Ivanchuk & So Lead Edmonton International After Round 5

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/26/14, 1:45 AM.

The two top seeds of the Edmonton International, Vassily Ivanchuk and Wesley So, are sharing the lead after five rounds. Both players won four games, and drew against each other. Like every year, the Canadian tournament is a 10-player round robin designed to score IM or GM norms.

The 9th Edmonton International Chess Festival takes place 21-29 June at the Edmonton Chess Club. Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, located on the North Saskatchewan River. It is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region.

The festival includes a 5-round Swiss, a lecture by Irina Krush, a simul by Wesley So and a blitz tournament. The main event is a 10-player all-play all, with a group of players that stretches from Elo 2744 all the way down to 2168. The tournament is a possibility for local players to score norms, but that won't be easy!

Besides four international grandmasters (Wesley So, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sam Shankland and Irina Krush) and one from Canada (Anton Kovalyov), there are two IMs (24-year-old Raja Panjwani, Elo 2440 and 15-year-old Richard Wang, Elo 2365), two FMs (36-year-old Vladimir Pechenkin, Elo 2311 and 46-year-old Dale Haessel, Elo 2168) and “FM elect” Alex Yam, Elo 2299.

Sam Shankland is a last-minute replacement for Lazaro Bruzon, who won last year's edition convincingly but had to withdraw due to a family emergency.

Round 1 in action, with Irina Krush-Anton Kovalyov in front

Haessel's participation seems a bit out of place, although he's quite capable of upsetting players of a very high caliber, as the official website notes: “In the 2012 edition Dale upset GM Victor Mikhalevski thus preventing the GM from possibly winning the first place in the competition. In the last round of the 2013 edition of the event, Dale managed to draw GM Nigel Short.”

But this year it's not happening. Mr Haessel lost his first five games (like Axel Yam), and especially the last one didn't look good.

Generally speaking, the top players tend to outplay their weaker opponents mostly on calculation, especially when their opponents refuse to “believe” them. It's always a good not to trust your opponent too much, but if his name is Ivanchuk... 

Pechenkin had a similar experience. Maybe he didn't like his position anyway, or maybe he really thought that his 2700-opponent was blundering a pawn? Well, he wasn't!

Ivanchuk also scored an interesting win against the Canadian grandmaster:

So's win over Panjwani was quite spectacular:

Wesley So, playing black in round 1 vs Richard Wang

The top clash was played in round 4, and ended in a draw. Ivanchuk was pressing in an ending, but couldn't break the Philippine GM's defense:

Edmonton International 2014 | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 So,Wesley 2744 2876 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 1 4.5/5 10.75
2 Ivanchuk,Vassily 2738 2867 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 1 4.5/5 10.25
3 Kovalyov,Anton 2636 2558 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 3.5/5 3.25
4 Shankland,Sam 2632 2549 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 3.5/5 2.75
5 Panjwani,Raja 2440 2585 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 3.0/5
6 Krush,Irina 2484 2449 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.5/5
7 Wang,Richard 2365 2398 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.0/5
8 Pechenkin,Vladimir 2311 2321 0 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1.5/5
9 Yam,Alex 2299 1838 0 0 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0.0/5 0.00
10 Haessel,Dale 2168 1686 0 0 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0.0/5 0.00

The Edmonton International takes place 21-29th June in Edmonton, Canada. All photos © Vlad Rekhson courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

11859 reads 33 comments
5 votes


  • 2 years ago


    hatsing.. Foot in Mouth 0.5 point behind chuck due to draw with krush.. well, Good job GM So, at least you do yor best.. But we shall remember that Chucky could not beat the young GM So. Go back to the section 8 of World Cup 2009 when the 16 years old GM So beat the 40 years old Chucky with 39 moves of French Defence.. even now, he could only draw with GM So and could not even beat him once. haha.. try to imagine their score:

    GM So: (1w/0L/3D)

    GM Ivanchuk: (0w/1L/3D)

  • 2 years ago


    Wesley will no longer play for PHL. He is set to join the US Chess Federation. 

    Good luck Wesley! 

  • 2 years ago


    GM So will win! Nice to see him with chucky in round 4.. A very tough game! I think Wesley So's parents live in CANADA. I don't know what is the particular place but they permanently lived there.

  • 2 years ago


    so glad to see Chucky back on the top!! I'm sure he can still win the tournament! Give your opinion on ICU, we'll check after who was right :) http://ichallengeyou.net/ICU997280231

  • 2 years ago


    @FM chesskingdreamer  

    Typo, thx, corrected.

  • 2 years ago


    Good Luck Vassily!

    Удачі Василю!

  • 2 years ago


    @CP6033 I'll end up back in Edmonton, but for the first, oh, 25 years I lived there, I had never heard of a chess scene of any kind.

  • 2 years ago


    Phil_Major that is probably the third/fourth biggest chess playing province. The first is ontario, then Of course BC and then Quebec and Alberta are 3/4. Eric Hansen is from Edmonton.

  • 2 years ago


    > Aspiring Chess reporter
    Ivanchuk appears to be playing chess, that's all. It's not a good idea to play as much as he does if you see rating mountain climbing as the primary goal. He always plays in Havana, no need to be surprised there. Why don't you report on the actual chess, instead of sticking hollow phrases on people you don't know?

    How much of the So-Ivanchuk game was theory? Was Black already better out of the opening, or where did he get his advantage?

  • 2 years ago


    I love Edmonton! I had no idea people played chess there. 

  • 2 years ago


    It's almost strange to see the Canadian flag at a chessboard lol

  • 2 years ago



  • 2 years ago


    @Bab3s, Aaah Yes, he probably overestimated the Knight sac and underestimated Qa5 (if he saw it) 

  • 2 years ago


    Walang kalabang maituturing,,,it's only Chucky to challenge GM Wesley So. But GM So got a good game against Panjwani in rd 3. We call it "madugo".

  • 2 years ago


    "Krush Irinia?? (In the standings.)"

    Don't worry, up in Edmonton (where it matters) they're spelling her name correctly.

  • 2 years ago

    NM Bab3s

    @sco-ish Haessel probably thought he had a clever tactic in ...e4, but there's Ne1 Ba1 Qa1 0-0 Nf6 Kh8 Nd7 Ne5 Nf8 Qf8 Be4

  • 2 years ago

    FM backreg

    I love it when Chucky is on fire.

  • 2 years ago

    IM chesskingdreamer

    Krush Irinia?? (In the standings.)

  • 2 years ago


    I'm sorry Peter but did Mr. Haessel really just blunder a piece against Shankland like that??

  • 2 years ago


    we are happy to have Wesley here in Edmonton chess tourney 2014.

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