We are happy to announce that Pub Chess Toronto will be hosting the Toronto Rapid Championships at the Madison Ave Pub on December 5th, 2015! Details and pre-registered list are as follows:

When: Saturday, December 5, 2015, on-site registration 11-11:45 am, round 1- 12pm, finished around 6pm
Where: The Madison Pub. 14 Madison Ave, Toronto, Canada (One block east from Spadina Station)
Rounds: 5 rounds. There will be a break between the 3rd and 4th round so players can order food
Time Control: 20 minutes + 5 sec inc.
Rating: CFC & Pub Chess Toronto rated.
Prizes: To be determined. $1,500 guaranteed for prizes, class & sectional prizes awarded. Top senior (50+) – $100
Sections: Open, U2000, U1600, U1200/unrated
Entry Fees: Before November 15 – $35; November 15 to 29 – $40; After November 29 – $50; titled players: contact us
U1200/unrated: Before November 15 – $20; After November 15 – $25
Contact: Geordie Derraugh at

Online Payment:…-championships

Discount Codes ($40 before discount):
Fmdiscount – $10 off for FIDE masters
U1200 – rate for u1200 section ($25)

Perfect score/ Clear first bonuses
Perfect 5/5 – $250 bonus
Clear first – $250 bonus

Perfect 5/5 – $50 bonus
Clear first – $50 bonus

Perfect 5/5 – $50 bonus
Clear first – $50 bonus

The prizes are “stackable” so a senior scoring a perfect 5/5 in the open (will also get clear first) wins $250 + $250 + $100 + $400 first prize = $1000

Title – Name – CFC rating

GM Bator Sambuev 2623
IM Razvan Preotu 2607
IM Nikolay Noritsyn 2578
IM Tomas Krnan 2562 (Canadian Champion)
IM Artiom Samsonkin 2546
IM Peter Vavrak 2520
GM Thomas Roussel-Roozman 2465
FM Victor Plotkin 2427
IM David Cummings 2412
IM Kaiqi Yang 2380
IM Michael Barron 2340
NM Eddie Urquhart 2282
FM Michael Dougherty 2275
NM Mark Plotkin 2268
NM Nicholas Vettese 2263
FM Hans Jung 2225
NM Ilia Bluvshtein 2221
NM Sergey Noritsyn 2216
NM David Lavin 2212
Wenlu Yu 2205
Jason Cai 2200
IM Lawrence Day 2198
Stephan Tonakanian 2198
NM Egidijus Zeromskis 2163
Gordon Gooding 2130
Sasha Starr 2130
Dmitry Chernik 2117
Zehn Nasir 2090
NM Hugh Siddeley 2085
Sergiy Orlov 2036
Ruoying Xu (2031 FIDE)
Justin McDonald 2014
NM Erwin Casareno 1982
Peter Bokhout 1918
Yury Cheryachukin 1908
Armand Mendoza 1872
Greg Stavropoulos 1766
Mihao Ganea 1747
Hooshang Abbarin 1640
Phil Ter-Mikaelian 1604
Michael Sharpe 1577
Bob Armstrong 1570
Shafkat Ali 1490
Shabnam Abbarin 1445
Peter De Verteuil 1252
Ivan Noritsyn 901
Gannon Lawlor unr
Qi Shi unr

Total: 48



Article on NOW Magazine!


Local chess masters want to rid the board game’s rep as geeky and uptight


AUGUST 28, 2015

“Thinking and drinking don’t mix—but they do here,” says Dan Macdonald on a recent Wednesday night at the Madison Avenue Pub.

Macdonald is one of about 20 people gathered upstairs at the popular Annex watering hole forPub Chess Toronto, a new weekly club that’s breaking the rules of the royal game.

Shortly after 7 pm, a frenzied shuffling of plastic chess pieces on boards and the patter of palms striking buttons to start special clocks—used here for timing five-minute games of speed chess — break out.

“Do you need a pawn?” one player calls out. “No, I need a mate,” another shoots back above the barroom din. This banter, totally not kosher in rated tournament play when national rankings are at stake, is something Pub Chess founders Liza Orlova and Geordie Derraugh encourage.

“It’s a very casual, social thing that we’re trying to go for here,” says Derraugh, 25. “There’s already lots of chess clubs out there that are very serious.”

