Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cebu City chess classic

2011 was a banner year for local chess. The last major tournament was the Cebu City chess classic organized by the Cebu Chess Association sponsored by the Cebu City government held at the Activity Center of Elizabeth Mall last December 20-23. It was the 4th Fide rated tournament for this year.

The top rated player, Eden Diano (2416) won his first 6 games but lost to eventual champion Kimkim Yap in the last and 7th round.

Here are the final ranking of the contest: 1. IM Kimkim Yap- P25,000 and trophy 2-6. Danny Mangao, Eden Diano, Allan Pason (a big surprise!- a kiddie player from Lapulapu and a protégée of Cepcan Jun Olis ),Allan Salientes,Richard Natividad-P6,800 each 7-12.Jimson Bitoon, Michael Silvederio, Joel Fernan, Ben Polao,Rogelio Enriquez, Joseph Caballes.

Ben Polao headed a large contingent is from Lanao del Sur.

Jack Rennet scored a respectable 5 points and tied for 13th -20th and was the only foreigner from Holland. He arrived a week before the tournament and read about the competition in a local paper. He enjoyed so much about the tournament that he is planning to join the Cepca-organized team competition next year if a team will get him. He is a very good player who knows how to pace the game with a chess clock.

The top 3 players in the special categories and received cash prizes were: Senior citizen-Miguel Banebane, Carlito Santos, Dennis Gonzales. Ladies- Airene Robillos, Cacille Lumapac. Jessa Balbona, Saharia Monsalud.Kiddies-Felix Shaun Balbona, Jethro Dorog, Kyle Sevillano and Christian Pondoyo.

A total of P75,000 was distributed as cash prizes to the top 20 winners including the special categories.

While we had a banner year for chess in Cebu, the international scene has delivered a hard blow to chess with the economic crisis experienced especially in Europe

The Amber chess tournament was an annual invitation-only event for some of the world's best players, from 1992 to 2011, its last edition. Since the second edition, the event uniquely combined blindfold chess and speed chess, and has been held in Monte Carlo. The tournament is sponsored by the Dutch businessman and world champion of correspondence chess, Joop van Oosterom.

Also cancelled was The NH tournament . It was was a 'Scheveningen' team tournament between an 'Experience' team and a 'Rising Stars' team. There was a special prize for the best Rising Star (provided he has a positive score): an invitation to the prestigious Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament.
Probably the hardest blow was the loss of Linares - considered the Wimbledon of chess. It was first held in 1978 and has been held annually up to 2010. It was cancelled in 2011 although there are plans to hold it in 2012.

A decade full of dedication and passion for international rapid chess has also come to an end in Mainz.A splendid decade from 2001 to 2010 with ground-breaking innovations in tournament organization for world class players and amateurs alike and the “Mainz System” Chess960, based on the ideas of the World Champion Robert James “Bobby” Fischer.

Sinulog- Here is an update on teams who have expressed interest in joining the team tournament on January 7-8 next year. Among the schools, USJR will field 2 teams, USC 3 teams, UV 2 or 3,CIT,CDU one each.

Barangays planning to join are Mabolo and Guadalupe while Talisay chess club and Colonnade will enter the fray. Deep Blue chess club will have 2 teams . Handuraw. Julie`s bakeshop .Opascor and Aboitizland are competitive.

There are 4 out of town teams-Bohol,Bayawan, Dumaguete and Tanjay. Lapulapu will probably have 2 teams.,

Guidelines-2012 Sinulog team tournament

The Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association Inc. (Cepca) with the support of the Cebu City government is pleased to invite all chess teams to the “2012 Sinulog Open chess team tournament” slated on January 7-8 at SM City.

This team tournament is open to all schools, clubs, companies, barangays, cities, municipalities, government agencies and other interested groups.

Each team shall be composed of four regular players and one alternate.

A team is allowed to field only one titled player and one highly rated player or two highly rated players in a line-up. All team line-ups will be subject to approval by our screening committee to ensure a level playing field.

Competition will be played over 4 boards.

All players are required to wear their respective playing uniforms.

Players are not allowed to wear slippers and short pants during the tournament.

Cellphones must be put off otherwise the game will be forfeited if it rings.

Each participating team must submit its official line-up with the order of board assignments before the start of the competition. The order of board assignments must be observed in every round. A player cannot play on a board lower or higher than one board than his original board position.

A team captain or coach shall be nominated by each team .He maybe a playing or non-playing member of a team. The team captain must submit their team line-up 10 minutes before the start of a match ,otherwise he can only field his regular line-up from board 1-4 if he failed to do so.

The official line-up cannot be changed after the first round.

This team tournament is a 7 rounds Swiss System using the match point scoring system-2 points for winning the match (2.5;3.0; 3.5; 4.0); 1 point for a draw(2-2) and 0 point for a loss (0.0;0.5; 1.0; 1.5).

Each player is given 30 minutes plus 5 seconds increment to finish the game,35 minutes for clock with no increment.

