Monday, October 5, 2009

The five aces of the chess world

Thursday, October 1, 2009
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Frank “Boy” Pestaño

QUINTO Alas (five aces) is the highest card in poker. Chess also has the equivalent of the five aces. These are Viswanathan Anand (India), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria).

These players have been dominant in top-level chess these past years and I expect this to continue for a few more years.

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Anand, 40, is known as a strong all-around player with great tactical acumen. In 2007, he won the World Championship Tournament with a score of 9/14 to become classical world champion. In 2008, he defeated Vladimir Kramnik, 6.5-4.5, to retain the world championship. He won or shared first place at Corus five times, and at Linares three times. He also won the Chess Oscar five times.

Aronian, 27, is an aggressive player willing to go into complex positions. He won the 2005 World Chess Cup, the 2006 Linares, Corus, and is a three-time Chess960 champion. He is the envy of most chess players for being the boyfriend of Fil-Aussie beauty Arianne Caoili. He also wears a Barong Tagalog during tournaments.

Kramnik, 34, is usually described as a solid and pragmatic player. In 2004, he drew with Peter Leko to retain the world championship. In 2007, he finished second in the World Chess Championship tournament with a score of 8/14, losing the title to Anand. He won or shared first place at Dortmund eight times and won or shared first place at Monaco Amber Medley six times.

Carlsen, 19, has been tagged as a future world chess champion since bursting into the scene in 2003 at age 13. In 2004, he the became third youngest player to become a grandmaster (13 years, 4 months, and 27 days). At 15, he became the youngest world championship candidate. He has teamed up with the retired Garry Kasparov to improve his play.

Topalov, 34, is the current No. 1 and is known as a strong tactical player and likes to outthink his opponent in very complex positions. He won three consecutive M-Tel Masters tournaments (2005-2007), had two first place finishes at the Corus Chess Tournament (2006, 2007) and shared first at 2005 Linares Tournament with Kasparov.

results. There have been several local tournaments this month.

Over at San Roque, the September champion is Donn Gerard Ouano.

Previous monthly champions were June-Joshua Guinto, July-Markeno Azar Manzanares and August-Jeffu Dorog. The monthly winners up to December will meet in the grand finals in January 2010.

There is a new chess club composed of all lawyers in Cebu—IBP Cebu Chess Club.” The group elected its first set of officers on Sept. 16 at Baseline. The officers are: Orvi Ortega (president), Edgardo Mayor (vice president) Nigel Keith Davide (secretary), Joe Noel Lawas (treasurer) and Jessican Cagara (auditor).

The Board of Directors are Jong Melendez, Eduardo Kangleon and Venice Balansag.

The club held its first tournament at Baseline last Sept. 16 with the following result: Jong Melendez (champion), Joe Noel Lawas (second), Jessican Cagara (third) and Edgardo Kangleon (fourth).

The group has committed to meet twice a month at Baseline.

City Hall just completed its team competition involving eight teams and the champion is the Department of Public Services.

It was followed by the Engineering and Public Works, Accounting and Sanguniang Panglunsod.

The champion team is composed of Constantino Paculaba, Raul Cinco, Rodrigo Navaja and Cirio Escasinas.

In Liloan, 82 players joined the Kiddies division last weekend.

The co-winners were Godfrey Villamor and Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano.

The men’s champion was Vivencio Mendoza Jr.

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