All posts by mark

Taking player names for consideration at our first invitational.

The Rudolf Rocker Chess Club will be presenting our first invitational tournament in September or October 2022.

This will be a 5 round, CFC rated swiss with 10 players, a long time control, an entry fee, cash prizes, and over the board play.

preview image and link to our poster
(A preview of our poster, click to see the full pdf)

The event will be held at a private location in downtown Winnipeg in September or October. It will be held on three consecutive days consisting of two games played on a Saturday, two on a Sunday and one on a Monday evening.

Though this is a by invitation event, we are also welcoming the application of players for our consideration. We are primarily looking to invite players at the expert level and above, but strong class players are welcome to put their names forward to help us ensure we have the necessary 10 players.

Please apply by email to Chief Organizer and Arbiter Cory Letain <cletain@yahoo.ca> . Mark Jenkins will be acting as an assistant arbiter.

We will be finalizing our invitation list around Tuesday August 23rd.

We also encourage Manitoba players to have private matches. Once our event roster is finalized, you can let us know if there are specific players you would like to share your contact information with. In this way, you may still be able to arrange an alternative opportunity to play with some of our invited players.

In addition to this over the board invitational tournament, we will also hold an online swiss on lichess with the same long time controls. For access, join our lichess group. When applying for lichess group access, indicate your connection to Manitoba or prior connection to chess in Manitoba.

Millennium Library second floor undergoing renovations

Millennium Library is undergoing floor by floor renovations starting with the 2nd floor on Monday August 15th. Closures will be approximately four weeks per floor.

Study tables on the 4th floor may be an option for casual chess gathering.

At this time we don’t have a further August meetup with a host scheduled, but you may find other casual players at the library on Saturday afternoons none-the-less.

Global News coverage.

Winnipeg Public Library project info an updates.

Current text at the top of most library web pages:

Notice: Notice: On Monday, August 15, Millennium Library will begin renovations to replace carpet tiles and lighting. The library will remain open while work is completed one floor at a time. Renovations will start on the second floor, followed by the first, fourth and third. Access to certain collections and services will be impacted as each floor closes in rotation. The project is expected to be complete in late 2022. Please visit our project page for collection and service information during renovations.

August 13, 2022 meetup cancelled

Mark Jenkins was to host a casual meetup on Saturday August 13, 2022, noon-4pm but became unavailable as of Friday August 12.

Though no formal host will be present, we have helped establish a strong tradition in the last few months of casual chess at the Millennium library 2nd floor on Saturday afternoons. As such, you are likely to still find other players in that time period.

Without a host bringing sets, it will help to bring a chess set if you have one.

Our next casual meetup (in August) will be scheduled soon.

June 18 casual chess meetup — 2nd floor Millennium Library

Our next in-person casual chess meetup will be Saturday June 18 from noon-4pm at the 2nd floor of Millennium Library. Exact location is the round tables with chairs, walk left after exiting the elevator or climbing the stairs. See the area that I circled below in blue on the floor plan.

This meeting will be co-hosted by Mark Jenkins and Cory Letain. During the first two hours, Mark will be exclusively available for playing and offering free lessons to beginner and novice players.

The Millennium branch no longer has invasive security screening on entry.

The City of Winnipeg strongly recommends masking at city facilities. Mark Jenkins will lead by example by wearing and and also bring free KN95 masks for anyone who would like. You can expect though that many players will be unmasked.

Next casual meetup Sat April 30th — location Millennium Library

It’s time to restart casual chess at the Millennium Library.

Our next in-person casual chess meetup will be Saturday April 30th from 1pm-4pm at the 2nd floor of Millennium Library. Exact location is the round tables with chairs, walk left after exiting the elevator or climbing the stairs. See the area that I circled below on the floor plan.

These are the tables that used to have chess boards on them. They don’t have boards on them right now, but I’ll be bringing chess sets.

We are pleased to share that the Millennium branch no longer has invasive security screening on entry.

The City of Winnipeg strongly recommends masking at city facilities. The event host will lead by example in this regard. Free KN95 masks will be available for players at this meetup.

Kevin Gentes 1967 – 2021

This is a late post to recognize the passing of FM Kevin Gentes May 1, 2021.

Kevin gave a simul at the Rudolf Rocker Chess Club on September 12, 2015 which we all appreciated. Mark also had the pleasure of hanging out with him after to thank him for the appearance.

He has a deserved place in The Manitoba Chess Hall of Fame and Museum .

I’ve started a study on lichess for collecting Gentes games. Contact mark AT parit DOT ca with your lichess username to be added as a study member to contribute games and analysis. The first chapter is the famous upset Yusupov-Gentes (0-1) from the 1986 Canadian Open held in Winnipeg.

That result (and photos of both players taken in later games) made the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press on Monday July 14, 1986. Cecil Rosner wrote (excerpt):

Imagine a Manitoba junior hockey player outmuscling Wayne Gretzky for the puck and going in to score a goal in a critical NHL game.

The local teenager defied almost insurmountable odds to beat Yusupov, who is ranked third on the international chess rating list.

