Monday, January 5, 2009

Sinulog and the best players of 2008

THE Sinulog Open Team Tournament, organized by the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) and sponsored by the City Government, will start this Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. tentatively set at E-mall and will be a 7-round Swiss. There will be two games on Friday, three games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. All games will start at 1 p.m.

There will be a captain’s meeting at 12:30 p.m. We will invite Cebu City Councilor Jack Jakosalem, Cepca honorary members and National Master Bombi Aznar and chess patron Boojie Lim. Acting Mayor Michael Rama, also an honorary member of Cepca, will also be invited.

Prizes totaling P63,000 are at stake with P25,000 and a designer trophy for the champion. Other prizes are P15,000 for the first runner-up, P10,000 for the second runner-up. The fourth placer will get P5,000, while the fifth and sixth placers will get P3,000 and P1,000, respectively. Board 1 to 4 winners will also get P1,000 each.

Each team will be composed of four players and an additional reserve player, which is optional. Time control is one hour per player, play to finish.

To make the tournament competitive, Fide arbiters, led by National Master Roger Abella and Marvin Ruelan have made a list of players who must not play together and must play on Board 1.

The players are Erwin Ababat, Francisco Abugho, Leonardo Alidani, Odillon Badilles, Jhonel Balquin, Arnold Cadiz, Eden Diano, Rogelio Enriquez, Anthony Makinano, Mario Mangubat, Carlos Moreno III, Richard Natividad, Glen Pardillo, Ramsey Pedroza, Allan Salientes, Voltaire Sevillano, Elmer Sumangat, Bonn Tibod, Christopher Tobalado, Ceferino Vizco and Kim Steven Yap.

Some players may have been missed by our committee, hence, qualification to play shall be a determining prerogative of the organizers.

Registration fee per team is set at P1,000 and every team is urged to pay the fee by Jan. 7, and submit their line-up to my niece Malou Pestaño at the Colonade Chess Club.

The organizers are also urging the team to play in proper uniforms and to come in proper attire.

It has been observed that in team competitions, some games are “arranged” and this will strictly not be allowed by the organizers. The penalty will be set by a committee composed of Renato Casia as chairman and Marvin Ruelan, Roger Abella, Jun Olis and Joe Atillo as members.

TOPALOV IS NO. 1. Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov is in first place with a rating of 2796 as of January 2009. He is five points higher in the previous list and he gained these five points at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden. His winning the Nanjing Super-GM has not been counted since that event ended on Dec. 22. If included, his rating will be at 2810.

At second place in the Fide list is World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who gained eight points from his match in Bonn with Vladimir Kramnik. The latter lost eight points from the Anand match, and five more points at the Chess Olympiad.

Here are the Top 10. 1.) Veselin Topalov 2.Viswanathan Anand (39, India, 2791) 2.) Vassily Ivanchuk (39, Ukraine, 2779) 4.) Magnus Carlsen (18, Norway, 2776) 5.Alexander Morozevich (31, Russia, 2771) 6.) Teimour Radjabov (21, Azerbaijan, 2761) 7. Dmitry Jakovenko (25, Russia, 2760) 8.) Vladimir Kramnik (33, Russia, 2759) 9.Peter Leko (29, Hungary, 2751) 10.) Sergei Movsesian (30, Slovakia. 2751).

Our Wesley So, 15, is now rated at 2627 and is No. 9 on the top Juniors list (20 and below). His rating though has increased to 2637 for his performance in the Asian team Championship. I expect Wesley to barge into the top 100 when he plays at the prestigious Corus 2009 in Holland.

Kim Steven Yap now an International Master

CEBU’S newest chess sensation, Kimkim Yap, snared his 3rd and final IM norm at the recently concluded Singapore 2008 Open Tournament, which was won by IM Richard Bitoon to make it a double whammy for Cebuanos. Incidentally, Richard also got his 1st GM norm.

Participating were 9 GMs,8 IMs, 2 WIMs, 5 FMs, with 42 players from 8 countries in all. Other Pinoys who performed well were GM Mark Paragua and IM Catalino Sadorra who tied for second with 8 other players and IM Oliver Dimakiling who placed 17th.

Kimkim started strong by winning 2 games and drawing 3 in his first 5 games for an impressive 3.5 points. He won over GM Zhao Jun (2568) in the first round and drew with fellow pinoy IM Oliver Dimakiling (2448) in the 2nd game.

He easily trounced GM Bui Vinh (2507), and drew against another GM Dao Thien Hai (2510), both of Vietnam. He capped his great start with another draw against GM Nguyen Ngoc Troung Son (2567).

In the next two games, Kim had back-to-back losses against GM Filipov Anton(2543) of Uzbekistan and GM Megaranto Susanto (2536) of Indonesia. Games 8 and 9 were easy draws and Kim got his 3rd IM norm and increased his Elo rating from 2386 to 2405.

Kim acquired his first norm in the Asian Individual Chess Championship in Mandaue last year and his second norm in the 5th Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open last August.

Kim belongs to a family of chess players as his father is NM Lincoln Yap. He is the nephew of IM Rico Mascariñas, and his proud mother is Mona, daughter of the late NM Marcelo “Loloy” Ruelan. Another uncle is Fide arbiter Marvin Ruelan.

Richard Bitoon scored 4 wins and 5 draws in 9 rounds to emerge solo winner and snared his first GM norm. He prevailed over Chua Xing-Jian Graham and Jonathan Koh, both of Singapore, and Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia in the first 3 rounds.

In rounds 4, 5, and 6, he tied with Nguyen Ngoc Troung Son, Dao Thien Hai and R.R.Laxman of India. He then won over Filipov Anton and tied his last 2 games versus Catalino Sadorra and Nguyen Thanh Son.

Richard and Kimkim form the backbone of Team Cebu City, which is now competing in the Handuraw Chess Festival in Dapitan sponsored by the City Government
through the help of Councilor Jack Jakosalem. Other members of the team are Richard Natividad, Merben Roque and Voltaire Sevillano.

It is now an accepted fact that playing chess at an early age improves memory, problem solving, comprehension, mathematical skills, reading, and the overall IQ of the individual and should be promoted by the state.

Sinulog. Scheduled next month, Sinulog time, from Jan. 9-11, is an open team tournament sponsored by the City Government, thru the initiative of Councilor Jakosalem and the City Council.

Format is 7-round Swiss and time control is one hour per player, play to finish. Champion team will take home P25,000, 1st runner-up P15,OOO and 2nd runner-up P10,000 up to 5th place. A trophy will also go to the champion.

Early registrants are two teams by Chessmoso, another by Danny Pestaño, two teams by Jun Olis, Mandy Baria, and Maggi Dionson, Nicnic Climaco, Richard Abangan and Manny Manzanares, Fabio Abucejo, Felix Balbona, Kelly Uy, and University of Cebu, which might also field an all-women team aside from the men’s team.

We will also be inviting the varsity teams of other schools, some barangays and other companies and out-of-town teams.

Registration fee is only P1,000. For those interested, call Rene Casia at 416-3966 or Jun Olis at 340-1355 for guidelines.

Christmas party for Cepca members is this Sunday Dec. 21 at my residence in Mabolo. Call me at 2335817 or 2317656.