Friday, April 17, 2009

Wesley So now in top 100

WESLEY So is now one of the elite players of the world. He is ranked No.89 with a rating of 2641 in the April 2009 Fide list due to his magnificent victory at Corus and the Asian team tournament. He also totally dominated the Battle of GMs in Dapitan with a scintillating 7-win, 4-draw and no loss performance.

Among Pinoy players, he is more than 100 Elo above the legendary Eugene Torre and the rest and is pulling away in every tournament that he has competed. I expect Wesley to hit the top 50 list by July this year and the top 30 by yearend. There seems to be no limit what this kid can do and he is only 15 years old!

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Meanwhile, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov has crossed the 2800 level and is 29 Elo ahead of second-ranked Viswanathan Anand of India, the current world champion whom he will challenge next year. He achieved this due to his impressive results in Nanjing and winning his candidates match against Gata Kamsky. This 29-point lead plus another 42 points over the third-ranked player, Magnus Carlsen, is truly remarkable.

The biggest fall was by Vassily Ivanchuk, who dropped 33 points in Nanjing, Wijk aan Zee and Linares .Other losses in the top were: Alexander Morozevich (-20), Sasikiran Krishnan (-29) and Francisco Vallejo Pons (-14).

The highest new entry is GM Igor Kurnosov, who enters the list for the first time at No. 67. After 38 games, he has gained a stunning 56 points and is currently rated 2658. He made headlines at the Aeroflot 2009 tournament when he was accused of “cheating” by Mamedyarov for allegedly using a computer program but was later cleared.

Here is the top 20 Fide rating April list. 1.) Topalov (Bulgaria, 2812) 2.) Anand (India, 2783) 3.) Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2770) 4.) Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2759) 5.) Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, 2756) 6. Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2754) 7.) Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia, 2753) 8.) Peter Morozevich (Russia, 2751) 9.) Peter Leko (Hungary, 2751)

10.) Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 2748) 11.) Sergia Movsesian (Slovakia, 2747) 12.) Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2746) 13.) Alex Shirov (Spain, 2745) 14.) Yue Wang (China, 2738) 15.) Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2733) 16. Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan, 2730) 17. Bacrot Etienne (France, 2728) 18.) Peter Svidler (Russia, 2726) 19.) Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2726) 20. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, 2725).

Going back to Wesley, he achieved his highest performance rating of 2748 in Dapitan in what was probably the strongest tournament in local history with Pinoy only participants. To review, he won over Torre, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo,
Rolando Nolte, Bong Villamayor, Jayson Gonzalez and Ronald Dableo.

His draws were against Mark Paragua, Joey Antonio, Richard Bitoon and Catalino Sadorra.

Meanwhile, IM Kimkim Yap is now in Thailand competing in the Thailand Open which has a total prize of $12,000. The tournament started last night and is a 9-round Swiss. Other Pinoys in the event are Paragua, Bitoon and Hamed Nouri.

REMATCH. The rematch between Aboitizland and Opascor will be tomorrow at Aboitizland in Banilad.

Format is two games over 10 boards with time control of 30 minutes per player. Aboitizland won the first match , 11-9.

The pairings are: Board 1 Ryan Villacorta vs. Fel Alasagas; Board 2. Magno Dionson vs. Abert Mula; Board 3 Mandy Baria vs. Mark Alasagas; Board 4 Jesmar Cabriles vs. Marwin Eguia; Board 5 Junie Omega vs. Tomas Riveral; Board 6 Roger Pesole vs. Florimae Velasco; Board 7 Jade Garzon vs. Tony Riveral; Board 8 Earl Retuya vs. Ricky Lucero; Board 9 Dodong Abueva vs. Vench Ybanez; and Board 10 Jypsie Cullano vs. Gerry Dignos.

Reserves for Opascor are Roseller Bucog and Felimon Andrino

Fun trivia

HOW well-versed are you in chess history and trivia? Here are tidbits of information that guys like Cepca members Jun Olis, Art Ynclino and Edmund Suralta eat for breakfast. The answers are at the end of this article so don’t peep and try to answer as many as you can. If you can answer half of the questions, you are a walking chess encyclopedia.

1. Aside from GM Judit Polgar, What are the names of her two equally famous sisters?

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2. Who is the strongest 14-year-old player in chess history?

3. Name the once controversial chess-playing Filipina- Aussie mestiza who is famous for her beauty and dancing ability?

4. Who was Anatoly Karpov’s opponent in the World Championship in Baguio in 1976?

5. World champion Alexander Alekhine loved cats. He was often seen at tournaments with either a cat, or cat

motifs on his clothes. When he took a cat to a tournament what did it do?
6. Who is known as the magician from Riga?

7. Who did Spassky defeat to become world champion in 1969?

8. What do Bobby Fischer, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond have in common?

9. Emmanuel Lasker (World Champion 1894-1921) once tried to breed pigeons to compete in poultry shows. Why was he unsuccessful?

10. Garry Kasparov changed his last name. What was it previously?

11. Boris Spassky was born in which Russian City?
12. Fischer’s route to the championship became legendary for the crushing defeats he handed out to three strong Grandmasters. Who were they?

13. What was Fischer’s first publication after the end of the 1972 match with Spassky?

14. In 1997, people in the chess world studied the games of the recent man vs. machine match. Everyone knew that IBM’s Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in that match, but who is the grandmaster who was consulted on the construction of Deep Blue?

15. In 1857, the player known as the “pride and sorrow of chess” won the first American Chess Congress. Who was this brilliant player who would later become (with Fischer) a charter member of the US Chess Hall of Fame?

16. Two men were inducted into the US chess Hall of Fame in 1988. One was Hermann Helms. Name the other inductee, who was known for inventing the ratings system that is used all over the world to keep track of the leaders in chess.

17. In 2004, this wonderful blind musician known for playing the piano and singing countless hits including “Georgia On My Mind” died. He was an avid chess player. Who is he?

18. Chess evolved from a game that began in AD 300-AD 600. What was it called?

19. In 1930, The revolutionary book “My System” was first published. Who was the author?

20. Top Grandmaster Judit Polgar was married in 2001. What was her husband’s profession?

21. Bobby Fischer was born on March 9, 1943 in which US city?

22. What was the outcome of the second Fischer-Spassky game in the game of the century in 1972?

23. Who was the first official world chess champion?

24. Where will the 2010 Chess Olympiad be held?

1.) Sofia and Susan, 2.) Wesley So, 3.) Arianne Caoli, 4.)Victor Korchnoi, 5.) The cat walked over the board, 6.) Mikhael Tal, 7.) Tigran Petrosian, 8.) They all went to the same school—Erasmus High School,Brooklyn, 9.) The pigeons were all male. 10.) Weinstein, 11.)Leningrad, 12.) Mark Taimanov,Bent Larsen and Tigran Petrosian, 13.) A 14-page pamphlet entitled “I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse” after he was mistaken for a bank robber in 1981, 14.) Joel Benjamin 15.) Paul Morphy, 16.) Arpad Elo, 17.) Ray Charles, 18.) Chaturanga, 19.) Aron Nimzovitz, 20.) Veterinarian, 21.)Chicago 22.) Fischer forfeited, 23.) Wilhelm Steinitz, 24.) Khanty-Mansiysk,Russia.