Friday, October 27, 2006

(Holly)woodpushers, 007 and Madonna

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Sean Connery rose to fame as the 1st cinematic James Bond in the movie Dr. No although Ian Fleming was quoted as saying “he is not exactly what I envisioned“ as the fictional British agent OO7.

He went on the play Bond in six more movies eclipsed only by Roger Moore who did seven.

Connery plays chess in between movie takes and participated in tournaments while he was in school. He was voted “sexiest man alive“ by People magazine in 1989 and received the Oscar as best supporting actor playing the cop Malone in the movie Untouchables.

Another OO7 agent who plays chess is Timothy Dalton, who portrayed Bond twice in “License to Kill” and “The Living Daylights”. He is also famous for playing Heathcliff in the movie Wuthering Heights.

Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are so serious about chess that they are taking lessons from former Scottish champion Alan Norris. She has two chess-related music videos, one which features her playing chess with her lover in “The Power of Goodbye,” and another video showing her playing chess with a man in a beach-house in an extremely scenic video where she disappears into the sea after kissing the man.

Cher is a famous singer, songwriter, director, author and all-around entertainer. She has won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy and three Golden Globe awards among others. She is one of the most respected and enduring entertainer of all time. She and former husband Sonny Bono are avid chess players.

There is a joke that Chuck Norris once tried to beat Garry Kasparov in chess.

When he lost, he won in life by roundhouse kicking Kasparov in the face. Kidding aside Chuck is a good chess player and one of the most successful action stars of all time.

Dennis Quaid is a versatile actor, performing in both dramatic and comedic roles and is famous for his unique grin. Aside from playing chess, he is a scratch player in golf and was named top golfer among the Hollywood set by Golf Digest. He was formerly married to actress Meg Ryan and his elder brother Randy is also an actor and his sparring partner in chess.

Bill Cosby is one of America‘s most admired entertainers known for his warmth both onstage and off. He later starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show. Cosby rarely uses profanity in his act and has criticized rap music in the past. Some of his episodes in his show have scenes that depict chess as lessons in life.

CEPCA NEWS. Former president Jun Olis and current president of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association, Mandy Baria, have finalized the Cepca vs. Lapu-Lapu IV match, which will be played at Bibo Chess Club along Jakosalem St. this coming Sunday Oct.29 at 1 pm. It will be recalled that in previous years the score is 3-1 in favor of the descendants of Lapu-Lapu.

Playing for Lapu-Lapu are Joel Fernan, Jun Caballes, Tommy Tampus, Tata Casas, Rene Romero, Norman Olaybar, Armand Apa, Ramil Resuera, Aldrin Daculan, Lando Torres, Cezar Fernandez,Tony Ycong, Ferdinand Solis, Kidz Godinez, Arnel Abellana, Neil Amores, Nilo Bonganciso, Ariel Potot, Jojo Muralla and Jun Olis.

Cepcans who will try to even matters with their worthy opponents are Dante Arguelles, Richard Abangan, Ben Dimaano, Rene Casia, Joe Atillo, Ramon Pangilinan , Jun Quidlat, Art Yclino, Percival Fiel, Jongjong Melendez, Felix Balbona, William Retanal, Mike Banebane, Maggi Dionson, Junard Labadan, Zaldy Tabanao, Fred Sandalo, Fabio Abucejo, Manuel Abucay, Harrison chua, Danny Pestano and Mandy Baria. I will only play if necessary.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Game of the Century

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Normally I don’t feature games. However, I will make an exception this time as today is the 50th anniversary of the game between Bobby Fischer and Donald Byrne that is generally accepted at the greatest game ever played.

Chessbase featured this immortal game in its website yesterday and the annotation is theirs. So, take out your chess sets and enjoy,
This game has been labeled the “Game of the Century” and has been discussed in countless chess books, most encyclopedias and motivated me and countless others to take the game seriously.

Fischer was only 13 years old when this game was played and Byrne was one of the top 10 players in the USA at that time.

Donald Byrne-Robert James Fischer. Rosenwald Memorial, New York, 1956.

1.NF3 NF6 2.C4 G6 3.NC3 Bg7 4.d4 0-0 5.Bf4 d5 6.Qb3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 c6 8. e4 Nbd7 9. Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc5 Bg4 11.Bg5?!

