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Tourney Update, Eh

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Ninja message board mod Rondino is regaling us with his tales from the Canadian Open, including his simul games against Ivanchuk and Bologan. (Post the scores, man!)

Organizer Adrien Regimbald responded to my questions about their practice of bringing in a few world-class players with appearance fees. The main reason was unexpected: they can't use some of the funds for prizes! But from my experiences and comments from fans, including Rondino's, it's a good way to attract more fans. From Mr. Regimbald:

In our case, it wasn't actually a matter of choice. The money we used for appearance fees came from restricted funds. We raised these funds by volunteering at casinos, and the government places restrictions on how this money can be used. One expense that is expressly forbidden is prize money.

However, in my personal opinion, the expense has been worthwhile. Players of this calibre almost never venture into Canada, and this has been a tremendous experience not only for the club level players, but also as an opportunity for Canada's best players to play high level players they wouldn't often have a chance to play. As far as attendance goes, we have 223 registrations and 215 players actually playing. This is a huge turnout for a tournament in Western Canada, and is still quite large for Canadian standards in general when including Ontario and Quebec.

The tournament is not yet over, but so far I feel our decision to enlist these players was a good one.


Perhaps your headline relates more to speech patterns in EASTERN Canada, eh?

Are you saying my friend Kelly from Calgary is faking it? The horror!

What a tourney, eh?

That speech pattern is classic Eastern Ontario. Other Canadians using it are imitating us, and we DON'T like it!

I think the model Edmonton is using is outstanding, and if the Canadian Open makes its way back toward my home near Ottawa, I'll take vacation time to play in it if they use the same method. Eh?

The appearance fee idea is even better than big prize money, as it is certain rather than problematic. I knew an IM who lived in Arizona and played the Grand Prix circuit. He quit and got a job because the paydays were too uncertain. If organizers paid a fixed fee for players there would be more of them.

It would also eliminate some needless draws. Chess professionals need to eat like everyone else, and big prize money encourages them to take sure paydays over big ones. If they know, however, that the money is in the bank they can take more risks. It can even be argued that aggressive players would get more invitations and higher fees than less aggressive players, thus discouraging short draws.

Ed Yetman, III

I lived in Toronto for four years and didn't hear too many eh's. Granted, there are so many minorities now that colloquial English is a minorit language.

The Ottawa Valley region (Pembroke, Golden and Black Donald Lakes area) is the place to go if you want to hear the ehs along with a distinctive regional dialect. Likewise, you can often hear ehs along the Ontario-Quebec border with the added bonus of hearing it said both in French and English. Depending on the inflection, it can also be translated several ways. For example

"You left your rook hanging, eh?" can be translated as

You left your rook hanging, right?
You left your rook hanging, didn't you notice?
You left your rook hanging, you hoser.
You left your rook hanging so I would have won the game if I had decided to take it, but I wanted to be sporting, give you a chance, and try a new line that broke with traditional theory and would take us into an unclear position with good chances for both sides, but I miscalculated in the final position...but I *would* have won if I'd seen...I mean, if I'd been unsporting and just taken your hanging rook instead, eh?

A wee g'day der, eh?
Takin a tewer roun' the ol' chest scene, eh?

The Ottawa Valley (my home) is classic. Let's just politely say that "North of 7" (meaning the highway) has become a popular euphemism for "backward".

For an example of morning's descriptive patois...Norm MacDonald, former host of SNL Weekend Update, speaks with a strong Ottawa accent. His brother Neil, a CBC Middle East correspondent, worked to refine it somewhat for television.

Going back to the original topic, I agree that it's an excellent idea to invite a few world-class players to a tournament. I'd gladly settle for lower prizes in exchange for that.

It's great for morale to know that someone like Ivanchuk or Shirov, or even someone 50-70 points lower, is playing.

The organizers of the Canadian Open did a tremendous job attracting Super GMs and near super GMs, it's a damn shame that they didn't do a better job with their website. When you have the likes of Ivanchuk, Shirov et. al. you should offer live games over the web at the very least. Too bad, eh.

There are hardly any pictures of the Indian players at that site. In fact, only M.R. Venkatesh was captured in a reasonable shot. Does that photographer even know that these players are world-class?

Dear Mr. Brown,

The first and foremost obligation of a Tournament organizers is to provide for a great tournament for the participants.

In the absence of paying advertisers or the public, deluxe web coverage is at the bottom of the "c" pile of things to do.

As far as live games are concerned, would you pay for them?


Just got back from the Canadian Open and the highlight of the day was the young Canadian GM Mark Bluvshtein beating Alexei Shirov (he sac'ed a knight, then a bishop for a kingside attack). Watch for the game on the website as it isn't often you see Shirov burnt like that!

Hey Daaim,

That photographer (Jamin Gluckie, a participant in the Open) is not the official CDN Open photographer. Not by a long shot. He is the webmaster of the Saskatoon Chess Club website. His intent was not to photograph all the top players -- in fact, most of the photographs are of members of the club or simply random shots of the throng, with a few of the top players thrown in for good measure. He took photographs of whatever and whomever stuck his fancy, and then he posted the shots on the site.

I presume that Micah posted the link for anyone who might be curious to get a sense of the general atmosphere of the event, not as a way to highlight the top players.

So give the photographer a break.


OK rondino... when I saw "pictures from the Canadian Open," I'm thinking that there would be a good batch of pictures of some of the top games in progress (or top players). It was a wonderful tournament! Bluvshtein's win over Shirov was classic.


If one wants to take club pictures that's fine, but I didn't know the photographers intent. He may not have expected an international audience to ever see them... only his Saskatoon club members.

Anyway... I see his rationale. Thanks for the clarification.

Ivanchuk's, Shirov's and Bologan's games were broadcast live on ICC, every round. I don't know what the above poster was talking about.

Kudos to young Canadian GM Mark Bluvshtein, who scalped Shirov with the Black pieces Saturday and went on to share first with Ivanchuk, Bologan, Shirov and Chowdhury. This must be the best thing to happen to Bluvshtein since he finished highschool.


You misread the post... check it again. I'm talking about the pictures... pictures of top players in progress. The discussion was about the pictures that were posted, not internet coverage.

Micah was referring to Rob Brown's comments regarding lack of live internet coverage.


Lag time is a monster in these blogs. (smile) I took "above" literally in Micah's post. When referring to someone on the board, using names would be good, eh?

Rondino... are you any kin to Ronaldinho? (smile)

Clubfoot wrote:
"This must be the best thing to happen to Bluvshtein since he finished highschool."

GM Bluvshtein told me that he starts 12th grade in highschool this September.

Thanks to Micah for the correction. Another player at the tournament told me he'd already finished or was not returning.

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Ivanchuk's, Shirov's and Bologan's amateur were advertisement reside on ICC, every round. I don't apperceive what the aloft affiche was talking about.

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