Conclusion of the Bughouse Tournament!

On October 5th, 2018 Hart House hosted its first bughouse tournament in recent years! The tournament consisted of 13 ambitious teams (26 players), who competed in five double-rounds. The tournament was extremely close, with only a half point separating gold from silver, bronze and fourth place.  Congratulations are extended to Joseph Bellissimo and Johnathan Yu for winning the tournament with 4/5! Finishing just a half point behind (3.5/5) was team Jack Ding/Edward Chan, Panayoti Tsialas/Robin, and Leslie Tang/Ethan Moon.

As UofT Alumni, Jack Ding and Edward Chan, who only lost one game, got an honorable mention and were awarded 4th place. Good job to both of you! A head to head playoff commenced between Panayoti/Robin and Lesie/Ethan.

Board No1: The second round of the exciting tie-breaking match has just begun!

Panayoti/Robin won the first game, but could not close out the event and lost the second. A final death match occurred between the two teams, but momentum proved decisive, and eventually Leslie and Ethan won the silver medal!

Big smiles and a rightfully won second place for Leslie and Ethan!

Thank you to everyone that participated in this historic event! We hope to organize similar events in the future!

Bughouse Crosstable

We are looking forward to seeing you all next Friday for more chess!





October Bughouse Chess Tournament


Bughouse TourneyHave you ever played a team-orientated chess game before? Whether you have or have not, come join the Hart House Chess Club as we host a casual bughouse tournament. Come with a premade partner or make a new friend at the club as you both challenge other teams to riveting bug house games! The tournament takes place from 7-9:30pm on Friday October 5, we hope to see you there!

Where: Hart House Reading Room,
When: Friday, October 5th, 7:00 – 9:30 pm

Tournament Format: 5 double-round Swiss
Time Control: 3 minutes + 2 sec/move

Registration: To register, please email with your team name, the team members, and a rating (if applicable). If you don’t have a pre-made team, you can simply send us your full name and rating. Ratings are for seeding/pairing purposes only.

Fee: Free for Hart House Chess Club members. $10 to register if not a member.


1st Team – $40 Gift Card

2nd Team – $30 Gift Card

3rd Team – $20 Gift Card

Only Hart House Chess Club members are eligible for prizes

Specific Tournament Rules:

  1. Press-clock Rule (not touch-move, not release-move).
  2. Players are allowed to communicate freely during the game.
  3. King-chopping is allowed.
  4. Dropping pieces into checkmates is allowed.
  5. Pawns can be promoted to any piece once they reach the 8th or 1st rank but, if captured, they become pawns again.
  6. Pawns may be dropped onto the board everywhere except the first and eighth rank.

*If you’ve never played a bughouse chess game before, check out this link.

2018 Pan-Am Qualifier: The Dust Settles

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).

2018 PanAm Qualifier Crosstable

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!

Weekly Chess Lessons for Advanced Players

This is a more rigorous workshop, targeted at advanced chess players, ranging from 1400 to 1800 CFC rating. Some prior experience and time commitment is required of the participants. This year’s lessons focus on Chess Endgames with special emphasis on Rook Endgames. The Workshop runs every Friday, from September 21st until November 30th, 6-7 PM, and the lessons take place at the Hart House Reading Room. National Master and ex-Varsity player Jonathan Yu is the instructor in this workshop.

The Workshops will go on for 10 weeks and the tentative Syllabus will be announced soon:

#1 Sept. 21st: Overview of Rook Endgames I

#2 Sept. 28th: Overview of Rook Endgames II

#3 Oct. 5th:

#4 Oct. 12th:

#5 Oct. 19th:

#6 Nov. 2nd:

#7 Nov. 9th:

#8 Nov. 16th:

#9 Nov. 23rd:

#10 Nov. 30th:

Optional Readings:

Teaching material and ideas will be taken from Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, by Mark Dvoretsky, and Fundamental Chess Endings, by Karsten Müller. Both books can be found at HHCC’s lending library. No reading is expected before class but attendees will be assigned optional homework to practice at home.