The game started quietly as Yusopov began building up a solid position in the Queen’s Indian Defense. Gentes later said he equalized the position after about 14 moves, sacrificed a pawn and slowly started exerting more and more pressure.

The Soviet grandmaster, a former world junior champion was forced to give up his queen at one point to avoid a mating attack.

Kevin is an excellent reminder that we should embrace opportunities to share chess with under-represented populations. You never know where the next legendary player will come from.

Rest in peace Kevin. A musical tribute is below.

A hip-top tribute. (language warning)
Gentes in his own voice.

Checkmate Omicron — 5 weeks of virtual chess club, Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 4, 11

COVID-19 has made for some rough times in terms of access to in-person chess. I can’t bring back that spirit yet, but I’m happy to announce that I will hold virtual casual chess club for 5 weeks straight :

Each session will last noon to 2pm Winnipeg time (CST or UTC/GMT -6) . Join us on the ##rockerchess-omicron IRC channel on libera.chat (web interface), or check out rockerchess.ca for a video conference link.

If someone wants a game, assume they’d like to play casual on lichess.org, exchange lichess usernames and use the challenge feature. Someone may prefer casual, untimed if they’re not used to timed tournament or online games. Or by all means, agree to other conditions.

Casual Meetup Dec 18, 374 Donald St, noon-3pm

Mark Jenkins will host a casual chess meetup on Saturday December 18, 2021 from noon to 3pm Winnipeg time.

(A previous version of this post said “Saturday December 27, 2021”, we regret the typo)

We’re still waiting for the library to re-open games tables. As such, we will meet again our temporary venue: Skullspace, the 2nd floor of 374 Donald St. Skullspace is a hackerspace, a technology tinkering club where Mark Jenkins is a member.

We regret that the venue is not mobility accessible. Climbing 3 flights of stairs (1.5 stories) is necessary to reach the 2nd floor.

The outside building door will be locked. Ring the small white doorbell labeled “sksp” and wait for someone to come down.

This is a free event, but donations in support of our non-profit venue are encouraged. $10 is a good amount to recommend if you don’t face any financial barriers.

COVID-19 vaccine status of of attendees will not be verified. This policy should not be taken as expressing any kind of opposition to venue or employment mandates. The host is vaccinated and would suggest visiting a clinic would be the best use of your Saturday if you haven’t yet taken that step to protect our community. Future Rudolf Rocker casual chess meetups may very well have a vaccine status checks, potentially on a rotating on-off schedule or potentially come within the scope of Provincial mandates.

We’re mindful that the health care crisis in Manitoba continues to escalate. We hope that for those who attend, the benefits of attending this small gathering outweigh the personal and social harms.

Relevant public health orders to our event are:

  • Indoor public place masking mandate.
  • Event capacity: Only 10 attendees + the host will be permitted on a first come basis. A small number of Skullspace members may also be present for their own purposes. Generally, attendance at past meetups (pre-pandemic) has tended to be under this number anyway.
  • Distancing: Tables and boards will be set up for players to sit at far ends lengthwise, with the intention being to play casual untimed games where one player takes responsibility for moving pieces and the other calls out moves at a distance. A second board and piece set can be provided for the other end of the table on request.

Weather permitting, windows at the front of the space and the rear emergency escape will be partially opened for air flow.

The venue is 2,500 square feet, which provides lots of room to spread out. The tables described above will be in a classroom area at the entrance. Further into the space is a lounge with couches and coffee-tables that attendees can also spread out to and there’s also an area outside the classroom with a board table.

As a hackerspace, there are are also workshop areas with shelved hand tools, many with cutting ability, 3D printers with parts that are hot when operated, a drill press, an electronics area with soldering irons, and CNC milling machine. Chess club guests are asked to not interact with these things. The appropriate time for guests to come by for Skullspace member supervised access and tours of tools is during Tuesday night open house days at 6pm.

Minors are welcome, but close parental supervision is a necessity for children who are not old enough to be on their own in public. Parents should also keep in mind that many kids don’t have the attention span to play casual chess for 3 hours and should plan on a shorter visit.

In parallel, anyone looking for an online meetup can join the ##rockerchess-2021-12-18 channel on the Libera Chat IRC network. (Web interface ). This time around, there won’t be any attempt to bridge with the in-person meetup. If you’re in the chat channel, patiently wait to see if other folks in the channel are active, ask active folks for a game and exchange lichess (https://lichess.org/) usernames. Assume the other person wants to pay untimed, casual (not rated) on lichess unless you negotiate other playing conditions.

Casual Meetup Nov 27, 374 Donald St, 11am-2pm

Mark Jenkins will host a casual chess meetup on Saturday November 27, 2021 from 11am to 2pm Winnipeg time. This will be a hybrid event, with opportunities to participate in person and remote.

This will be the first Rudolf Rocker Chess Club meetup with an in person component since early 2020.

Though the Millenium Library has re-opened to the public, gaming tables on the 2nd floor have not been restored.

