Friday, July 21, 2006

Cepca updates; Wojtkiewicz

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

The July edition monthly handicapping tournament of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association will be on Sunday at the Bibo Chess Club along Jakosalem St. starting at 1 p.m. Format is five rounds Swiss, time control will depend on the players’ skills.

This tournament is unique in the sense that this will be a thematic tournament. For the first round, players with the white pieces must play c4, second round Nf3, third round Nc3, fourth round g3 and fifth and final round f4.

The monthly winners so far who have qualified for the Grand Finals in December are Dante Arguelles for January, Jun Olis February, Maggie Dionson March, Percival Fiel April, Jongjong Melendez May and Mike banebane June. NM Bombi Aznar, honorary member and club adviser, is automatically seeded for the month of December.

SPECIAL PRIZES. During one of the club’s Board of Trustees meetings earlier this year, it was decided that special prizes will be given to the top 10 performers, to be used as basis his monthly scores. The top 10 are Dante Arguelles 200 points, Mandy Baria 195, Felix Balbona 190, Maggie Dionson 190, Jonard Labadan 175, Mike Banebane 175, Rene Casia 160, Percival Fiel 130, Joe atillo 115 and Norway Lara 110.

It was decided in last Tuesday‘s meeting that the next General Assembly will be on Nov. 19 at the Stella Maris Seafarer’s Center at 1 p.m. to elect the new set of officers and Board of Trustees for 2007.

Also scheduled next month is the “Generation Tournament” wherein senior club members will play against selected Kiddie players. NM Bombi Aznar will test the mettle of Shell Kiddies qualifier 12-year-old Yves Fiel, Cy Balbanera, 14, against Mike Banebane, 85-year-old Gerry Tomakin against 12-year-old Ralph Pedroza, Loy Minoza, 80, versus Marq Balbona, 12, and Felix Salve vs. Jessa Balbona, 13.

Club president Mandy Baria has also scheduled a chess clinic for kids to be handled by National Master Ben Macapaz at the Stella Maris Center later this year. Some 30 kids will be chosen for the two- day training period.

WOJTKIEWICZ. We are saddened to know that GM Aleksander Wojtkiewicz recently passed away due to liver illness. It will be recalled that he was a guest of Cepca in the late ’90s to play simultaneous games against club members. I clearly remember that he was your regular kind of a guy who joined us in our favorite pastime of karaoke and ice-cold beer. He even offered to pay the bills as he was one of the major winners in the National Open-Far East Bank Tournament in Manila that year.

Born in Latvia, he was of Polish descent, and later took residence in the USA. He was a child prodigy who became a master at 15. His career was interrupted when he was imprisoned for two years for not joining the Soviet Army.

Alex was one the most active players of this generation winning several tournaments while training and teaching on the side.

He won several times the annual $10,000 first prize Grand Prix Chess tournaments in the United States. He won or tied for first place in the last five tournaments he played in.

I distinctly remember about two weeks ago when Jun Olis, a member of the Internet Chess Club, talked to me that Enrico “Econg” Sevillano, a full-blooded Cebuano now based in the States, lost his final game against Wojtkiewicz, which he watched live on the Internet. Had Econg won, he would have won second place in the US Open.

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