"It was Valentine's Day and love was in the air-
"You didn't let me finish! I was going to say a love of chess was in the air..."
"That's a dumb way to start a tournament wrap-up."
"Would you stop interrupting me and just let me write it?!"
"Fine. Get on with it though."
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, it was Valentine's Day and a love of chess was in the air. Sunday, February 14th marked Chess'n Math's sole February tournament and the first of two Regional Qualifiers to the 2016 Ontario Chess Challenge (OCC) in Toronto. As always the tournament took place at the Glebe Community Center, and games themselves ran from about noon until just after three in the afternoon.
A field of 30 players competed amongst their grade levels, with top spot in each grade earning an entry to OCC. In order to create balanced pairings, several grades were combined into supergroups, however for qualification purposes players were competing only against players in the same grade as themselves. In addition, the top ten rated players across Ontario qualified for the OCC automatically, and a couple were present at this very tournament.
Grade 1 & 2: If this supergroup was a superhero it would have been the Flash- at times players moved so quickly that pieces became blurs. After a double round robin in which Vincent Qin prevailed with a perfect score, Jonathan Han and Vincent qualified for grade 1 and grade 2 respectively. Jason Zhang also qualified for grade 1 by way of rating!
Grade 3: Dylan Li continued his tremendously successful 2015-2016 season by winning with a perfect score. Due to Dylan's top ten rating, second place finisher Andrew Pi also qualified for the OCC!
Grade 4: Richard Feng held off a dangerous looking bunch to preserve his perfect score and win the grade! Group member Shougan Gu also qualified!
Grade 5: Veteran Chess'n Math-er David Gan turned in a dominant performance and like each many other qualifiers walked away with a perfect score. Someone tell these champs it's OK to lose once in awhile!
Middle School (Grade 6, 7, 8): In this supergroup Larry Ju (gr. 7) and Benjamin Yu (gr. 6) cruised to 4.5 / 5 scores, drawing only against one another! They qualified along with fellow group member Michael Zhang (gr. 8). Congrats to all!
High School (Grade 9-12): Similarly to the grade 1 & 2 group, the high school section also played a double round robin format. While grade 9ers Terry Ju and Caroline Chen dominated the standings, only one could qualify, and 1.5/2 record in favour of Terry was enough to win him the qualification spot. Meanwhile Justine Agor and Rodel Tinio flew under the radar and yet qualified all the same! You couldn't make this stuff up.
And that, as they say, is that! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who came out. You can see the full standings here. For those still hoping to qualify for the OCC...
ATTENTION ALL CHESS PLAYERS: There is another tournament coming up soon! CMA's March tournament offers a second chance at qualifying for the OCC. That's going down Sunday, March 13th at the Glebe Community Center. This tournament is going to be one of the best of the year, as spots in the Ontario Chess Challenge and the possibility of getting an expenses paid trip to the Canadian Chess Challenge are on the line! Check it out here: http://chess-math.org/event/regional-qualifiers-ontario-chess-challenge-ottawa