Friday, August 13, 2010

90th City of Montreal Open Chess Championships

90th City of Montreal Open Chess Championships
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
September 10 - 12, 2010

WGM Salome Melia (center), 2009 Woman Champion
of City of Montreal Chess Championships, and friends,
at the playing venue - dig the checkerboard floor!
A great time was had by all, and memories for all time.
We struck up a friendship last year with Club Ahuntsic, organizer of the City of Montreal Open Chess Championships. Goddesschess sponsored class prizes for chess femmes in the 2009 Championnat and helped fund the appearance of WGM Salome Melia of Georgia, who finished in second place overall in the Championnat. Melia won the title "Woman Champion of Montreal."

2010 is the 90th year of the Championnat. Wow! Early on, Goddesschess and Club Ahuntsic planned for a 'bigger and better' Championnat. Club Ahuntsic sought out - and obtained - increased sponsorship for prizes -- $6,000 guaranteed in 2010! Ahuntsic also obtained - a fantastic new venue, beautiful and spacious, with many amenities onsite (including food!)and easier access from around the greater Montreal area via Metro (subway) and city bus. More information in general on the 90th Championnat and surroundings (how to get there, where to stay, etc.)

This is just the kind of local event Goddesschess wishes to support in hopes of attracting more local chess femmes to come and play! We set our budget and offered a fixed amount to fund both class prizes and assitance in obtaining the appearance of another WGM or rising female star or stars of chess.

This year, 2009 Woman Champion WGM Melia is playing on the Georgian Women's Olympiad Team and was not able to return to Montreal to defend her title.

2010 being a FIDE Chess Olympiad year, our search for a WGM to come to Montreal to play in the Championnat and be a role model for the local female chessplayers was - complicated. A list of WGMs as well as WIM stars and non-titled rising female chessplayers was compiled. Within the budget, could we find one or perhaps more'rising star'female chessplayers to play in the 90th Championnat?

Things are up in the air at the moment, and we've got our fingers, toes, eyes, arms, legs, ears, knees, legs, ankles and any other flexible joints crossed in hopes of good news at the last moment -

Here is some good news - the Goddesschess class prizes for chess femmes who play in the 2010 Championnat:

Section B (-2000 to 1600): $45; $35
Section C (-1600 to 1200): $35, $25
Section D (-12,000 - unr): $25, $15

More good news - the 2010 Championnat has once again entered into a special arrangement with Montreal's Chess 'n Math to encourage qualifying Chess 'n Math students to play in the Championnat. 2009 was the first time this took place, and the "experiment" was a great success for all involved! We hope to repeat last year's success, which resulted in an influx of younger male and female chessplayers, who gained valuable experience (we hope) on their end and enfused a new energy and enthusiasm into the mix of veteran players :)

Goddesschess' Don McLean will again be at the Championnat with his electronic gizmos to record this and that at the Championnat - still photos, videos and live interviews - see his impressions of the 2009 Championnat.

For Goddesschess, this is not just another chess event, it's one of our hometowns and that makes it particularly special. The 89th Championnat saw a record number of chess femmes sign up and play, and that is music to our hearts :) That is what we want to encourage! We hope to break that record for the 90th Championnat!

If you live in the greater Montreal area (or anywhere, actually!), please come out to play in the Championnat.Registration/information in English; registration/information in FrenchRegistration form in English

Want to know where to stay and what to visit when you come to Montreal?  Check out my post below on 36 Hours in Montreal. The Chess Goddess must be smiling upon us, because (as far as I know) none of us can command The New York Times to produce an article on "36 Hours in Montreal..." - and yet - it appeared!  Ta dah!  I added a few tid-bits that I experienced up close and personal for the discerning traveler to heed or disregard :) 

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