Friday, September 5, 2008

Kim Steven Yap, a rising star

By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

CHESS is in his blood. His father is NM Lincoln Yap, who is working as a chess instructor and arbiter in Singapore and his mother is Mona Ruelan, daughter of the late NM Marcelo “Loloy” Ruelan.

His uncle is IM Rico Yap Mascariñas, a chess coach in Singapore, who, for a long time, was the country’s second best player after Eugene Torre, and a Board 2 gold medalist in the 1982 Chess Olympiad in Lucerne, Switzerland! Another uncle is Fide arbiter Marvin Ruelan, who orchestrates a lot of the local tournaments.

Kimkim, 20, an AB English student at the University of Cebu, recently played in the fifth IGB Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open where he snared his second IM norm with a 7.5/12 performance when he placed ninth including tiebreaks in a field of 112 highly rated players.

He would have achieved a nine-game GM norm had he won his game against compatriot GM Darwin Laylo in the ninth round instead of a tie.

He defeated WIM Suveges Navelle of Australia in the first round and missed the winning move versus GM Dzhurmaev Marat of Uzbekistan in the second, which ended in a draw.

He went up against GM Sermek Drazen of Croatia in the third round but missed the drawing move, and easily won his fourth and fifth games over Kamal Abdullah and Ian Udani, who are both Malaysians.

He won again in the sixth round over IM Julio Catalino Sadorra and halved the point with another Pinoy in the seventh round, IM Ronald Dableo. In the eighth round, he manhandled IM Oliver Dimakiling in the game featured below.

With his fine performance, I estimate Kim‘s new rating is not at 2359.

He is aiming to get his final norm at either the Pichay Cup at the Duty Free Mall in Parañaque on Sept. 13-20 or the Singapore Mixed Masters in December.

Sponsoring Kim’s trip to Malaysia were Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy, Kelly Uy of Cebu Progress Marketing, Bombi Aznar of SWU and Augusto Go of UC. US-based doctor, Darcy Tabotabo has also expressed his intention to help this remarkable lad.

It is interesting to note that Kim is up 2-0 versus current sensation Wesley So in their heads on match.

WESLEY AGAIN. Wesley So hogged the limelight with another impressive performance, to tie at second in the First Capital Dragon tourney in Vietnam after a 6.5/9 result. His live rating is now estimated at 2622.

He is one of the favorites in the twin International tournaments scheduled one after the other at the Duty Free Mall in Parañaque, the $40,OOO PGMA Cup on Sept. 6-13 and the $30,000 top purse of the fourth Prospero Pichay Cup.

Thirty-four foreign players have already confirmed their participation.

If Wesley places in the Top 3 in each of these contests, his rating will go up to around 2640, which will place him in the world’s Top 100, when the official ratings will be released on Oct. 1. Wow na wow! Soooo great already at only 14 years old!

SPAIN. The Bilbao in Spain, an on-going competition ending on Sept. 13, is the strongest ever in history (Category 22- ave Elo 2778) and has had its share of several firsts. The “Bilbao” rule is in effect meaning no draws are allowed, unless approved by the arbiter. Furthermore, the scoring is unusual, with a win at 3 points, draw 1, and loss zero. And it is played in the town plaza, inside an “aquarium”.

The prize? A cool Euro 400,000 or $585,000. The champion will get 150,000 euros, while the runners up will get 70,000, 60,000 for third, 50,000, 40,000 and 30,000 euros.

The six participants in the event belong to the world’s Top 10 list– Viswanathan Anand (1), Magnus Carlsen (2), Vasili Ivanchuk (3), Véselin Topálov (6), Teimur Radyábov (7) and Levon Aronián (10). It is one of a kind really.

No comments: