Friday, December 28, 2007

Beautiful and sexy chess players

Beautiful and sexy chess players
By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

WHEN Bobby Fischer was in a Japanese jail in 2004 for using a cancelled passport, Boris Spassky wrote to President Bush to free Bobby or place him also in jail and supply them with a chess set. Bobby, in a rare display of humor, requested instead the young Russian model Alexandra Kosteniuk,23, whom they say is as beautiful as the young Elizabeth Taylor.

Alexandra is an International Grandmaster with a Fide rating of 2515, which means that she can compete with our Pinoy grandmasters as an equal.

Kosteniuk’s motto is “beauty and intelligence can go together”.

Carmen Kass is a supermodel and was elected president of the Estonian National Chess League in 2004. She ran a campaign to obtain the rights to organize the 2008 Chess Olympics in Tallinn. However, that right was given to Dresden, Germany instead in 2008.

Kass was awarded by Vogue as “Model of the Year” at the 2000 Vogue Fashion Awards and is well-known for her distinctive runway walk.

Arianne Caoili is a Fil-Aussie mestiza who was born in the Philippines, but now resides in Australia. At one point during 2002, she achieved a Fide rating of over 2300.

She is known as the Anna Kournikova of chess and made headlines during the Turin Olympiad when Danny Gormally and Levon Aronian had a scuffle over her during the “Bermuda nights” party.

Monica Seps, 17, is a beauty to behold and comes from Switzerland. Although not exactly a world-class chess player, she can beat most Cepca members with her Fide rating of 2095.

Jessica Basland comes from France and according to The French Chess Association, her rating is 1100. Remember, we are talking here of beauty, not just ability, so pardon me if I include her here.

Vera Nebolsina, Russia, 16, won WWC U10 1998 with 9.5/11 and made second place in 1999 (with 9.5/11 tied for first place). She learned how to play chess at the age of 4 and won the Russian championship of girls U8 at the age of 7. Her latest Fide rating is 2349 and she is a WGM. Very pretty.

Kinga Harsanyi is a Hungarian Fide Master rated 2118 and only 18. They say that if you are a man, you can never defeat her in chess as she is so beautiful you don’t want to put her down. Extremely photogenic.

Natalija Pogonina, 22, is a Russian Woman Grandmaster currently ranked 22nd among women in the world with a Fide rating of 2462. She looks like Julia Roberts and they say she is even more beautiful in person.

Maria Manakova, 33, is a Russian Woman Grandmaster whose Fide rating is 2331.She is well known for being the only woman chess grandmaster ever to pose nude. She posed nude for the Russian men’s magazine Speed, after her comeback from Serbia to Russia in 2004.

During the Turin Olympiad in 2006, the winners of the most photogenic women chessplayers were Sanja Didijer from Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosteniuk, Mariam Mansur of UAE, Almira Skripchenko of France, Zehra Topel of Turkey,Regina Pokorna of Slovakia, Valquira Rocha of Angola.

Other winners were Sophie Millet of France, Ingrid Aliaga of Peru, Anna Sharevich of Belarus,Caolli,Eva Repkova of Slovakia, Shirin Navabi of Iran, Maria Belen Sarquis of Argentina, Lilit Mktrchian of Armenia and Katerina Lahno of Ukraine.

Cebuana Therese Gonzales is a head–turner who used to play in Cepca tournaments and is a very good player. Although I have not met them in person Kimberly Cuizon, Phoebe Bitoon and Christine Mayol are budding chess beauties according to arbiter Marvin Ruelan.

According to IM Manny Senador an astounding beauty is Arriane Aguja, a 2004 UP graduate who was U18 champion in Greece.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Fischer book, a hoax?

By Frank 'Boy “ Pestaño

I’VE come across several items in various chess blogs about an alleged new Fischer book “My 61 memorable games” that was auctioned in Canadian Ebay but was withdrawn later, probably because the whole thing was a hoax. If you recall, one of the best selling books of all time was Fischer`s “My 60 memorable games.”

“hat was being auctioned was the first 50 copies and “improved analysis and commentary” by Fischer. Here is a foreword by Fischer himself quoted in the auction:

“It is no secret that I have withdrawn from competitive chess .This book will not focus on that subject. Certain views that I have expressed publicly in the past, through radio and the Internet and other forms of communication, are likewise not mentioned anywhere in this book. The only quarrels featured on these pages will be the silent battles of the two minds playing the game of chess. I know many of the readers seek answers to probing questions regarding the Bobby Fischer of 1972. That person no longer exists.

The questions I will answer are: Why did I write this book? Why now, after all these years? I’ve wanted to release an official version of my book updated in algebraic notation, with a few minor corrections. (Editor’s note: Unauthorized versions of Mr. Fischer’s book from 1969, My 60 Memorable Games, do exist.) I also have a few things to say to others that have written about my games that I strongly disagree with, to put it mildly. It’s about time that I addressed these issues. And why now?

The United Bank of Switzerland has taken almost all of the money from my 1992 rematch with Borris Spassky. For those who are unaware, this is over $3,000,000. My ongoing battle with them is getting nowhere despite International Law clearly being on my side. So I bring to you my previous 60 memorable games plus one from the event that has indirectly caused me so much trouble, in the hopes that the sales of this book will reverse that situation.

It was tempting to add many important games from the path leading up to and including the 1972 World Championship, but that was simply too big of a project for now.”

Any news from Fischer merits mention as he is now in a hospital in Rekjavik, Iceland due to “kidney problems” and some sites are even mentioning that his condition is serious.

. The 4th Singapore Open is being held from Dec. 16 to 22 and there were several Pinoy players who joined the contest. Mark Paragua, Enrique Paciencia and Jayson Gonzales, who needs only one more norm to become grandmaster, had a good start but faded in the closing rounds. Here are the top six players after round seven:

1.) GM Sandipan Chanda (India, 2593, 6.0) 2.) GM Azmaiparashvili Zurab (Georgia, 2606, 5.5) 3.) GM Zhang Zhong (Singapore, 2634, 5.5) 4.) GM Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam, 5.0) 5.) IM Julio Catalino Sadorra (Philippines, 2414, 5.0) 6.) IM laxman RR (India, 2395).

World Cup. Gata Kamsky has won the World Cup defeating Alexei Shirov in the four-game final with a win and three draws. He won $120,000, while Shirov had to settle with $80,000.

He did not lose a single game in the 128-field knockout format winning over Junior Champion Ahmed Adly in the first round, Boris Avrukh, Sergei Rublevski, Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov, Magnus Carlsen and finally Shirov.

I recall that back in the ’90s, Richard Bitoon, who won P30,000 in the recently concluded Rose Pharmacy Open Christmas tournament, was known as the “Kamsky of Cebu” as both look the same.

Cepca News. This is a reminder to all members that our grand finals and Christmas party will be tomorrow Dec. 22 at our house in Mabolo starting at 3 p.m.
For more information call 231-7656.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cepca grand finals and Rose Pharmacy Open

By Frank 'Boy” Pestaño

THE grand finals of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Association Inc. will be on Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. at our residence in Mabolo (in front of the old Coaco bldg. and at the back of NG Marble).

There will also be a side event among the non-qualifiers and the grand finals of the kiddies and juniors players. After the tournaments, we will celebrate our Christmas party and induct the new set of trustees and officers for 2008.

Inducting officer will be our honorary member National Master Bombi Aznar, a hall of famer in chess.

Kiddies qualifiers are Kyle Sevillano (January),Marie Cecille Lumapac (February), Felix Shaun Balbona (March), John Francis Balbona (April), Marq Balbona (May), Jan Tilus (June), King James Torres (July), Jeroni Vinculado (August), John Paler (September), Godfrey Villamor (October ), Giral Miral (November).

Junior Players are Christian Lumapac, Yves Fiel , Cy Balbanera , Nicky Sabiquil, Yuri Cauba and Jessa Balbona .

Kiddies, Juniors and other guests will be assessed at P160 per person.

Here are the monthly winners who will slug it out to claim the 2007 Cepca Championship: Percival Fiel (January), Nic Cuizon (February), Miguel Banebane (March), Joe Atillo (April), Maggi Dionson (May), Mandy Baria (June), Zaldy Tabanao (July), Jun Olis (August), Mat Matuco (September), Jojo Muralla (October), Richard Ouano (November), and Bombi Aznar.

The finalists will be split into two groups and each group will play a round robin among themselves. The top player on each group will play for the championship while the other placers will vie for third and fifth places, respectively.

Format will be the same with the Kiddies, while the Juniors will play a single round robin. It will be a 5-round Swiss with handicaps among the Cepca non-qualifiers.

To make our gathering a success , please give your contribution early (deadline Dec. 18). Deliver it to our affiliate Collonade Chess Club C/O Malou Pestaño or Handuraw Lahug c/o the cashier (near UP T-2326401). There will be different assessments for incoming and outgoing trustees, grand finalists and other members.

For more information call 4120447, or contact Mandy Baria at 0915-4411344 or Mat Matuco at 0918-9062341. If you cannot attend, be a good member and still give your contribution. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.

Rose Pharmacy. The Christmas tournament of Rose Pharmacy will start tomorrow Dec. 15 at 12 p.m. at SM City Mall near the LTO licensing office.

Format will be a 5-round Swiss Tournament on both Saturday and Sunday. The top eight players on each day will qualify to the knockout format on Monday and Tuesday at the Deep Blue Café also at SM.

Prizes are: P30,000 for the champion, P15,000 for the runnerup. Losing semifinalsts will earn, P4,000, while losing quarterfinalists will get P2,000. Those who make it to the last eight get P1000 each.

There will also be a separate tournament for Kiddies Under 14 and also for the ladies.

Registration is P200, while for the kiddies and ladies divisions, it is P100.

Boojie Lim has been sponsoring tournaments since 1979 and his commitment and love for the game is phenomenal. He belongs to the elite company of the legendary Luis Rentero of Linares fame and Joop Von Oosterom of Melody Amber who make things happen in chess. To this day, Boojie remains humble and soft-spoken. He is also an honorary member of Cepca.

Vic-Governor Gregory Sanchez Jr. will be the guest of honor.

Commendation. Last weekend there was a break-in at our residence by an “unidentified” person. I reported the incident to the Mabolo Police Station 4 and was immediately investigated and attended to. Our family would like to thank SPO4 Raul Magdadaro, SPO2 Elmer Tanjay, PO3 Jeffrey Lanobis and PO2 Arnel Maglinto for their prompt action.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Fischer hospitalized; Kasparov jailed

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE two greatest chess players in history were in the limelight lately but in contrasting fashion. Bobby Fischer was reported as having been hospitalized lately in Reyljavik for “serious physical problems and strong signs of paranoia.”

Although the details are annoyingly vague and rather inconsistent, it has been mentioned that he has been in the Landspitali, the hospital for the University of Reyjavik for “several weeks” for kidney problems and he is not doing well . His life isn’t in danger but they are performing tests to figure what is wrong with him as he is afraid of everything.

His partner, Miyoko Watai of Japan, won’t take calls at all and Fischer cuts off anyone who speaks about him publicly so no one who actually knows him will speak to the press about his condition. The hospital will only confirm that Fischer is there.

Garry Kasparov has retired from the chess scene three years ago to enter the murky world of Russian politics. He has been leading demonstrations against the regime of the extremely popular Vladimir Putin and claim Putin is a “threat to democracy” and “has no respect for human rights.”

He was arrested lately and put in jail but released after five days. While in prison, Kasparov’s Lawyer Moskalenko said, “We have instructed him not to drink water or eat any food they might offer in detention.” The fear is that he might be poisoned. Amnesty International has condemned the arrest, classifying Kasparov as a prisoner of conscience. Meanwhile old rival Anatoly Karpov tried to visit him but was denied access.

Russia had an election a few days ago and the Party of Putin, United Russia, gathered over 60 percent of the vote as it had a clear cut program, good image and Putin has made the ordinary Russians proud of their country. Kasparov is apparently beating on a locked door.

World Cup. The tournament is on-going in Kanty-Mansiysk Russia as part of the World Championship Cycle to determine the challenger to former world champion Veselin Topalov. From an original field of 128 players which included our Darwin Laylo, we are now in the quarterfinals .

Quarterfinalists are Sergey Karjakin, who demolished Ivanchuk conqueror Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu; Ivan Cheparinov, who booted out Wang Yue; Ruslan Ponomariov, who had an easy win over Sasikiran Krishnan; Dmitry Jakovenko, who upset Levon Aronian; Alexei Shirov, who triumphed over Vladimir Akopian; the come-backing Gata Kamsky, who won over favorite Peter Svidler; wonder boy Magnus Carlsen, who scored a surprise against Michael Adams; and Evgeeny Aleekseev, who won over the
veteran and his namesake Evgeeny Bareev.

Pichay Cup. Standings after eight round. (Penultimate) 6.5 Ni Hua 6.0 Mark Paragua, Eugene Torre, Zhang Zhong 5.5 Joey Antonio,Wesley So,Li Chao, Fernie Donguines and Jayson Gonzales.

No pinoy can earn a GM norm.

Cepca News. In a meeting the other day, Cepca president Mat Matuco announced that the Grand Finals, Christmas party, and induction of new officers for 2008, including a side event for non-qualifiers, will be on Dec. 22 at Stella Maris starting at 2 pm.

Grand finalists who will vie for the Cepca 2007 Championships are Percival Fiel (January), Nic Cuizon (February), Miguel Banebane(March), Joe Atillo (April), Maggi Dionson (May), Mandy Baria ( June),Zaldy Tabanao (July), Jun Olis (August), Mat ,Matuco (September), Jojo Muralla (October). Richard Ouano (November) and honorary member Bombi Aznar, who is reserved for December.