Friday, August 14, 2009

Batting for a new Guinness record for Cebu

Friday, August 21, 2009

Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE Guinness World Records is a reference book that is published annually and contains an internationally-recognized collection of world records, most of it about human achievements. The book itself holds a world record as the best-selling copyrighted series of all time.

It has been in the news lately and has become a sorce of pride among Cebuanos after Guinness confirmed and authenticated that 7,770 people converged at the Cebu City Sports Center for a dance class on June 27. The previous record of 2,289 was held by the city of Budapest in Hungary.

In chess, simul games are the most significant and difficult records to achieve.

On Oct. 21, 2006, a gigantic multi-simul was organized in El Zócalo, Mexico City central square. About 600 masters played against 20 to 25 opponents each. The total number of players was 13,446. The tables were arranged in squares of different colors, each containing seven simuls. Guiness acknowledged the event as the largest one held in a single day.

Last Aug. 14, a new Guiness record on single simuls was achieved by, of all people, Iranian GM Morteza Majoob. It will be recalled that chess was banned in Iran for sometime by Ayatollah Khomenei after the Islamic revolution in 1979. He believed that it can affect one’s memory, cause brain damage and contribute to a war-mongering mentality.

The simul started at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13. Mahjoob did his five first moves in 2 hours. Lunch (the only break) was served from 2:30 to 3 p.m. after the ninth move. The remaining games continued and finally at 4:12 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2009 he finished the last game.

Majoob played 500 opponents at the Tehran Sports Complex, winning 397, drawing 90 and losing 13 games for a winning percentage of 88.You have to win 80 percent of the games in order to qualify for the Guiness world record.

Majoob played this year at the 8th Asian Continental Championship in Subic last May, where our Joey Antonio qualified to the World Cup.

In Majoob’s simul record, the oldest and youngest players were 81 and 4 years old. Many nationally-rated players participated. Also, three strong Iranian blind players

The sponsor covered all organizing expenses as well as cash prizes for every winner and everyone who could score a draw. Also some prizes were raffled to the spectators.

Councilor Jack Jakosalem has been in the forefront of the dance record as well as DTCC founder Edward Hayco.

Jack has also been very supportive of all sports, including chess, and I am sure he would like to have another Cebuano Guiness record.

Cebuano IM Kimkim Yap, playing against, say, 520 people. He is fully qualified to take on this superhuman endeavor. I have spoken to Kimkim and he is willing to take up the challenge.

Aside from the city, we need a sponsor.

Without in any way diminishing the feat of our dancesport team, their execution lasted officially for about 30 minutes.

Easy? Yes, definitely. It was in organizing that event that DTCC probably had nightmares.

Chess is a much more prestigious sport and played by 800 million people worldwide. In the Philippines, we have 16 million chess players. It will be more significant and appreciated worldwide than dancing.

I estimate that the exhibition will last more than a day and will tax to the limit all the participants, especially the master giving the simul. He will walk maybe about 50 to 60 kilometers during the entire exhibition.

The biggest problem will be the participants. Are they willing to stay awake for about 20 hours? Am I dreaming or can this be achieved?

Perhaps. A Guinness is a Guinness because it is difficult.

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