Monday, June 28, 2010

Cash prizes for the Olympiad

Thursday, June 10, 2010
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By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño

FOR the first time in the history of the Olympiad, cash prizes will be awarded to the winning teams as well as to the board winners.

The following prizes (all in Euros) will be paid to the winning teams in the Open and Women's events: first placer-20, 000, second placer-12,000 and the third placer-8, 000.

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The top three winning teams for the best composite scores in the Open and Women's sections (The Nona Gaprindashvili International Trophy) will also receive 10,000, 6,000 and 4,000.

The top three individual board performers in both open and women's sections will get 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000.

The 39th edition will be held in Khanty Mansiyk, Russia on Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 and despite the financial crisis in Europe, the organizers have assured Fide and the participating federations that the Olympiad will be held at the highest levels.

It will be recalled that Khanty Mansiysk successfully organized the 2009 World Cup.

There were six competing bidders to host the 2010 Chess Olympiad. They were Poznan (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Budva (Serbia and Montenegro), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Khanty Mansiysk.

The Fide Congress in Turin, Italy in 2006 voted for Khanty Mansiyk.

GM Michal Krasenkow, 46, is a well respected player from Poland and in an open letter to Fide, he objected to the cash prizes.

"I have just seen the news of the money prizes to be awarded for the best results at the Khanty-Mansiysk Chess Olympiad this year. The news is partly excellent but partly, alas, sad and devastating.

The team money prizes are the excellent part of the news. The best squads deserve to get rewards for their successful effort!

And parity of men's and women's prizes is an absolutely just idea! However, as an experienced participant and occasional team captain at Chess Olympiads and European Team Championships, I am extremely concerned about the individual money prizes. They can ruin the performances of many strong teams and lead to pressure and conflicts within the squads."

Here is the history of the Olympiad since it was held in Manila in 1992 and the top three winners:

1992 Manila, Philippines-Russia 39, Uzbekistan 35, Armenia 34.5.

1994 Russia-Russia I 37.5, Bosnia-Herzegovina 35, Russia II 34.5.

1996 Yerevan, Armenia-Russia 38.5, Ukraine 35, USA 34.

1998 Elista, Russia-Russia 35.5, USA 34.5, Ukraine 32.5.

2000 Istanbul, Turkey-Russia 38, Germany 37 Ukraine 35.5.

2002 Bled, Slovenia-Russia 38.5, Hungary 37.5, Armenia 35.

2004 Calvia, Spain-Ukraine 39.5, Russia 36.5, Armenia 36.5.

2006 Turin, Italy-Armenia 36, China 34, USA 33.

2008 Dresden, Germany-Armenia 19, Israel, 18 USA 17.

I suggest our lineup to the Olympiad should be based on the results of the recent National Championship billed as the "Battle of GMs."

The top six players were Wesley So, John Paul Gomez ,Joey Antonio, Catalino Sadorra, Darwin Laylo and Rolando Nolte.

In the women's section, the winners were Rulp Jose, Cheradee Camacho, Catherine Pereña, Beverly Mendoza and Jedara Docena.

It is fair and just that these players should compose our lineup for the Olympiad.

LOCAL. The monthly tournament for June in Talisay will be held on June 19, 9 a.m. at San Roque Barangay Hall.

The contest is for Kiddies who are residents of Talisay, Minglanilla and Inayawan. For details and registration, please call Manny Manzanares at 09058386318. (;

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 11, 2010.

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