A $20 cover grants players entry into a weekly cash-prize tournament, though the less competitive can pay half that to play casual chess. Either option comes with a drink ticket, also redeemable for appetizers.

Derraugh and Orlova, both chess masters, hope these boozy socials will help rid the game of its geeky reputation and bring chess to a wider audience. “Everyone thinks that chess is just such a very intense game,” says Orlova, a six-time Ontario girls’ champ, now aged 20. “I wanted people outside of the chess community to be coming to these events.”

It looks like picking a venue that serves up cheap pints and grub is a good strategy: Pub Chess has regularly drawn about 25 players since starting up in June, and finding these numbers encouraging, the founders eventually want to expand to other bars.

Sitting in front of a green-and-white checkered board and nursing a pint at a recent meet, Brad Arsenault explains what brought him out after a lengthy hiatus from chess. “The lure was definitely the combination of chess and socializing,” he says. “You know, you feel like an adult drinking beer but still playing the game.”

Further along the table, Gannon Lawlor is getting down to a friendly match. His favourite part so far is “The drinking,” he laughs. “No. It’s the relaxed atmosphere—maybe the combination.”

To promote the event, Pub Chess isn’t only relying on the relative novelty of the setting. August 12 was ladies’ night where women play for free there is another scheduled for September 9. And last month the group hosted its first tournament of bughouse, a complex four-player chess variant played across two boards.

In bughouse, sometimes called Siamese chess, teammates sit side-by-side and play the opposite colours on different boards. When a player handling, say, the white pieces, captures a black one, they can pass it along to their partner for use in their game, and vice versa.

“There’s lots more communication than in a normal chess game,” explains Derraugh, “and a bit of trash talking.” In other words, it’s pretty much the perfect game for pub play.

The club’s unique approach inspires some unorthodox tactics.

“I think it’s a good strategy to buy your opponent a drink before you play them,” laughs Derraugh, possibly from experience (though doing so will hardly guarantee victory). Being buzzed at the board might trigger sloppier play from some, says Orlova, but not all. “Some people are the other way around. They drink and they just play instinct moves and then they play better.”

Heightened blood-alcohol levels aside, the players who come out range from neophytes to pros. Serious talent has even given lessons right on the spot, like when International Master Artiom Samsonkin (right now ranked ninth in Canada) dropped by a while ago to school everyone.

Sometimes, the battles of wits go on until midnight, says Derraugh. And at least once, the chess players stuck around for last call.

For his part, Macdonald, still lingering as a tourney wound down, claims he’ll keep coming back “until dementia overtakes me.”

Find out more here.

To read the full article:

IM Artiom Samsonkin lecture/ 5th Blitz tournament @ The Madison!

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015 Pub Chess Toronto had the privilege of hosting a chess lecture by International Master (IM) Artiom Samsonkin! Samsonkin has played in many international events which included playing for the Canadian Men’s Team in 2010. Samsonkin’s lecture was on “Diversifying in the middle game”!


Samsonkin had a great audience! Many players were happy and mentioned that they learned a lot from his lecture!

IMG_2284 IMG_2287 IMG_2296

5th Blitz Tournament 

Congratulations to Yuri Yatsenko and Mark Plotkin for being Pub Chess Toronto’s Champions!
Yatsenko defeated the lower section with an outstanding 9.5/10 result. Next time we wish you a perfect score!
Plotkin defeated the upper section with a result of 7.5/10. He is currently 2-time champion of the upper (open) section!


Mark Plotkin


Yuri Yatsenko

Open Section Results

Name Rating Result
Mark Plotkin 2248 7.5
Jonathan Yu 2220 5.5
Hugh Siddeley 2072 5
Justin McDonald 2014 3.5
Iulia Lacau-Rodean 2014 3.5
Anthony Cheron 1932 2
Geordie Derraugh 2338 floater 4.5

Lower Section Results

Name Rating Result
Yury Yatsenko 1674 9.5
Ivan Cajic unr. 7
George unr. 6.5
Cory Amon 1100 6
Alexander Tretyakov unr. 6
Leo Hemamou unr. 6
Simon Xie unr. 5
James Williamson 1179 3
James Suave unr. 2
Brad Arsenault unr. 0

More photos of the event:

Past winners of the blitz tournament:

4th – Mark Plotkin

3rd – Konstantin Semianiuk

2nd – Mike Ivanov

1st – Mike Ivanov