Tournament Schedule

I have finalized my tournament schedule until the Olympiad, which ends in the beginning of October. In constructing my schedule, I tried to go with the motto of “go big or go home”. This year is not about resting up or playing it safe. I want to test and push myself to the limit. The first decision was about how to prepare for the Olympiad.

I wanted to test myself nice and early. However, I am finishing exams around August 10th. Just over a month later I will be playing at the Olympiad. The mission was simple, I needed to find a good tournament between August 15th and Sept 10th.

The problem with emailing all the organizers worldwide is that some answer very late, some answer things you don’t want to hear, and most don’t answer at all! This is something which we need to cherish about our Canadian organizers, who answer rather promptly. I really appreciate that!

So after sending off a bunch of e-mails to all interesting tournament which I could possibly find for those dates (and others), I had some answers to work with. I had the LGA Cup in Nuremberg in early September and a pretty strong Open in Barcelona, with about 20 GMs in late August. Playing in only one of the tournaments would seem like a wasted trip to Europe. I am not sure as to how warmed up I would get. However, playing in both tournaments back to back could be tiring after not playing for 11 months.

Looking back at the decision, it was a simple one. I had no choice but to play in both events and push myself to the limit. There is no holding back and I will certainly be back into playing mode by the Olympiad. It will be a fun way to get back into it. Below is the current schedule:

Sants Open, August 20-29th, in Barcelona.

LGA Premium Cup, September 2-5th, in Nuremberg.

Chess Olympiad, September 19-October 4th, in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Corus C, January 14-30th 2011, in Wijk ann Zee.

Barcelona will be a good tournament, in which I am currently ranked 7th. It seemed like the perfect way to try to get back in shape. It will have a lot of tough competition, with 19 players above 2500. I look forward to this strong event, which I have also heard good things about.

I was a bit skeptical about the LGA Premium Cup at first. The idea of two rounds a day is not the most attractive one, with only 7 rounds to play. But this seems like the perfect addition before the Olympiad. I am currently ranked 2nd there, but with 16 players above 2500. I will have a few days to rest after Barcelona finishes and then get back into it.

I am sure you have read enough about the Olympiad on this blog, but here is some more:). By the Olympiad, I should be warmed up. I should also have some time to study chess before the Olympiad and cover any holes. The tournaments in Barcelona and Nuremberg are really preparatory events before the more important Olympiad. The Olympiad offers a rare opportunity to play against some of the world’s best. No rust should be showing by the Olympiad.

Corus is hard to get into. I have been trying to get into it for years without any success. A person whose help certainly helped me get into Corus is Peter Doggers, the founder of It is a great site with chess news from all around the world. I will be one of the top players in Corus C, but I will be sitting right next to the guys in Corus A. Those are some pretty strong guys, simply the best in the world. It is great to get into this prestigious event and it will hopefully open the door for more events like it.

Hope you enjoyed this summary. This is only the beginning. I have left out my plans for training, which will certainly happen even before I play my first tournament in Barcelona.



One Response to Tournament Schedule

  1. Wilf Ferner says:

    Hi Mark: Congratulations on starting this blog, a very modern way
    of describing your chess journey.
    I just read your June 29 Tournament schedule. At the end you mention that you left out training aspects. I wonder if you
    could do a little blog on ‘best practice’ general methods/tools
    re training for tough competitions. This is meant for the benefit
    of aspiring Canadian youngsters( and oldsters!) Thanks!

    Wilf Ferner

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