Friday, October 5, 2007

Anand breaches 2800; Antonio is RP’s no. 1

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

NEWLY crowned World Champion Vishy Anand topped the 2800 mark in the just released third quarter ratings of the World Chess Federation. The other significant result is the rise of Ivanchuk to the number two position after winning the Montreal and Aerosvit 2007.

Judit Polgar is again the highest-rated woman for the 29th consecutive time with 2708 . Teimour Radjabov is the highest-rated junior player for the 14th time with 2742, while Koneru Humpy is world’s no.1 girl for the 22nd time with 2606.

Although Joey Antonio missed the World Cup by a whisker in the just concluded sixth Asian Individual Championships, his performance was good enough to make him the highest-rated Pinoy now with 2540, replacing Eugene Torre. Torre slid down to a tie with boy wonder Wesley So at 2531.

Mark Paragua, on the other hand, continued his descent now with 2514 after losing 11 Elo points. Paragua was at one time rated among the top 100 in the world.

Darwin Laylo, given a reprieve by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCPF), was the only Filipino to qualify for the World Cup in the Asian Championships and on the side, became a grandmaster. He, however, is nowhere to be found in the latest Fide ratings together with the other players, who were suspended for game fixing, namely IMs Ronald Dableo, Chito Garma and Oliver Barbosa. The four have denied the accusation.

One of the guidelines issued by Fide is that a player must have a rating of at least 2500 to become a full-pledged grandmaster. In effect, Laylo cannot be confirmed a GM unless his rating breaches the 2500 mark. As of now, his rating is 2486. Aside from winning $2,167 in the Asian tourney, he was given $1,000 by NCPF president Prospero Pichay, for achieving grandmaster status.

Kim Steven Yap, the hometown boy who made an impressive performance, snatched an IM norm and gained a massive 91 Elo to stand tall at 2337.

Taking the top spot in the distaff side of the Philippines is WNM Catherine Pereña with 2247, followed by WNM Shercila Cua (2203), WFM Sheerie Joy Lomibao (2186) and WIM Beverly Mendoza (2132) and WNM Sherily Cua sharing the fifth spot.

I have been informed that Pichay plans to write to the president of Fide, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, to accommodate Antonio to the World Cup.

Kirsan has the authority to include five nominees to the World Cup and has already appointed four, so Butch Pichay and Antonio better hurry up.

The top 10 men in the world are Anand (India, 2801, 38), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2787, 38), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2785, 32), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, 2769, 32), Peter Leko (Hungary, 2755, 28), Alexander Morozevich (Russia, 2755, 30), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, 2752, 22),Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, 2742, 20), Levon Aronian (Armania, 2741, 25) and Alexei Shirov (Spain, 2739, 35).

The top 10 in the women’s class are Judit Polgar (Hungary, 2708, 31), Koneru Humpy (India, 2606, 20), Pia Cramling (Sweden, 2531, 44), Zhu Chen (Qatar, 2531, 31), Zhao Xue (China, 2530, 22), Kosteniuk Alexandra (Russia, 2515, 23), Pia Sebag (France, 2509, 21), Hou Yifan (China, 2502, 13), Chiburdanidze Maia (Georgia, 2500, 46) and Kosintseva Tatiana (Russia, 2492, 21).

The top 10 in the Philippines are Antonio Jr.(2540, 45), Torre (2531, 56), So (2531, 14), Paraqua (2514, 23), Rogelio Barcenilla (2503), Joseph Sanchez (2496, 37), Oliver Dimakiling (2491, 27), John Paul Gomez (2469), Roland Salvador (2456, 25) and Jayson Gonzales (2454).

Country rank (average Elo of top 10 players, number of GMs, IMs, total titled players): Russia (2727, 173, 441, 1736), Ukraine (2676, 63, 172, 354) USA (2631, 61, 109, 475), Armenia (2628, 20, 23, 61), France (2625, 30, 76, 266) followed by Hungary, China, Poland, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Philippines is at 34th (2499, 5, 27, 44).

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