Friday, October 24, 2008

Anand, the virtual world champion

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

AFTER fighting draws in the first two games, Anand went to town with magnificent victories in the third, fifth and sixth games to lead 4.5-1.5 and crown himself virtual 2008 world chess champion. Unless Kramnik pulls out a rabbit or two in the succeeding games, this is probably the most one-sided championship ever in the history of the game reminiscent of the Fischer vs. Spassky match in 1972.

It will be recalled that Spassky played his best chess after trailing Fischer but can Kramnik do the same? He is performing at a rating of 2590 while Anand is going berserk with a 2960 performance.

Here is the rundown so far: Game 1 draw, 32 moves, Exchanged Slav; Game 2, draw 32 moves, Nimzo Indian Saemisch; Game 3, Anand wins with black, 41 moves, Queen’s Gambit Meran; Game 4, draw, 29 moves Queen’s Gambit Decline; Game 5, Anand wins again with black, 35 moves Queen’s Gambit Meran; Game 6, Anand wins with white, 47 moves, Nimzo Indian 4. Qc2.

The World championship is played in Bonn, Germany from Oct.14 to Nov.2 and is Best of 12 games. Prize pot is 1.5 million Euros to be split equally between the players. It means that the Indian needs only two points in the next six games to be crowned World Champion for the moment, and with the way he is playing, it is like duck thrown to water.

It will not be for long though as he has yet to meet the winner of the Veselin Topalov vs. Gata Kamsky match next year, under the rules promulgated by Fide (Read my previous article in my blog, “Understanding the messy world championship.”)

It seems that Anand is better prepared as he has introduced several novelties in the games. This is most surprising as according to experts, the Russian has a better
team of seconds, led by Peter Leko.

Wake up Kramnik! It is sad to watch but the Russian is a proud man and I’m sure he will go down fighting

The World Youth championship is currently on-going in Vung Tau, Vietnam and the Philippines has sent a big delegation.

After four rounds, we have mixed results. Patrick de leon Haince and Kyle Ochoa snared three and two points, respectively, in the 8-Under; Paulo Bersamina has two points in the 10-Under; Angelo Vince Medina has three points in the 12-Under,better than Jerad Docena’s 2 and John Ray Batucan’s 1.5.

Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Prince Mark Aquino have three and one point, respectively, in the 14-Under. John Alcon Datu and Haridas Pascua scored 2.5 and 2 in the 16-Under and Carl Victor Ochoa snared 2.5 in the 18-Under.

For the Girls, Revita Samantha Glo managed only a single point in the 10 Under; Rowelyn Acedo has two in the 12-Under; while Chardine Cheradee Camacho, Jan Jodylin Fronda and Cherry Ann Mejia managed three, 2.5 and two, respectively, in the 14-Under.

Christy Lamiel Bernales has the best performance with 3.5 and Jedara Docena scored 2.5 in the 16-Under.

More than 800 players from 70 federations are playing in this Fide event.

The Shell Grand Finals will be held next month from Nov 8 to 9 at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong and the Cebuano representatives are Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano, 9 years old of SWU, and Venancio Loyola of USJR, 19.

Kyle is champion of the Shell Youth Active Chess Championship (2008) SM City, Cebu; Six-time champion of Cepca Kiddies Monthly Tournaments in 2007 and 2008;1st runnerup, Manila Age Group Tournament for 8-Under category. He is a nephew of IM Econg Sevillano.

Loyola is first runnerup of Junior Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2008), SM Iloilo City; first runnerup, Junior Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2006); Champion, Kiddies Division, Shell Active Chess Championship (2003); Milo Gold medalist (2005).

Friday, October 17, 2008

World chess championships

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE World chess championship between Viswanathan Anand,39 and Vladimir Kramnik ,33, started last Tuesday in Bonn ,Germany and will conclude on Nov. 2 excluding tiebreaks. The prize of 1.5 million Euros will be split equally between the players.

Two games have been played thus far, both draws. Although, a pawn down Anand had an effortless first game with black in an Exchange Slav and surprised Kramnik with 1.d4 in his first white game. Anand was pressing for a win but accepted the
draw offer after being in time trouble.

The match is best of 12 games under Classical time controls. Time per player is two hours, with 1 hour added after move 40, 15 minutes added after move 60, and 30 seconds increment per move starting from move 61.

It will be a battle of technique, concentration, imagination, nerves determination, attitude, and above all else, preparation.

If the score is equal , up to three rounds of tiebreaks will be played. The first round will be four rapid games. Time control for these games is 25 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. If the score is still equal after the four rapid games, two blitz games will be played (5 minutes plus 10 seconds per move).