Ties for final ranking shall be resolved by the following tiebreaks in descending order: game points-total cumulative score of a team; direct encounter-in case of a drawn match (2.0-2.0) minus the result of board 4; of board 3; or board 2, until the tie is resolved; Buccholz system.

Special award shall be given to a player with the best performance on his original board based on the percentage of score over the number of games played. To qualify, a player must play at least the following number of games: board 1-4-5 games; board 5-4 games.

Recording of moves is not compulsory.

Schedule of games: Saturday (January 7) -1030 am (registration for on -site registrants ); 11am-opening ceremonies; 1230pm-round 1;2pm-round 2 ; 4pm-round 3.

Sunday(January 8): 1030am-round 4; 1230pm- round 5; 2 pm-round 6; 4pm-round 7; 6pm- closing ceremonies.

Prizes: Champion-P25,000 plus signature trophy ; runner-up-P16,000 ;3rd- P10,000 ; 4th- P7,000 ; 5th P5,000 ; 6th-P3,000 ; 7th-10th-P1,500 each.Total-P72,000.

Board winners: 1-P1,000; 2- P700; 3-P700; 4-P700; 5-P500.

Cepca reserves the right to amend or alter any provision of the aforementioned rules and regulations for the success and interest of the tournament.

The tournament director is the president of Cepca-Jojo Muralla Jr, while the chief arbiter is Marvin Ruelan and arbiter is Roger Abella.

Committee members are Jun Olis, Boy Pestano, Ely Berciles, Nicnic Climaco, Dante Arguelles and Jun Quidlat.

You may register early at the Colonnade Chess Club-Lito Pielago(09463549027) or Marvin Ruelan(09237352951).

For more information call or text Jojo Muralla (09236793822) or Jun Olis (09232629642) or Dante Arguelles (09235879169).,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Will chess become an Olympic sport?

Millions of chess players worldwide are hoping it will be ,but I seriously doubt it will happen.

Chess has been played for 1,500 years and it is the most popular game in this planet with over 700 million who know the basic moves.

Like checkers ,bridge ,scrabble ,monopoly and mahjong or poker it is considered a parlor game but has entered mainstream sport due to the antics of an eccentric genius, Bobby Fischer.

When Bobby bulldozed his way to the world championship against Boris Spassky in 1972, it was the height of the cold war. It was a battle between the Soviet chess machine and a lonely boy from Brooklyn.

It was shown on American and European live on television and the number of chess players worldwide rose to unprecedented levels.

The late Florencio Campomanes and lately Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov have been very vocal on including chess in the Olympics. At one point, FIDE considered suing the IOC in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which handles international sport disputes in Lausanne, Switzerland, but later relented.

Ilyumzhinov is confident that chess will soon be included in Olympics. "My aim is to ensure that chess becomes a part of the Olympic movement and is one of the events in the Olympic Games soon. Today, FIDE is made up of 165 countries and we would appeal to get recognition from the International Olympic Committee."

“Chess is unlike many games played. The element of chance does not exist just the pieces in the same starting position every time. Any lost position is the fault of the player, not a lucky dice roll, or malfunctioning equipment. In addition, no absolute win has been found. The starting player does not have a set of moves that guarantee victory.”

Chess is a mixture of mental strength, physical stamina, and no one is killed in the process. No submission holds, or bloody faces. The tournament could be held in a ball room. Civic centers will do just fine

Curling is also on the official Olympic roster, and that really piques Ilyumzhinov. Curling is simply "chess on ice, and it is an Olympic sport," he says, "but classical chess is not!"
One of the important criteria in being included in the Olympics is that the sport must be practiced by men in at least 75 countries and four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries .
The Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, are due to be held in London from July 12-27 next year. The Olympics are important to the world because, they are an event that brings peace to five entire continents. Holding it gives tremendous prestige and honor.
The games are estimated to cost $25 billion plus maybe another $5 billion. Organizers are cutting costs which is the reason why baseball and softball have been cut.
IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau says the Olympic Games are already so big that many cities can't accommodate or afford them.
When IOC president Jacques Rogge took office in 2001, he capped the number of sports at 35 (28 in summer, seven in winter) and implemented a regular review process to avoid further expanding the Olympic program. “The IOC now votes on new sports and reviews existing ones, based on thorough technical analyses and specific criteria, after each Olympics .”Mind sports, by their nature, cannot be part of the program. This basically means that the IOC will not accept anything that is not a physical activity
Opposition to chess also points out that the Olympic motto is “faster ,higher ,stronger ”. Where does chess comes in?. It's a board game, a fine game. But it's not a sport. Chess players are not athletes.,www,

Fallacies about chess players

One advantage of a chess player is that people assume that you are smarter than the average guy and that you must be intelligent.

I have been around chess for more than half a century and I know that this is not true.

There are all kinds of being smart: mathematical, creative, street-smart, social intelligence, musical etc. The truth is, the average chess player is just the average regular person who happens to like chess. He is smarter but only in chess.

It is true that studies have shown that chess can improve the IQ of a child but only up to a certain age. Beyond that it is mostly genetics. Knowledge inside the game is not transferable outside to other activities.

Also chess requires a very specific set of knowledge and skills, so there is no guarantee that being smart will mean that you are going to become a grandmaster.

You don’t have to be smart in order to be a good chess player. I`ve known expert chess players who are incredibly dumb.
Another fallacy is that chess players are anti-social. This is certainly not true. Throughout my life, I have been associated with mostly chess players and they are a bunch of likable individuals just like the rest who don’t play the game.
The top players, mostly grandmasters, study chess for ten hours and do not have the time to have a normal life and be social. But this is an exception.
Chess is brutal. As Bobby Fisher says you must break a man`s ego in order to win, We are here to trample each other to the ground. There’s only one winner and you are going to do your best to make sure that you are that winner.
Another fallacy is that chess players have superior memory skills. An expert in a given domain of activity, such as medicine, chess, music or golf, is “one, who has acquired special skill in or knowledge about a particular subject through professional training and practical experience”
Experts will therefore, by definition, have a greater body of knowledge about their domain of expertise than other individuals. You have all heard the phenomenal stories of the Grandmaster who can play 30 simultaneous games blindfolded and remember the positions in all of them. But the truth is that chess players do not have superior memorization skills, and it doesn't take superior memory skills to be a great chess player. Chess players are just tremendously familiar with chunks of pieces, known positions, familiar pawn structures, etc.
Another fallacy is that chess players are not athletic. Chess appeals to athletes and non-athletes alike.
It is true that few grandmasters are top athletes, but that is a function of dedication, not ability. That would be like saying that athletes are not intelligent. It's not true, it is just a matter of prioritization.
There is a sport that is getting a lot of adherents and that is chess-boxing.
Sinulog There is going to be a Sinulog chess team tournament on January 7 -8 next year sponsored by the City government and organized by Cepca. The champion will snare P25,000 out of a total prize fund of P75,000.
Format is 4- man team plus alternate and 7 rounds Swiss.Time control is 30 mins plus 5 secs increment.
Submit your lineup by text to Marvin Ruelan 09267352951 or Jun Olis 09232629642. All line-ups will be subject to review to ensure a balanced competition.
Registration is P1,200 (on-site P1,500). Register with Lito Pielago at the Colonnade chess club and submit your fee.
Cepca Xmas party is on December 18 at the Mactan beach resort. Assembly is 9am at the Kawayan Grill in Mabolo at 9am for Cebu residents .For details contact Jojo Muralla,your president ,at 0921 478 6075.,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Solitary gold in Seag; Sinulog

Back in the 60s and up to the 80s the Philippines was considered a class A chess playing country. In fact, the western press dubbed us as the “Russians of Asia”. China and India were way behind us and Vietnam was unheard of, being in a state of war in the 60s and early 70s.

Now, the Men World Champion is from India, Viswanathan Anand and the Women Champion is from China,Hou Yifan.

Vietnam has dominated Asean chess for more than a decade now including the just concluded 26th Southeast Asian games in Indonesia, The best player in Southeast Asia is Le Quang Liem (2717) of Vietnam who is rated way above pinoy sensation Wesley So (2659).

Wesley So swept his all matches to pocket the country's lone gold medal at the conclusion of the 26th Southeast Asian Games. Over-all, the Philippine chess team bagged 7 medals. 9 gold medals were at stake.

Here's the complete details of the performance of the Philippine team: Men Blitz (GM Wesley So, Gold Medal), Men Blitz (GM Mark Paragua, Bronze), Men Standard (GM Wesley So, Silver), Women Standard (WFM Rulp Ylem Jose, Silver), Blindfold (GM John Paul Gomez, Silver), Blindfold (GM Darwin Laylo, Bronze) and Mixed pair (GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Catherine Perena, Silver).

.In the other side of the world, in Tirana Albania, the FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Match between the current World Champion Hou Yifan of China and her challenger, Koneru Humpy of India, is now more than halfway thru.

After 6 games Yifan is leading 4-2 after winning the 3rd and 6th game and drawing the rest. She has virtually retained her title with just 4 games left and will pocket 120,000 Euro, a sizable fortune.

Sinulog The Cebu City government in cooperation with the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) will hold an Open chess team tournament during the Sinulog season next year, January 7 and 8.

Format will be 7 rounds Swiss with a time control of one hour per player. Each team will have 4 regular members and an alternate. Total prize fund is P75,000 and the champion will get P25,000 plus trophy.

Registration is P1,200.

There will only be one class A or titled player per team and all lineups will be subject to approval to ensure a balanced competition. Venue will be announced later.

KC Morala, our future chess columnist and an excellent kiddie chess player emailed this report.

“Mabolo Elementary School won the champion trophy in the 3rd Kiddie Chess Interschool Tournament held in Mez 2 last November 19, 2011.

the Mabolinian Stars were ahead 6.5 points over second placer Canduman Elementary School while Banilad was third.

A total of 140 students took part ranging from Grade 1 to 6 . Participating schools were Bacayan, Balamban Central, Balamban II, Banilad, Basak, Canduman, Casili, Gabi, Lagtang, Mabolo, Subangdaku, Talamban, Tawason, and Yati.

The tournament was made possible through the efforts of the AboitizLand Chess Clinic. “

The Tal Memorial has started in Moscow and is remarkable in more ways than one. It is the highest rated 10-player round robin tournament in chess history

The players are Magnus Carlsen (2823, Norway), Vishy Anand (2817, India), Levon Aronian (2802, Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (2800, Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (2775, Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (2763, Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (2753, USA), Peter Svidler (2755, Russia), Boris Gelfand (2746, Israel) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (2730, Russia).

Calling all Cepcans! We will have a roll call tournament this Sunday ,November 27, at Deep Blue SM City. Games start at 1 pm and format is 5 rounds Swiss .Registration is P200. Participation is a must.

Tal Memorial ;Hou Yifan retains crown

The 6th Mikhail Tal Memorial has just concluded in Moscow, Russia. Ten of the world’s top players participated in a round robin tournament and The average Elo was 2776, making this a category 22 tournament and the strongest in chess history.
The players with their latest accomplishments are: Viswanathan Anand (India 2817) – World Champion and winner of the recent Botvinnik Memorial.
Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2823) – currently no.1 , winner in Biel and co-winner in Bazna Kings.
Levon Aronian (Armenia 2802) – World team champion and no.3 in the world.
Vladimir Kramnik (Russia 2800) – Former World Champion, winner of Dortmund.
Sergey Karjakin (Russia 2763) – Co-winner in 2011 Bazna Kings
Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2775) – Winner of 2011 Capablanca Memorial, bronze medalist of the 2011 World Cup, World Championship Candidate.
Hikaru Nakamura (USA 2753) – Winner of 2011 Tata Steel in Wijk aan Zee.
Boris Gelfand (Israel 2746) – Winner of the Candidate Matches, World Championship finalist.
Peter Svidler (Russia 2755) – Six-times Russian champion, winner of the World Cup, World Championship Candidate
Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia 2730) – 2010 European and Russian champion.
The presence of Anand and Gelfand is also unique as they will meet each other for the world championship on May next year.
Magnus Carlsen scored an all-important last round victory with black against Hikaru Nakamura to take the winner’s trophy. Carlsen shared first place (5.5) with Levon Aronian but had a better tie-break due to more games with the black pieces.
Hou Yifan and our Wesley So burst into the world scene 5 years ago and were considered exceptional children . But while Yifan became world champion, Wesley has not attained what most experts thought he was capable.

At 14½ years Yifan became the youngest female grandmaster in history; at seventeen she has already played in three world championships.

She recently accomplished the most one-sided world championship ever clobbering the higher rated Koneru Humpy by winning 3 games ,drawing 5 without a single loss. She also pocketed euro 120,000,a huge amount by any standards. She is also pretty ,by the way so she is a good catch. Ahem.

Sinulog If you love chess and you want to promote the game, play or sponsor a team in the Sinulog Open team tournament next year on January 7-8. Format is 4-man team and 7 rounds Swiss. Time control is 30 mins plus 5 secs increment.
Prizes total P75,000 with 25k going to the champion. All lineups will be subject to approval to ensure a balanced competition. Registration is P1,200 (on site-1,500).For more details contact Jun Olis 09232629642 or Marvin Ruelan 09267352951.

Cepca recently held its November tournament at Deep Blue in SM City and the winner was lawyer Jongjong Melendez of the Ombudsman. Second was Boy Gallardo who missed several winning lines while 3rd place was snared by John Francis Balbona.

Here are the results of the recent National Milo Little Olympics held in Pangasinan.The Gold winner in Elementary Boys was Ryan Fernando ,son of Cepca member Raul.

In Secondary Boys, the gold,silver and bronze were won by Felix Shaun Balbona, John Francis Balbona and Gerard Ouano respectively. They are children of Cepca members Felix Balbona and the late valued member Gerry Ouano.

Watch out and play in the Talisay Chessfest on December 3 and 4. It is open to kiddies, juniors and seniors B with a total prize fund of P20,000. There are also special prizes for Talisay residents. Contact the tournament director 2-time Cepca president Manny Manzanares 09058386310.,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Unusual chess stories

Here are some unusual stories that I picked up from the net that will surely enchant most lovers of chess trivia. It shows how extensive the game is to everyday life.

In 1794, Thomas Paine (1737-1809), author of The Rights of Man and Common Sense, was arrested in Paris for favoring the exile of King Louis XVI rather than his execution. Paine was scheduled to be guillotined, but his wife intervened . She frequented the Café de la Regence where Robespierre frequented and defeated him in a game of chess. Robespierre challenged her again and promised to grant any wish if she won again. She again won and asked that her husband’s life be spared. Thomas Paine then was released from prison. "Common Sense" was so influential that John Adams said, "Without the pen of the author of 'Common Sense,' the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
In 1866, William Henry Russ (1833-1866) shot his adopted daughter four times in the head after he proposed marriage when she turned 21, and she rejected him. He then jumped into a river to drown himself. He was arrested, but died 10 days later, lacking the will to live. The woman survived. He was a leading American compiler of chess problems in the 19th century who wrote under the name W. R. Henry. His book, American Chess Nuts, was published in 1868.
Joseph Blackburne nicknamed "The Black Death", dominated British chess during the latter part of the 19th century. He was arrested as a French spy for sending chess moves in the mail. The British government thought they were coded secrets.
In 1932, Norman Tweed Whitaker (1890-1975), who became an International Master at the late age of 75, was arrested for attempted extortion in a scheme to swindle $104,000 from a wealthy heiress by claiming to be in contact with the Lindbergh kidnappers. He was a lawyer but was disbarred for his criminal offenses. He served time in Alcatraz and was a friend of Al Capone there.
Prolific bank robber Willie Sutton (1901-1980) who stole an estimated $2 million, and eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison, was arrested by the FBI. At the time, Sutton was reading How to Think Ahead in Chess by I.A. Horowitz. Sutton claimed that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is."
In 1964, chess master Raymond Weinstein was arrested for murder after he killed an 83-year old man in a nursing home with a razor. He was judged mentally ill and was confined to Ward’s Island for the mentally ill. Weinstein defeated many top American players, including Samuel Reshevsky and Pal Benko. He never defeated Bobby Fischer, although he drew one game of four with him (in the 1959-60 US Championship).
Ludek Pachman (1924-2003) was a Czechoslovak-German chess grandmaster, writer, and political activist. In 1972, after being imprisoned and tortured almost to death by the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, he was allowed to emigrate to West Germany. He lived the remainder of his life there, and resumed his chess career with considerable success, including winning the West German Championship in 1978 and playing in the Interzonal in 1976.
In March 1952, Pal Benko, who is now 83 years old, was arrested and imprisoned for 16 months in a Hungarian concentration camp for trying to escape from East Berlin and defect to the West. He was accused of being an American spy. He is famous for the Benko Gambit and Benko Opening (g3) which he introduced at the 1962 Candidates Tournament, defeating Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal with it. He was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1993.,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How chess players die

For the past few days most activities were related to death. Almost everybody went to the cemetery to clean the graves of their loved ones for the observance of All Souls Day.

This article is all about the death of famous chess players, mostly grandmasters.

If you visit an on-going chess tournament, you can immediately feel the tension in the air. A study of top level chess shows that the players have elevated blood pressure and experience a lot of stress.

Its no wonder that one of the causes of premature death is heart attack.

Those who died of a heart attack include Adolf Anderssen (age 60), Vladimir Bagirov (64), Joseph Blackburne (82), Efim Bogoljubov (63), Gyula Breyer (28), Jose Capablanca (53), Max Euwe (80), Paul Keres (59), Emanuel Lasker (72), Paul Leonhardt (57), Frank Marshall (67), Miguel Najdorf (87), Cecil Purdy of Australia (73), Sammy Reshevsky (80), Gideon Stahlberg (59), Howard Staunton (64), Leonid Stein ( 38), Herman Steiner (50), and Alexei Suetin (74), Vladimir Simagin (49), Johann Zukertort (44).

Bagirov, Bogoljubov, Capablanca, Ed Edmondson, Forry Laucks, Leonhardt, Marshall, Purdy, Simagin, Stahlberg, Steiner, Suetin, and Zukertort all died while playing chess or just finishing a chess game.

Another leading cause of death is cancer and one of the victims is our own Rosendo Balinas .

Cancer also killed Argentine Grandmaster Gerardo Barbero (age 40), Mikhail Botvinnik (83), Ricardo Calvo (59), Efim Geller (73), Tigran Petrosian (55), Karl Robatsch ( 71), Daniel Yanofsky (74), Claude Bloodgood (64)

Some masters died of accidental death. Grandmaster Georgy Agzamov of Russia died in 1986 at the age of 32 after he fell between some rocks at a beach .

Alexander Alekhine died at the age of 53 from a piece of choked meat.

Janos Flesch died in a car wreck at the age of 50. So did Cuban Grandmaster Guillermo Garcia. He was 36.

Julius Perlis, a strong master, died in 1913 at the age of 33 from a fall on a mountain in the Alps.

Frederick Yates died from a gas leak in his house. So did Hungarian International Master Arpad Vajda.

International Master Nicholas Rossolimo fell down a flight of stairs in New York and died at 65.

There were some who committed suicide.

Curt von Bardeleben jumped to his death from his boarding home. Karen Grigorian also jumped to his death at age 42. Lemit Oll also jumped to his death from his 4th story apartment at age 35. Alvis Vitolins also jumped to his death at age 59.

The most unusual death is a chess player named "Nikolai Titov" whose head exploded during the Moscow Candidate Masters' Chess Championships due to the condition 'Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis'.

Diabetes also killed Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908) and Louis Paulsen (1833-1891).

The most famous player,Bobby Fischer, died of kidney failure ,the same cause of death of another world champion Mikhael Tal (1936-1992)

Another unusual cause of death were Bright's Disease, Alexander McDonnell 1798 -1835; Syphillis, Harry Pillsbury (1872-1906); Scarlet Fever, Richard Reti 1889-1929;
Starvation, Abram Rabinovich (1878-1943).

