Saturday, September 3, 2005

The busy month of August

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

The chess calendar last month was one of the busiest ever with several major events and a host of minor ones.

The European Team Championship was held in Gothenburg, Sweden last July 29 to Aug. 8 and was won by Holland, followed by Israel and then France (on tiebreak). Ukraine was fifth and a surprise to many, Russia could only finish 14th. In the Women’s section, Poland came out first followed by Georgia and Russia again on tiebreak.

The members of the Dutch team were Sergey Tiviakov, Erik van den Doel, Ivan Sokolov, Jan Timman and Loek van Wely.

They had a score of 15/18 points and 22/36 board points.

Another major event was the Mainz Chess Classic held Aug. 9-14 in Mainz, Germany. It is actually a chess festival and composed of several events.

First was the rapid match between Viswanathan Anand and Alexander Grischuk, which Anand won, 5-3. Then they had the Peter Svidler-Zoltan Almasi Chess960 World Championship won by Svidler, 4.5-3.5.

Other events in Mainz were the Ordix Open won by Teimour Radjabov with a score of 9.5/11 and Chess960 Open snared by Levon Aronian, who finished clear first with 10/11 points.

An exhibition featured Almasi versus Shredder, which the silicon unit won, 2-0, and another computer match in Chess960 between Svidler and the Baron, won by the human, 1.5-0.5.

In the Unzicker Gala 80, Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi tied for first with 3.5/6, also participated by Boris Spassky and Wolfgang Unzicker.

Another tournament last month was the Magistral Ciudad de Igualada, which took place on Aug. 16-21, won by Luke Mcshane of England. The other players in the double-round robin were Andrei Volokitin of Ukraine, Alexander Beliavsky of Slovakia and the still active Victor Korchnoi of Switzerland.

The British Chess Championship took place in the Isle of Man on Aug. 1-3 and won by the defending champion Jonathan Rowson.

The 80th French Championships likewise took place in Chartres on Aug. 15-27. Joel Lautier won the Men’s event and the Women’s champion was Almira Skripchenko.

Some 34 grandmasters and 18 international masters were among the players from 43 different countries that took part in the Abu Dhabi Chess Festival held Aug. 14-23. Anastasian Ashot of Armenia won with a perfect score of seven points.

The 2nd Malaysian Open held Aug. 19-24 in Kuala Lumpur had a surprise winner in untitled Wang Hao of China with an almost perfect score of 10/11. No.2 with eight points is the current hottest Filipino player, Joey Antonio, who scalped the highest rated player in the tournament, Dao Thien Hao of Vietnam, in the last round.

Third placer was another Filipino, Jayson Gonzales, with 7.5 points. The other Filipinos were Nelson Mariano also with 7.5, Eugene Torre seven, Jesse Sales six and Sherie Joy Lomibao 4.5.

SHELL. Locally, we had two big events: the Shell National Youth Active Championship Visayas leg, which attracted over 500 players at SM City-Cebu last Aug. 20 and 21 and the E-Mall Chess Challenge last weekend.

Defending champion Jose Roble Jr. of the University of San Jose Recoletos again won Shell’s Junior division (20-Under) with a perfect score of seven points. First runner-up was Kim Steven Yap of the University of San Carlos and third was Zilberstein Torres of the Cebu Institute of Technology.

In the Kiddies division (14-U), Yves Fiel of Argao emerged the champion. Taking the second and third spots were Cagayan de Oro’s Lennon Hart Salgados and Joel Pimentel of Bacolod City.

All the six qualifiers will play in the grand finals in Manila on Oct. 15-16.

By the way, Kim Steven is the son of National Master and International Arbiter Lincoln Yap, while the proud father of Yves is Cepca member Percival Fiel.

Eden Diano was the champion in the E-mall tournament with 6.5/7 points. His brother, Harold, was No.2 followed by Anthony Makiniano, Edwel Alesna and Jobannie Tabada, who all had six points. The event attracted over 100 players, including three national masters.

N.B. This is to remind all members of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) that we will elect new officers and members of the board of trustees for the year 2005-06 on Sept. 11, 2 p.m. at the Stella Maris Seafarer’s Center. We will also have our monthly tournament on this date. Attendance is compulsory.

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