Regina’s biggest chess tournaments ever draw domestic competitors

“Five or ten years ago, chess tournaments didn’t exist in Saskatchewan, or if they did, nobody knew about them.

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In an effort to put Saskatchewan back on the map for chess players across Canada, the Queen City Chess Club is hosting two of the nation’s biggest chess tournaments over the next two weeks.

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An estimated 185 youth aged 8 to 18 from across Canada arrived at Travelodge in Regina on Saturday for the opening ceremony of the Canadian Youth Chess Championship (CYCC) – the largest youth chess tournament in the world. country.

The tournament will run until July 10, followed by the prestigious Canadian Open July 12-18, which claims $ 15,000 in prizes.

“It’s pretty big. It’s a lot for us. We’ve run tournaments in the past, we’ve run prizes, but they’re mostly local… It’s by far the biggest thing we’ve ever done, ”said Tom Boshoff, President of the Queen City Chess Club.

These tournaments are usually held in big cities, Boshoff noted, but this year the club wanted to host the event to raise more chess awareness in Saskatchewan.

“Five or ten years ago, chess tournaments didn’t exist in Saskatchewan, or if they did exist, nobody knew about them,” he said. “We at least took the chess a step further in Saskatchewan.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Regina Hotel Association and the willingness of Travelodge to host the event, the Queen City Chess Club was able to turn this dream into reality.

Now that the time is right and the contestants have arrived in the city, Boshoff has just one wish.

“I just want everything to be okay and the place not to burn,” he said with a laugh.

All CYCC competitors had to qualify in other tournaments to participate. The top three in each of the 12 age and gender categories in this competition will receive sponsorship to attend the World Youth Chess Championship, held in India for older categories and in China for younger categories.

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  1. Brandin Titanich, treasurer of the Queen City Chess Club, poses for a portrait at the University of Regina on a Thursday evening.

    A new name among many others for the Queen City Chess Club

  2. Isaac Wiebe, a chess player from Winnipeg, competes in a game on Saturday February 18 at the Executive Royal Hotel in Regina as part of the South Saskatchewan Chess Championship.  PHOTO ASHLEY ROBINSON

    Chess gives players the opportunity to travel to North America

Alan Li, 10 from Regina, said he felt “a little nervous” about competing here, but with five years of playing chess and a number of big tournaments under his belt, he said. that he already knew exactly what to expect.

“It really tests your brain for strategies and tricks, and the more you do it the more ways you see to get tactics and tricks.”

Queen City Chess Club member Avram Tcherni will be competing in the Canadian Open and also volunteering at CYCC. He started playing chess at the age of four and has now competed across Canada in 12 different national tournaments.

Challenge and strategy are what draws him to the game, but it’s the camaraderie between the competitors – especially in Saskatchewan – that keeps him involved in the chess community.

Tcherni also hopes to see interest in the game grow, especially among young people.

“There is a common misconception that you have to be smart to play chess,” he said. “I’ve heard this from a great master before, that you don’t have to be smart to play chess, but chess can make you smart.”

As part of the Canadian Open, Russian Grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev will give a talk on historic chess player HN Pillsbury on July 16 at 10 a.m. He will also play 30 games of chess against different people at the same time. This event is open to the public, with an admission of $ 10.

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