Friday, November 7, 2008

World Chess Olympiad

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE 38th Chess Olympiad Dresden 2008 will take place next week from Nov. 12 to 25 at the International Congress Center. One hundred and 58 men’s and 119 women’s teams are Olympiad records in participation.

The Philippine men’s team is composed of Wesley So (2610), John Paul Gomez (2519), Darwin Laylo (2507), Jayson Gonzales (2469) and Bong Villamayor (2468). Team captain is Eugene Torre. Our team is ranked 38th, while our women are in the middle at 51st.

The women’s team has Catherine Pereña, Shercila Cua, Daisy Rivera, Chardine Camacho and Christy Lamiel Bernales. Team captain is Cesar Caturla who just texted me that everything is ready and they will be leaving on Tuesday next week.

It will be recalled that GMs Torre and Joey Antonio opt not to participate in the eliminations and for the first time in a decade they are out. Mark Paragua also did not make the team.

Top seeds in the men’s section are Russia with Vladimir Kramnik (2772), Alexander Morozevich (2787), Peter Svidler (2727), Alexander Grischuk (2719) and Dmitry Jakovenko (2737); Ukraine with Vassily Ivanchuk (2786), Sergey Karjakin (2730), Eljanov Pavel (2720), Zahar Efimenko (2680), Andrei Volokitin (2659); and China with

Wang Yue (2736), Bu Xianghi (2714), Ni Hua (2710), Wang Hao (2696), Li Chao (2622).

The Women’s top seeds are also Russia, Ukraine and China.

If we Cepcans were to form a team among our Class A members with an average of Elo 2000 we would be rated 127 ahead of such countries as Hong Kong, Pakistan, Chinese Taipei, Afghanistan and most African countries etc.

Another major change in the Olympiad was the reduction of 14 playing rounds to 11. The time control is 40 moves in 1 1/2 hour and 30 minutes play to finish with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting on move 1.

Fide and the organizers will also implement some new regulations. Being late and refusal to shake hands will now mean an automatic loss of the game. Draws are not allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move.

Prior agreement between players as to the result of individual games or of a match shall be penalized. The points earned by it shall be annulled and the matter shall be referred to the Appeals Committee for the fixing of the penalty.

Only players who have played a minimum of eight games shall be eligible for Board Prizes.

The Philippines has been a participant of the Olympiad since1956. The highest finish we have achieved was in Thessaloniki 1998 when we captured seventh place.

Eugene Torre in Board 1 won the bronze twice in LaValletta 1980 and Dubai 1986 and silver in Nice in 1974 behind Anatoly Karpov where he became GM. Rico Mascariñas snared the gold in Board 2 in Lucerne 1982 with six wins, three draws and no loss. Glenn Bordonada also got the Gold in Board 4 in Buenos Aires 1978 with five wins, four draws and no loss.

Eric Gloria, likewise, won the silver as a reserve in the Manila 1992, while Ferdie Donguines got the bronze also as a reserve in Moscow 1994.

ECONG. The 2008 US Open, the biggest tournament in America was recently won by Cebuano IM Enrico Sevillano, 40, a former protegee of Bombi Aznar, over a field totaling 379 players. As a result he is on the cover of the November issue of Chess Life, the official publication of the United States Chess Federation. Congratulations!

The Shell Grand Finals will start tomorrow at SM Megamall featuring 44 of the country’s top Juniors and Kiddies. Cebuano participants are Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano of SWU and Econg’s nephew, Marq Gabrielle Balbona of USJR in the Kiddies section and Venancio Loyola Jr. of USJR and Bernardo Ruelo Jr. of UC in the Juniors. First place prizes are P30,000 for Juniors and P20,000 for kiddies.

No comments: