This past week I’ve been vacationing in
with my wife instead of hanging out in Montreal
with all the other riff-raff at the World Open. I left the chess board behind
but could not help keep an eye on the games in the evenings after our daily
excursions thanks to the live feed and
replay through the monroi website.
It must have been the side trip we took outside the city to Drummandville ( about an hour northeast of
where we were sipping café au lait du glace ( ice coffee) outside a little café
in centre-ville. It was there that I ran into some chess players in the park. I
observed the local wood pushers and promised my wife I would not “engage”.
When we got back to the hotel, I did a google search for chess in
Montreal and discovered
quite a rich culture.
hosts a chess club (http://chess.concordia.ca/?tag=montreal-chess-club)
with monthly rated events. For pick up
games, PI café and Brainwash Cafe is the place for casual chess and quick
events. But the place that I was most
attracted too was Chess and Math center on 3423 Saint Denis. I was able to
convince my wife to allow me a quick visit after a trip to a museum that was
stones throw away. Concordia University
The first floor was a chess shop with sets, games and all kinds of accessories for this great game. I made my way up to the fourth floor where the club exists. I met George Fournier, the director of scholastics programs. “ Do you need help?” I was asked.
“Yes, I am a chess player, and I need a lot of help!” I replied.
That broke the ice and I got a warm reception from my kindred fellow Canadian chess players. The Montreal Chess Club has a rich history dating back to the mid 1800’s having notable chess players of the day like Henry Bird, Blackburne, Zuckertorte and George Mackenzie. Back in the 1980’s the club became affiliated with the Math and Chess associations. This seemed to keep the venue going in its form today, catering mostly to a scholastic clientele over the summer with an assortment of chess camps and lessons from local masters.
Mr. Fournier gave me some fliers for upcoming events. There is an Open Championship coming up July 21-28th right here in
at the College Jean-de-Brebeuf. It has an invitational section for GM’s, and
several open sections ( Open, Under 2000, Under 1700 and Under 1300) Top prize in
the invitational is $4000 and subsequent sections at $1000, $800, $600 and $400.
There are prizes all the down to 6th and 7th place in the
top two sections. Prize guarantees are because this event seems to have commercial
sponsorship, something we don’t see much in the States. Molson being one of the
four sponsors! USCF should take note.
There is a second event in August ( 15-19) sponsored by the chess’n math association called the “SuperFest Chess Event 2012” . The venue is the Hotel Le chanteclor at
in the Laurentians. (www.lechantecler.com). Round
In any case, I may not have “been allowed” to play a game during a vacation with my wife, I definitely felt like I got a cursory “chess fix” by meeting these friendly folks at the Montreal Chess Club.
Bon Chance et Merci Beaucoup!