By Vlad Rekhson
2016 will mark the 11th edition of the Edmonton International Chess Festival. I organized the event for the first six editions but then I moved to Calgary thus my good friend, Micah Hughey decided to take over as the event organizer. In the 12th edition the tournament organization will once again chance hand as Dustin Koperski will take charge of the event.
The idea to hold an international norms tournament in Edmonton with GM/IM norm opportunities, was first brought up to me by GM Alexander Moiseenko during the 2005 Canadian Open. Alexander asked me, why don't you guys hold norm tournaments in Edmonton? Well, I answered, we really don't have anyone who would have a realistic chance to obtain a norm. Then, after thinking about it some more, I figured, we might as well offer such a chance to entice the top players to improve and eventually obtain the required norms. In the seven years, since the first Edmonton International, Edmonton has obtained one IM, and at least two more players with realistic chances to obtain the title in the near future. While, it is possible that this did not have a direct relation to the Edmonton Internationals, few would argue that those events helped boost the level of chess in Edmonton and across the province.
From the onset, I decided that while Internationals might take different forms from year to year, three things should remain constant. 1) The tournament should be annual. 2) The tournament should offer norm opportunities, either both GM and IM, or just IM. 3) This must be a real tournament with a champion, rather than something artificial made up for the purpose of offering someone norms. Additionally, every International has been accompanied by a Reserves section where anyone could play, as well as, exciting side events like lectures and simuls conducted by the top players.
In recent years more and more companies and individuals are happening to make this event bigger and better. Hopefully with their support this event will be there to stay for many years to come.
Click on the tabs above to see the details of the events in its various years.
Below is some statistical information.
1498413 Alberta Incorporated
Dale Haessel, President
"The first and last name in Software Development"
University of AB Chess Club
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