11…Na4!!!. Reuben Fine calls this a brilliant reply. Botvinnik calls this a “stunning and shocking move,” while Fred Reinfeld called it “one of the most magnificent moves ever made on the chessboard.” Rowson says it is “one of the single most powerful moves of all time.” 12.Qa3. This is forced, probably the only playable move in the position. [12.Nxa4 The knight sacrifice cannot be accepted: 12...Nxe4 13.Qc1 (13.Qxe7 Qa5+ 14.b4 Qxa4 15.Qxe4 Rfe8 16.Be7 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Bf8 and Black is winning) 13...Qa5+ 14.Nc3 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Nxg5 and Black is clearly better.]

12...Nxc3. A kibitzing GM here said that Black was simply lost in this position. 13.bxc3 Nxe4!! 14.Bxe7 Qb6!

15.Bc4 Nxc3! 16.Bc5 Rfe8+ 17.Kf1

17...Be6!!! The move that brought the 13-year-old instant worldwide fame.

Fine says, "An astounding reply...which wins in all variations". "To have foreseen this spectacular queen sacrifice several moves in advance – as Fischer must have done – is extraordinary," writes Graham Burgess.

18.Bxb6 Bxc4 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Nxd4+ 21.Kg1 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nc3+ 23.Kg1 axb6 24.Qb4 Ra4! 25.Qxb6 Nxd1.

The rest is a mopping operation which Bobby conducts with absolute precision. Byrne is stubborn and plays on against the 13-year-old. 26.h3 Rxa2 27.Kh2 Nxf2 28. Re1 Rxe1 29.Qd8+ Bf8 30.Nxe1 Bd5. Instead of simply pushing and promoting a queenside pawn, the young Fischer plays for mate. 31.Nf3 Ne4 32.Qb8 b5 33.h4 h5. Rawson notes that every black piece is defended, “a sure sign of good technique.” 34.Ne5 Kg7 35.Kg1. To avoid the pin...Bd6. But now it is a forced mate for Black.

35...Bc5+ 36.Kf1. 36.Kh2 Nd2 threatening 37...Nf1+ 38.Kh3 Bxg2# 37.Kh1 Ra1+ 38.Kh2 Nf1+ 39.Kh3 Ra2 and mate to follow.

36...Ng3+ 37. Ke1 Bb4+. There were shorter mates: 37...Re2+ 38.Kd1 Bb3+ 39.Kc1 Ba3+ 40.Kb1 Re1#; or even 37...Bb3 38.Qh8+ Kxh8 39.Nxf7+ Kg7 40.Nd6 Re2#. 38.Kd1 Bb3+ 39.Kc1 Ne2+ 40.Kb1 Nc3+ 41.Kc1 Rc2#
Cepca news. Mandy Baria has announced that the October tournament of the club is on the 22nd Sunday at Stella Maris starting at 1:30 p.m.

Congrats to the winners of the United Architects of the Philippines District C-1 played at the The Gaisano Bowlingplex last Oct. 14. Champion was Ronald Hamac of Lapu-Lapu Chapter, 2nd Jeffrey Solis of Cebu Chapter, and 3rd Glenn Dakay of Sugbu Chapter.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Annoying your opponent

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

Veselin Topalov had a point when he complained to the organizers that Kramnik was going to the bathroom more often than necessary, suggesting unfair conduct. But I don`t think that he believed Kramnik was cheating, he was just annoyed. And so would I if my opponent stands up and go to the rest room 25 times (not 50 times as earlier reported).

As a backgrounder Vladimir Kramnik and Topalov are playing a unification match in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia for the world championship and the score now stands at 5.5-5.5 after 11 games. The 12th and last game was still being played last night and by the time you read this we will know who the winner is or if there would be tiebreaks.

According to the rules of the match if the score is level after 12 games, four tiebreak games shall be played. Time control is 25 minutes per player plus 10 seconds increment.

If the score is still level, two blitz games will be played with time control at five minutes per player, plus 10 seconds increment for each move. And if the score is still level, a single decisive sudden death game will be played with black having five minutes and white in a must win situation with six minutes.

If you want to win in chess and you don’t want to take the hard route by studying, annoying your opponent is a must. The best way is to upset his power of concentration.

There are several ways to annoy your opponent. When the chess club was still in the corner of Sanciangco and Pelaez Sts., I recall a player whom club regulars call “Karaoke” as he had the penchant of singing while playing chess. He usually sings whenever he is ahead to unnerved his opponent.

Talking is one way of distracting your opponent. Talk directly and point out his bad moves and telling him that his position is hopeless and when he complains to the arbiter, deny ever talking to him. Another common method is talking to yourself or praying loud to God.

Pretending to have a cold by sneezing or coughing and blowing your nose will distract your opponent and he will think that your illness is contagious and pass on the germs to him.

