I would like to start by thanking all attendees and spectators who attended the 2022 Newfoundland Open Chess Championship tournament this weekend. Our final count was a whopping 28 attendees, which may be one of the largest NL Opens ever held. It is incredibly motivating to see the sustained interest in chess within the province, along with some remarkable (and dramatic!) games that occurred as a result.
I’d like to thank Morgen Mills, Chris White, and Jordan Berson for their help this weekend with entering results and observing the tournament. Simply put, I could not have managed running this event without their assistance, especially while also participating as a player. Jordan also designed our scoresheets for the event and picked up some supplies (water and pens) for all players. It is things like this that really make for a great player experience. I’d also like to thank Heather May of the MUN Chess Club for booking the location of EN-4000 multiple times on our behalf, which was a great venue.
For those who have been following the fantastic photographs that have been uploaded to the Facebook group, these are the work of Brian Carey, a local photographer who also participated in the event. The expressions of focus and enjoyment have been captured in an astounding way, and those photos will be treasured by both participants and myself. Please consider checking out more of Brian’s work.
Prior to the final day, the trophy was in the care of Alick Tsui, who was running the NLCA when I first began competitive chess in 2009. While Alick hasn’t been directly involved with chess for a few years, his work does not go unnoticed, especially when it contributed to my formative years in the game I love today. We were also visited by Brian Oliver who had graciously donated six books from his large chess book collection, which were distributed by random draw prior to the final round. Brian happens to be my first rated chess opponent and so also holds a special place in Newfoundland chess.
I would like to give a special thank you to Roger Langen, a 7-time winner of the NL Open himself (including the very first in 1969, and as recent as 2018!). It was Roger who commissioned the trophy that has been passed from winner to winner since the very first event, and to have him say a few words prior to the final round really made the event something special. Roger and I are now in communication regarding potentially finding a public display location for the trophy to be homed, given it has a history of over 60 years of provincial chess behind it. With any luck he will increase that number to 8 wins in the future!
Of note was the participation of two Ukrainian players, Kostiantyn Myroniuk and Maria Nyzhnyk. Both players contacted me in the two weeks leading up to the event, and I was happy to see a strong performance from both. I hope to see both strong players at future events and will aim to work on my own knowledge of the Ukrainian language to become less reliant on Google Translate!
Finally, it is with great pleasure to announce that our 2022 Newfoundland Chess Champion is Husam Al Rimawi, who moved from Jordan this year to study Data Science at Memorial University. From my conversation with Husam, he has already fallen in love with our province, and I am happy to see him awarded the trophy after an incredible perfect score of 5/5.
The final prize distribution can be seen below:
1st with 5/5: Husam Al Rimawi ($315)
Tie 2nd-5th with 4/5: Kostiantyn Myroniuk, Morgen Mills, Anthony Leonard, Ryan Pickard ($105 each)
Top Junior with 3/5: Evan Fang ($75)
Final Crosstable can be seen below, along with some pictures of the winners and the trophy taken from the updated gallery uploaded by Brian Carey.
I may not be able to submit the event in time for this week’s rating by the CFC (I have been catching up on work and some personal commitments), so ratings and memberships may not be updated until the following week. I will post again once new membership can be viewed.
The future of chess in the province is bright – please stay tuned as I plan for at least one other event to be held before the end of this year.
NLCA Tournament Director