Friday, October 19, 2007

The signs of a chess addict

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño
Chessmoso is full of information if you want the latest news on chess. Recently, it came out with an “ultimate collection” of chess tidbits, collected by a certain Edmund Lee Beronio from the Internet. Most of these I am familiar with and some had even been featured in this column in the past. Here are the “signs” of a chess addict (edited and updated).

1.) You write a chess column. 2.) During sex, you and your partner use blitz time controls. 3.) You think the book “The Mating Game” is a chess book in spite of the nude couple on the cover.

4.) You multiply 8x8 faster than 7x7 5.) You call your girlfriend “Queen” instead of darling 6.) When you look at a pretty woman you think, “Could she play chess?”

7.) You want the school teacher to give your children an Elo-rating instead of grades 8.) You look at a newspaper’s chess column before any other section. 9.) You mumble “J’adoube” when bumping into things. 10.) You keep a chess book and set in the bathroom.

11.) You ask new acquaintances if they know how to play chess. 12.) You ask all chess players, “What’s your rating?” 13.) You maintain a chess blog. 14.) You own more books about chess than any other subject. 15.) You own more chess clocks than watches.

16.) You call a new friend a “novelty” 17.) You think the Olympics takes place every two years. 18.) You name your first child Bobby or Judith and you decorate your nursery in black and white squares “just in case.” 19.) You panic for an instant when a waiter says “Check?” 20.) You sponsor chess tournaments.

COMEBACK KID. Mark Paragua won the recently held 2007 Calabarzon open, which attracted 150 players from all over the country and is sponsored by educator
Saturnino “Bong” Belen. Belen is the owner and president of Faith (First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities).

The format was a seven-round Swiss followed by a two-game knockout system among the top 16 players. The quarterfinalists were IM Ronald Bancod, who won over GM Joey Antonio; IM Barlo Nadera, who won over GM Eugene Torre; GM Paragua, who over IM John Paul Gomez; and IM Richard Bitoon, who won over new GM Darwin Laylo.

In the semis, Bitoon prevailed over Nadera, while Paragua humbled Bancod. Final results saw Paragua taking home the P100,000 top purse. Bitoon was second and he took home P30,000 and Bancod was at third and pocketed P20,000. Nadera salvaged fourth place and took the P10,000 prize.

SO’S SECOND NORM. Wesley So got his second GM norm even if he went kagar in the second half of the recently concluded World U-20 Juniors and Girls Youth Tournament in Yerevan, Armenia. With only 21/2 points in the final seven rounds, he still achieved what he was aiming for, his second GM norm, due to an amazing start where he was leader after six rounds.

He needs to make a third norm probably in the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup next month in Manila or the first leg of the Asean grand prix in December hopefully in Cebu to make the GM title.

The surprise winner was GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt with a solo 10/13 performance. He was the first African winner in a major tournament.

SCRABBLE. There were two events last weekend at SM City organized by tournament director Roger Abella, a chess hall of famer.

Saturday’s winners were Renante de la Cerna, who won P8,000, Odette Rio, Teodoro Martus, Rolly Navarro and Eduardo Enaje, who took home P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000, respectively.

Sunday’s winners were Martus (P5,000), Renz Yamson (P3,000) and Dart Eslao (P2,000).

CEPCA NEWS. We will be holding our elections this Sunday to elect the officers and members of the board of trustees for 2008-2009 at the Deep Blue Café SM City Cebu at 1p.m. After the elections we will hold our monthly tournament for October. Attendance is compulsory.

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