2017 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
First and second row from left to right: Grade 1 to 12: Richard Guo (ON), Greta Qu (ON), Kevin Zhong (QC), Max Chen (ON), Nameer Issani (ON), Qiuyu Huang (QC), Shawn Rogrigue-Lemieux (QC), Svitlana Demchenko (ON), Hairan Liang (ON), Richard Chen (ON), Joseph Bellissimo (ON) and Razvan Preotu (ON).

120 provincial champions, 12 per province, gathered at the University of Toronto, in Ontario, on Victoria Day weekend for the ultimate school competition of the year: the Canadian Chess Challenge, a tournament organized by the Chess’n Math Association which aims to proclaim the national champion by grade.

The Chess'n Math Association hosted this 29th edition and received the representatives of each province like true champions. Among the competitors, there were four experts, seven Canadian masters, five FIDE masters and for the first time ever at the Canadian Chess Challenge one grand master. GM Razvan Preotu from Burlington, Ontario, won four Canadian titles in 2008, 2009, 2010 and this year in 2017 with a perfect performance!

After a day of festivities, (visit at the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, simultaneous with GM Razvan Preotu, banquet and the traditional blitz), the players were finally ready for the big moment.

The tournament began on Sunday morning with the official entry of the ten teams. Under the sound of bagpipes, the teams marched into the hall carrying their provincial flags. Following the national anthem, the players shook hands and played their first move.


                                                            The teams make their entrance

For the past eight years, the Ontario team has continued to reign. The traditional scenario was about to happen again. Team Ontario and team Quebec, these two great teams, had together 11 players rated between 2120 and 2678. What a force!

As in previous years, from the first to the eighth round, Quebec and Ontario were side by side with eight points and won all their matches. And as usual, the top two teams competed in the ninth and final round. As they sat down, the Quebec players knew that they had to win the match to win the tournament; a draw would not suffice because Ontario had picked up more individual points.

Ready to fight, the Quebec team realized their faith soon in the game. The game ended by a score of 9-3 in favor of Ontario. One of their best performance! The Ontario team collected 10 medals, including 9 golds tying their record of 2001 for the most gold medals, while Quebec brought home 8 medals, including 3 golds.




                                                                      Top three teams 


Provinces   Gold    Silver  Bronze 
British Columbia 33
Alberta 24
Saskatchewan   3
Prince Edward Island 11
New Brunswick 1 

British Columbia finished in third place earning 6 medals, winning all their matches with the exception of Quebec (8/4) and Ontario (9/3).  

Alberta came in fourth place with six wins, losing only against the top three teams. They took home 6 medals tying their own record for the most medals. 

But what about the performance of Manitoba who finished in the top 5, the last time was in 2012, and Saskatchewan who tied their own record of 3 medals! 

Prince Edward Island is the Most Improved Team of the competition jumping from 10th place to 6th (tying for 5th), first team to ever jump more than three places. They scored 20.5 points more than last year, which is the second biggest increase ever. PEI, the Top Atlantic Team, also won 2 medals, one in grade 6 and the other in grade 8 where Kevin Bu tied for first but lost in the playoff.

The battle for the top: 

Five players had a perfect score of 9-0 and four of them belong to the Ontario delegation. Congratulations to Greta Qu (ON, Grade 2), Max Chen (ON, Grade 4), FM Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux (QC, Grade 7), CM Richard Chen (ON, Grade 10) and GM Razvan Preotu (ON, Grade 12) for their amazing performances!

​The Most Valuable Player Award, given to the player who scores the highest percentage of points on their team, went to Sam Song from New Brunswick (grade 11). In his case, he scored 23.5% of his team's points. Wow!

​11 girls participated in the tournament! Just like 2013 and 2014, two of them were victorious: Greta Qu (Ontario, grade 2) and Svitlana Demchenko (Ontario, Grade 8). Also among the prizewinners were Abigail Sorgard (Saskatchewan), who placed third in grade 1. Go girls!

​Seven 2016 champions returned to defend their title. Four were successful: Max Chen (ON-Gr.4), Nameer Issani (ON-gr.5), Qiuyu Huang (QC-gr. 6) and Richard Chen (ON-gr.10).



                                                  Sam Song: Most Valuable Player

The winner of the Best Team Shirt contest was Prince Edward Island with a giant mean shark representing their province. It was followed by Manitoba and Nova Scotia. The $350 prize was divided between the three provinces.


                                                                                                Best T-Shirts

The Yves Casaubon Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Leslie Armstrong and Chris Dawson.



​                                            Chris Dawson: an outstanding work for the live results on our website.

Here are the top 5 in each grade:

Grade 1

1Richard GuoOntario8.5/9
2Matthew IvanescuAlberta7.5/9
3Abigail SorgardSaskatchewan6.5/9
4Codrin PompasBritish Columbia6.5/9
5Nikita RamamonjisoaQuebec5.0/9

Grade 1 champion: Richard Guo

Grade 2

1Greta QuOntario9.0/9
2Alex Jikai YanQuebec8.0/9
3Leo LinSaskatchewan6.5/9
4Ethan SongBritish Columbia6.5/9
5Elazar SchwartzManitoba5.0/9


Grade 2 champion: Greta Qu

Grade 3

1Kevin ZhongQuebec8.5/9
2Anthony AtanasovOntario7.0/9
3Eric JiangBritish Columbia7.0/9
4Anand Rishi ChandraAlberta6.5/9
5Peter VoPrince Edward Island5.0/9


Grade 3 champion: Kevin Zhong 

Grade 4

1Max ChenOntario9.0/9
2Vishruth SharmaAlberta7.5/9
3Andrew XuBritish Columbia6.5/9
4Kevin LiuQuebec6.0/9
5Martin RiquelmeManitoba5.0/9


Grade 4 champion: Max Chen

Grade 5

1Nameer IssaniOntario8.5/9
2David CraciunQuebec7.5/9
3Paul WangAlberta7.0/9
4Lucian WuBritish Columbia6.5/9
5Ievgeniia Diana FurdaManitoba4.5/9


Grade 5 champion: Nameer Issani

Grade 6

1Qiuyu HuangQuebec8.5/9
2Neil DoknjasBritish Columbia8.0/9
3Dongze WuPrince Edward Island6.5/9
4Max EnglandOntario5.5/9
5Max RussoManitoba4.5/9


Grade 6 champion: Qiuyu Huang

** Did you notice the beautiful pins on Qiuyu's cap? At the National, the players exchange pins from their home province, it's a tradition. 

Grade 7

1Shawn Rodrigue-LemieuxQuebec9.0/9
2Leo QuBritish Columbia7.5/9
3Ian ZhaoAlberta7.0/9
4Benjamin LinOntario6.5/9
5Arnab KunduPrince Edward Island5.0/9


Grade 7 champion: Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux

Grade 8

1Svitlana DemchenkoOntario9.0/10
2Yi Huan BuPrince Edward Island8.0/10
3Daniel WeiSaskatchewan6.0/9
4Zi Yu GuanQuebec6.0/9
5Brett RussellNewfoundland4.0/9


Grade 8 champion: Svitlana Demchenko

Grade 9

1Hairan LiangOntario9.5/10
2Joshua DoknjasBritish Columbia8.5/10
3Run Kun FanQuebec6.5/9
4Derek MaManitoba6.5/9
5Ruiqian DaiSaskatchewan5.0/9

Grade 9 champion: Hairan Liang

Grade 10

1Richard ChenOntario9.0/9
2Ananda SahaQuebec8.0/9
3Andre Angelo TolentinoAlberta5.5/9
4Matthew GengBritish Columbia5.0/9
5Dulhan Naidappuwa WadugeNova Scotia4.0/9


Grade 10 champion: Richard Chen

Grade 11

1Joseph BellissimoOntario8.5/9
2Sam SongNew Brunswick8.0/9
3Brandon ZhuBristish Columbia7.0/9
4Linda ShiQuebec4.5/9
4Brock BeachManitoba4.5/9
4Gary McKeownNewfoundland4.5/9

Grade 11 champion: Joseph Bellissimo

Grade 12

1Razvan PreotuOntario9.0/9
2Olivier Kenta Chiku-RattéQuebec7.0/9
3Diwen ShiAlberta7.0/9
4John DoknjasBritish Columbia6.5/9
5Jong Su KimNew Brunswick4.5/9

Grade 12 champion: Razvan Preotu

Comments of Leslie Armstrong, Ontario team captain: I'm very proud of the way my team performed. They are a great group of kids. Tying the record for the most gold medals was exciting as well.

Comments from Lefong Hua, Quebec team captain: The 2017 Quebec Team was very strong, but Ontario was once again superior. We lost to Ontario 9-3, and we have no choice but to raise our hats and congratulate them on one of the most dominant performances in recent years.


Teams photos

Photos of the festivities:

           Simultaneous on Saturday at the Westmore Dining Hall 

It was the very first time that a Grand Master participated at the Canadian Chess Challenge. For the occasion, GM Razvan Preotu kindly gave a simultaneous. 26 players played against Razvan and only Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux managed to beat him. David Craciun managed to pull a draw.

The traditional blitz was also part of the festivities. The young Kevin Liu (QC) won in the U1500. In the open section, Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux (QC), Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratté (QC), Qiuyu Huang (QC) and Richard Chen (ON) finished in first place, but Shawn officially won by computer tiebreak.

Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratté and Linda Shi, from Quebec, won the Bughouse. Lots of fun!!

Time to relax after the first day of the tournament. Team Quebec celebrates the birthday of their flag bearer and leader: Olivier Kenta. Beautiful team spirit!

The Quebec team is lucky to have a captain so involved and passionate in Lefong Hua (right bottom)! It was his 12th year as captain.

​FM Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratté against GM Razvan Preotu in the last round.

​Thanks to these two great players and much success for their future!

The Chess'n Math Association thanks you and invites you in Newfoudland for the Cananadian Chess Challenge 2018!


Scholar's Mate and Échec au Roi would like to thank Victoria Doknjas and Lefong Hua for their beautiful pictures! 

For more photos of the Canadian Chess Challenge, see:

- Photos from Lefong Hua 

- Photos from Victoria Doknjas on the CMA's Facebook page


For complete results, see:

Ratings CCC 2017

Results CCC 2017



About us

The Chess and Math Association (CMA) is a non-profit organization which, with our provincial coordinators, aims to promote chess in schools in Canada.