SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Several Canadians are playing in a strong open tournament in Barcelona this week. Mark Bluvshtein, Leonid Gerzhoy and A.Berube can be found amongst the list of participants that includes about 20 GMs from all over the world. This tournament is part of the 2010 Catalan Circuit, which is one of the most physically demanding tournament circuits in Europe each summer. There are about a dozen FIDE rated tournaments included, as well as an assortment of rapid and semi-rapid events. While the tournament does not attract any superstars, most of the 2600 to 2500 players are under-rated, experienced and tough grandmasters.The winner is decided by a point system that combines the best over-all results in a minimum number of events.
ROUND 4 PAIRINGS (TODAY!)
Mark Bluvshtein, having just this july finished his University degree, has decided to take a year off and dedicate himself to trying to become one of the top 100 players in the world. He has opened a blog to keep his fans informed of his progress (link above). It is worth taking a look! Mark still is in the process of learning how to use pgn-viewers, reducing the mega-bytes of his pictures, etc, but already his blog promises to become one of the best Canadian blogs on the net. A very personal touch!
I am not certain what to expect of Mark’s ambitions in chess, but I certainly wish him the very best! Mark is an enormously talented chess player. When he told Shirov in 2005 (after the Canadian Open where he scored a brilliant win over Shirov himself) that he intended to wait to pursue his chess ambitions until he had finished his university studies, Alexi told him that perhaps by then it might be ”too late.”
Shirov vs Bluvshtein at the 2005 Canadian Open
I am not certain exactly what Shirov meant by this, but there is no doubt that it is difficult to achieve greatness in chess without being 100% focused on the game. Taking a 5 year break from blood chess can have its toll…Mark –in the meantime– has only being playing competitively on his holidays.
Mark will be playing in the Olympiad, representing Canada, later in September. A good result there might attract the notice of organizers and fetch him a few good tournament invitations. In the chess world, unfortunately, unless you have a 2750 rating, it is not what you know but who you know. Getting stronger in chess, becoming the best that your potential allows for, is all about taking advantage of each of the opportunities that come your way. But without golden opportunities (ie, invitations to the best tournaments) the chess world is very unforgiving! There are just so many talented , professional players out there, and more are appearing each year…
I suggest my readers go and take a look at Mark’s website! It is updated daily…
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE OF THE PLAYING HALL
A FRIENDLY AMERICAN! V.BHAT
WHEN IN BARCELONA…EAT LIKE IN TORONTO!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS