Friday, March 28, 2008

Tournament updates

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE 17th Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament is taking place at the Hotel Palais de la Mediterranée on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice from March 14-28. Twelve grandmasters from 10 different countries are taking part in the competition, which dangles a total prize-fund of 216,000 Euros or $336,000. It is a major tournament in the chess calendar and is annually sponsored by Dutch billionaire Joop van Oosterom in honor of his daughter, Melody Amber.

Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian and Alexander Morozevich are tied for the lead with 5.5/9 points in the blindfold category, while Aronian has a massive two-point lead over Ivanchuk, Carlsen and Leko in the rapids. Here are the standings after nine rounds.

Blindfold—1 to 3 with 5.5 points Kramnik (2799), Aronian (2739), Morozevich (2765); 4 to 6 with 5.0 points Veselin Topalov (2780), Peter Leko (2753), Magnus Carlsen (2733); 7 to 8 with 4.5 points Viswanathan Anand (2799), Vassily Ivanchuk (2751); 9 to 10 with 4.0 points Sergey Karjakin (2732) and Loek Van Wely (2681).

Rapid—1.) Aronian with seven points; 2 to 4 with five points, Ivanchuk, Carlsen and Leko; 5 to 7 with 4.5 points, Kramnik, Anand and Topalov; 8 to 10 with three points Gelfand, Mamedyarov and Karjakin.

WOMEN MASTERS. The youngest participant, who just turned 14 years old, won the Ataturk International Chess Tournament with a full point lead and a performance rating of 2674. It is one of the strongest women-only contests in recent years and it was Hou Yifan of China who proved why she is considered a future women champion.

The total drawing results of the tournament was very low, with just 18 percent of the games ending undecided. Forty percent of the games were decided in White’s favor, 10 ended in a full point for Black.

1.) Hou Yifan (China, 2527, 7.0), 2.) Pia Cramling (Sweden 6.0), 3.) Zhao xue (China, 2517, 5.5), 4.) Ekaterina Atalik (Turkey, 2408, 5.0), 5.) Lela Javakhisvili (Georgia, 2470, 4.5); 6 to 7 with 4.0 points Harika Dronavalli (India, 2455) and Zhu Chen (Qatar, 2548); 8 to 9 with 3.0 points Anna Ushenina (Ukraine, 2484) and Irina Krush (2473) 10.) Betul Cemre Yildiz (Turkey, 2207, 2.5)

FOXWOODS OPEN. Mark Paragua of the Philippines drew his ninth and final round vs. GM Keith Arkell of England to finish in a tie for ninth to 17th places in the just concluded 2008 Foxwoods International Open Chess Championships yesterday in Connecticut, USA. The New York based Paragua had 6.0 points with five wins, two draws and two losses in nine games of play and finished 13th place over-all after the tie break points was applied. GM Shulman took the title after a play-off with GM Ivanov.

3rd CALCUTTA OPEN UPDATES. International Master Rolando Nolte won his first two assignments and moved to Round 3 where he will next face Indian GM Das Neelotpal, who played in last year’s Asian Championship in Mandaue.

IM Chito Garma won against Rajpara Ankit of India in Round 2 after a drawn first game. He is set to play the 2007 World Junior Champ Ahmed Adly of Egypt.

NM Barbosa drew India’s Super GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2677) in Round 2 after demolishing Mishra Swayams of India. The tournament will end on April 2.

2008 SYDNEY OPEN UPDATES. GM Rogelio Antonio defeated Fil-Aussie Edsil Dilla in Round 2 of the 2008 Sydney Open Chess in New South Wales, Australia.

GM Antonio is sharing the top spot along with 22 other participants led by top seed Super GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore.

Filipino Round 1 winners lost their second round assignments. Catherine Perena lost to IM Zhao Zong-Yuan; Ramon Manan-og was defeated by GM Dejan Antic; Shirily Cua bowed to IM Stepen Solomon and Kimberly Jane Cunanan succumbed to FM Metz Hartmut.

The contest started March 25 and will end on the 29th. It adopts a nine-round Swiss format.

CEPCA MARCH EDITION. Newcomer Felix Palaypoy was the winner in last weekend’s competition at the Deep Blue Café at SM. His runners up were Mandy Baria, Jessa Balbona and Nic Cuizon.

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