If the score is still equal after the two blitz games, a single Armageddon game will be played (6 minutes for white, 5 minutes for black, without any increments and black declared champion in case of a draw).

In their head-to-head matches, Anand is ahead, 19-13, with 82 games ending in draws. They have played 65 games in rapid and blitz with Anand winning 15 and losing 7. An interesting point is that Kramnik has never won a game against Anand in Classical time controls with black.

Kramnik performs better in matches as opposed to tournament play and has won all of his one-on-one championship matches against Garry Kasparov in 2000, Peter Leko in 2004 and Veselin Topalov in their unification match in Elista 2006.

Kasparov thinks that Kramnik is the slight favorite.

Anand performs better in tournament play as opposed to matches and is superb in rapid and blitz matches in case of tiebreaks. He was Fide champion in 2000-2002 and unified champion in Mexico in 2007.

In a match at this level, seconds are critical in match preparation and Kramnik seems to have the advantage. He has Sergei Rublevsky,Laurent Fressinet and most important Peter Leko.

Anand has Peter Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Radoslav Wojtaszek and Surya Shekhar Ganguly. There are talks that he has received some inputs from Boy Wonder Magnus Carlsen.

Kramnik: “I am very happy to have Peter (Leko) in my team. It is difficult to find any better candidate. First of all he has match experience, secondly he is a very strong chess player—I can really feel immediately the difference—and also we have very good personal relations, apart from the fact that we played a match, and a pretty dramatic one, but it never spoiled our relations.”

Anand: “(Peter Leko) was working with me for my match against Karpov, but it has been like ten years since we last worked together. For me it is normal—Peter had an interesting offer and he considered it.”

Kramnik on the effect of the live video broadcast by Foidos on his concentration: “I will try to comb my hair a little better for the games.” Anand: “I don’t think that Maria Sharapova should be too worried about competition from us.”

TALISAY. Allerie Somosot was the October winner with Yves Fiel, Rex Baylosis and Ryan Villacorta as runners up. Kiddies winner was Roy Jason Ortueste.

More signs of a chess addict

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

SEVERAL months ago I wrote an article about signs of being addicted to chess. Engr. Ed Beronio of Cavite, who regularly read this column, sent me additional information on this subject. Here are his notes on this matter.

During sex, you and your partner use blitz time controls. You deleted Windows from your from your PC to have space for your chess data bases.

You ask new acquaintances if they know how to play chess. You ask all chess players, “What is your rating?”

You kick out your teddy bear in exchange of your chess pieces. You own more chess clocks than watches.

You keep a chess set in your office or in your back pack. You think the Olympics take place every two years.

You pay more attention to a chess game in a movie than the story. When asked about that movie you say the white square was not on the right corner of the board.

You walk to the chess section of any bookstore. You call your girlfriend a “novelty.”

You drop everything if you hear someone say “Hi Bobby” behind your back. You have checkered underwear with a sign “It’s your move” on the front.

You end your e-mails with “P.S. It’s your move 1.e4,” hoping to start a game. You explain that you live one block up or one block down or like a knight or bishop move.

You own more books about chess than any other subject. You read all this and did not laugh.

TOP PLAYERS. The World chess federation has recently released its last quarter ratings for this year. Veselin Topalov has taken the No. 1 position due to his excellent performance in the Bilbao tournament last month .

1.) Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, 2791), 2.) Alexander Morozevich (Russia, 2787) 3.) Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2786) 4.) Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2786) 5.) Viswanatan Anand (India, 2783), 6.) Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2772) 7.) Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2757) 8.) Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, 2751) 9.) Peter Leko (Hungary, 2747), 10.) Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia, 2737).

Here are the top Women players 1.) Judit Polgar (Hungary, 2711) 2.) Koneru Humpy (India, 2618) 3.) Hou Yifan (China, 2578), 4.) Xie Jun (China, 2574), 5.) Pia Cramling (Sweden, 2550), 6.) Antoanetta Stefafanova (Bulgaria, 2548), 7.) Marie Sebag (France, 2533) 8.) Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia, 2525) 9.) Xue Zhao (China, 2518), 10.) Elina Danielian (Armenia, 2513).

The top Juniors (20-Under) and their rating and ages are: 1.) Magnus Carlsen (2786, 18) 2.) Sergey Karjakin Ukraine (2730, 18) 3.) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France, 2716, 18) 4.) Wang Hao (China, 2696, 19) 5.) Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2640, 16), 6.) Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan, 2631, 20), 7.) Yuri Kuzubov (Ukraine, 2622, 18), 8.) Li Chao (China, 2622, 19) 9.) Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia, 2616, 18) 10.) Jianchao Zhou (China, 2612, 20).

