Friday, July 6, 2007

Anand, Kramnik and the Deuterium

By Frank "Boy" Pestaño

VISWANATHAN Anand of India retained his status as the best player for the second straight time, while world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia seemed to have a strong hold in Dortmund as he won for a record eight times.

Here are the top 10 players, including their Elo rating and age, in the planet as of the end June: 1.) Viswanathan Anand (2792, 38) 2.) Veselin Topalov (2769, 32) 3.) Vladimir Kramnik (2769, 32) 4.) Vassily Ivanchuk (2762, 38) 5.) Alexander Morozevich (2758, 30) 6.) Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2757, 22) 7.) Peter Leko (2751, 28) 8.) Levon Aronian (2750, 25) 9.) Teimour Radjabov (2746, 20) 10.) Dmitry Jakovenko (2735, 24).

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The big winner for the period is Ivanchuk, who gained 33 Elo points and is now just seven points behind Topalov and Kramnik.
Leko also gained 13 to place at seventh, while Aronian slid down to eight after losing nine. Also a big winner is Jakovenko, who gained 27 to place in the top 10.

As usual, the list is not complete without the women’s ranking: 1.) Judit Polgar (Hungary, 2707, 31) 2.) Kuneru Humpy (India, 2572, 20) 3.) Pia Cramling (Norway, 44) 4.) Hou Yifan (China, 2523, 13) 5.) Zhu Chen (Qatar, 2522, 23) 6.) Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia, 2515, 23) 7.) Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia, 2502, 21) 8.) Anna Ushenina (Ukraine, 2502, 28) 9.) Zhao Xue (China, 2500, 29) 10.) Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgiam, 2496, 46.)

The Sparkassen Chess meeting in Dortmund took place from June 23 to July 1 at the Civic Theatre and had eight participants with an average Elo of 2727, making the event a category 20 tournament. Dortmund is a major tournament in the chess calendar and only the top players are invited.

Final standings after seven rounds: 1.) Kramnik (5.0) 2.) Evegeny Alekseev, (Russia, 2679, 4.0) 3.) Leko (4.0) 4.) Anand (4.0) 5.) Mamedyarov (3.5) 6.) Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2693, 3.0) 7.) Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2733, 2.5) 8.) Arkadij Naiditsch (Germany, 2654, 2.0).

The games were a disappointment as there were only seven losses in the whole tournament as most of the games were drawn. Kramnik accounted for the three wins, while Alekseev, Leko, Anand and Mamedyarov had a win each.

In the meantime, upcoming on July 14 and 15 at the Collonade Mall along Colon St. is a unique tournament sponsored by OFW engineer Ferdinand Mosca of Norway. He has designed a chess program which he calls Deuterium, becoming the first Filipino programmer to do so. Deuterium or “heavy water” is allegedly found only in the Surigao deep trench.

The 1st Deuterium Chess challenge is unique as the computer program designed by Mosca will be playing in the event. As a bonus, those who will play the computer will get P200 for a win, P100 for a draw and P50 for a loss. By the way, the program is not in the category of the Fritz and Junior series as its rating is only Elo 2200, beatable by strong players.

The first 20 students will get a 50 percent discount on the registration fee of P100, while national masters who join will receive an appearance fee of P500 and international masters P1,000.Total prize money is P15,000, a good figure by local standards.

Here is the inventor of Deuterium, “My full name is Ferdinand Mosca, 38, and my parents are from Surigao del Norte. I graduated with a BS Mechanical Engineering degree at the Cebu Institute of Technology on October of 1992. I was a chess varsity member.

I tried to get a national title before but it was simply too much for me. After graduation, I concentrated on my career. But I will never forget chess because it is one that helped me finished my studies, being a varsity member. But I know now the effect of my dedication in studying chess. I did not know that I was in the right path to self discipline. Imagine, studying chess openings and variations in the middle of the night.”

Ferdinand will fly in from Norway to oversee the whole event.

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