Day 1

Day 1 is always the hardest (I hope).  It might also be the most fun. The festivities started off with registrations, which ended at 11am. My task was very simple, to “roam around” and so I did. Everything was running smooth. Here are a few pictures of the registration table, which was located just inside of the playing hall.

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After the registration ended came the opening ceremonies. Once again, the organizers showed how great of a job they did. The first person to make a speech was the Mayor of Windsor, Eddie Francis. Eddie is a nice young politician who became mayor in 2003, the youngest ever in Windsor’s history. John Coleman was responsible for getting him to the CYCC, providing a great welcome to all the participants. It was very nice to have the mayor around. Here is a picture of me with him.

The mayor was followed by short speeches by me, John Coleman, and Patrick McDonald. For those of you that have never been to the CYCC, it is the loudest event held in Canada. This is especially true before the first round when everybody is excited and in the same room. Patrick, as the arbiter, is in charge of taming them while in the playing hall and resolving any conflict. This means that he has to put up a tough image, starting with the speeches. Arbiters are rarely liked by young players, since they implement discipline. But Patrick is very hard to dislike! Below is a picture of John Coleman at the opening ceremonies.

The playing venue is beautiful and spacious. Best of all, it overlooks the river. No spectators allowed, unless they are Grandmasters. Just more motivation for people to become GMs really. Some of the games are broadcast by Monroi on their website, if the players decide to use the device. I am just a superstitious guy, so I stick to the old pen and paper. I used the device a few times, but I kept reaching over instinctively to find a pen. The process of recording moves manually helps me focus. In reality, there is nothing at all wrong with the Monroi devices and they are the most modern mobile chess board available and can record many of your games. Here are a couple of pictures with the view from the playing hall.

The CYCC has some of the best youth players in Canada. On the top of the list, there is IM Eric Hansen (2550 CFC). Eric is one of the rising stars in Canada, and currently lives in Calgary. Realistically, Eric had a pretty good case to make it onto this year’s Olympic team. I am sure we will see Eric on the Olympic team in the near future, as he appears serious about chess and plays lots! He is in the under 18 section.

The player who would appear to be Eric’s strongest opponent is Aman Hambleton (2315 CFC). I used to coach Aman a few years ago. He is a talented player who is not scared of the higher rated guys. Confidence is definitely not an issue for Aman.

Somebody who everybody should watch out for in the near future is Richard Wang (2318 CFC). Richard is the top player in the under 12 section. Richard got 3rd place at the World Youth Chess Championship last year, under 12. That is a huge accomplishment, and it hasn’t been done by a Canadian in years! I had the chance to meet Richard today and he looks like a great kid. He admitted that he was a bit lucky in converting thin air into a win in the first round. But you know what? Good players grind out tough points!

The CYCC always has upsets. The first two rounds were not to disappoint. In the first round, Richard Wang, got into a lot of difficulties in the opening against Bryant Yang (1500). Slowly, Richard got out of it. In an equal rook endgame, Richard’s experience and resourcefulness cashed in the full point. His opponent is certainly underrated. A scare, but such is life sometimes.

The shocker of the 2nd round can be seen as Eric Hansen drawing Kevin Chung (2280). Not that big of a shocker really. All these juniors are pretty good. Aman is the only player in the boys under 18 with 2/2 so far.

The under 16 section is showing how balanced it is. There are no players with 2/2! 7 players are tied for first with 1.5 points.

In the under 14 boys section, Joey Qin (2340) drew his first round game against Donovan Zhao, rated 1656. That’s right, a rating difference of over 600 points. Underrated juniors are great, unless you are playing them!

The under 10 girls section is showing to be the most unpredictable one of them all. The two top players dropped a game each, and only Kelly Wang has been able to keep a perfect score so far.

More to come…

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2 Responses to Day 1

  1. Andrei says:

    “In the under 14 boys section, Joey Qin (2340) drew his first round game against Nathan Farrant-Diaz, rated 1713. That’s right, a rating difference of over 700 points. Underrated juniors are great, unless you are playing them!”

    You look one position off at the standings, Joey played Donovan Zhao (1656) from BC. Based on the numbers of players in Ontario, the ratings of the Ontario players are higher (over-rated?) then any other ones. In all CYCC editions that been in east, the players from AB and BC went home always with lots of ratings points.

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