During the war, the Germans arrested all the chess players that were meeting at the Warsaw Chess Club , which was banned earlier . The Jews were all taken to a concentration camp and were later killed in a mass execution. This included Polish masters Dawid Przepiorka, Achilles Frydmann, Stanislaw Kohn, and Moishe Lowtzky.

Most of the information in this article is from the website of hall of famer Bill Wall, various postings in and the trivia collection of Ed Beronio of Cavite.,

NCFP rated tournament today

After quite sometime the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) in cooperation with the new and renovated Colonnade Mall will bring a chess tournament sanctioned and rated by the country`s governing body , the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

Venue is at Colonnade Mall activity center and please be on time at 9am as we will have a short program and the first game will start at 10am. On site registration will be allowed.

Format is 9 rounds Swiss and time control is one hour per player ,play to finish.

There will only be one section and men, ladies ,kiddies and Cepca members will play against each other.

The champion will take home P5,000 and the 1st runner-up P3,000. Third place will be richer by P2,000 and 4th will snare P1,000. 5th -10th place will receive P500 each.

A specially designed trophy will be given to the champion

There will also be special prizes: best placed Cepca member will be awarded P1,000;best placed lady P1,000; best kiddie (15 and under) P1,000 and best senior (60 and over) P1,000.

Registration is P150 for men and Cepca members while ladies and kiddies will pay only P75.

As there might be a shortage of chess clocks, the organizers are urging those who own one to use it during their game and he/she will enjoy a discount of P50 from the registration fee.

The following officials will manage this tournament.

The tournament director is the president of Cepca himself , Jojo Muralla. Members of the committee are Nicnic Climaco,Jun Olis and Ely Berciles.

Chief referee is Fide arbiter Marvin Ruelan assisted by Fide arbiters Roger Abella,Felix Poloyapoy and Bob Tojong.

As this is a NCFP Rated tournament a Swiss manager will be used operated by Felix Poloyapoy.

Here are some tips and suggestions on how you play today.

Always play the openings you practiced. Don't get to the tournament and change your mind!

Pay no attention to your opponent's rating. Play chess, not numbers.

Your opponent may play extremely fast to throw you off. Take your time, never rush a chess game. Remember this is an NCFP rated tournament and a player is allotted one whole hour to finish the game.

Don't take long breaks from the tournament game as you run the risk of losing lots of valuable time on your clock.

Most of all have fun! although winning money feels good, you are there to enjoy chess first and foremost. If you resign a game, compliment your opponent and be a good loser. Keep a positive attitude and don’t get depressed over every defeat. After all there is always another game ,Good luck to all players !.

Indonesia Open.The 2011 Indonesia Open Chess Championship is on-going at the Le Meredien Hotel in Jakarta. 80 players compete in the 9-round Swiss tournament. 9 pinoys are playing, all GMs.

The generous prize fund amounts to US $55.500 , with $10.000 reserved for the winner.

The rest of the prizes are 2nd : $6.000 3rd : $4.000 USD 4th : $3.000 5th : $2.500
6th : $2.000 7th – 12th @ $1.500 : $9.000 13th – 20th @ $750: $6.000.
Best Women – 1st : $2.500 , 2nd : $1.500 , 3rd : $1.000
Best Junior U-20 – 1st : $1.500 , 2nd : $1.000, 3rd : $500
* Prizes are equally shared among players who has same points

The last round takes place tomorrow,

Round 8 standings:1 Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2631 6.5 2. Barbosa Oliver PHI 2538 6 3. Wang Yue CHN 2716 6 4. Li Chao CHN 2710 6 5. Dreev Aleksey RUS 2711 6 6. Mareco Sandro ARG 2597 6 7. Tkachiev Vladislav FRA 2631 5.5 8. So Wesley PHI 2655 5.5 9. Megaranto Susanto INA 2530 5.5 10. Bitoon Richard PHI 2504 5.5.,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Colonnade chess grand prix

Next weekend, October 21-23, the New Colonnade Mall in association with the Cebu Executives and Professionals Association (Cepca) will be sponsoring a chess tournament open to all players including ladies and kiddies as well as Cepca members.

Format is 9 rounds Swiss with a time control of one hour per player, play to finish. All games will be played at Oriente Colonnade Mall along Colon St.

This tournament will be sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and all participants will be accorded NCFP Ratings after the tournament.

The Champion will take home P5,000 and the 1st runner-up P3,000.There will be prizes up to 10th place. In addition the top finishers of the ladies ,kiddies as well as Cepca members will get special prizes .

There will be 3 games per day starting at 10:am followed by a break and will resume at 1pm. The final game of the day will be at 3:30 pm.

Registration will be P150 for all players including Cepca members while ladies and kiddies will pay only P75.

As there might be a shortage of chess clocks and sets, .those who bring their own clocks and sets will get a deduction of P50 from the registration fee meaning men pay only P100 and ladies and kiddies will pay only P25.

