I'm wrapping up this year's coverage of the 2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships. Don McLean will have a report at Goddesschess in due course, perhaps by this weekend. Here are some final items I wish to offer:
- This link to GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog report on the Championnat and accompanying video of player Danny Goldenberg's interview of GM Bator Sambuev at the conclusion of the Championnat (he finished in joint 1st but the title went to IM Leonid Gerzhoy on tie-breaks). When you watch the video you will see why I sent it to GM Kosteniuk :)
- One last time - here is the link to the official website for the 2010 Championnat.
- Our friends at the Ahuntsic Chess Club took over organizing this venerable tournament a few years ago and in our quest to help promote female players in local chess events, we contacted Ahuntsic last year and offered to fund some prizes for female chessplayers in the 2009 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships (the 89th). The rest, as they say, is herstory :)
One of the new features that the Ahuntsic organizers introduced to the Championnat last year was providing waived registration fees to qualifying members of Chess 'n Math, Canada's national scholastic chess organization. The locality of Chess 'n Math with which we are most familiar is in Montreal on Rue St. Denis, a lovely street that reminds me of the old Milwaukee neighborhood where I grew up. Bernard Ouimet of Ahuntsic wrote to me this morning:
The promotion was agreed upon last year between Chess’n Math Association (CMA) and Club Ahuntsic: Every kid with a CMA rating of at least 900 pts who has never played in a tournament open to all (vs kids only events), played at a regular rate of play (vs blitz or semi rapid) and FQE (Quebec Chess Federation) or CFC (Canadian Chess Federation) rated can play for free in CHOM (the 2010 Championnat) – all the kid has to pay is his/her FQE membership card. The purpose of this promotion is to widen the base of chessplayers and fill in the void left by older members as they become inactive.
Last year we had 2 such free entries that I can recall, a girl and a boy. The boy won 1st prize in section D. He was back this year [paid an entry fee].
With CHOM2010 we got 4 free entries. CMA is happy about that, we are happy about that.
And so is Goddesschess :) We believe it is vitally important that young players be brought into and incorporated into "main stream" chess events - not isolated/insulated in scholastic-only events. Do not get us wrong, we support scholastic events too (not publicized), but we believe the goal of organizers and chess federations should always be the smooth integration of our younger players into the 'real world' of tournaments where kids are not just playing other kids, but are playing a whole mix of people of different ages and differing chess skills. And we think it's good for adults to play against younger ones too! After all, chess skills and ability are not limited by one's age (young or older) or gender. If that were so, we would never have had a Bobby Fischer or a Susan Polgar.
This is one of my favorite photographs of the 2010 Championnat. It has such vitality and power in it - and it arises from the wonderful mix of old/young/male/female players that is evident. I think it is magical, but then, I think chess is magical :)
Another video - the background is rather noisy but listen closely to the conversation between Mr. Arthur Holler, who came to chess 'late in life' and Goddesschess' Don McLean behind the videocam. Memo to self: When I return to Montreal, be sure not to play chess with Mr. Holler, of whom I have no doubt would beat me around the block :))