Tuesday, May 6, 2008

World’s youngest GM gets on a roll

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

WESLEY So, the world’s youngst grandmaster at 14 is leading the “Battle of GMs” held at the City State Hotel in Manila with 6.5 points after eight rounds with a win over fellow GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor despite having the black pieces.

Eugene Torre drew with NM Oliver Barbosa to remain undefeated and Cebuano IM Richard Bitoon demolished Hamed Nouri in 33 moves of a Scotch to tie Eugene at second with 5.5 points.

GM Joey Antonio versus IM Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM John Paul Gomez against GM Jayson Gonzales are half a point behind after similar fighting draws. IM Rolando Nolte is now in solo sixth place after scalping FM Ferdie Donguines in 31 moves of an English opening.

“Masuerte ako ngayon,” said So, who is now rated 2561, an increase of 21 Elo over his April Fide rating of 2540 after winning the tough Dubai Open and a massacre of sorts over GM Susanto Megaranto, who qualified to the World Cup last year, in their one-on-one duel in Jakarta the other week.

In the Women’s category, the frontrunner is Catherine Perena with 6 points followed by Shercila Cua with 5.5. Rulp Ylem Jose is alone at third with 5 points. Cebuana Jenny Rose Palomo has 2 in this strong tournament.

GRAND PRIX. The first Grand Prix is taking place in Baku Azerbaijan and is a full round robin among 14 pre-selected participants from April 20-May 6. Six tournaments will be held in the next two years among 21 top players with each player under contract to play in four tournaments. The winner of the Grand Prix will play the 2009 World Cup champion in an eight-game match for the right to challenge the World Champion in 2010.

Here are the standings after nine rounds; 1.) Alexander Grischuk of Russia (6) 2.) to 3.) Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan, Wang Yue of China (5.5) 4.) to 7.) Teimour

Radjabov of Azerbaijan, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Shakrihriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, Michael Adams of England (5.0) 8.) to 9.) Etienne Bacrot of France, Gata Kamsky of the USA (4.5) 10.) to 11.) Peter Svidler of Russia, Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine (4.0) 12.) Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria (3.5) 13.) Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia (3.0) 14.) David Navara Czechoslovakia (2.5)

EUROPEAN INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. This is one of the major tournaments in the chess calendar and this year’s Mens’ edition attracted close to a mind-boggling 200 GMs and 100 IMs in the biggest gathering of GMs this year.

It is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from April 20-May 4 and is 11 rounds Swiss.

Three players are in the lead after eight rounds with 6.5 points, Emil Sutovsky Israel, Pavel Tregubov Russia and Sergei Movsesian of Slovakia.

In the Women’s division, which attracted 159 players, the leaders with 7 points after nine rounds are Pia Cramling of Sweden, Katyrena Lahno and Anna Ushenina both of Ukraine.

Amazing morale. Mobiloil Phils Inc., a multinational petroleum company that practically ceased operations in 1983, was an exceptional employer that treated all its employees with dignity and respect. With very few exceptions, morale was high and camaraderie among its employees even higher.

It is just amazing that after more than 25 years , the bonds of friendship are still there and although its former employees are scattered all over the world, we will have a reunion January, Sinulog time, next year here in Cebu to renew ties.

Tony Dumagsa and Ferdie Quioco, both based in the US are spearheading the reunion together with the Cebu group led by Bunny Pages. Expected to attend are a big delegation from the USA and Canada. Some will be coming from Australia and Europe including expatriates.

If you were a former employee ,you must attend.

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