Blog # 3 - Day 2/ Rds. 2 & 3 – Sunday, July 20


  1. This blog is duplicate posted: a) on the FQE Canadian Open website ("Follow the tournament"); b) on the CMA Chesstalk. But the FQE website has the great advantage that it includes a game-viewer. So my Rd. 2 game, and that of Mario’s, that are in the text, can be immediately played over. The URL for the blog there is: .
  2. The advantage of the Chesstalk site, is that there is capacity for anyone to comment and discuss any CO matters.
  3. This blog # 3 was completely prepared early this morning (Monday), except for needing the U 2000 pairings. The delay has occurred because the standings were not available before 3:00 PM, my self-imposed deadline to post this blog # 3.

Starting the Day Off Right – The Wee Hours of the Morning

  After midnight Sunday morning, there was my roomie, Mario Moran-Venegas (picture in Blog # 1), checking various chess stuff on his laptop, and me wondering when I might get Blog # 2 out, once I finished it. I still needed to finish analyzing my game, to put it in. Still no U 2000 Rd. 1 results posted. So Mario hit the sack about 12:45 AM, and I followed about ½ hr. later.


I managed to get my normal 5 hrs. sleep (up at 6:15 AM). And then went back to finishing analysis of my Rd. 1 game (didn’t get it done Saturday night). The blog was then totally complete and ready to go….except for the U 2000 section results – but at 8:00 AM, still no U 2000 Rd. 1 results posted; so Mario and I went for a quick breakfast at our now favourite 24/7 Timmies.
When we came back to play in Rd. 2, the pairings of the section were done close to 11:00 AM for Rd. 1. I chatted again with my friends Michael Sharpe from my hometown, Sarnia, and Paul Leblanc, CFC Rating Auditor (picture in Blog # 2). He also handles the investments for CFC through its Canadian Chess Foundation. So we talked a bit about the merits of the Foundation finally going independent of CFC – a discussion CFC should likely re-visit now, with the funds growing.
Fortunately the pairings hard copy had the points scored in Rd. 1. But at that time I had no time any longer to work on Blog # 2, since I was now going to play in Rd. 2.


I finished my game a bit after 3:00 PM. Now I had time to get back to Blog # 2 and finally finish it. So I went to get the favourites’ scores from the hard copy. Now I no longer needed the Rd. 1 results from the internet. So I managed to send off my blog, and the ChessBase game separately, to Roman for posting. And then I posted the blog on Chesstalk.
While I was doing this, Mario (who lost), and Omar Shah (lodged with Larry Bevand of Chess ‘n Math – Omar had managed the Toronto Strategy Games store in Toronto a while ago – picture in Blog # 2), who won, joined me in the hotel room. They went to get some late lunch and brought me back a delicious burger and fries (I’m a fast food junkie). Mario worked on his laptop, and Omar sacked out ‘til Rd. 3 @ 6:00 PM.
I then started work on this Blog # 3.

My Games

(Because new readers come to the blog from time to time, I want them to have the following information, and so I am repeating the template of it each day – I’d ask the daily readers of the blog to tolerate the repetition)

As I’ve said in prior year’s blogs, I like to think “class” games, like those in the U 2000 section, down in the middle of the bowels of the tournament, have some interest. I believe in some ways they are more educational to class players than GM games, if properly annotated. They are understandable, because we all think similarly – GM moves are many times incomprehensible to us class players.
For years now, I’ve used a chess website, Chess5 ( ), as my own personal chess games blog and back up storage site – I have gotten to know the owner/administrator Eydun, quite well over the years. I introduced Canada to his website, after I first saw it. Canada is now one of the main posters to this on-line databank. I post all my games, using what I call my “Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS)”, hoping that this makes them even more helpful to viewers. In prior years, this is where I have posted my Open games for those interested to play over. Click on the heading link “public games”, and you get a list of games posted this month so far, including mine from this Open.
But this year I am adding another feature since I am blogging on a website this time. I will be including my games, annotated, right in this blog. I had discussed with Roman the possibility of a game viewer capacity, so that viewers of the blog could immediately play over my game on the screen. If I can manage to get a copy of one of the top board games in our section, I will be trying to include it in this blog as well. Roman advised that he would be able to set up game-viewer capacity.
My games may not be dramatic, but I am told I am a somewhat messy and adventurous player (I lose a lot!), and that my games, win or lose, are often interesting to play over (some friends say, so they’ll learn how not to play chess…sigh). However in this tournament so far, I must admit I have played quite conservatively, even passively. I hope this changes! 
But I hope they will be worth a look.

The U 2000 Group (88 players), Favourites & Today’s Rd. 2

Our section started with 13 top players who I termed the “favourites”. They are the 1900’s. Here are their results for Rd. 2:

  1. Shah, Omar – 1999 – ON – won – 1 ½ pts.
  2. Gauthiers, Dennis – 1999 – QC – won – 1 ½ pts.
  3. Villeneuve, Robert – 1993 – QC – drew – 1 ½ pts.
  4. Have, Didier – 1992 – QC – won – 2 pts.
  5. Liard, Serge – 1984 – QC – won – 2 pts.
  6. Weston, Paul – 1963 – QC – won – 1 ½ pts.
  7. Germain, Michel – 1947 – QC – won – 2 pts.
  8. Vettese, Nicholas – 1943 – ON – bye – ½ pt.
  9. Pomerantz, Daniel – 1937 – QC – won (forfeit) – 2 pts.
  10. Ingram, Richard – 1929 – QC – won – 2 pts.
  11. Desjardins, Michel – 1925 – QC – lost – 0 pts.
  12. Chang, Michael – 1912 – QC – drew – 1 ½ pts.
  13. Sarra-Bournet, Marc – 1911 – QC – won – 2 pts.

Note: there may well now be other players with 2 pts. who were not on the initial favourites list. I will bring them into the leaders’ list when reporting on Rd. 3. And some of the favourites will now drop out of the list.

My Round 2 Game

The time control is 40/90 min. + SD/30 min, with a 30 sec increment from move 1.
In Rd. 2, I was paired down (discussed in the last blog), and played Black again, against Edward Selling (1782 according to the Results website initial ranking; his USCF rating; 1663 – according to the last FQE Pre-registrations; from New York, USA). I lost, though the game was close; but I had a cramped position all game, and it was just a matter of time before his cumulative advantage allowed him to win a P. But in the end I had to sac when he queened his P, and so he was up a B, and my few pawns left were vulnerable – time to resign. The game did go 54 moves.
Here is the game, annotated with my own annotation method, called the Comprehensive Annotation System (CAS), using Fritz and my own comments:

Selling, Edward (1663) - Armstrong, Robert J. (1645) [A48]

The Evening

Before Rd. 3 (today is the double-round day), Mario and I went to get a coffee at our Timmies. Then the round was supposed to start at 6:00 PM. And it did for all but our U 2000 section (Section C – the middle one). It seems there was a technological problem with the computer refusing to pair, along with some other problems. The result – they had to do the pairings manually. Our section was 1 ½ hrs. late! 

So I chatted with my friend Mike Sharpe, from my hometown of Sarnia, Brendon Lee whom I’d played in a prior Canadian Open, and some others. Hugh Brodie came to look in on the tournament and we chatted – he was unable to play this year due to some health recovery issues. Victoria Jung-Doknjas of BC and I then chatted a bit – she was the recent “Head of Delegation” for Canada for the North American Youth Chess Championships, held in USA. She and I met initially at the 2011 CYCC in Richmond Hill, Ontario (north of Toronto). She has 3 children all playing in different age groups. Victor Itkine and I then chatted – I have played his son, David, a few times a while ago. Edward Selling also came up (we played in Rd. 2), and he said he’d hoped to analyze the game with me, but then I disappeared. I advised I did have some stuff to do on my blog, and had to leave quickly to get at it. We talked a bit about New York and Toronto chess and chess clubs. In his area, he is finding a definite drop in interest in club over-the-board play. I advised that this was generally the case in Canada as well, except for one of my Toronto clubs, Scarborough Chess Club. We were getting 120 registrants out to our weekly swisses on Thursday. We are so successful, we had to stop taking new members and started a waiting list (who’s ever heard of this before??). The problem was we had reached maximum fire capacity for the playing hall, and couldn’t add any more players. As many say, when they hear this, “nice problem to have”.

From talking to a number of players in the section, there is some unhappiness about the way the U 2000 section has been going (and that is likely quite an understatement). As part of the section, I have to say when you are revved to play, and this kind of thing happens, your enthusiasm just drains away. It becomes very easy to just want the game to be over. I think we in the section all hope that this does not continue.

Post Rd. 3

Unfortunately, my game ended rather early (I played my worst game of the three). So I came up to the hotel room about 9:30 PM. The first thing I saw was Roman’s posting of my blog from yesterday, Blog # 2. He had put my Rd. 1 Game into the game-viewer format. It looked great, and I quickly banged out a thank you letter to him and Felix Dumont for the great support they have given me in doing my blog. Thanks guys!
I checked e-mails, a few websites, and then continued on with the preparation of this blog # 3. Mario was in a long game, and in a bit of trouble I thought (he was the second last game in the hall), and so I left my analysis of my Rd. 2 game, and went down a few times to check on his progress. On one occasion I skipped out to Timmies to get some comfort food donuts (surely I’m entitled to that after starting with 3 consecutive losses…even if diabetic!). On other occasions, I updated my U 2000 Rd. 3 results from the hard copy results mark-up sheet (to the extent I could – since they had been paired by hand, they had no current point total for the players. So I could not tell who, not among the favourites, now might be one of the leaders. I was able to get the top section leaders as well, but when I later checked it on the internet, that section’s results and standings were posted.

The Stroke of Midnight Monday Morning (and later)

At midnight, Mario was still fighting (he also is in the U 2000 section), but I decided I’d just stay in the hotel room after my last visit, and I’d get the good or bad news in due course. Mario wandered in about 12:30 AM and gave me the thumbs up sign. He was down a minor for a P (a blunder). But his opponent wrongly advanced some P’s, and left himself open to a perpetual check!
To give you more for your money, I thought I should include Mario’s game! He has just done minimal annotations. I thought it worthy, since it was a nice come-back:

Moran-Venegas, Mario - St-Cyr, Xavier [C78]

So Mario pulls ahead of me – ½ vs 0! Well, at least that postpones any possibility of us getting paired together…for a while anyway, if I do ever start playing. We stayed up a while, him analyzing his earlier games (he’s been having computer problems that put him behind schedule), and me doing my Game 2. We hit the sack about 2:30 AM.


After 3 hrs. (?) sleep, I was wide awake at 5:30 AM. So I checked e-mails, posted on the 4 FB chess sites I manage/co-manage, and looked at the other 2 non-chess FB pages I manage. Then I continued analyzing my Rd. 2 game for this blog # 3. About 7:00 AM I went to Timmies to bring back a coffee to help me welcome a new day, where a win is still a possibility!
Mario got up at 9:00 AM, and went to his laptop to see what he could do on his game, for the blog. We later went to breakfast, and there were no standings for section C when we returned, neither hard copy outside the playing hall, nor on the Results website.
So I just waited. At 2:00 PM, I found Pierre Denomme, one of the arbiters, to my knowledge, and asked about the U 2000 Standings. He seemed to say there was some problem re access to the computer in the playing hall, because the room was locked. So he could not advise at what time the standings might appear. So I just waited.
At three o’clock, I sent the blog out to Roman to post, and I posted it on Chesstalk.

The U 2000 Group (88 Players) – The Leaders After Rd. 3

Our leader group is now thinning a bit (this is the best list I could cobble together from the playing results sheets on the bulletin boards, and so may well be incomplete. I do not know about players scores further down in the original ranking. There were no published standings at the time of going to press):

1/4.  – 3 pts. – 4 players - Have, Didier (1992 – QC); Liard, Serge (1984 – QC); Michel Germaine (1947 – QC); Moore, Ronald (1751 – QC)??
5/8. – 2 ½ pts. – 4 players - Ingram, Richard (1929 – QC); Chang, Michael (1912 – QC); Sarra-Bournet, Marc (1911 – QC); Ming, Wenyang (1801 – ON – I have been told he was wrongly placed on the list? He only played in the mini-tournament??)

Once everything is back up to speed for Section C from an administrative point of view, I hopefully will be able to supply complete information.

My Round 3 Game

I played Shao Hang He (1743 – Nat.). But there was a problem here. I played Black, for the third consecutive time in the first three rounds. I don’t know of any pairing system that can achieve that! But there have been so many technical anomalies in our section that this is just indicative of a system that is not working. These were the pairings that had to be done by hand, and that is likely the reason for the mistake. Should I expect my 4th black in Rd. 4? That is not going to happen, I’m sure.
As to the game, I lost. I blundered twice, in cases I normally would have expected myself to see. In any event, for those not that familiar with the Pirc Defence, they may find some of the lines played, and not played, of interest. I’d like games I present to be of  “blog quality”, and though this game is a bit flawed, it seems to qualify to some extent. So I’m presenting it too – I have annotated it again with my CAS, using Fritz and my comments:

He,Shao Hang (1743) - Armstrong,Robert J. (1645) [E76]

The U 2000 Leaders’ Rd. 4 Pairings

I waited ‘til 3:00 PM for them to be posted, but they never surfaced. So I’ll just have to skip this, since I do not want to delay this blog any longer. Rd. 4 starts @ 6:00 PM tonight, and I need the blog out somewhat before the next round starts.

My Rd. 4 Pairing

- Same problem as above.

The Top Section Leaders After Rd. 3

First prize is $ 4,000. There are 43 registered players.
Here are the 5 Co-Leaders, with 2 pts:

1. GM Tiviakov, Sergei (2656 – Netherlands) – picture in Blog # 2.
2. GM Van Kampen, Robin (2636 – Netherlands)


Robin on right (with Can. GM Eric Hansen on left)


4. GM Moradiabadi, Elshan (2593 – Iran)
5. GM Ghaem, Maghami Ehsan (2586 – Iran)
6. IM Jeffery Xiong (2441 - USA).


Unfortunately, the website format FQE uses, does not allow for any comments, questions, etc. concerning the blog material. This is why it is being duplicate posted on the Chess ‘n Math Association national chess discussion board, Chesstalk. There this can be done. So, I'd like again to invite everyone to join into the discussion on Chesstalk by making comments, suggestions, questions, constructive criticisms :) , etc. Anything to do with the Can. Open is welcome. I will try to respond on Chesstalk if that seems appropriate.

Bob Armstrong, the crazy U 2000 Blogger :)