Instructor: Jonathan Yu

Where: Hart House Reading Room
When: Friday evenings, 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Free entry for Hart House Chess Club Members!*

*A student membership costs only $25 and it is valid for the entire year.

Leslie Tang

Leslie Tang 
Current CFC Rating: 1756Leslie
Leslie Tang started his chess path at the age of 9. In the short time, he began climbing the Elo ladder. He participated in many tournaments and almost qualified to compete to represent Ontario in the Canadian Youth Chess Championships. At his young age, he competed against players of the name: Razvan Preotu, Christopher Knox, Zarchary Dukic, who would later become Chess Masters. Sadly in the span of approximately three years, he had retired from chess. But now, he is back again to play chess and completely rejuvenated!

Leslie is rather new to the scene of teaching chess again as he had only begun playing chess again casually in late 2017. His specialty is in clever tactics and positional moves. He has high hopes in teaching chess to students and igniting their passions to learn and enjoy chess.

Currently, he is teaching the Intermediate-Beginner Chess Lessons at the Hart House Chess Club.

Leslie is currently on track to finishing an Applied Mathematics and Financial Economics Specialist and Major in Statistics, which will be completed in June 2019.

While not playing chess, Leslie loves sports, travelling and researching.




Record Attendance at Welcome Back Pizza Party!



Last Friday, the Hart House Chess Club (HHCC) Welcome Back Pizza Party was a huge success, boasting a record attendance this year!! The Royal Game is very much alive and well among UofT students, as a whole range of different disciplines showed up to challenge each other at the Hart House Reading Room. Walking between the tables, one could hear chess enthusiasts complimenting their opponents’ tactics or exclaiming at an unexpected but brilliant move! Never a dull evening in the Reading Room.


At 6pm, attendees were treated with delicious pizza, snacks, chips, pastries, and light refreshments! After all, the best chess party is a chess PIZZA party. In between games, players were encouraged to submit their answers to the chess puzzle set up by HHCC execs for the chance to win a raffle prize. We are proud to congratulate returning HHCC member, BenJohn Libardo, for solving the puzzle and winning the prize!!

It was wonderful to see so many new members expressing excitement for the upcoming chess workshops for Upper Beginners and Advanced players! The novelty did not wear off – the following week after the Pizza Party, chess workshop attendance was double the expected amount! We strongly encourage interested members to join our AMAZING chess workshops this Fall semester.


Finally of course, none of this would have been possible without our HHCC execs, the wonderful support of the Hart House Administration, and the volunteer service of our amazing HHCC alumni friends – Edward Chan, Alex Ferreira, and Andrew MacMillan. We are so excited for this upcoming year and its impressive roster of fun chess events!



Chess Lessons for Upper Beginner/Intermediate Players

Starting on Friday, September 21st, Hart House Chess Club will be running a series of workshops for Upper Beginner and Intermediate chess players, introducing them to the rudiments of chess tactics and strategy. These lessons will be taught by Varsity Chess player, Leslie Tang, and everybody is welcome to attend! The seminar is recommended for chess enthusiasts who have learnt the movements of the pieces and wish to step-up their game.

The Workshops will go on for 10 weeks and the tentative Syllabus is posted below:

#1 Sept. 21st: Fundamental Principles of Chess

#2 Sept. 28th: Hanging Pieces

#3 Oct. 5th: The Fork

#4 Oct. 12th: The Pins and Skewers

#5 Oct. 19th:  Lots of Checkmates!

#6 Nov. 2nd: Discovered Attacks

#7 Nov. 9th: Traps

#8 Nov. 16th: The Tempo

#9 Nov. 23rd: Finding Weaknesses

#10 Nov. 30th: The End Game!

Optional Readings:

Teaching material and ideas will be taken from Learning Chess (Step 2 and 3), by Rob Brunia and For van Wijgerden, and Chess Camp (Volumes 1-4), by Igor Sukhin. No reading is expected before class but attendees will be assigned optional homework to practice at home.

Instructor: Leslie Tang

Where: Hart House Reading Room
When: Friday evenings, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Free entry for Hart House Chess Club Members!*

*A student membership costs only $25 and it is valid for the entire year.