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.

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