Friday, November 30, 2007

The stars of tomorrow

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE World Youth Chess Championship finished yesterday with a record 1,500 plus players from 103 countries in Kemer-Antalya, Turkey. There were separate groups for girls and for boys, 8-Under, 10-Under, 12-Under, 14-Under, 16-Under and 18-Under.

The numbers make this event one of the biggest ever, rivaling even the Chess Olympiads of the past.

Here are the results in the categories we competed in after the final 11 rounds. Eight-Under champion is Maria Ivana Furtado of India with nine points. Our own Revita Samantha Glo managed six pts after winning her last two games.

In the Girls 10-Under category, Mira Mirano snared 6.5 points behind runaway winner Anna Styazhkina of Russia who scored 9.5 points. The 12-Under Girls was won by Marsel Efroimski of Israel with 9.5 points. Brena Mae Membrene scored 6 points.

The 14-Under Girls champion was Paidkidze Nazi with 9.5, while our own Chardine Cheradee Camacho could manage only 6.5 despite a good start.

Carl Victor Ochoa got 5.5 points in the Boys 16-Under behind four players who tied for first with 8.5 points. Cristian Chirila won on tiebreak. The 16-Under Girls winner was Keti Tsatsalashvili of Georgia with 8.5, while Kimberly Jane Cunanan had only 5 points.

Finally, Ivan Popov of Russia won the premiere 18-Under Boys by scoring 9 points, way ahead of Paulo James Florendo who settled for 6.5.

World Blitz. The World Blitz Championship was played by 20 pre-qualified players in a double round robin format at the Gum Department Store in Russia last November 21-22.

It was like a telenovela finish, full of dramatics. In the last round, the two top rated players in the world faced each other as Anand clawed his way to the top in the second half of the competition. Anand was up by two pawns and was a sure winner until a dramatic blunder assured Ivanchuk’s win. He won $25,000, while Anand settled for $15,000. Rate of play was four minutes with 2-second increments.

Here are the top six placers. 1.) Vassily Ivanchuck (Elo 2787, 19 wins) 2.) Viswanathan Anand (2801, 18) 3.)Alexander Grischuk (2715, 14) 4.) Gata Kamsky (2714, 16) 5.) Vladimir Kramnik (2785, 13) 6.) Peter Leko (2755, 13).

World Cup 2007. New GM Darwin Laylo Elo 2508 should hold his head high despite losing to French Champion Etienne Bacrot (2695) as he made the former child prodigy sweat by drawing the first two regular games. Darwin lost in the tiebreak but still won $6,000.

The Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup 2007 winner will challenge former Champion Velin Topalov in an eight-game contest early next year.

PGMA cup. This was a rather dismal performance by the locals as no Pinoy made a GM Norm. I was expecting 14-year-old Wesley So to make history as one of the youngest ever to make GM, but he faded in the last rounds.

The Chinese, as expected, dominated the event by grabbing the top three positions. Ni Hua, Li Chao and Zhou Weiqui had 7/9 points followed by Pinoys Mark Paragua, a surprising Dino Ballecer and Singapore’s Zhang Zhong with 6.5/9.

Cepca. Finally after a year-long monthly tournaments, here are the grand finalists for this year: (January) Nic Cuizon, (February) William Retanal, (March)Mike Banebane, (April) Tony Cabibil, (May) Maggi Dionson, (June) Mandy Baria, (July) Zaldy Tabanao, (August) Jun Olis, (September) Mat Matuco, (October) Jojo Muralla and (December) reserved for Honorary member Bombi Aznar.

Meanwhile, a contest was held during the Lapu-Lapu Fiesta and the winners were Ademar Toledo followed by Rito Bastida, Arthur Castanos, Aldwin Daculan and Felix Poloyapoy. Jun Olis was the tournament director. Trophies and cash were awarded by the 2007 Lapu-Lapu Fiesta Committee chaired by Mrs. Paz Radaza.

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