Canadian Tour 2: Quebec Open

Canadian Tour 2: Quebec Open‎

GM dbojkov
10 | Other

After the Canadian Open Championship, there was a week pause, and then the Canadian chess circuit continued with the Quebec Open from July 23-30.

In 1967, the Quebec chess federation was created in reason of the conflict between chess players from Quebec and from the rest of Canada.  The language barrier (the first language in Quebec is French, in the rest of Canada- English) was the principal reason that pushed Quebecers to create their own federation.

In 1972, powered by the ‘’Fischer-Boom’’, the Quebec chess federation organized the first official Quebec Open, which attracted 744 players. It was a real shock since the previous tournaments in Quebec had barely attracted more than 50 players. 

In 1982, two players from England were invited: GM Michael Stean and IM Nigel Short. The young IM was back then a big sensation, considered by many as a child prodigy who could one day aspire to the title of world champion.

In 1980, one of the strongest players to ever live in Canada arrived in a spy-movie way.  His name was Igor Ivanov and he was part of a Russian chess team coming to Cuba for a chess tournament.  He had earn his place on this trip by defeating the world champion Anatoly Karpov in a pretty convincing way. However, he ran away in Canada during a refuelling stop in Newfoundland, chased by KGB agents. He then made a big sensation by winning the Quebec Open, then the Canadian Open and Closed, the last two taking place at the same time! Running from one of his games to the other, he managed to win both tournaments ahead of very strong international masters. He later won all the Quebec Opens in which he played (except in 1985).

Many chess legends participated in the Quebec Open, such as Boris Gulko in 1992, Ljubomir Ljubojević in 1984 (who back then had the third highest rating in the world) and Korchnoi in 2004. The tournament was composed of 6 sections- Invitational, Open, U2000, U1700, U1400, U1100.

In the invitational section (consisting of 30 players only, and the tournament is very similar to a round-robin event), IM Nikolaj Noritsyn made the tournament of his life to win the event outright with 7/9. He made his first GM norm with a spare round, and did not lose a single game. Walter Arencibia of Cuba concluded his successful Canadian tourney to claim clear second with 6.5/9, thus becoming the unofficial winner of the improvised Canadian circuit. Best Quebec players were GMs Anton Kovalyov (better on tie-break) and Bator Sambuev. I lost a crucial game in the penultimate round against the winner, and ended sixth. Still, I had a reason to be proud with coaching achievements. I had some brief sessions with two Canadian players who did very well in the open section.  Twelve-years old Olivier Kenta Chiku-ratte finished second, while Felix Dumont finished sixth (and improved a good 100 points from the event). The only titled player in this section, IM Jean Hebert, won the event outright with 8/9.

Here are a couple of selected games from the event:



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