As such, we will meet at a new venue until gaming returns to the library. The in-person component of the meetup will be at Skullspace, the 2nd floor of 374 Donald St. Skullspace is a hackerspace, a technology tinkering club where Mark Jenkins is a member. Event attendees will be considered to be Mark’s guests.

We regret that the venue is not mobility accessible. Climbing 3 flights of stairs (1.5 stories) is necessary to reach the 2nd floor.

The outside building door may be locked. If so, ring the small white doorbell labeled “sksp” and wait for someone to come down.

COVID-19 vaccine status of in-person attendees will not be verified. This policy should not be taken as expressing any kind of opposition to venue or employment mandates. The host is vaccinated and would suggest visiting a clinic would be the best use of your Saturday if you haven’t yet taken that step to protect our community. Future Rudolf Rocker casual chess meetups may very well have a vaccine status checks, potentially on a rotating on-off schedule or potentially come within the scope of Provincial mandates.

Under current public health orders, a small gathering of this kind is permissible. The most relevant public health orders are:

  • Masking mandate.
  • Event capacity: Only 10 attendees + the host will be permitted on a first come basis. A small number of Skullspace members may also be present for their own purposes. Generally, attendance at past meetups (pre-pandemic) has tended to be under this number anyway.
  • Distancing: Tables and boards will be set up for players to sit at far ends lengthwise, with the intention being to play casual untimed games where one player takes responsibility for moving pieces and the other calls out moves at a distance. A second board and piece set can be provided for the other end of the table on request.

Weather permitting, windows at the front of the space and the rear emergency escape will be partially opened for air flow.

The venue is 2,500 square feet, which provides lots of room to spread out. The tables described above will be in a classroom area at the entrance. Further into the space is a lounge with couches and coffee-tables that attendees can also spread out to and there’s also an area outside the classroom with a board table.

As a hackerspace, there are are also workshop areas with shelved hand tools, many with cutting ability, 3D printers with parts that are hot when operated, a drill press, an electronics area with soldering irons, and CNC milling machine. Chess club guests are asked to not interact with these things. The appropriate time for guests to come by for Skullspace member supervised access and tours of tools is during Tuesday night open house days at 6pm.

Minors are welcome, but close parental supervision is a necessity for children who are not old enough to be on their own in public. Parents should also keep in mind that many kids don’t have the attention span to play casual chess for 3 hours strait and should plan on a shorter visit.

Our event coincides with game #2 of the Carlsen Vs. Nepomniachtchi 2021 world championship. Being held in Dubai, that game starts at 6:30am Winnipeg time, but the long time control means there’s a good chance that the game will still be in progress at 11am Winnipeg time. Assuming the game is still in progress, we will have the commentary + audio available in the lounge area on projector and the board position (no audio) on the projector in the classroom area.

The online component of the meetup will be in the ##rockerchess-2021-11-27 channel on the Libera Chat IRC network. (Web interface ) Laptops will be present at the in-person meetup to allow for interaction with folks in the online component. If you’re in the chat channel, patiently wait to see if other folks in the channel are active, ask active folks for a game and exchange lichess (https://lichess.org/) usernames. Assume the other person wants to pay untimed, casual (not rated) on lichess unless you negotiate other playing conditions.

Virtual casual chess meetup Thursday Dec 31, 2020, noon

This meetup was previously announced for Wednesday December 30th, but has been moved to Thursday December 31st.

Our second virtual chess meetup will be held at noon (12:00pm) Winnipeg time on Thursday, December 31, 2020. This will be one of the few times we’ve held a meetup outside a Saturday.

Hosted by Mark Jenkins, CFC 1408 . (lichess profile)

During the event time, players with internet access should visit our online meeting portal at http://online.rockerchess.ca and express their interest in playing in our internet relay chat room or appear on our Google Meet video conference, https://meet.google.com/djs-utvx-vvv . The special event portal will be available by 11am and players admitted to the video conference meeting at noon.

The video conference will be live-streamed to Facebook and later reposted to YouTube. Stick to IRC if you’re shy about that.

If you unable to use the internet to play chess or that describes a chess player you know, see our page How to play by phone, radio, or conference call . We have a phone number on that page exclusively for offline players to call or text. (this is not an info line for everyone else who is online)

Please spread the word to your chess contacts who are offline that this is an opportunity to play live, untimed casual games with people by phone/text message.

For the first 30 minutes (12:00-12:30pm) the opportunity to play by phone/text will be exclusively reserved for Manitoba residents and former Manitoba residents who were part of the chess community. We’ll get up to 4 games going on the conference call, using internet players for half the board in some cases. (lichess provides a good way to do this) At 12:30pm we’ll open up the opportunity to play by telephone to anyone else in the world who reaches out, subject to our 4 game limit.

If we’re waiting for conference call players in this first 30 minutes, we’ll kibitz over in-progress lichess TV games or any other completed master or personal recorded games that participants want to talk over.

We’ll stop commencing conference call games at 2pm Winnipeg time. We’ll stick with any in progress until 5pm, at which point they’ll be adjourned.

After 12:30pm, if there are no conference call games happening (like last time), the host will play, kibitz with, and comment on the play of other online players up until 3pm.