This is a project of the new and renovated Colonnade Mall management organized by Cepca under its new president Jojo Muralla to promote the royal game in Cebu.

This is a Grand Prix tournament meaning it will be a series of monthly contests followed by quarterly tournaments and a grand final in October next year.

These tournaments will surely make Cebu the center of chess activities in the country as no other place in the Philippines have such a program.

Grand Slam Just like golf and tennis, chess also has its own Grand Slam and is accorded the highest importance by Fide in the chess calendar.

The 4th Grand Slam Masters final has just concluded and continuing the new trend of sharing the event with a partner city, the organizers in Bilbao, Spain have chosen São Paulo this year to host the first half.

Magnus Carlsen won after beating Vassily Ivanchuk 1.5-0.5 in a blitz play-off. Carlsen has 15 points, the same score as Ivanchuk who finished second.

Behind them, Levon Aronian, World Champion Vishy Anand and and Hikaru Nakamura are sharing the third place with 12 points each. The Spanish Francisco Vallejo is closing the standings with 10 points.

Scoring was “football” style meaning 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.
Format was double round robin with a time control of 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 10 seconds/move starting with the 1st move

This is the strongest tournament for this year as the top 3 players –Carlsen,Anand and Aronian-all have ratings above 2800 and the other 3 are over 2700

Magnus Carlsen dominated the Bilbao half of the Final Masters and finished level with Vassily Ivanchuk who played with excellent results in Sao Paolo. Carlsen would have won the event with a normal scoring system but won anyhow.

Vassily Ivanchuk also played a fine tournament but his play was more uneven. The big news of the tourney was his mugging and robbery together with his wife as he was leaving Sao Paolo on the way to the airport.

Nakamura and Anand are obviously disappointed at the results and Aronian was below par and not his usual self. His win against Anand was one of his few bright spots.

As for Francisco Vallejo Pons ,he was targeted every round. He's a good and very strong player but the others were just better.,

Women chess

"They're all weak, all women. They're stupid compared to men.
They shouldn't play chess, you know. They're like beginners. They lose every single game against a man.
There isn't a woman player in the world I can't give knight-odds to and still beat."
Robert Fischer,1962

Chess is a man`s game. It does not have the same appeal to women and why this is so is somewhat of a mystery.

The ratio of chess playing women to men is about 1:30 and may be even less as there are only 3 women in the top 300 players.

The main reason is probably biological or genetic as there is no satisfactory answer(s). Physical strength is not needed in chess and according to some studies women have more endurance than men.

Also, according tho WGM Natalia Pogogina,if we look at the percentage of so-called “grandmaster draws” among women and men then we’ll see that women’s fighting spirits are definitely higher

So, maybe women are just less smart than men? On the average the answer is “no”. Then what’s the problem?

The answer seems to be psychological and the upbringing of girls compared to boys. A stereotype exists in chess that women are no match for men. It is based on statistical data. That’s why many female chess players are taught from early childhood that they’ll never make it to men’s level. Parents deem chess as a strange pastime for a girl,

There is even an amusing hypothesis that chess is for immature and weird people, so women (who tend to mature faster than men) don’t take up such a strange occupation.

Fide Has however not entirely neglected Women chess. We have a Women Grand Prix the same as men and a women world championship Cycle.

In the last 10 years the Chinese have dominated Women chess. The current champion is 17 year old Hou Yifan.

Past Champions were Xie Jun (1991-96), Zhu Chen (2001-4) and Xu Yuhua (2006-8).

Beginning 2010, the Women's World Chess Championship will be held annually in alternating formats. In even years a 64 player knock out system will be used, in the odd years a classical match featuring only two players will be held.

The 2011 edition will be contested between the 2010 champion Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy of India next month

Batang Pinoy Our kiddie journalist, KC Morala, who is an excellent chess player sent in this report.

“Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano of USC and KeithClaire Carlisle Morala of USJ-R, emerge as the champions in the first Batang Pinoy Chess Tournament in Cebu, held this October 1, 2011 in the Cebu City Sports Complex.

In the girls category, Morala stages her own comeback. Though she lost her first round to fellow Josenian Sharon Princess Lee Pacres, it turned out to be the only speck on the girl’s category champion, having defeated the rest of her opponents.

Placing second was Queenylyn Torres of Abellana National High School, who seemingly had a hard time coping with the tournament’s 20 minute time limit on the first rounds, resulting to her losses due to time forfeit. Pacres settles as the third placer.

Torres, Pacres and another player from UC, Marvie Abucay, were supposedly tied with the record of 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses, yet it was Torres who wins in the tiebreak for having defeated the other two.

Jazzelle Villarin of USC, who led her school’s team into the top in the Little Milo Olympics, unfortunately fell behind the others after losing her matches to Abucay, Torres and Morala .

Meanwhile, next to the 14-year-old child wonder Sevillano and running second was Felix Shaun Balbona, representative of USJ-R in the boys category. The two players will be be sent in Dumaguete together with Morala and Torres to represent Cebu in the Regional chessfest.”,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jojo Muralla new Cepca president

The Cebu Executives and Professional Chess Association Inc. (Cepca) Recently elected a new set of officers for 2011-12 at their clubhouse in Mabolo last week.

