Simultaneous Exhibition at Wilfrid Laurier University

I drove to Waterloo on March 30th to give a simultaneous exhibition at Laurier University. I didn’t quite know what to expect when first agreeing to do the event. I had never heard of a simul played at a Canadian university. I only saw good things from that point forward.

The event was well advertised. The simul was an official event presented by the Faculty of Science and had a place on its calendar. The Laurier community received a notice about the simul. Check out the site of the event.

In addition, I heard that posters of the event were hanging on campus.

You can see at the bottom right corner that the event is also a part of Laurier’s 100 year celebration.

I came down to Waterloo a bit earlier to have lunch at Dr. Hasan Shodiev’s home. The simul was originally Hasan’s idea and all my contact prior to the simul was with him. I’d like to thank Hasan and his family for treating me to a delicious meal with great hospitality.

Then it was time to go to campus. The event took place at the very appealing Science Building Courtyard. A very popular location right in the middle of the Science Building. The area was packed with spectators throughout the event. Below are a some photos from the event, provided by Dr. Shodiev.

Spectators are not allowed on my side of the boards

Making another round through the boards.

After the simul (left to right): WFM Hazel Smith, myself, Dr.Terry Sturtevant, Dr. Hasan Shodiev

Below are some more photos, provided by Alexander Zaleznik and Jennifer Effendi.

Short speeches before the start

A few words about the rules before we start with the moves

Media following the event

Making a move on one board and already thinking about the next

The event was a lot of fun for everybody involved. I played a total of 32 participants. I encountered fierce resistance in some of the games but managed to win all of the battles.

I have never stepped into a university as a chess player. I spent four years at York University as a student. This was a first for me. This is why I didn’t know what to expect. I had given lectures and simuls at chess clubs and tournaments but the atmosphere here was different. The organization of the event was spectacular. There was great attention to detail. Everything was taken care of. The venue was one that attracted many people and had a great general appeal since students and staff spend a lot of time in the area. There was media at the event which included CTV as well as the Laurier newspaper. It was a great environment where everybody was excited to watch or play.

It was nice to see WFM Hazel Smith come out. Hazel is one of Canada’s top female players and has represented Canada at the 2006 and 2008 Olympiads. She is currently in her second year of studying Business at Laurier. Hazel is involved with the Laurier Chess Club and helped setup for the simul. FM Hans Jung also dropped by to show his support for the event.

With this event, Laurier University has taken initiative and has shown an interest in chess, as well as the ability to organize a top-level event. I hope there will be more events like this, as well as growth, both at Laurier University and other post-secondary institutions across Canada.

My gratitude goes out to Dean of Science Dr.Paul Jessop, Faculty of Science Manager Debbie Thayler, Chair of Physics and Computer Science Dr.Nora Znotinas and Chair of Kinesiology & Physical Education Dr. Peter Tiidus for making this event possible. I’d like to thank Dr. Hasan Shodiev, Dr.Terry Sturtevant and Eng. Manfred Gartner for putting the event together. I would also like to thank Tiffany Bradley, Justin Ogilvie, and Mallory O’Brien for helping with the event.

February 28th Lecture

On February 28th I gave a lecture at the Annex Chess Club (ACC). Over 40 people attended. You can find ACC’s summary of the lecture on their site. Members of the club voted on the games they wanted to see. I analyzed my two wins against GM Ivanisevic and FM Nikolaidis.

Photos: copyright 2011 by David Cohen.

As obvious as it might sound, lectures are a completely different experience for the lecturer and the audience. The audience relies on the lecturer to present quality material with energy. The lecturer relies on the audience to stay attentive and participate. The crowd at the ACC was a great one. There were players of all ages. The audience was very engaged throughout the lecture and asked many good questions. This two way interaction was great and made the atmosphere a great one.

I have been playing and studying a lot in my professional year of chess. Everything has been very intense. It has been stressful at times. This lecture was a lot of fun. It was great to be in an environment where everybody was enjoying themselves because of the game of chess. It was great to see chess in such a fun and relaxed setting. It was refreshing.

Simultaneous Exhibition at Wilfred Laurier University

I’m happy to announce that I will be giving a simultaneous chess exhibition on March 30th, at Laurier University, in Waterloo. I will be playing up to 30 boards. You can see details at this link. The simul is organized by the Faculty of Science.

I am not aware of such an event being held at a Canadian university before. I hope this is the start of something bigger. It would be great if chess could take on a bigger role in more post-secondary institutions.

I hope you come out to support the event!

 

 

Inside Toronto Article

Soon after coming back from Khanty-Mansiysk I did an interview with Tim Foran. You can find the article Tim wrote online at http://www.insidetoronto.com/sports/article/883602–north-yorker-knocks-off-world-s-no-2

 

Lecture at the Annex Chess Club

I thought that I might as well do a bit of self-advertising when I have a chance. The Annex Chess Club is a new chess club that is opening in downtown Toronto, at the Bathurst and Bloor area. You can find their website at http://annexchessclub.com/

The club has great hopes and Ted Winick, who I know personally, is the man in charge. It is very likely that this club will become the most popular one in Toronto in the near future. The location is very convenient and there are good people in charge of organizing their events.

Their Grand Opening will be this Monday, October 18th. I will be doing a lecture at 7.30pm. I will just copy-paste what is advertised at the site:

GM Mark Bluvshtein lecture will feature:

  • Extended discussion of his recent Olympiad experience.
  • Analysis of the game in which he defeated former World Champion GM Veselin Topalov, knocking him from 2nd to 3rd in world rankings.
  • Extended analysis of his exciting game from the last round of the recent Olympiad against GM Nikola Djukic where Mark sacrificed his Queen, then an exchange, then a knight to ultimately reach a won endgame.
  • Discussion of what lies ahead in Mark’s career, including his participation in “The Wimbledon” of chess at the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands in January of 2011.

It should be a good one. It will be my first lecture during my year of professional chess. I have no idea when the next one will be. It might be a rare opportunity to catch me in town. I hope all of you can come and make the event a special one!