Monday, January 5, 2009

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.

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