If your opponent is a slow player complain loudly or yawn or tap your fingers on the table and show him that you don’t like slowpokes.

If smoking is allowed (tournaments nowadays have a no smoking rule) blow the smoke directly at his face. Among the trickiest of players is world champion Emanuel Lasker. Although he only smokes the finest of Havana cigars, he invariably appears during tournament play smoking the vilest and lowliest of cigars. Once the great master Maroczy conceded a game rather than endure Lasker’s smoke.

Staring at your opponent deliberately with the intention to hurt him usually works if your opponent is a woman or still a kid.

Another way to annoy your opponent is to wear loud clothes or oversize neckties. The late Dr. Kanowsky, a very nervous player, claims to have lost a championship in Austria because his opponent wore a lavender and red necktie.

It is said that Frank Marshall goes into a panic if someone congratulates him before a game.

After all is said and done the best way to annoy your opponent is to make a strong move!

Cepca news. Mandy Baria, president of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association, has announced that the October tournament of the club will be on the 22nd at the Stella Maris center starting at 1pm.

Also there will be a kiddies tournament this coming Sunday at the Bibo’s chess club along Jakosalem St. starting at 1 p.m. If you want to expose your child to competitive chess now is a good chance.

NM Bombi Aznar`s chess clinics in Pardo Chess Academy (near Pardo market) for kids will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will be handled by Bombi himself and candidate masters Pipo Moreno and Boy Alejandre.

Friday, October 6, 2006


By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

IIt is a testament to computer programs nowadays that in the highest level of chess such as the world finals currently being played in Elista ,Kalmykia, Russia, one camp is accusing the other of cheating by using a computer program, which in this case is Fritz 9 plus some sort of wireless technology.

The current situation has been labeled “toiletgate” by some journalists in obvious reference to the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon and the indictment of some of his staff.

The crisis in Elista was sparked off by a protest by the camp of Topalov, a decision by the appeals committee,its rejection by Kramnik, and subsequent forfeit of game 5.

To start with, Kramnik won the 1st two games of the match in an innovative display of defense against the attacking Topalov and drew games 3 and 4 to lead 3-1.Then came the bombshell.

Silvio Danailov, manager of Topalov, filed a complaint that Kamnik was going to his toilet more often than necessary and demanded that a correction be made, casting suspicion of unfair conduct.

The appeals committee composed of its chairman Georgios Makropolous agreed to receive the complaint, which
ccording to observers was a mistake as the complaint should have been addressed to the match director, Valery Bovaev.

Having made the first mistake of accepting the complaint, the appeals committee made the second mistake by issuing a ruling that Kramnik`s bathroom door should be locked.

Kramnik`s camp issued a statement rejecting the decision of the appeals committee and demanding that the members be replaced because of its obvious bias in favor of the opponent. “The protests of the Topalov team and the suspicions of the press release by Topalov are utterly disgraceful and are touching Kramnik`s privacy.”

Topalov filed another protest demanding that the players must be accompanied by an assistant arbiter when they go to the bathroom or else he won’t shake hands with Kramnik.

Game 5 is about to start but Kramnik was not around. The chief arbiter, Geurt Gijssen, pressed the clock and the game begun. When Kramnik`s flag fell, he had officially lost as Topalov signed the scoresheet together with Gijssen. The score is now officially 3-2.

Kramnik now threatens to withdraw from the match if the result of game 5 is not cancelled and the championship is in jeopardy. Fide president hurriedly returned to Elista from a summit with President Putin and took over the entire match.

At midnight he conferred with Kramnik and the next morning with Danailov. After intense negotiation with both parties, he decide to replace the appeals committee but upheld the forfeit of game 5.

Just an hour before the scheduled start of game 6, Kramnik issued a statement saying “he will in fact play game 6 but under protest and conditional to a later clarification of the status of game 5. I had to assess between personal interests and those of the entire chess world.”

Games 6 and 7 have been played with both games ending in draws and the score now is 4-3 in Kramnik`s favor.

Did Kramnik cheat? Danailov issued a statement yesterday that “ after very detailed analysis of all the games of the match we would like to present to your attention coincidence statistics of the moves of GM Kramnik with recommendations of the chess program Fritz 9.”

The report is highly technical and could not be easily understood unless you analyze the games with the chess program, but a brief summary shows that in certain sections of game 1 63% of Kramnik`s moves were in accordance with the first line recommendations of Frizt 9, 87% in game 2 ,86% in game 3 , 75% in game 4 and 78% in game 6 for an average of 78% for all 5 games.