongest woman player in Canada today, at the age of 16!
Look out for this girl. She is smart and determined. Having seen her play at the 2008 Olympiad, I was quite impressed.

Then there is Dalia Kagramanov, Dina’s younger sister. I have recently been coaching Dalia. She is a very competitive player, who will gain some much needed experience at the Olympiad. Iulia Lacau-Rodean is the second oldest player on the team, at 22. I played Iulia at the Canadian Open in Kitchener a few years ago. Iulia impressed me in the long game we played.

I hope you enjoyed my short summaries of all the players.
We will try to make our country proud.
We are as young as ever.
We have just over $4500 raised to send the two teams to the Olympiad.
If you can, I hope you will make a contribution.”

For details about making a contribution, please visit the CFC website at www.chess.ca

Mark.

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