Chess matches a study in concentration

Eight-year-old Kai Richardson of Williams Lake calmly looks around the room as he plays Shaun Luttin of Vancouver on Sunday during the fifth annual Grand Pacific Open chess tournament at the Hotel Grand Pacific.

Eight-year-old Kai Richardson of Williams Lake calmly looks around the room as he plays Shaun Luttin of Vancouver on Sunday during the fifth annual Grand Pacific Open chess tournament at the Hotel Grand Pacific.

Some of the chess world’s youngest talents, as well as experienced masters have brought their skills to the Hotel Grand Pacific for the fifth annual Grand Pacific Open tournament.

More than 100 competitors age 6 to 80, from six countries, are playing in the event, which got underway Friday evening and has continued through the weekend, with final matches slated for Monday morning.

Among the top contenders are World Chess Federation international grand master Igor Rausis of the Czech Republic, B.C. champion Jack Yoos of Vancouver, women’s grand master Nino Maisuradze of France, international master Lawrence Day of Toronto (last year’s winner) and women’s master Valeria Gansvind of Estonia.

The younger generation is led by world under-10 champion Jason Cao of Victoria, the U.S. Grade 1 Champion Praveer Sharan of Lake Oswego, Ore., Canadian under-16 champion Tanraj Sohal of Surrey, U.S. national girls champion Alexandra Botez of Burnaby, Canadian under-8 champion Joshua Doknjas of Surrey and Canadian under-8 girls champion Andrea Botez of Burnaby.