Friday, January 18, 2008

Cepca battles Region 10 tomorrow

By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

READY with their offensive thrusts, gambits and sacrifices, the knights of Region 10 are invading Cebu to challenge once again the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association in the royal game of chess tomorrow at Deep Blue Café in SM City starting at 12:15 pm.

Ready with their bayonets are Atty. Quirino Sagario (NM), bank manager Rey Urbiztondo, eye specialist Dr. Rey Feliciano, who is somewhat of a chess legend in Cebu with his “Feliciano boys” chess team years ago, Dr. Leonides Fernandez, Dr. Willi Maghanoy of Iligan and Engineer Rocky Rocamora.

Adding color to the affair are businessmen Stephen Ty and Jun Tabarno, assistant to the governor Alay Yap, Engr. Ed Sanchez , Engrs. Vic Ardiente and Joey Ardiente, board member Ben Polao, Atty. Acmad Tomambiling, Bukidnon’s Tony Bartolome, Richard Wong and Richard Macas and Roy Roa of Oroquieta.

The delegation is supported by the Governor of Misamis Occidental Loreto Leo Ocampos.

Defending with their shields and bullet-proof vests are exporter Engr. Ben Dimaano, CIPDI’s Mat Matuco, DENR Percival Fiel, retired military man Miguel Banebane, internet café operator Nicnic Climaco, accountant Felix Balbona, Med tech El Labunog, Veco’s Nic Cuizon, exporter Jojo Muralla, Atty. Jongjong Melendez, municipal councilor and businessman Junard Labadan, businessman Dante Arguelles, bakery operator Joe Atillo, Engr. Jun Olis, Engrs. Maggi Dionson, Jade Garzon and Mandy Baria of Aboitizland. Bayanihan fame Nato Casia, professional musician Zaldy Tabanao and Cebu International School’s Malou Pagarigan, Cepca‘s lone female member. I will only play if necessary.

Format is two games per player over 20 boards and one hour per player, play to finish. Arbiter is Fide‘s Marvin Ruelan. In case of a tie after the regular games, a blitz tiebreak will be played at seven minutes per player in alternating colors.

A chess player is always a chess player. He will cross distant oceans and go to faraway shores for the love of the game. Welcome gentlemen to Cebu!

GRAND EVENT. Wijk Aan Zee is not only a tournament but a grand festival of gargantuan proportions. Aside from the main event, which features practically all the big guns of the planet, there are two more competitions that are also full round robins of 14 players.

Heading Group B are Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria, 2713) and Etienne Bacrot (France, 2700). Playing are the two most visible women today, Humpy Koneru (India, 2612) and Hou Yifan (China, 2527).

Playing in Group C are two of the youngest grandmasters, Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2598) and Paimarjan Negi (India, 2526).

There are also side events for amateurs of three rounds each (quads), nine-round events, blitz, simuls, journalists group and a contest for composing end-game studies which attracted 151 entries from 20 countries.

There is also an honorary tournament featuring Victor Korchnoi (Switzerland, 2605), Jan Timman (Netherlands, 2561), Lubomir Ljubojevic (Serbia, 2543) and Lajos Portisch (Hungary, 2530).

All in all there are more than 1,800 players in the festival. Wow na wow!

Leading players after four 4 rounds in Group B are Harikrishna, Smeets, Bacrot. In what was billed as a tremendous upset Hou Yifan, 13, defeated former Fide World Champion Nigel Short.

Group C top players after Round 4 are Braun 4 , Caruana 3.5 and Carlsson 3.

In the main event after Round 4, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian are in the lead with 3 points. Highlights so far are the two losses of former World Champion Veselin Topalov to Aronian and Loek Van Wely, while Anand lost to Teimour Radjabov.

Judit Polgar is holding her own with three draws and a win over Boris Gelfand.(

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