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April 2022 Upcoming Events and Pre-registration

Hi all!

I’d like to announce additional information on the two events planned for this month, as well as advance registration links.


Date: Saturday April 9th, from 1pm-5:30pm. Registration on-site to close at 12:40pm sharp. There will be short 5-10 minute break between rounds.

Location: EN-4000 (fourth floor of MUN Engineering building)
Format: Swiss (i.e. everyone plays all rounds). 5 rounds.
Time control: Game in 15 minutes, with 10 second increment added after every move.
Entry fee: FREE
Prizes: I will be donating a few chess books – top 3 will get their choice in that order.

April Rapid Warm-up pre-registration (helps me understand likely attendance): Google Forms Link


Date: Friday April 29th to May 1st.
Round 1: April 29th 7pm (Registration closes at 6:40pm SHARP)
Rounds 2 and 3: April 30th 10am and 2:30pm
Rounds 4 and 5: May 1st 10am and 2:30pm
Location:: EN-4000, 4th floor the of MUN Engineering building (CONFIRMED)

Format: Swiss (i.e. everyone plays all rounds). 5 rounds. 1 bye may be requested for a given round – you will be awarded 1/2pt for any requested bye that is not round 5.
Time control: Game in 75 minutes, with 30 seconds increment added after every move (games may be over 3 hours total).
CFC Membership: REQUIRED. Currently priced at $44 a year, or $29 for Juniors (birth year of 2002 or later). This can either be paid to me directly on-site or online at Good for all CFC events across the country.
Entry fee: $15 – Entry fee is WAIVED if you are a new or renewing CFC member (need only provide proof of renewal in April, or I can purchase on your behalf).
Prizes: Cash prizes with exact structure to be determined upon completion of Round 1. Prize fund = All Entry Fees – CFC rating fees ($3 per adult, $1.50 per junior)

April Open Pre-registration: Google Forms Link

Please note: Masks will be required at all times for these events to adhere to current MUN regulations.

If you are unsure about competing in a Classical event, the Warm-up event provides a great low-commitment opportunity to test the waters. As far as Classical events go, I want to hold a second event in the summer, followed by the Newfoundland Open in either late August or early September. This is essentially our provincial championship, with the holding the NL Open trophy for a year – this trophy has been passed from winner to winner since the 1960s. The current reigning champion is Jordan Berson, who won the last NL Open in 2019.

Any updates to the above information will be posted on the local chess Facebook group as well as the website at (which we are looking at revamping). As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me here or via email at

Anthony Leonard (NL Tournament Director)

2022 March Update – Upcoming Events

— The below is a copy of a post made to the NLCA Facebook group. Updates will be posted both to the group and the website while we revamp the NLCA. — -AL

Hi all,

First, I wanted to thank everyone who filled out the survey in my previous post. It gave us a lot of information on interest for events this coming year, and there is definitely a lot of interest from all skill levels and backgrounds!

I wanted to provide some updates for those wondering about events. I am hoping to run TWO events in the month of April:

  • Unrated Rapid – A 4-5 round Swiss event that will not require a CFC membership. For time control it will likely be something similar to 15 minutes + 10 second increment that you’d see on the Champions Chess Tour that has been pretty popular. The whole event would take about 4-5 hours to complete. The goal here is to introduce over-the-board tournament play to those who are unsure about participating in CFC events going forward. We may run one of these from time to time but the focus will be on Rated events.

  • Rated Classical – a 4-5 round Swiss event that will require a CFC membership, for NL this is $44 a year. These events are rated by the Chess Federation of Canada, which is the national governing body for chess in the country. Classical events are basically a weekend committment – typically the format is one round on Friday night, two rounds on Saturday, and one or two rounds on Sunday (5th round only if registration numbers require it). Time controls for NL events used to be anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes with 30 second increment, so expect games to last 3-4 hours each. 1/2 pt requested byes can be provided for all except the last round if advance notice is given.

The target dates are April 9th or 10th for the Unrated Rapid, and the weekend of April 29th-May 1st for the Rated Classical. I am waiting to hear back on bookings at the University to confirm exact dates and times, so keep an eye out. A few additional notes:

  • Currently, the university requires masking for university events, which will extend to these tournaments as well. If there are any updates to university policy I will post them once confirmed.
  • Depending on the rooms we are able to get, we may need to impose a cap on entrants. As a result, advanced registration will be required. This will make things easier on the tournament director (myself) in terms of pairings, byes, etc.

This is mostly preliminary information to keep people in the loop. Any updates, confirmed dates/times, and registration will be posted here as well as the site at While the site is a out of date we are looking at potentially modernizing it, but I want to ensure these updates are also there for reference (or if you want to share it with someone who is not a member of this group).

