Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Grading of my 2009 Predictions

At the beginning of 2009 I made several chess predictions based on my own psychic insights into the chess world 

1.  Anand will retain his World title throughout the year.  Amazingly I was correct.  The fact that he did not have to defend last year made this prediction rather easy.

2. Magnus Carlsen will be the highest rated player in the world by the end of the year.  This prediction was much riskier as young players tend to progress in steps and you never can tell when they are ready to make that next step.  Magnus stepped up in his last few tournaments to surpass everyone.  His training partner may have had something to do with it.

3. Topolov will beat Kamsky in the Challenger match.  Correct again. 

4. Ivanchuk will win the Canadian Open (I don't even know if he's playing).  He did not play and therefore did not win.  I'm sure if he did play he would have so I don't consider this prediction incorrect.

5. Kevin Spraggett will end the year once again as Canada's highest rated player. I hope he plays in the Canadian Open.  Anton Kovalyov is now 7 points ahead of Spaggett but since he does not want to be considered Canadian, then I am right once again.

6. The CFC will lose money again this year, but only a small amount compared to the USCF. I am unsure how the CFC did finacially this year and haven't been interested enough to bother to look at any statements so I mark this as "not sure".

7. Robert Sasata will finally lose a rated game. Looks like he hasn't lost in two years.  Robert played only 3 rated games this year but lost to Nicholas Moloney in one.

8. Eric Hansen will be an IM by the end of the year and will be Alberta champion again, if he enters.  Eric did win the Alberta championship but failed to pick up his final IM norm at the Edmonton International.  Eric is definitly an IM calibre now so I will call this mostly correct. 

9. Keith MacKinnon will win the Saskatchewan Open.  Another correct prediction as Keith won over a good field.  Keith is another young player that seems to have made another step up in his last two tournaments.

10. I will finally beat someone higher rated than me. Wrong.  I should have won a game against Jamin at the Sask Open in Jan, but alas, I kind of chickened out into a draw.  In the second half of the year I believe my quality of play dropped off quite a bit and I didn't really have many winning chances.
8.5/10.  Not bad.  I will make predictions for 2010 and post them next week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Edmonton International and WBX tournament

The Edmonton International starts tonight and finishes Monday.  My prediction is that GM Josh Friedel will be the winner.  Top Albertan will be a toss up between IM Proper and Eric Hansen but I will go with Hansen.  I'll go out on a limb and pick young Keith MacKinnon to be the top Saskatchewan player. 

In conjunction with the international, the annual WBX (weekend before Christmas) team tournament will also occur.  I may as well pick a winner here to.  As there is no Sask teams this year (as far as I know) I will pick the Wang brothers team (if they are able to find a third).  If they don't get a team then my second choice is Vlad's Rekhson's team.

I may be able to take in some of the games on Sunday as I will to be in Edmonton for my daughter's swimming competition.