Wesley So of the Philippines, who will be 15 this month is rated No.11 with a rating of 2610 and is the world’s youngest super GM.

The top girls (20-Under ) and their ages are: 1.) Hou Yifan (China, 2578, 14), 2.) Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia, 2508, 18) 3.) Katyrena Lahno (Ukraine, 2488, 19), 4.) Harika Dronavalli (India, 2461, 17) 5.) Shen Yang China (2450, 19), 6.) Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2436, 16), 7.) Elena Tairova (Russia, 2422, 17), 8.) Wenjun Ju (China, 2395, 17) 9.) Tan Zhongyi China (2395, 17), 10.) Kruttika Nadig (India, 2387, 20).

Hou Yifan, who was the runnerup in the World Women Championship behind Alexandra Kosteniuk, is the world’s youngest GM.

MIND GAMES. Filipino GM Mark Paragua (2526) settled for a fourth-place finish in the just concluded chess section of the First World Mind Sport Games-Individual Blitz Chess Championship in Beijing, China.

More than 3,000 competitors are playing in the World Mind Games in Beijing for the next two weeks featuring chess, Go, checkers, bridge and xiangqi or Chinese chess.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Three big events in October

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THERE are three big events this month. The World Youth Championships will be held in Vung Tau, Vietnam from Oct. 20 to 30 and the Philippines has sent a big delegation.

The stars of tomorrow are Rowelyn Acedo for Girls 12-Under; Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Cherry Ann Mejia, Chardine Cheradee Camacho for 14-Under and Christy Lamiel Bernales, Jedara Docena.

The boys squad is composed of Kyle Ochoa for 8-Under, Haince Patrick De Leon for 12-Under, John Ray Batucan, Prince Mark Aquino, Jan Emmanuel for 14-Under, Alcon John Datu and Haridas Pascua for 16-Under, Karl Ochoa and Richilieu Salcedo for 18-Under.

Notable absentee is Wesley So who will be 15 this month.

We have no entries in the 8, 10 and 18 girls division and also in 10-Under boys division. For the first time ever, our players will be attired with a set of polo shirts, necktie and jacket for proper representation in this event, courtesy of NCFP President Butch Pichay

More than 800 children and juniors from 70 federations have already registered to participate.

BRAIN POWER. The First World Mind Games featuring chess, bridge, checkers, Go and Xiang QI (Chinese chess) with more than 3,000 players will be held today in Beijing, China until Oct. 18.

There are an estimated 1.3 billion people around the world who play these games, which are represented by 500 national sports federations.

Our chess teams are Men: GM Mark Paragua, IMs Rolando Nolte, Julio Catalino Sadorra and Chito Garma and NM Leonardo Carlos; Women: Sherily Cua, Christine Rose Mariano, Kimberly Jane Cunanan, Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Rida Jane Young.

CHAMPIONSHIPS. The World Championship match where Viswanathan Anand will defend his title against Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany will take place Oct. 14 to Nov. 2. Prize money is 1.5 million Euros. Main sponsor is Evonik Industries AG.

Acclaimed as the Fastest Brain in the world, Viswanathan Anand is rated as one of the biggest natural talents ever in the history of chess. He has won the prestigious Corus event five times (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006) and the Linares Super Tournament 3 times (1998, 2007 and 2008).

He became the Undisputed Champion in Mexico in September 2007, ending many years of schism in the chess world.

Kramnik‘s games are already legendary. He is always searching for creative and new solutions. In many games he sees things that no computer can calculate and no grandmaster can discover.

He was World Chess Champion in 2000 to 2007 and is undefeated in three World Championship matches. He has won all major tournaments in the chess calendar.

TALISAY. King James Torres, 17 years old, wins with six points over 68 players to emerge champion of the Talisay Open, September Edition, last weekend at the Talisay South Central Square. Other six pointers with lower tiebreaks were Joselito Loquez (first runnerup), Alberto Aabo (second runnerup) and Jomar Gallardo (third runnerup)

Previous monthly champions were : Carlo Maraat (May); Cephas Seguisabal (June); Keres Bucao (July) and Dennis Navales (August). Monthly champions will compete in the Grand Finals on January Sinulog 2009 for the over-all championship.

In the Kiddies Category, Deniel Corpus won with 4.5 points, John Francis Balbona was first runnerup, Sherwin Amad was second runnerup and Jeremy Pepito was third.

Major sponsors were Rural Bank of Carmen, Atty. Richard Abangan, Sr., Engr. Bombi Aznar, and Pepsi Cola. Tournament Director is Manny Manzanares and Chief Arbiter was Bob Tojong.

The next tournament is scheduled on Oct. 11 to