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Oh Canada

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The Canadian Open Championship starts today in Edmonton, a great summer town known for hockey, rodeo, and its Klondike Days festival.

The prize fund is modest by the standards of massive opens today, so the top talent on display is noteworthy. I'd rather see Ivanchuk and Shirov (and Bologan!) in Dortmund, but since it appears the German supertournament is plenty exciting without them, we get the bonus of seeing them in action elsewhere at the same time.

I've written to the Open organizers to ask about their success in bringing elite players, apparently with appearance fees instead of a huge prize fund. A lecture by a top star like Shirov (or, as in the National Open, a simul by the Polgar sisters), can attract more paying customers, the amateurs who pay $100-300 to play. They have many such special events on the first four days.

Pros making money from exhibitions instead of prizes at big events means guaranteed income, although it also means PR and name recognition can earn more than results, which is already true in some cases in chess and very true in many other sports where endorsements pay far more than salary.


The Indian contingent will be in Canada as well. I can see Ganguly doing some damage.

Yah, their traveling in a group like they do is worth a separate item for sure. Figured it would be too much for one item. It's a great idea for using sponsorship, sending the team out together so they can work together and support each other.

Exactly how does chess sponsorship works? Do people who put on Corus, Dortmund and Linares make money off the events? Is sponsorship generally field-dependent or more a matter of finding somebody who wants to spend money to support chess?

Congratulations to the Canadian Open organizers for the impressive lineup (despite moderate prizes).

As one of the organizers of this tournament, I would like to say "thank you" to Mig for mentioning the Canadian Open in the Daily Dirt.
I would also like to respond to one of Yuriy Klener's excellent questions above.

I don't know about the Linares or Corus organizers, but at the Canadian Open the organizers are all volunteers and do not receive any money at all. The TD, and some of the GM's and IM's were the only people to receive any fees.

On another note, boards 1, 2 and 3 are being broadcast each day on ICC. Please check the official website for the schedule (all times are Mountain Standard Time): http://www.edmontonchess.org/CdnOpen2005/

Our top three players are Ivanchuk, Shirov and Bologan, and all have perfect scores so far with 3/3. The gamescores from these top three boards are all available on ICC.

The rest of the gamescores (maybe the top 10 boards) will be put on the official website and probably on TWIC and Chessbase.com when the organizers can find time to enter all the gamescores. This is one aspect in which I admit that we were unprepared. There aren't enough of us to do all of the work necessary for an internet-age tournament.

Well, I'm typing this in the tournament hall, and the last game of round 3 has just finished. That means that I have to go and help post the pairings for round 4 (Monday at 6:00 PM local time).

Keep watching on ICC,

Micah Hughey
Ninja and Organizer


The Canadian Open was also mentioned in a report I wrote on India for the World Open. People are watching!


I participated in the Bologan simul today at the Canadian Open and I don't think I've ever enjoyed losing a game as much. I played a Philidor (how conservative can you get eh?) and blundered a pawn away on move 10. Struggled on in a minor piece endgame until he was going to win a second pawn on move 28 so I gave up.

I'm not playing in the Open so it cost 20 bucks to play but it was likely the best twenty I've ever spent. How great is that to sit across the board from a player of that caliber and to boot, he seemed a most affable and pleasant guy. If anyone cares, he scored 16.5 of 17 and only took around an hour and a half to mow us all down.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 9, 2005 11:28 PM.

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