Sunday, August 2, 2009

35 years ago today...

I (and several hundred others, there were over 600 players in 2 sections) were playing in Round 8 of the 1974 Canadian Open in Montreal.
I was rummaging about in my basement today and came across the tournament brochure and related material.

My opponent in Round 8 was Peter Tamburro Jr., who is still active in chess circles in New Jersey.
The documents indicate that entry fee was $ 12, and one could stay at the University of Montreal residence for $ 20 / week !!! (of course that is where most of us stayed).
Several Manitobans made the trip including; John Burstow, Cecil Rosner, Neil Kirton, Jeff Babb, Scott Cleghorn, Ferd Bernjack, Ron Sloboda, Eric Jefferson, Harold Poustie, and Barry Rasmussen(who had to withdraw early if I recall correctly). Results below from Chess Canada magazine. (click for larger image)

GM Kevin Spraggett has provided some additional commentary at


Cecil Rosner said...

Thanks for posting this piece of history. It was memorable for me, since I won $200........which stood as the most money I had ever won in a tournament till the Icelandic Invasion event of a few years ago. Now you all know why I insisted on getting a day job. I remember we took the train to Montreal, and the sight of more than 600 people in a chess tournament was something I had never seen before, nor have I seen it since.

Chess Manitoba said...

Yes, the site/attendance was so large I don't think I viewed the GM stage often.
But since, the HB Global Challenge in 2005 in Minneapolis had something like 1700 players.

Cecil Rosner said...

You're right..........I should have clarified that I meant "in Canada." Can you imagine a Canadian Open with more than 600 players? It was a unique soon after Fischer-Spassky, in a province that was bursting with chess promise, and with high profile sponsors like La Presse doling out money. I wonder what it would take to re-create that combination of factors.

ptamburro said...

What a surprise--and a pleasant one! Thanks to Ed Yetman and his substack blog as well. I am not only still active in NJ chess, but I have been writing a monthly Openings for Amateurs column for British Chess Magazine for nine years and have two books out with that title. I'm also senior editor and co-founder of American Chess Magazine, which is in its seventh year. Chatting with Larsen at breakfast and asking Ljubojevic on an elevator how to pronounce his name are favorite moments.--Pete Tamburro