2019 Manitoba Closed Championship

By | May 13, 2019

The 2019 Manitoba Closed Chess Championship saw eight players contesting a seven game round-robin over the first two weekends in May.
Entering the penultimate round, undefeated Theo Wolchock had a half-point lead over Isaac Wiebe and Jeff Babb. In what would prove to be a pivotal game for the championship results, Babb missed a win in the ending against Wiebe, with a resultant draw. Wolchock, in looming time trouble, then decided not to press his advantage against Yemi Abioye, to enter the final round maintaining the half-point lead over Wiebe and Babb.

The final round pairings were Tony Boron-Wolchock, Wiebe-Derek Ma, Abioye-Babb (The other contestants, Gustav Baron and Rolando Bince had already concluded the tournament). The previously winless Boron played spoiler by defeating Wolchock, opening the door for Wiebe or Babb to capture the championship. Wiebe’s attack broke through soon after and now it was up to Babb to try and generate winning chances in his game, which otherwise looked like a draw with the heavy pieces on the board. Eventually, Abioye showed good technique to win in a marathon 129 moves.

Isaac Wiebe repeats as Manitoba Closed Champion, Theo Wolchock finished in second, with Jeff Babb and Yemi Abioye tied for third.