Canada's Next IM: Mark Plotkin!

FM Mark Plotkin earns third IM Norm in Oakville!

The 2020 Oakville IM Invitational took place February 19-23, 2020 in Oakville, Ontario. It was a 10-player round robin organized by Ken Green's Elevate My Chess to give seven players from Canada and the USA a chance to play nine challenging opponents and earn an IM norm.  

FM Mark Plotkin (CAN) secured the 6.5 points needed for his final IM Norm with a round to spare, and won his last game to take first overall. With a +6 score Mark's FIDE rating will go well over 2400, meaning Mark has now met all the requirements for the FIDE International Master title!

FM Liran Zhou (USA) scored 6.5/9 to secure his first IM Norm. Born in 2008, Liran was the youngest player in the event -- one year younger than FM Jason Liang (NY), who was playing his second tournament in Canada in one week, having played in the Hart House Reading Week Open days before.

FM Eugene Hua (CAN) inflicted IM Tomas Krnan's only defeat of the event in the final round. Cruelly, scoring 6/9 left Eugene 0.39 off the IM Norm.

Final Crosstable:

 Name Fed FIDE 12345678910 Total
  1. Plotkin,Mark; CAN; 2394; *1½½11½111; 7.5/9
  2. Zhou,Liran; USA; 2307; 0*½½1½1111; 6.5/9
  3. Hua,Eugene; CAN; 2298; ½½*1½110½1; 6.0/9
  4. Krnan,Tomas; CAN; 2420; ½½0*½½11½1; 5.5/9
  5. Posthuma,Joshua; USA; 2353; 00½½*½½111; 5.0/9
  6. Liang,Jason; USA23460; ½0½½*½011; 4.0/9
  7. Migot,Tangi; FRA; 2367; ½000½½*101; 3.5/9
  8. Vettese,Nicholas; CAN; 2225; 0010010*½1; 3.5/9
  9. Lund,Silas; DEN; 2340; 00½½001½*1; 3.5/9
  10. Clyde,Jordan; CAN; 2165; 000000000*; 0.0/9

Oakville Winter Open

On the weekend, the 2020 Oakville Winter Open was held alongside the IM Invitational. GM Kaiqi Yang won with 5/5, ahead of top-rated IM Ameet Ghasi (ENG) -- who lost to FM Anthony Atanasov in round 2 but didn't show up on Sunday -- and FMs Roman Sapozhnikov and Michael Buscar. Both events were held in a conference room adjacent to the hotel pool, which was thoroughly enjoyed by dozens of energetic young women in town for a hockey tournament.

Somehow, the screams of happy children are not always contagious.


  • Games from the IM Invitational, as well as the top board from the Oakville Winter Open, were live online thank$ to DGT sets from Hart House. You can replay them here.
  • Elevate My Chess will be holding another IM Norm event in June, 2020. See this link for details.
  • Photos, not all of them unflattering, can e seen on the Chess Canada facebook page.
photo: TD IA Aris Marghetis hands FM Mark Plotkin his third FIDE IM Norm Certificate.