All welcome to view and participate in official chess event
On the weekend of March 25, the Mt. A Chess Club is holding a Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) certified tournament.
This tournament differs from the other tournaments that have been held by the club this year because being CFC certified means that the score players receive will be recorded for their official CFC profile. Their performance will factor into their Elo, which is the numerical ranking system used for chess players.
National chess federations such as the CFC also have the ability to give titles such as the National Master and National Candidate Master. Titles are given based on Elo and norms (measurement of performance).
National chess federations are all connected through the International Chess Federation, FIDE (Fédération internationale des échecs). FIDE can give titles such as “Grandmaster” to elite, highly skilled players.
Having a CFC tournament has been a goal for the executive team of the Mt. A Chess Club since the re-founding of the club in the fall term.
“Chess clubs tend to be very casual weekly meetings, especially university ones. Our club does work to offer this type of environment, but we also strive to create an atmosphere where club members can work towards competitive aspirations with things such as club tournaments, CFC tournament trips, and now even holding our own CFC tournament on campus,” said Josh Lynch, a fourth-year philosophy major and president of the Mt. A Chess Club.
Mt. A has had CFC tournaments in previous years. However, the planning process for this CFC tournament did not begin until February.
“The amount of communication and bureaucracy required to hold an event like this was much greater than we had planned for. Thus, we often had to build on negotiations regarding things such as venue, regulation, times, [and] equipment by negotiating with other parties. Although this was not a streamlined process for us, it was invaluable for us in creating a robustly structured event,” said Lynch.
A few Mt. A Chess Club members participated in a Moncton CFC tournament recently, including Hugh McClelland, a second-year bio-psychology student who works as a general secretary for the club. Hugh has been playing chess since 2020 and describes himself as an intermediate level player.
Recollecting his experience at the tournament, Hugh said that it was nice to see how excited everyone was to help each other; “it’s a mentality I really enjoy. […] At the end of the day, we’re all there to improve ourselves or our personal ability.”
“I love chess because it creates a genuine connection with your opponent. When you play against someone who has a good grasp over the game it’s like you are communicating with them on a level that is often lost through verbal communication,” said Lynch.
In recent years, chess has become an increasingly popular hobby. According to Chess.com, one of the main sites for online chess play, traffic on the site has nearly doubled since December.
“Since The Queen’s Gambit’s release, chess has been experiencing exponential growth in players that is unprecedented. The amount of people from all age groups and creeds as well as sheer number of players is something I was pleasantly surprised by,” said Lynch.
To register for a CFC tournament, players need to have a CFC membership which can be obtained through the JustGo website. The Mt. A Chess Club also invites fans of the game to spectate if they wish. The tournament will be held in the Manning Room in the University Chapel on March 25 and 26.