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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Winnipeg Free Press article July 21, 2007

Chess / Cecil Rosner

Sat Jul 21 2007

THE fifth annual Abe Yanofsky Memorial Tournament is set for the University of Winnipeg on Labour Day weekend, and once again it promises to be the biggest event on the local schedule.

The tournament honours Winnipeg's best-known chess personality, Abe Yanofsky, Canada's first grandmaster and an eight-time national champion. He died in 2000, and the memorial tournament has brought together strong players from across town and around the world.

Recently an exhibit of Yanofsky memorabilia was on display outside the mayor's office at city hall. You can catch a glimpse of some of the materials, still on display in a glass case, at the city's archives building on William Avenue. Included is Yanofsky's original scoresheet of his win against Peruvian champion Dulanto in the 1939 Buenos Aires Olympiad, one of the century's best-known games.

The Yanofsky Memorial has featured a collection of strong grandmasters over the years, including Kevin Spraggett, Mark Bluvshtein and Sergey Shipov. The very first edition of the memorial featured six grandmasters, and was won by long-time Yanofsky friend and colleague, Arthur Bisguier of the U.S.

This year, with no invited grandmasters, the chances for local players winning big prizes is high. And with an enhanced prizefund of $4,000, interest should be substantial.

The tournament runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 in Riddell Hall at the University of Winnipeg. It is a five-round event in two sections (Open and Under 1800). Top prize is $1,000, with many class prizes as well. Entry fee is $60 ($50 for Juniors and Seniors).

This year there is a new wrinkle: two one-day tournaments for complete beginners. If you have never played in a rated tournament, consider this one. On Sept. 1 and 2 there will be separate, one-day events for novices, with $100 prize funds. Entry fee is $10.

Register between 6-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31 at Riddell Hall for the main event, or on either Saturday or Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for the novice tournaments.

For further information, contact Blair Rutter at blairrutter@shaw.ca, or go to http://aymemorialchess.blogspot.com, or to www.chessmanitoba.com

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