Games from 2018 Canadian Universities Chess Championships (annotated)

Games from 2018 Canadian Universities Chess Championships (annotated)

Jan 16, 2018, 2:54 PM |

Hello and welcome to my blog, I don't usually update it often but anyway enjoy~

I also did play in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships (Dec 27-30) but the blog about that will come later. 


Recently I participated in the Canadian Universities Chess Championships, this year held at University of Ottawa. We actually didn't know our own teams until the morning of the tournament, since alot of us from University of Toronto dropped out on the last minute. As a 5th year University student who is not considering graduate school, it was my last Universities Chess Championships so I was keen on making some fond memories. This will be my 4th Universities Chess Championship (participated 2014, 2015, 2016) but my first time in the Championship section (as opposed to U1800 section - a section reserved for teams with average rating of under 1800). I played for University of Toronto B team. 


Roster - University of Toronto B (1804.75 avg)

  1. Lanting Qian (1890)
  2. Seiji Nakagawa (1760) FIDE 1619
  3. Leslie Tang (1795)
  4. Ian Mahoney (1774) FIDE 1848


We were the lowest seeded team in the Championships Section. There were 10 teams and we got matched with Carleton University in our first round. 


My Teammate Lanting (board 1) often tells me that he plays up a section in chess tournaments so that he will face stronger players and will get 'better' at chess. That time, I just laughed it off but I realized this tournament all of us are pretty much playing up every single round. Round 2 is indeed playing up - in extreme form. 




Match vs the top seed!



We got sweeped 4-0 of course. Then came round 3 against Queen's A team which consisted of 3 2100s and a 1300. They made full use of the team dynamics/ mechanics by making their best player take board 2 (as opposed to our "no weakness" team beause all of us are around 1800 rating).



Lanting's play reminded me of Jacob Marley in the Christmas Carol, swindling a win from a completely lost position. We drew this match 2-2 (Ian won, Leslie lost).


University of Toronto and McGill University have a rivalry similar to Harvard-Yale of the United States, so a matchup between these 2 universities is always intense, sometimes having 10+ people coming to watch our games. 

I was paired against a very talented unrated player, I would estimate his post-tournament rating to be at least 1950 for sure. 

EDIT: He ended up with 1800 rating. Drew Simon (2164) and Alfred (1922), but losing to me gave him 1360 performance which made the average lower.



By then I was getting sick of chess, but we still have 1 more round to play... and we were paired with Waterloo B team, my lowest rated opponent for the whole tournament. We lost to them 3-1. 



Thanks for reading, and I really hope to break 1800 again on the next rating update!

EDIT: 1849 is the new rating!