Friday, December 11, 2009

Wesley So to return to Corus

Thursday, December 10, 2009
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Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

THE 72nd Corus chess tournament, an elite event in the Fide calendar, will be held in Wijk Aan Zee, a North Sea resort in the Netherlands from Jan. 15 to 31. The winner of the contest in Group A will qualify for the Grand Slam Bilbao Final 2010.

It was known as the Hoogovens tournament from 1938 until 1999 after which, the Dutch steel and aluminum producer Koninklijke Hoogovens merged with British Steel to form the Corus Group.

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There are three sections—A, B and C. Wesley has been invited to play in Group B. To be invited to Corus is like to be invited to the White House.

The Group A participants (all GMs) are Viswanathan Anand of India, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Peter Leko of Hungary, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, Hikaru Nakamura of USA, Alexei Shirov of Spain, Sergey Karjakin of Russia (winner of Corus A last year), Leinier Dominguez Perez of Cuba, Nigel Short of England, Sergey Tiviakov of Netherlands, Fabiano Caruana of Italy (winner of Corus B last year), and Loek van Wely and Jan Smeets of the Netherlands.

Participants in Group B (all GMs) are Ni Hua of China, Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany; Emil Sutovsky of Israel, Pentala Harikrishna of India, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania, So of the Philippines (winner of Corus C last year), Varuzhan Akobian of the USA, David Howell of England, Parimarjan Negi of India, Tomi Nyback of Finland, Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia, and Erwin l’Ami, Dimitri Reinderman and Anish Giri of the Netherlands.

Wesley is coming off an exceptional performance in the 2009 World Cup where he reached as far as the 4th round. He gained 15 points and his live rating is now 2655.

Incidentally, the finalists in the World Cup are Boris Gelfand of Israel and Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine who are still playing.

Another big tournament now on-going is the London Chess Classic, billed as the strongest and most prestigious in England in 25 years.

Kramnik, who recently won one of the strongest tournament of all time, the brutally-strong Category 21Tal Memorial, is competing.

Carlsen is another exceptional player who won the “Pearl Spring” competition in China this year. Making up the “awesome foursome” from overseas are Hua, who has won three National Chinese Championship and Nakamura, who is twice an American champion.

The four British players completing the cast are Short, Michael Adams, Howell and Luke Mcshane.

Sofia Rules, meaning no draws unless approved by the arbiter, will apply with three points for a win.

To be held with the London Classic is the women’s invitational and one of the players is WIM Arianne Caoili, formerly of the Philippines but now residing in Australia.

Coming up is a Christmas treat for our local players, the Serging Osmeña Memorial tournament.

In the Open section, there will be an elimination round on Dec. 19 at the Guadalupe Sports Complex to select the top 16 players.

The next day will feature a knockout contest among the 16. Time control is 25 minutes per player.

The champion will get P10,000 and the second placer, P5,000. All the qualifiers will receive cash prizes.

There will also be the women’s and kiddies’ sections on Dec. 20. Cash prize will also be awarded.

For details, you can get in touch with Marvin Ruelan at 09164232335.

Just recently, the Labogon Chess tournament was held at the Labogon Barangay Hall. Tournament director was Leonardo Alidani and Ruelan was the arbiter.

The champion in the Open section was IM Kim Steven Yap. Tied from second to fourth were Boy Abugho, Carlos Moreno III and Joel Pacuribot. The fifth and sixth placers were Eden Diano and Nelman Lagutin.

In the kiddies’ division, the first placer was Raymond Abellana. He was followed by Kyle Sevillano, Daniel Minoza. Harold Pones and Felix Shaun Balbona.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 11, 2009.

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