If there are any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments here or at

Anthony Leonard

NL Open 2019

# Player Old Perf New High Results Total
1 Berson, Jordan S. 2053 2037 2063 2201 +5 +2 +4 +6 =3 4.5
2 Huang, Xingbo 1827 1855 1832 24 +8 -1 =3 +0 +4 3.5
3 Efford, Daniel 1583 1846 1676 1676 +6 -4 =2 +8 =1 3.0
4 Martin, Steve 2003 1774 1972 2107 +7 +3 -1 +5 -2 3.0
5 Mahon, Gary 1582 1761 1629 19 -1 +8 +9 -4 +6 3.0
6 Gosse, Jonathan 0 1540 1540 5 -3 +7 +10 -1 -5 2.0
7 Wong, Danny 1336 1445 1372 12 -4 -6 -8 +10 +0 2.0
8 Negandhi, Amit 0 1404 1404 4 -2 -5 +7 -3 -0 1.0
9 Whelan, Martin 0 1345 1345 2 =10 =0 -5 -0 -0 1.0
10 Ozon, Blair R. 1636 1168 1461 8 =9 =0 -6 -7 -0 1.0

NL Open 2019

Our games corner presents games played in NL or by NLers. Email submissions are welcome, and we offer free analysis.
Three of Jordan Berson’s games from NL Open 2019. Games below were played at 120min+30second increment.

Jordan Berson Wins NL Open 2019

The Newfoundland and Labrador Open 2019 was held on the weekend of October 19-21 at the Guv’nor Inn and MUN Science Building. Jordan Berson won the event in clear first with an undefeated 4.5/5 score. This is his third NL Open win. Congratulations, Jordan!


Considering the long time control of 120 minutes + 30 seconds increment per game, playing five games in three days made for a gruelling event, but Jordan was up to the task. Two key games against second place Xingbo Huang and third place Steve Martin are included in the Games Corner link.

Congratulations also go out to Xingbo Huang, who finished in second place, just a half point behind Jordan with 4/5. Xingbo was also the only junior participating. Daniel Efford, Gary Mahon, and Steve Martin finished in a tie for third place, while Daniel won best performance prize with 3/5 and the biggest rating jump.

Ten players in total participated including three players – Martin Whelan, Amit Neghandi, and Jonathan Gosse – who were playing their first classical tournament. Blair Ozon and Gary Mahon were playing their first event in two years. Notable absences included the NL Open 2017 and 2018 champion Roger Langen, Ray MacIsaac, Morley Payne, and Nihad Dervisevic. We hope to see you playing again soon. Big thank you to Blair Ozon who donated a puzzle book and a Budapest Gambit book which were won by Xingbo Huang and Jonathan Gosse as door prizes.

The next event will be the weekend of November 29-December 1. It will be similar structure, but 60 minutes + 30 second increment per game. I hope to see some of you back for that event. Below is the complete crosstable with updated ratings. Thanks to everyone for participating! 🙂

# Player Old Perf New High Results Total
1 Berson, Jordan S. 2053 2037 2063 2201 +5 +2 +4 +6 =3 4.5
2 Huang, Xingbo 1827 1855 1832 24 +8 -1 =3 +0 +4 3.5
3 Efford, Daniel 1583 1846 1676 1676 +6 -4 =2 +8 =1 3.0
4 Martin, Steve 2003 1774 1972 2107 +7 +3 -1 +5 -2 3.0
5 Mahon, Gary 1582 1761 1629 19 -1 +8 +9 -4 +6 3.0
6 Gosse, Jonathan 0 1540 1540 5 -3 +7 +10 -1 -5 2.0
7 Wong, Danny 1336 1445 1372 12 -4 -6 -8 +10 +0 2.0
8 Negandhi, Amit 0 1404 1404 4 -2 -5 +7 -3 -0 1.0
9 Whelan, Martin 0 1345 1345 2 =10 =0 -5 -0 -0 1.0
10 Ozon, Blair R. 1636 1168 1461 8 =9 =0 -6 -7 -0 1.0

June Weekend Classical games

Our games corner presents games played in NL or by NLers. Email submissions are welcome, and we offer free analysis.
Games below were played at 60min+30second increment. The tournament itself was a 4-round weekend tournament won by Daniel Efford who scored 3/4.

Roger Langen Wins Nova Scotia Open

Our games corner presents games played in NL or by NLers. Email submissions are welcome, and we offer free analysis.
Roger is a friend of the NL chess community and celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this year. Happy Birthday, Roger! Two weekends ago, he won the Nova Scotia Open with a perfect 5/5 score. A couple of games could have gone either way, but he still showed a lot of great play in the event. Below are all of his games from that tournament (the annotations were provided by Roger).

Roger Langen Wins NL Open 2018

Roger Langen successfully defended his title as provincial champion and won over tough competition with a very nice 4/5 score. Congratulations Roger! This is his 7th NL Open win. The Newfoundland and Labrador Open 2018 was held at the MUN Engineering building in St. John’s from October 19-21.

Langen was instrumental in starting the annual championship in 1969 and in stirring interest in chess in the province in the 70’s. Winning the NL Open two years in a row – at 68 and 69 years of age – is a testament to his longevity and tenacity.

Four players finished a half point below Roger in shared 2nd with 3.5/5: Daley Merrigan, Nihad Dervisevic, Lawrence Cohen, and myself.
Under-1700 prize was shared between Ben Chislett and Jacob Burton with 2/5 points.

Congrats to all the winners! Here are the complete standings:

# Player Old Perf New High Results Total
1 Langen, Roger 2048 2158 2070 2288 +8 +15 +7 =6 =2 4.0
2 Cohen, Lawrence 1943 2163 1972 2026 =0 =0 +11 +3 =1 3.5
3 Merrigan, Daley 2077 2025 2060 15 +12 =6 +9 -2 +7 3.5
4 Martin, Steve 2107 2007 2096 2107 =0 -7 +16 +9 +6 3.5
5 Dervisevic, Nihad 2044 1900 2030 2113 +14 =0 -6 +11 +8 3.5
6 Kowsari, Mohammadreza 1930 2068 1979 1979 +13 =3 +5 =1 -4 3.0
7 McIsaac, Raymond 1891 1909 1895 1928 +16 +4 -1 =8 -3 2.5
8 Pickard, Ryan 1718 1854 1763 1763 -1 +14 +12 =7 -5 2.5
9 Fudge, Brandon 1816 1761 1796 11 =11 +0 -3 -4 +13 2.5
10 Byrne, Michael 1761 1657 1742 1761 -15 -11 +17 =12 +16 2.5
11 Chislett, Benjamin 1580 1772 1623 1623 =9 +10 -2 -5 =12 2.0
12 Huang, Xingbo 1744 1683 1714 10 -3 +13 -8 =10 =11 2.0
13 Burton, Jacob Stephen 1679 1681 1680 8 -6 -12 +14 +16 -9 2.0
14 Bamzad, Sayyedvahid 1702 1476 1573 7 -5 -8 -13 +0 +17 2.0
15 Berson, Jordan S. 2106 1905 2091 2201 +10 -1 -0 -0 -0 1.0
16 Payne, Morley 1611 1460 1582 1701 -7 +0 -4 -13 -10 1.0
17 Clowe, Issiah 1262 1332 1276 10 =0 -0 -10 =0 -14 1.0

Thanks to everyone for coming out. Daley Merrigan, Michael Byrne, and Ray McIsaac all came quite a long way from the west coast to play, while Morley Payne came for the second time this year from the Northern Peninsula. We also had Roger Langen from Nova Scotia and Lawrence Cohen who traveled here from the US.

Thanks so much to Mohammad Kowsari for booking the Engineering conference room playing area, and also the lounge nearby as an analysis room.
Also thanks to Jordan Berson for providing coffee and snacks on Saturday. 🙂
Thanks as well to Brian Oliver who donated several books as door prizes again this year. Almost everyone participating got a book, and there were some nice ones.

I have added some more pictures below. I’ll try to share some games from the event soon. Keep an eye on the ‘Games Corner’ link for updates. It was a pleasure to play and see you all. Hope to see you soon.

April Knights 2018

Our games corner presents games played in NL or by NLers. Email submissions are welcome, and we offer free analysis.
Below are all five of Jordan’s wins from the recent April 27-29 swiss event, including two miniatures. 🙂

GM Eric Hansen plays in 2018 February Knights

It’s rare for a Grandmaster to play in St. John’s or Newfoundland. GM Mark Bluvshtein played a Canadian Chess Challenge as an IM near Memorial University around 2002. And in 2013, GM Aman Hambleton (former NL resident, then an IM), participated in and won the NL Open. Big congrats to Aman on recently achieving his GM title!

Much earlier, GM Bent Larsen, GM Pal Benko, and GM Walter Browne played a Canadian Open held in St. John’s in 1970 (48 years ago!). I was able to find a detailed article on the event written by Vojin Vujosevic, who participated in the tournament. Check it out

It was a real treat that GM Eric Hansen was able to come play our weekend swiss event (February 16-18). He’s still just 25 years old and his chess resume, to name just a few items I’m aware of, includes:

  • two-time winner of the Canadian Open
  • currently rated 2629 FIDE (a personal best)
  • challenger to world champion Magnus Carlsen in lengthy online blitz and bullet matches
  • live commentator for prestigious events in Saint Louis and the recent 2018 Tata Steel masters tournament in Wijk an Zee
  • creator of Chessbrah channels and business. The original chessbrah

The chessbrahs are very popular chess streamers on Twitch and YouTube. They often play bullet (1-minute), time odds games, and blindfold games at a ridiculously high level – often while listening to dance/techno music. They also provide commentary for many popular high level chess tournaments such as the Candidates. Eric, Aman Hambleton, Robin Van Kampen, and other chessbrah members have done a lot to promote chess in Canada and their fanbase extends beyond that as well.

