Friday, September 18, 2009

World’s top guns

Frank “Boy” Pestaño

FOR the first time, the World Chess Federation is now publishing the top players every six months compared to every quarter previously.

The big losers are Gata Kamsky from 18 to 38, Dmiitry Jakovenko from 5 to 11, Michael Adams from 35 to 50, and Vladimir Akopian from 25 to 34.

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The top gainer is the phenomenal Vassily Ivanchuk, who won the fifth Grand Prix in Jermuk, Armenia and is now eight from 30. Hikaru Nakamura went to 16 from 26 and Rustam Kasimdzhanov from 58 to 31. Also with an amazing rise is 44-year-old Nigel Short, who is now the top-rated player in Britain from 44 to 29 and now belongs to the 2700 club with 2706.

Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria is still numero uno, while World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India is in second place.

Armenian Levon Aronian has advanced to third in the world, one point ahead of Norwegian Boy Wonder Magnus Carlsen and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

Aronian, who wears a barong tagalong (Do you know why?) in his games has also taken the first of two Grand Prix Slot.

Wesley So almost lost his lofty rating among the top 100 players of the world and is now No. 97 from 92 last July. He is also No. 8 among the Juniors (20 years and below). He lost some points in the Asian Championship and the Asean finals, although he qualified to the World Cup together with Joey Antonio and Darwin Laylo.

He has a chance to join the 2700 Club as he will be competing in the Susan Polgar’s Spice Chess Cup Open 2009 (Group A) beginning Sept. 19 at the Texas Tech University, USA. The tournament runs until Sept. 29.

Joining him in the RP rankings are No. 2 GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., (2557), No. 3 GM Darwin Laylo (2537), No. 4 GM Eugene Torre (2535), No. 5 GM John Paul Gomez (2521), No. 6 GM-elect Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. (2518), No. 7 GM Mark Paragua (2501), No. 8 IM Richard Bitoon (2490), No. 9 IM Julio Catalino Sadorra
(2468), No. 10 GM Joseph Sanchez (2463).

Dableo needs to reach a rating of 2500 to formally become our latest GM.

Judit Polgar still leads the women’s division without a change in her rating. The big loser in the distaff side is Koneru Humpy who lost 28 to dip below the 2600 mark, leaving Polgar 92 ahead.

Just ten points behind is my favorite 15-year-old Hou Yifan. After Hou comes another Chinese, Zhao Xue, 43 behind.

Magnus Carlsen (2772) and Hou Yifan (2585) are both leading the World’s Top Junior and Top Girls, respectively, Magnus by 50 points.

Top 10: (No. 1) Topalov, Veselin, 2813; (2) Anand, Viswanathan, 2788; (3) Aronian, Levon, 2773; (4) Carlsen, Magnus, 2772; (5) Vladimir Kramnik, 2772; (6) Leko, Peter Hungary, 2762; (7) Radjabov, Teimour Azerbaijan, 2757; (8) Ivanchuk, Vassily Ukraine, 2756; (9) Gelfand, Boris Israel, 2756; (10) Morozevich, Alexander Russia, 2750.

San Roque Jeffu Dorog won this tournament last weekend in Barangay San Roque, followed by Christian Gebb Lustre, Steven Kieth Pacada, Firce May Labajo and Mae Abendan.

Awarding and recognition will be tomorrow 9 a.m. in Barangay San Roque, Talisay City.

STO. NINO. Last Aug. 29, the alumni of Colegio del Santo Niño had their annual homecoming at the Casino Español. All of us, five brothers, Jimmy, Pepe, Bob, Danny and I were alumni of that school, which closed its high school department in 1976.

Incidentally I met retired PAL pilot Tereso Lebumfacil, who is a very good friend of my brother Jimmy, and he informed me that one of the avid followers of this column is his son, Justine, 13.

The Augustinians, with the help of the alumni led by Dodong Osmeña, are planning to reopen the school, which used to be the premiere educational institution in Cebu.

I met my classmates: Gabby Leyson, Jun del Prado, Cesar Dakay, Kiting Moro and Lito Sotelo.

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