​1st row form right to left: K- Félix Ciufudean, Grade 1- Nikita Ramamonjisoa, Grade 2- Alex Jikai Yan, Grade 3- Kevin Zhong, Grade 4- Kevin Liu, Grade 5- David Craciun, Grade 6- Qiuyu Huang, Second row from right to left: Grade 7- FM Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux, Grade 8- Zi Yu Guan, Grade 9- Run Kun Fan, Grade 10- Ananda Saha, Grade 11- Linda Shi, Grade 12- FM Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratté and Lefong Hua, captain of the Quebec Team.

438 young champions from all over Quebec were invited to participate in the 29th edition of the Quebec Chess Challenge by Grade, a five round tournament held in Montreal at the Reception Hall The Rizz on April 30th. The best players in each school grade were crowned as the Quebec champions, earning them a spot on the provincial team at the national Canadian Chess Challenge.

This year keen interest and incredible participation gave us the idea to do a two-part report: the competitive side with our new champions and a second part about the degree of popularity of chess with our young students from across Quebec.

Competitive level:

First of all, this tournament invited only the best players in Quebec (except for kindergarten kids where it was open to all). To play the Provincial, you must either be in the top 10 of your school grade or qualify in a qualifying tournament. To give you an idea of the strength of the competition, no less than 11 players already titled took part in this tournament including three Experts, four Canadian Masters and four FIDE Masters.

Nine players in eight different sections finished with a perfect 5-0 scores and for one of them it wasn't enough to win first place. The perfect scores belong to Félix Ciufudean, Nikita Ramamonjisoa, Alex Jikai Yan, Kevin Zhong, Prince Éric Guipi Bopala, Kevin Liu, Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux, Run Kun Fan and Linda Shi. 

The fight for the title continued with playoff games in five sections. Kevin Liu won the title against Prince Eric Guipi Bopala in grade 4, David Craciun won in grade 5 against Julia Tsukerman in two playoff games (Wow!), Qiuyu Huang managed to keep his title for the sixth consecutive year against Léo Richard in grade 6, Zi Yu Guan won against William Zhao and against last year's winner Gabriel Philip Tinica in grade 8 while last year winner, Ananda Saha, snatched the title to Zachary Saine by Armageddon no less in grade 10. A true battle of nerves!

​The twelve provincial grade champions will represent Quebec on May 21-22 at the nationals in Toronto, Ontario. Some of the 2017 champions, Alex Jikai Yan, Qiuyu Huang and Run Kun Fan, already have Canadian titles to their credit. Good luck, Québec!

​** Lefong Hua, the Quebec Team captain, trains some of the best players and set up a great video between games with his players who participated at the Quebec Chess Challenge. The link is at the end of this article.



1Félix CiufudeanDelson5.0/5.0
2Sebastian ArevaloMontreal5.0/6.0
3Gavin DuMontreal5.0/7.0
4Matisse GélinasDelson4.0/6.0
5Rae ChenMontreal3.5/5.0
6Lynn KeLasalle3.0/5.0
7Aaron LouMontreal3.0/5.0
8Edouard WangMontreal3.0/5.0
9Avery XiaoMount-Royal3.0/5.0
10Michael Han-Xiang YuMontreal2.5/5.0

Sebastian Arevalo won the playoff against Gavin Du.

Gavin Du won the playoff against Matisse Gélinas.

                                         Top 3 - Kindergarten

Grade 1

1Nikita RamamonjisoaMontreal5.0/5.0
2Saad MemonMontreal4.0/5.0
3William BenzacarMontreal4.0/5.0
4Evan XuanVerdun4.0/5.0
5Luca Georgescu-NicolauMount-Royal4.0/5.0
6Loïc BoutinQuebec4.0/5.0
7Michael ZhangMontreal4.0/5.0
8Chen ChenBrossard4.0/5.0
9Yunqi LiuBrossard4.0/5.0
10Victor Nicolae IordanescuMontreal4.0/5.0

                                   Top 3 - Grade 1 

Grade 2

1Alex Jikai YanVerdun5.0/5.0
2Lily MaLaval4.5/5.0
3Mathéo HuardRouyn-Noranda4.0/5.0
4Christophe DufresneRouyn-Noranda4.0/5.0
5Emanuel KotRawdon4.0/5.0
6Eric LiuLachine4.0/5.0
7Barron Jiyu JiangMontreal4.0/5.0
8Zhehaoran LongSt-Laurent4.0/5.0
9Ica HeMontreal4.0/5.0
10Yuanen HouSt-Adolphe-d'Howard4.0/5.0

Grade 2 champion: Alex Yan.                             The Top 3

​Alex: 2-time Quebec champion and Canadian champion 2016.

