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.

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