The Pan-Am qualifier that happened on September 29th and 30th was the first foray of the club into high stakes serious chess! The lazy night of bughouse and blitz on Friday night was replaced on the Saturday morning, with an intense atmosphere that found itself in silence. This was a heated qualifier with many shocks and turns. Through it all only two players were able to stay unbeaten. In a hotly contested final match these two players, James Fu and Tanner McNamara fought against each other, only for the game to end in a draw. These two players together with Gary Huang and Joseph Bellissimo will represent the University of Toronto at San Francisco this year at the 2018 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.
We would like to thank all the participants, and would like to stress that this does not include just the national masters and the experienced chess players who participated; but most importantly those new chess club faces who impressed us by braving it out for five rounds (shout-out to Santiago Valdes, James Robins and Vikram Nighawan for their incredible enthusiasm).
Finally, we would like to extend our special thanks to Alex Ferreira, who as the chief arbiter was able to organize the tournament in and keep it running smoothly.
The Hart House Chess Club sincerely wishes the best of luck to our 2018 team. We hope they make themselves and us proud, as they attempt to bring home the grand trophy!