Friday, April 21, 2006

Topalov vs. Kramnik; Cepca vs. Mepza

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has just announced that the reunification match between Fide champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Classical champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia will take place in the chess city of Elista, Kalmykia on Sept. 21-Oct. 13 this year.

Prize fund is $ 1,000,000 to be equally divided between the two players regardless of the outcome of the match.

The competition will be held over 12 games with classical time controls (120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with increment of 30 seconds from move 61). In case of a tie after 12 games there will be four tiebreak rapid games and if still tied, two blitz games.

An important concession by Kramnik is that the winner will play in the next Fide World Championship in Mexico City comprising eight players and the loser even if Fide champion Topalov will have to start from scratch and play in the next World Cup, which is a knockout tournament.

If this championship pushes through it will unify the chess world as we have not had an undisputed champion in over 15 years. Furthermore, the sponsorship by Mexico City, which has already been signed, of the next championship, is an assurance there will be no hitches this time.

This development is a big boost to the retention of Ilyumzhinov as Fide president as he faces a formidable opponent in Dutch tycoon Bessel Kok come election time in Turin, Italy during the Chess Olympiad there in June.

I am recommending to NCFP president Prospero Pichay to vote for the reelection of Ilyumzhinov as president of Fide as Kirsan has a special heart for the Philippines.

CEPCA VS. MEZ 1 & 2. Mandy Baria, the energetic president of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association, is busy putting on the finishing touches of Cepca’s goodwill match against selected players of Mactan Economic Zone 1 & 2 on May 6 comprising 20 boards at the Fairchild Semi-conductor (Philippines) Inc. in Lapu-Lapu City,
I am sure this will be a hard-fought match as the Zones have several good players especially Timex, whom Cepca played sometime ago.

The Rose Pharmacy & Pyro Works Open Chess Tournament will be held in SM City (in front of Wellcom) on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

Prizes are P3,000, P2,000, P1,000, P600, P400 for first to fifth placers, respectively and P200 each from sixth to 10th.
Registration fee is P100. Format is seven rounds Swiss system. Time control is 25 minutes each player with 10 seconds increment.

Cebu really needs corporate and government sponsors as it is only Rose Pharmacy, Cepca and a few individuals who are keeping the game alive and kicking here. Perhaps, sports czar Michel Lhuiller and Jack Jakosalem can lend a helping hand.

April champion Percival Fiel, father of the gifted child chess player Yves Christian, defeated veteran Mike Banibane in the final round of the Cepca blitz handicapping tournament last Sunday to emerge April champion of the club and thus qualify for the grand finals in December. Banibane was second, while Cepca president Mandy Baria snared third place with a win over Junard Labadan. Fourth placer was new member Benjie Sanchez and at fifth was another veteran, Dante Arguelles.

Previous qualifiers for the Grand finals are Dante Arguelles (January), Jun Olis (February) and Maggi Dionson (March).

I would also like to give thanks to “El Presidente” Mon Fernandez for making available the facilities of Tisoy Sports Restobar along A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City as the venue of this tournament.

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