Saturday, June 26, 2004

Invasion of Leyte

By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

THIS time, it is not General McArthur’s men but Boojie Lim’s army that will invade the shores of Tacloban. The target? It is the 2nd Gov. Remedios “Metin” Petilla Invitational Chess Championship scheduled June 26-29.

Total prize money is a whooping P135,000 with P50,000 going to the winner, P30,000 to the first runner-up and P20,000 to the second runner-up. Fourth to 10th place will get P5,000 each. It is certainly one of the biggest tournaments this year and is also backed by the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office, Gleen Marketing and Marjorie’s Garden. Organizer is the Tacloban Executive Chess Club headed by its president Dr. Gil Asoy, while tournament arbiter is Mario Rebano. Registration fee is P300.

The tournament is sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and is certain to attract the “big boys” from Manila. I am expecting more than 20 International and National Masters including Cebuanos Barlo Nadera, Richard Bitoon and GM Eugene Torre to play there.

Invading Tacloban are Lim’s protégées Boy Abugho, Erwin Ababat, Voltaire Sevillano, Ramsy Pedroza, Richard Natividad, Kimkim Yap, Eden Diano, Aller Somosot, Adonis Buenaventura, Ceferino Vizco and Leonardo Alidani.

UPDATES FROM LIBYA. We were hoping of major upsets in the making as Mark Paragua defeated Victor Bologan in the first game and Ronald Dableo managed a draw in a difficult position against Liviu-Dieter Nisipineu. However, Bologan equalized in the second game and went on to win the active-chess tiebreak games. Nisipineu also won the second and that was it for the Pinoys.
Nevertheless they made a good showing and impressed a lot of experts.

They were not given a chinaman’s chance anyway. Jeff Sonas, the mathematician-statistician of the tournament calculated Mark Paragua’s chance to win the championship at 120,000-to-1 and Ronald Dableo at 100 million-to-one.

At this point, let us be fair to the Libyans and to the efforts of Fide President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The Israeli qualifiers and Jews from other nations or of Jewish origin were not officially banned in Libya. The procedure was for them to be issued visas upon arrival in Tripoli. However the Jews and their sympathizers chose not to play and didn’t even bother going there. You can’t blame them though as there is a strong anti-Zionist sentiment in that state.

CLASSICAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. The “other half” of the World Championship will finally take place in Switzerland on Sept. 25-Oct. 14, this year. It is sponsored by Swiss tobacco manufacturer Danneman, which has put up a prize find of one million Swiss francs currently convertible to $772,000. The players are current Classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Hungary’s Peter Leko, who qualified thru a series of matches organized by the Association of Chess Professionals ( ACP). They will play a total of 14 games.

As per the terms of the Prague Agreement the winner of the Kramnick-Leko match will challenge the winner of another match between the champion in Tripoli and Garry Kasparov, to determine the undisputed champion of the world.

Congratulations and Welcome to the following new Cepca members who joined our tournament at the Ocean Pearl Beach Resort in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City: Santiago Peque, math instructor; Romy Abendan, instructor at USJ-R; Gerry Rallos and Maggi Dionson, both businessmen; Eng’r. Emmanuel Carpio and Felix Salve.

Also our best wishes to the reopening of the Bibo Chess Club now under the stewardship of NM Lincoln Yap. It is located along Jakosalem St. in front of the Veco office.

TRIVIA. He is currently on death row at the Ely State prison in Nevada USA for killing a jail cellmate after an argument over a chess game.

If you know the answer, go in person to Big Apple Convenience Store located in Mabolo beside Kahayag Café and Restaurant and claim your prize, a tournament- size chess set, donated by Ely Berciles of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association Inc.