Canadian Open Chess Championship
The Canadian Open Chess Championship is Canada's Open chess championship, first held in 1956, and held annually since 1973, usually in mid-summer. It is organized by the Chess Federation of Canada. The event celebrated its 50th rendition in 2013.
It was organized every two years from 1956 until 1970. The tournament rotates around the country, and has been held in seven of Canada's ten provinces during its 60-year history. The format has usually been a Swiss system with nine or ten rounds, usually over a nine-day period. It is open to all players who wish to enter, from Grandmasters to beginners.
The Championship's list of winners has included some of the world's strongest players, including Grandmasters Boris Spassky (in 1971, while he was World chess champion), Bent Larsen, Alexei Shirov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Viktor Bologan, Artur Yusupov, Bu Xiangzhi, Alexander Moiseenko, Kevin Spraggett, Ljubomir Ljubojević, Larry Evans, Pal Benko, William Lombardy, Gyula Sax, Igor Vasilyevich Ivanov, Walter Browne, Tony Miles, Larry Christiansen, Joel Benjamin, Eduardas Rozentalis, Vladimir Tukmakov, Jonathan Rowson, Luke McShane, Vladimir Epishin, Vladimir Malaniuk, Pentala Harikrishna, Alexander Shabalov, Nigel Short, Eric Hansen, and many other top stars.
The first tournament in Montreal 1956 was noteworthy for the presence of 13-year-old Bobby Fischer, a future World chess champion, who tied for 8-12th places. Montreal 1974 saw the largest attendance to date, with 648 players. Ottawa 2007 set a tournament record with 22 Grandmasters participating. Canadian Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett has the record for most titles with eight (either clear first or shared). Laszlo Witt made the only perfect score (9-0) at Ottawa 1962. Mark Bluvshtein is the youngest champion, at age 17 at Edmonton in 2005. Daniel Yanofsky was the oldest champion, at age 54, also in Edmonton in 1979. Toronto has hosted the most Opens with ten, followed by Ottawa with seven and Edmonton with six.
The 2014 edition was held in Montreal from July 19-26. In 2015, no tournament was held. In 2016, the Open will be in Windsor, Ontario from July 10-17.
List of winners and tournament sites
- Canadian Chess Champions compiled by David Cohen
- Canadian Open Chess Winners compiled by Jonathan Berry