Chess Lecture with IM Shiyam Thavandiran


The Hart House Chess Club is honoured to present a lecture by Canada’s most recent International Master, Shiyam Thavandiran!

IM Thavandiran will give a lecture on “Prophylactic Thinking”, introducing the concept of prophylaxis by showing examples from the classics and his own games. Join his lecture and discover effective ways for recognizing your opponent’s resources and developing preventive thinking.

Shiyam’s record of achievements is long and impressive! He has won 11 Canadian School and Junior Chess Championships and he has represented Canada in the World Youth Chess Championships four times. He was awarded the FIDE Master title in 2006 and he became an International Master in October 2017! He has been voted Canada’s Chess Player of the Year twice (Fan Ballot: 2008 and 2009).

We are delighted to have Shiyam as our guest lecturer at Hart House Chess Club and we invite you all to attend his Friday lecture!

When: Fri., Dec. 8th, 2017, 7-9 pm
Where: South Dining Room, Hart House

Thavandiran Lecture

Panayoti Tsialas

Panayoti (2)Panayoti Tsialas 
Current FIDE Rating: 2057

Panayoti learned chess when he was a little kid and he’s been in love with the Royal Game ever since! Born in 1990 in a small town in the South of Greece, he was first introduced to chess when he was 5 years-old and he gradually developed his skills to become a competitive chess player.

He loves teaching kids as well as adults and he enjoys watching his students evolve as chess players. He specializes in middle-game strategy and chess history and he is best known for his efforts to combine teaching tactics, strategy and the like touching on more general topics and stories pertaining to chess (e.g. chess and psychology, chess and engines, chess history etc).

Panayoti believes that chess provides a unique tool for developing certain life skills (e.g. improve focus, gain discipline, sharpen judgment) as well as for inculcating important values (e.g. respect, self-restraint). He regards and teaches chess not just as a set of rules and principles but as a part of general human culture.

He is currently teaching the Beginners and Intermediate Players Classes at Hart House Chess Club (students) and from next January he will also be teaching at Canada’s Chess Youth Club (kids).

Panayoti played his last chess tournament in 2009, after which he retired in order to study law. He now considers himself a developing coach and an avid chess enthusiast. He holds an LL.B. (2013) and an LL.M. (2014) from the University of Athens and he earned his second LL.M. from Harvard Law School (2015). He is currently a first-year PhD student at U of T’s Law School and he is the Captain of U of T’s Varsity Chess Team.

In his free time he likes playing volleyball, working out and watching lots of movies!

Chess Bio:

  • National Greek School Chess Champion (2005)
  • Represented Greece in the World School Chess Championship (2005)
  • National Greek Team Chess Champion (2006)
  • Fourth place in the World School Chess Championship (2007)
  • Third place in the National Chess Championship U-20 (2008)
  • First place in International Open Chess Tournament and Retirement (2009)
  • Joins Harvard Law School’s Official Chess Club (2014)
  • Joins Yale University’s Official Chess Club (2015)
  • Founder and Coach at Athens Law School’s Official Chess Club (2016)
  • Director of Communications and Coach at Hart House Chess Club. Captain in U of T’s Varsity Chess Team (2017-18)




Varsity Chess Team

The members of U of T’s Varsity Chess Team qualify through a competitive 5-round chess tournament, held annually in late September or in early October. The 2017-18 Varsity Chess Team is made up of the following students (by order of CFC rating):



  FM Nikita Gusev
CFC Rating: 2372
1st Year Masters in Engineering
Age: 22




FM Mike Ivanov
CFC Rating: 2361
1st Year Masters in Education Program
Age: 22




Jim Zhao
CFC Rating: 2272
4th Year Computer Engineering
Age: 22




Zehn Nasir
CFC Rating: 2261
2nd Year Psychology
Age: 19




Team Captain Panayoti Tsialas
FIDE Rating: 2057
1st Year SJD in Law
Age: 27




Leslie Tang

CFC Rating: 1795
3rd Year Math
Age: 20




Seiji Nakagawa
CFC Rating: 1775
Age: 23



Andy Liao

CFC Rating: 1671
3rd Year Civil Engineering
Age: 21


Jonathan Yu

JonathanJonathan Yu – Chess Master
Current CFC Rating: 2150

Jonathan enjoys teaching all aspects of the game to HH chess club members of all levels. He applies his background in tournament chess to help students better understand the strategic and psychological subtleties of the game. His favorite aspect of chess is the endgame. He has never taught chess professionally but believes living is learning and is never hesitant to kibitz on an ongoing blitz game! He is currently teaching the popular “Learn How to play Chess” Workshop!

Before volunteering at the Hart House Chess Club, Jonathan was Canadian Youth Champion U12 (2001) and U16 (2005). He likes to travel and mix in some chess tournaments in his spare time!

Jonathan is also an engineering alumni at University of Toronto and works in machine learning and app development. While a student he was a member of the HH Chess Club for 5 years and played on the UofT Pan-ams teams in  2011 and 2012.

Recent selected tournament results:

Reykjavik Open 2017-  6/10 2238 Perf

Vienna Chess Open 2016 Group A  – 5/9 2213 Perf

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2015 – Masters 5.5/10 2409 Perf

List of Strongest Players

Top 20 HHCC Players Based on CFC Rating

1. Trevor Vincent (2377)
2. Nikita Gusev (2372)
3. Mike Ivanov (2361)
4. Lloyd Mai (2353)
5. Christopher Knox (2345)
6. Goerdie Derraugh (2341)*
7. Haizou Xu (2339)*
8. Mark Plotkin (2293)
9. Joseph Bellissimo (2280)
10. Jim Zhao (2271)
11. Eddie Mark (2269)*
12. Zehn Nassir (2261)
13. James Fu (2230)
14. Kay Schaarschmidt (2153 FIDE)
15. Walter Chan (2138)
16. Alex Florea (2081)
17. Aidan Sowa (2077)
18. Alex Ferreira (2074)
19. Panagiotis Tsialas (2057 FIDE)
20. Jianqiu Chen (2036)

*Recently graduated from U of T