THE START OF ANOTHER WEEK…
BEFORE doing anything else, I want to congratulate GM Anton Kovalyov for surviving the first round of the World Cup in Baku! Anton’s 2nd round opponent will be the Argentine grandmaster Sandro Mareco.
The first round match with 35-year old former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdhzanov saw two solid draws in the regular time controls, followed by tie-breakers (all of them drawn) until they finally went to the blitz time control games, where Anton showed superiority. Congrats!
To my regular readers of this blog 23-year old Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov is no stranger! Born in the Ukraine in March, 1992, the family emigrated to Argentina while Anton was still a young child. In Buenos Aires he learned the moves and quickly made progress, attracting the attention of the country’s top trainers and coaches. Unhappy with the economic prospects that Argentina offered, the family then moved to Canada in the summer of 2007. Anton was by then a 15-year old IM and one of the world’s top juniors. He won the GM-title in 2008, playing in Europe.
You can read more about Anton’s stay in Canada right HERE. Basically, Canadian organizers–and especially the CFC–treated the talented youngster like SHIT. All financial support was denied; the CFC even went out of their way to kill efforts to get Anton private sponsorship. Even Toronto chess organizers refused to invite him to their big open tournaments, preferring to give thousands of dollars to foreign grandmasters.(At one point–before Anton won a chess-scholarship to an american university–the youngster even thought seriously about giving up the game all together.)
Several days ago, just to give one little example of the public humiliation Anton continues to receive from the Canadian amateur chess community, one of the most popular message boards in the Canadian chess community even deliberately omitted Anton’s name when listing Canada’s top players!
While most strong players living in Canada have been mistreated online by these people at one time or other–and to varying degrees of humiliation and degradation–Anton’s treatment,in this writer’s experience, has been the most BRUTAL that I have ever seen.
In any case, I am certain my readers wish Anton all the success in the world in his coming matches. Prove the Canadian chess community wrong, Anton!