Part of Eric’s motivation for coming to Newfoundland was to fulfill rated game requirements to play the chess Olympiad later this year in Georgia. He also wanted to visit the province since he hadn’t been here before. It was really awesome of him to give his time to play this event, and to hang out and chat.

We had a number of talented new players come out to play, including Xingbo Huang, Brandon Fudge, Nithum Thain, and Curtis Mullaly. Multi-time NL Open champion Anthony Leonard also participated after a bit of a layoff, which was great to see. There was a lot of excitement in the air, for sure. Big thanks to Mohammad Kowsari for reserving the MUN Engineering Lounge for the event.


February Knights – Round 2. Photo by: Michael Pickard

The 5-round, 3-day tournament kept everyone pretty busy, but we were still able to bring Eric to O’Reilly’s on George Street in downtown St. John’s for some traditional music and drinks, and to see some local people. A group of us also had dinner and chatted with Eric at a restaurant/brewery called Yellowbelly on Sunday evening. It is really impressive that he has higher ambitions with his chess and with his Chessbrah business, which continues to grow rapidly.

Eric also encouraged us all to come out for dinner and blitz after round 3 on Saturday. He dominated the games from what I could tell, but it was a blast.


Fun blitz after Round 3. Credit: Michael Pickard

At the tournament itself, which was played at 60 minutes per player with 30 second increments, Eric won with a score of 5/5 against Ryan Pickard, Nihad Dervisevic, Anthony Leonard, Jordan Berson, and Steve Martin. He was never really in trouble in any of the games! Congratulations! As mentioned previously, some new players had some very nice performances. Xingbo made draws with Anthony and Mohammad, Brandon won against 2017 NL Open co-champ Jiaying and he drew against Anthony, Curtis drew against Steve, and Nithum gave Nihad a really hard fight in a losing effort. Full standings here.

Here are two of Eric’s games against Jordan and Steve (Jordan, Mohammad, and I shared second place):

[Event “February Knights”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Jordan S. Berson”]
[Black “Eric Hansen”]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 { E00 Catalan Opening } c5 4. Nf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Nc3 b6 10. Nd4 Bb7 11. Bf4 Na5 12. Bxb7 Nxb7 13. e4 Bb4 14. e5 Bxc3 15. exf6 Bxd4 16. Qxd4 Qxf6 17. Be5 Qg6 18. Qxd7 Nc5 19. Qd1 h5 20. h4 Rad8 21. Qe2 Nd3 22. Bc3 e5 23. Rad1 e4 24. Qe3 f5 25. Qg5 Qf7 26. Kh2 Rd6 27. f3 Rg6 28. Qxh5 Nf4 29. gxf4 Rg2+ 30. Kxg2 Qxh5 31. Rd7 Rf7 32. Rxf7 Kxf7 33. Be1 Qg6+ 34. Bg3 Qf6 35. b3 e3 36. Re1 Qb2+ 37. Kf1 Qd2 38. Re2 Qd3 39. Bh2 Qd1+ { White resigns. } 0-1

[Event “February Knights”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Eric Hansen”]
[Black “Steve Martin”]
1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. f4 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Bd3 { B09 Pirc Defense: Austrian Attack, Weiss Variation } Nc6 7. e5 dxe5 8. fxe5 Nd5 9. Nxd5 Qxd5 10. c3 Bg4 11. Qe2 Rad8 12. Be4 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Qb5 14. Qe2 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2 f6 16. exf6 Rxf6 17. Bf3 Rf7 18. Bg4 Kf8 19. Be6 Rf6 20. d5 h6 21. g4 g5 22. h4 gxh4 23. g5 hxg5 24. Bxg5 Rxe6+ 25. dxe6 Rd6 26. Raf1+ Ke8 27. Rxh4 Rxe6+ 28. Kd1 b5 29. a4 b4 30. cxb4 Bxb2 31. b5 Nd4 32. Rf2 Bc3 33. Bd2 Rd6 34. Rh3 Bxd2 35. Rxd2 c6 36. Rh4 e5 37. Rh5 cxb5 38. Rxe5+ Kd7 39. axb5 Ne6 40. Rh5 Rxd2+ 41. Kxd2 Kc7 42. Kc3 Nd8 43. Kb4 Nb7 44. Rh6 Nd6 45. Ka5 Nc8 46. Ka6 Nd6 47. Rxd6 Kxd6 48. Kxa7 { Black resigns. } 1-0

Thanks to everyone for coming out, and big thanks to Eric for playing and spending time here.