Friday, June 13, 2008

Records in chess

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

I ESTIMATE that the number of games I have played since I was eight is more than 30,000 most of them in them in the Internet on the past 10 years or so. I don’t remember ever playing a game that reached 100 moves.

So, it’s just amazing that moves in tournament play can reach more than 200 and the record stands at 269 moves, played in modern times. It was played in Belgrade in 1989 between Nikolic-Arsovic and lasted more than 20 hours.

With modifications to the 50-move rule, this record is unlikely to ever be broken.

The 50-move rule states that a player can claim a draw if no capture has been made and no pawn has been moved in the last fifty consecutive moves. The reason for the rule is so that a player with no chance to win can’t be obstinate and play on indefinitely.

Other games which lasted more than 200 moves according to chess historian Tim Krabbe are Fressinet vs. Kosteniuk (237 moves) in Villandry in 2007 which lasted just about two hours as the play was rapid with increment; the blitz Dos Hermanas Internet 2007 Petrosian-Sammour Hasbun (227 moves) ; Ivanchuk vs. Leko World Biltz Championship Moscow 2000 (215 moves); Cheklov vs. Stavrinov, Riga in 1988 (209 moves) ; and Wegner-Johnsen Gausdal in 1991 (200 moves).

When a pawn moves up to the 8th rank, it is normally promoted to queen.

The record with most number of queens played in modern times and in tournament play stands at 5. The most famous is the Alekhine-Grogoriev Moscow 1915. Others are Belov vs. Prohorov Chelyabinsk in 1991; Brumen vs. Jurkovic Bed in 2000; Mackic vs. Maksimenko Yugoslavia in 1994.

There is a game, the Sumpter vs King in Australia in 1965 in some databases with seven queens which later was proven fake and the six-queen Van Hall vs. Krabbe Amsterdam, 1963 also probably fake.

Chess-in-School. A few years ago I wrote an article about the benefits of playing chess, especially if taught to children in schools and am happy to note that in Marikina this school year, chess is part of the curriculum. It was also noted in the television program that the school authorities hoped that this program might implemented nationwide.

Last year President Arroyo even suggested and recommended that the game be a part of the curriculum. With Butch Pichay at the helm of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines this might become a reality.

More than 40 countries have Chess-in-School programs including giants such as the US, China and Russia.

I wrote in 2004 “Chess and the Child” that “Dr. Peter Dauvergne of the University of Sydney (1990), said that chess as a learning tool can:

“Raise intelligence quotient (IQ) scores; enhance reading, memory, language, and mathematical abilities; foster critical, creative, and original thinking; provide practice at making accurate and fast decisions under time pressure, a skill that can help improve exam scores; challenge gifted children while potentially helping underachieving gifted students learn how to study and strive for excellence; teach how to think logically and efficiently, learning to select the “best” choice from a large number of options; demonstrate the importance of flexible planning, concentration, and the consequences of decisions.”

DPWH Team Tournament. Cepca secretary Tony Cabibil informed me that the DPWH region 7 recently organized a four-board tournament with the following results among 9 teams: First-Cebu 3rd District 34 points winner over the other rule, second RO 7 also with 34 points and third Bohol 2nd District.

The players for the champion team are Cepca member Nilo Visitacion, Josephus Apurado, Edward Testa and Raul Flores. The members of RO 7 are Roy dela Cruz, Nonato Paylado,Cepca

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