Oct 11 2023
Our Intermediate students Bosen Li and Maisen Li both participated CMA tournament on Oct 1st, 2023 in Toronto. It is their first CMA tournament, Maisen won the first in Grade 1, Bosen won the Bronze medal in Grade 4. They both started to learn chess in our program in the Spring of 2023 and made huge improvements! Congratulations!
We strongly encourage more students to join the chess tournament.
Oct 9, 2023
Our youth coach Henry Liu helped his school team to win the National champion and represented Canada to participate in FIDE World School Team Championship 2023 in August. Here are the details.
2023 World Schools Team Chess Championship Team Canada U18
The inaugural World Schools Team Chess Championship, FIDE’s new flagship competition among educational institutions, was held in Aktau, Kazakhstan from August3-8. competition was to be played in a rapid time control of 45’ + 10’’ to allow for 8 rounds of play. The tournament’s first edition was incredibly successful, with the
combined participation of over 400 students from 53 countries in the U18 and U12 sections.
The Upper Canada College chess team qualified for the international tournament after winning the U18 section of the National School Championships in convincing fashion, going undefeated after 5 games.
However, as FIDE’s sudden tournament announcement came in May with a registration deadline of early July, the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) had to hastily organize their national championships in order to meet the deadline. Ultimately, Christina Tao, the CFC Youth Coordinator, was able to quickly and successfully run a hybrid tournament that garnered participation from 19 schools across Canada.
“It’s remarkable how we were even able to achieve this impressive feat within such a short time, as participation was a struggle,” recalled Henry Liu, the team captain of the school chess club and player for the 1st board. “I only had about one week to form a strong team that would be willing to play in the tournament. Ultimately, the players would be putting up with a large risk, as the day of the competition was right before our final exams.” Nonetheless, the players were confident on tournament day, and their stunning collective performance was rewarded with the first national title of school champions. Henry recalls the emotions that the players felt that day: “We were thrilled to hear after winning the last round that we would have the possibility of representing Canada and UCC on the world stage. We all knew how special this moment was.”
After 2 months of preparation, the team travelled to Kazakhstan for the experience of a lifetime. The players consisted of Henry Liu, Charis Zhu, Daniel Guan, and Zeen Liu. They were ecstatic to display their skills in this prestigious tournament. After 8 rounds of intense and focused play against tough competition from top schools around the globe, the team scored 4.5/8, finishing 16th overall out of 43 teams, higher than their starting rank of 19th. The enthusiastic volunteers and spacious playing venue set the stage for a fine playing environment, allowing the players to concentrate fully on their matches and play the strongest moves.
The team started off strong with a 4-0 win against unrated Eswatini, and a 2-2 draw against higher-seeded Peru, in which Daniel was able to flag a WIM in a tight match.
Although Henry was able to outplay his 2300-rated opposition, the team ultimately lost 1-3 to the 4th-seeded Moldova in Round 3. However, the team bounced back vigorously with a 4-0 sweep against Slovakia. The team kicked off Day 3 with a round 5 loss to higher-ranked Austria but was able to regain momentum with another 4-0 sweep, this time to unrated Kenya. The Canadian players played their best against the Kazakhstan opposition in the 7th round, but unfortunately lost 1-3 to the rating favourites. In the last round, the players faced off against an underrated team from China but were able to win with a comfortable score of 3.5-0.5.
“For many of us, it was our first time not only playing outside of Canada, but as a team, and that’s what makes this experience so special.” When asked what made the team’s performance so successful, Henry believed that confident teamwork was the key. “We discussed strategies together in preparation for the following rounds and encouraged each other to play our best. It kept our confidence high and made us more resilient, allowing us to perform well even after heartbreaking losses.”
Alongside the tournament rounds, the organizing committee hosted several side events for players to explore and enjoy their time in the city. Through meeting other passionate chess players, exploring the foreign environment, and learning about different cultures, the competition proved to be an extraordinary and unforgettable experience for the team.
At last, the players headed back home not only with happy smiles, but undoubtedly with the most unforgettable experience of their lives. “The last few months were an amazing journey for all the players, and it will certainly have a profound impact on all of us.”
The team would like to give their special thanks to Christina Tao for her tremendous support over the last two months to make this experience possible.
Browse the following links below for details about the result: