New Canadian Chess Star!







Click on to enlarge

Click on to enlarge

Canadian youngster Jay Sawant of the Golden Knight Chess Club in Burnaby, BC  scored the biggest success of his LIFE  by winning the U14 section of the prestigious Las Vegas International Chess Festival.  Not only did Jay win all of his games (!) but he also participated in and won first prize  ( U1000-rated ) at the Puzzle competition!


What is even more impressive is that Jay has been playing tournament chess for only a short while.  The CFC lists only two rated chess events (both this year)– infact, Jay was UNRATED at the beginning of the year!  Clearly the youngster is making big progess,.  Jay  is slated to participate in the U12  at  the Canadian Nationals –the  CYCC — to be held in Ottawa early in July.

It is also ESPECIALLY nice to see a Canadian junior do well when he/she participates in international competition!   Competitive chess can be a ruthless experience    With very few exceptions, most Canadian youngsters crash and burn in their first exposure to international chess tournaments.   Thousands of youngsters have tried and failed.

I have no doubt that we will hear a LOT more from him in the coming years and I am certain that I speak for all of my readers when I wish Jay the very best!



When Vancouver’s Valer Eugen Demian  informed the current  CFC newsfeed  manager Félix Dumont  of  the Canadian youngster’s  achievement and asked that this be published so that all of the federation members could share the good  news,  Valer  certainly could have NEVER anticipated Dumont’s response:


”I don’t want to upset you (or him), but I’m not sure it’s worthy of publication. It sure is a nice accomplishment, and please congratulate him for me if you see him, but most readers will not really pay attention to the article if there’s no strong Canadian player or at least many young players. Unfortunately, one youngster is probably not enough, even though he won his section.”


W.T.F ???

Needless to say, Valer was shocked!  Isn’t the CFC supposed to promote chess in Canada?  Valer Demian has been involved in organized chess for most of his 50 years of life and  is a fully qualified FIDE  CM and Instructor, with many years of experience teaching and coaching chess in Canada.  As well, he holds the International Master title in correspondence chess.    Félix Dumont, on the other hand, is a 20 year-old  wannabe,  barely rated 2000. I  don’t want to judge Felix unfairly, but  he  has no life experience to speak of  and  is certainly  not qualified to speak for anybody in Canadian chess…besides, how would he know what Canadian chess players like to read or not?


“In reality punk people are usually the gentlest, kindest folks you’ll ever know. They’re like hippies, only they wear way more black.”   ― Kate Rockland, Falling Is Like This

Clearly frustrated, Valer decided  to write to me:

”Situations like this one erode, bit by bit,  our belief  that the CFC is capable to act on its responsibility to promote chess in Canada.   Over and over again,  the CFC’s  actions are  proven to be selective and arbitrarily dismissive of anyone they choose not to  associate themselves with … What I do not understand — and never will —  is how can they consider themselves above others,  while anyone else is not worthy?”


(Continued tomorrow)

One response

  1. Hello Kevin,

    First off my congratulations to Jay Sawant. Finishing with a perfect score in any section is an impressive feat and a sign that he is ready to move on to another higher rated section. I think that this is the type of human interest story that I really want to hear about. One of my favourite chess sites is which is full of such stories about our local Windsor kids. Jack Li rated about 1000 and change gained 360 points by finishing 5-0 in an under 1400 section in Columbus Ohio this weekend. Erica Forshaw might have done the same in Grand Rapids Michigan but for an error in one game. Not as interesting venues as Las Vegas but more examples of the heroic exploits of the children who make chess organization an interesting experience. I check that website every day.

    Felix is quite a tireless worker and an active chess organizer. If the CFC doesn’t let our brand new newsfeed team and online magazine know what we want then we can’t fault them for delivering something else. We have to do better. You have shown us another example of where we can do better and I thank you for that.

    I read your blog regularly and enjoy the chess commentary and your thoughts on chess though I can’t say we always agree on things CFC. I often quote you or use the interesting games that you seem to find constantly in my lectures and lessons. Unfortunately I can’t send my students to your website as they tend to be rather young (mostly between six and thirteen).

    I was hoping that I could make it through my first few hours as the new CFC president without too much controversy. We can all dream….

    Vlad Drkulec

%d bloggers like this: