Petah Tikva Triumphs, Team Battle Turns Nail-Biting Finish!

The Hart House Chess Club had its first-ever Lichess team battle on Saturday April 13th. It was a tournaments with many twists and turns!

First, there was Petah Tikva quick push to a 14 point lead in the first 17 minutes of play. It was quite clear by then that the Israeli team was filled with many talented players, who were able play calm, collected chess in the face of various on-board pressures.

Then disaster struck! In a zero-sum game, like chess, it is rare that both sides lose. The loss being the server going offline; unable to cope with the sheer volume of international traffic during a pandemic. The outage lasted so long that Petah Tikva were given a default victory after five minutes of all players collectively sighing, clicking the refresh button, twiddling their thumbs and generally being miserable.

However, once the server came back, we anxiously created a new tournament, and despite a brief outage, the tournament was allowed to start again.

There was yet another twist however, the new tournament was only an hour in length, and with 4+2 being an inappropriate for such a short tournament, the internet classic 3+0 was selected. To cap it all off, Berserk was allowed in this iteration.

This must have really rankled the Petah Tikva players as some of their players had already logged off or other commitments prevented them from participating in the second tournament. It would have been especially annoying to see Hart House pull of a ridiculous lead of 40 points. Especially when they also had scored double points.

And yet even though the scoreline became extremely on-sided very fast. Not only did Petah Tikva catch up but they led by a comfortable margin for the majority of the tournament. It was only at the very end, that Hart House made a disconnected attempt at a desperate comeback. Alas it was too little, too late.

Petah Tikva scored a well deserved victory and should feel proud for putting such magnificent chess on display. They showed an ability to dominate in two different time controls. Well done Petah Tikva! If we were in a playing hall, I would ask for a round of applause. As such the best I can manage is to offer well-wishes and hearty congratulations from my team! We certainly look forward to the next time we can play against each other!

I would like to close off by thanking the people who made this happen. It isn't easy setting aside time like this during a pandemic and during an exam season. So thank you for being here, all of you that participated. However, a special mention should be made to my counterpart from Petah Tikva. Peleg did a wonderful job in getting a whopping total of 37 particpants on his end. It truly made for a lovely tournament, and we hope to match those numbers ourselves one day! Peleg, who is prompt over email, deserves the lion share of the credit. Being the one to initially suggest the idea, even before we had an online club- the correspondence we shared certainly helped to foster an appreciation for the world of possibilities that exists within online chess.

Shout out to TheChessMachineLive, who as the name may suggest, streamed the whole tournament. His insightful and funny commentary together with stolencandy13, makes for an interesting experience- particularly when you connect the time stamps to your own games. I invite all of you to check out the video, you should be able to find it on Twitch by going to his username and being redirected from there. What I found particularly appealing was how he consistently demonstrates a sincere attempt to make chess more accessible and enjoyable for all. Initiatives like this give us more activities to enjoy and more ways to connect with one another. So thank you TheChessMachine for choosing to stream.

Moreover, huge thank you and shoutout to Sastein, who was instrumental in connecting the two clubs. He has been so active, in fact, that he has practically taken over the process of reaching out and connecting us with teams we desire to challenge! I hope that it is clear that we appreciate your efforts Sastein!

Regarding individual placement TheChessMachine tied for third place with Flash. Both from the Hart House Chess Club! Great work both of you! However, the top two edging away decisively by a small points difference were Peleg Tikva's very own asif2 and beni2006. Well done! I'm sure you made your teammates proud!

Nice one! Good try guys. When is the next team battle? I want to play.

online, invitational chess tournament for college students! The tournament will take place on on Sunday, April 19 at 10am Pacific Time. It's a 9-round Swiss Tournament with 5|2 blitz time control. For more information, please visit and the discord server . To register, please fill out the form in the first link and specify that you are playing for the University of Toronto (you do not need to provide a team; we will take care of this on our end). We hope you'll be able to join us for the event!

I copied this from our Facebook page.

You need to be a uoft student to participate. Use your uoft email for a confirmation.

This tourney does not actually require any organization on our part. Everything from the organization of our uoft teams will be handled on their end. Essentially our top scoring players are grouped in order in teams of four.

but in the form they ask for school email

Sorry to hear that you missed the team battle! Still looks like you're well ahead of everyone else in preparing for the next one. To answer your question. Put down your University of Toronto email, so that you are eligible to play for the Hart House Chess Club at the University of Toronto. If you are from another university you could sign up representing their club, though you would have to check with your university club.

I also seem to have made a typo. At the very end I wrote 'Peleg Tikva' and not Petah Tikva. My apologies to our Israeli friends, and thank you Peleg, for pointing it out to me!

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