7th edition-2012

The 2012 edition of the event was the first one in which a super-Grandmaster took part.  GM Nigel Short rated 2705 was the top rated player in the tournament.  Beyond his high ranking, Nigel's attraction extended was evident as many locals were excited about the opportunity to meet a true chess legend.  Nigel was an elite player for over 25 years and he has been at the pinnacle of his career when he was able to play a match for the world championship against Garry Kasparov. 
The second Grandmaster of the tournament was GM Anton Kovalyov, who represents Argentina but currently lives in Montreal.  With a rating of 2619, GM Kovalyov was certainly a title contender. 
Rounding up the GM field was the ever dangerous and unpredictible GM Victor Mikhalveski from Israel.  Victor made a first round upset as he took out Nigel Short in an exciting seesaw battle.  Despite the result, GM Short made a comeback and won the event.  Among others, he was helped by FM Dale Haessel from Calgary, who despite being the lowest rated participant, managed to upset GM Mikhalevski. 
Still, the upset king of the tournament was NM Rob Gardner from Edmonton.  Few would have considered Rob a serious norm contender going into the event, yet with a highly impressive 5/9, Rob accomplished the incredible and earned his first ever IM norm in over 35 years of playing competitive chess!
Below is a wonderful victory over GM Anton Kovalyov.
An interesting scoring innovation took place in 2012.  It will make a return appearance in 2013.  Instead of the traditional scoring system, a 3 point system was used.  Players received 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss.  While Nigel would have won first regardless of the syste, GM Mikhalevski's larger win total was the difference between himself and GM Kovalyov in a battle for second.

Gardner,Robert (2202) - Kovalyov,Anton (2619) [E42]
7th Edmonton International Edmonton - Canada (5), 30.06.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 c5 6.a3 Ba5 7.Rb1 Na6 8.Bd2 0-0 9.d5 d6 10.Nf4 e5 11.Nh5 Bf5 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Rc1 Qg6 14.h4 h5 15.Be2 Qxg2 16.Bf3 Qg6 17.Bxh5 Qh7 18.Be2 Bd7 19.f3 f5 20.Kf2 Nc7 21.Qg1 b5 22.b4 cxb4 23.Nxb5 Bxb5 24.cxb5 Bb6 25.Rc6 Rf6 26.Qc1 g6 27.Bxb4 f4 28.Kg2 Qd7 29.exf4 Re8 30.Qc2 Kh7 31.h5 Kg7 32.hxg6 Rxg6+ 33.Qxg6+ Kxg6 34.Rxd6+ Qxd6 35.Bxd6 Nxd5 36.Bd3+ Kg7 37.Bxe5+ Rxe5 38.fxe5 Nf4+ 39.Kg3 Nxd3 40.f4 Kf7 41.Rd1 Nf2 42.Rd7+ Ke8 43.Rb7 Ne4+ 44.Kg4 Nc3 45.f5 Nxb5 46.f6 Nd4 47.e6 Nc6 48.Rh7 Bc5 49.Rc7 1-0


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University of AB Chess Club

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