Grade 3

1Kevin ZhongPierrefonds5.0/5.0
2Alexander ChangMontreal5.5/6.0
3Richard BocanMontreal4.5/6.0
4Gwyn ChapdelaineMontreal4.0/5.0
5Raphaël TardyMontreal4.0/5.0
6Annie Le Yi LiSt-Laurent4.0/5.0
7Zekai HeLachine4.0/5.0
8Benjamin RoyMontreal4.0/5.0
9Mathieu BéliveauBoischatel4.0/5.0
10Freddy XueKirkland4.0/5.0

Alexander Chang won the playoff against Richard Bocan.

             The Top 3 - Grade 3 champion: Kevin Zhong

Kevin: 3-time Quebec champion.

Grade 4

1Kevin LiuMontreal6.0/6.0
2Prince Éric Guipi BopalaBlainville5.0/6.0
3Richard Q. ZhengMontreal4.0/5.0
4Zhong Xuan LiMontreal4.0/5.0
5Edouard Fernandez BustoMontreal4.0/5.0
6Edgar CaoSt-Laurent4.0/5.0
7Ankita JainWestmount4.0/5.0
8Anthony NavalaSt-Laurent4.0/5.0
9Julien Bassaletti BeauleSherbrooke4.0/5.0
10Jiacong LiPointe-Claire4.0/5.0

​Kevin Liu won the playoff against Prince Éric Guipi Bopala.

                                  The Top 2 - Grade 4 

Grade 5

1David CraciunMontreal6.0/7.0
2Julia TsukermanMontreal5.0/7.0
3Haruaki OmichiMontreal4.0/5.0
4Anahita FarahdelNotre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot4.0/5.0
5Ziyi ZhongMontreal4.0/5.0
6Waleed Adelene BelaidMontreal4.0/5.0
7Jiaqi HeLachine4.0/5.0
8Hunter WeiSt-Laurent3.5/5.0
9Yu Xi HeAnjou3.5/5.0
10Storm LeiWestmount3.5/5.0

David Craciun won after two playoffs against Julia Tsukerman.

                              The Top 3                                 Grade 5 champion: David Craciun

**Top left photo: David Craciun against last year winner Haruaki Omichi.

Grade 6

1Qiuyu HuangMontreal5.5/6.0
2Léo RichardLorraine4.5/6.0
3Owen LiuLaval4.0/5.0
4Daniel-Tianqi YuMontreal4.0/5.0
5Isabelle WangMontreal4.0/5.0
6Tyler TanakaWestmount4.0/5.0
7Eric LuMontreal4.0/5.0
8Benjamin YuSt-Laurent4.0/5.0
9Hugo LarocheSt-Cyrille-de-Wendover3.5/5.0
10William DobsonLaval3.5/5.0

Qiuyu Huang won the playoff against Léo Richard.

                                  The Top 3                                  Grade 6 champion: Qiuyu Huang

​CM Qiuyu: 6-time Quebec champion and Canadian champion 2016 - 2015 - 2014 and 2013.


Grade 7

1Shawn Rodrigue-LemieuxMontreal5.0/5.0
2Wenxuan ZhongMontreal5.0/6.0
3Alexis DemersLongueuil4.0/6.0
4Francis DuretteAnjou3.5/5.0
5Caroline WangLongueuil3.5/5.0
6Xi Ming YuBrossard3.0/5.0
7Leo ShiSt-Laurent3.0/5.0
8Mathias GrandmontDrummondville3.0/5.0
9Tong Cheng WeiBrossard3.0/5.0
10Yushi WangMontreal3.0/5.0

Wenxuan Zhong won the playoff against Alexis Demers.

               The Top 3              Grade 7 champion: Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux

​​FM Shawn: 3-time Quebec champion.

Grade 8

1Zi Yu GuanSainte-Anne-de-Bellevue6.0/7.0
2Gabriel Philip TinicaMontreal5.0/7.0
3William ZhaoLongueuil4.0/7.0
4Muyuan YangSt-Laurent3.5/5.0
5Susan CaiMontreal3.5/5.0
6Jack GeDorval3.0/5.0
7Tony LiMontreal3.0/5.0
8Allison TsypinPointe-Claire2.5/5.0
9Alec YuSt-Laurent2.5/5.0
10Marin KiryakovMontreal2.0/5.0

Gabriel Philip Tinica won the playoff against William Zhao.

Zi Yu Guan won the playoff against William Zhao.

Zi Yu Guan won the playoff against Gabriel Philip Tinica.

  The Top 1 and 3            Champion Zi Yu Guan against Allison Tsypin

​Zi Yu: 2-time Quebec champion.

Grade 9

1Run Kun FanBrossard5.0/5.0
2Hou Han ZhangÎle Bizard3.5/5.0
3Maïli-Jade OuelletSt-Lambert3.0/5.0
4Étienne LatreilleVal-des-Monts3.0/5.0
5Alexandru CiufudeanDelson3.0/5.0

                                        The Top 3                          Grade 9 champion: Run Kun Fan

​Run Kun: 4-time Quebec champion and Canadian champion 2010 and 2009.

Grade 10

1Ananda SahaMontreal6.5/8.0
2Zachary SaineOutremont5.5/8.0
3Cindy YuKirkland3.0/5.0
4Matthieu Johnson-ConstantinMontreal3.0/5.0
5Evan ZhangBrossard3.0/5.0

First playoff: Ananda Saha against Zachary Saine: ½-½.

Second playoff: Ananda Saha against Zachary Saine: ½-½.

Armageddon: Ananda Saha wins against Zachary Saine.

                                        The Top 3                               Grade 10 champion: Ananda Saha

Ananda: 3-time Quebec champion.

Grade 11

1Linda ShiMontreal5.0/5.0
2Michaël SimoneauDrummondville3.5/5.0
3Zilong XueMontreal3.0/5.0
4Pinchas AntalMontreal3.0/5.0
5Benjamin Bonneau-LandrySt-Denis-de-Brompton2.5/5.0

                         The Top 3 - Grade 11 champion: Linda Shi

​Linda: 2-time Quebec champion.

Grade 12

1Olivier Kenta Chiku-RattéMontreal4.5/5.0
2Hong Rui ZhuMontreal3.5/5.0
3Zong Yang YuMontreal3.0/5.0
4George LiMontreal3.0/5.0
5Yu Qing LiuVerdun1.0/5.0


                      Grade 12 champion: Olivier Kenta Chiku-Ratté

FM Olivier Kenta: 4-time Quebec champion.

Chess popularity level in Quebec:

It is undeniable to affirm that our students have fun playing chess and it is undeniable that they get benefits that come with the practice of chess. Chess'n Math Association started in 1985 with the idea to promote chess to our youngsters in schools. And that idea grew more and more since then all over Canada. There's nothing like seeing a kindergarten kid who loves playing chess. For him, he's just discovering a fascinating new game, for us, he's just beginning to receive all the advantages that come with the practice of chess. It's not by chance that chess is thought in most of our schools. It is proven to be the ideal learning tool for kids, but what about the benefits in their social and cultural development?! This game that is played since forever and all over the world also brings understanding and attraction to different cultures.

Here, in Quebec, we practice this game in every cities and municipalities. You just have to look at the Top 10 list in second grade: Rouyn-Noranda, Rawdon, Lachine, St-Adolphe-d'Howard ... and the list extends all over the place when we look through the 438 participants!. A huge thanks to our regional coordinators who don't count their hours for this cause and some of them work at it for more then ten years!

Take a look at the Quebec Chess Challenge 2017:

The Quebec Chess Challenge Coordinator welcomes everyone and steps down for the Tournament Director and the Chief Referee. It's about to start!

438 players from all over Quebec - Assistant (Claude Lalumière) and Chief Referee (Thierry Libersan). A work of pro!

We listen to the instructions and the tournament begins!

It's all about concentration!

Champions at work!

They take photos between games, they wait and they take a little nap.

Scholastic chess tournaments can be challenging for parents!

Thank you, parents!

The whole team thanks you!

​Virginie Roux, Tournament Director and  Maria Manuri, Quebec Chess Challenge Coordinator, invite you for next year!

​Special thanks to Lefong Hua for his photos and to our photographer Vadim Tsypin.

Tournament results

Lefong Hua and his photos

Photo album: Vadim Tsypin

VIDEO: Click on the next photo to see the video made by Lefong Hua at the Quebec Chess Challenge. Video on YouTube:



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.