The new set of officers ,who are also members of the Board of Trustees are Romualdo “Jojo” Muralla Jr.-president, Fabio Abucejo-Internal Vice- president, Jun Kidlat-External Vice- President,Dante Arguelles-Secretary. Ellery Berciles-Treasurer, Ogie Reyes –Auditor and Chessmoso-PRO. Other members of the Board are Jun Olis-Chairman Membership Committee and Mandy Baria –Chairman- Finance Committee.

Cepca is one of the oldest chess clubs in the country being founded in 1990 and has about 100 members.

The original founding members were Chessmoso. Art Ynclino, Sonny Sollano (+), Loy Minoza, Alex Tolentino, Gerry Tomakin (+), Antonio Climaco and Danny Pestano.

Aside from the regular members we also have honorary members who are also avid chess players and hold important positions both in government and the private sector. They are current Mayor Michael Rama,former Mayor Alvin Garcia, NM Matias “Bombi” Aznar (+) ,former Chairman of Southwestern University, businessman and Sportsman for this year Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy, businessman Kelly Uy of Cebu Progress Marketing and US based Dr. Darcy Tabotabo.

Past presidents of the club were Charter President Boy Pestano(2 consecutive terms),Alex Tolentino,Ben Dimaano, Gerry Tomakin (+),Ogie Reyes, Danny Pestano, Antonio Climaco, Manny Manzanares(2 terms and past president) , Victor Legaspina, Jun Olis(2 consecutive terms), Norway Lara, Mandy Baria, Emmanuel Matuco, Bobot Villaluna( +-2 terms).

Jojo finished a medical course in SWU (BSMT) with full scholarship because he was a varsity chess player and was also a 3rd year law student.

He worked for 15 years in the corporate world and is presently a businessman and exporter of fresh mangoes to other countries.

He is married to Nenen Saren and has a pretty and talented daughter Mary Grace.

Aside from chess he is a range officer and competitive shooter. He has participated in Australasia (level 4)competition and all over the country. He placed 2nd in the National Range Officer competition 2 years ago.

In his schooldays, he was team captain and board 1 player of the CSJ-R chess high school team and their team was champion for 4 consecutive years (1977-81) in the Cebu Catholic Schools Athletcs Association. In college his team SWU became the 1st ever team champion in the National UAAP in 1984. He was the team captain and board 3 player then.

Dante Arguelles ,the new club secretary,is not only one of the top players of the club but can also compete with the class A players of Cebu.

He has been a member since 1996 and has held various positions in the club.

He was twice Cepca Grand Slam Champion and was quarterfinalist in the Cebu Chess King several years ago. He once won a Rose Pharmacy Open and was a gold medalist in a commercial team tournament in Cebu.

Wife is Remedios and has 4 children: Pamela-who is working at Marina Bay in Singapore, Jhoanna –a real estate agent, Rochelle Michael and Dan Anthony ,a registered nurse in Gleneagle hospital in Singapore.

Ellery “Jame Bond” Berciles is married to state prosecutor ,Cecilia, and is a businessman.

They have 3 beautiful daughters- Jeane, Cherry and Janina- who are all Flight Stewardess working in Cathay Pacific, UAE airlines and Qatar Airlines respectively. Only son Elton is into computers and auto detailing.

Ogie Reyes, Jun Olis and Mandy Baria are all engineers and were past presidents of the club. Fabio Abucejo and Jun Kidlat are both retired from government service.,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shell highlights ; Svidler wins World Cup

Earlier I wrote that since 1992, the Shell companies in the Philippines have promoted and sponsored the biggest annual competition among kiddies and juniors held in strategically located sites nationwide. To date, tens of thousands of youngsters have been motivated and credit chess playing as an activity that has positively contributed to enriching their lives.
Children have come to appreciate the values that the game of chess has taught them. Discipline. Diligence. Sense of fair play. Maturity. Responsibility.
Among the winners who have gained individual prominence are GM Wesley So,GM Nelson Mariano III, GM Mark Paragua,GM Darwin Laylo ,GM John Paul Gomez,IM Ian Cris Udani, FM Ildefonso Datu, NM Onofre Espiritu Jr., NM Arlan Cabe, NM Rodolfo Panopio Jr., NM Elmer Sumangat, NM Rodolfo Diaz Jr., NM Virgilio Vuelban, NM Exfelicos Bolico, NM Romeo Alcodia, NM Herbert Ciocon, NM Roland Perez and NM Roland Castro.
KeithClaire Morala , Our kiddie chess player who aspires to be a sports journalist,sent in this report.

“UV Lancers Alfer Joseph Fernandez and Michael Silvaderio prevailed in the Juniors Boys Division held in SM last September 10-11.

Both players had 6 wins and two draws in the 8-round tourney. Just a half point behind and finishing third, fourth and fifth were Yves Christian Fiel, King James Torres and Yuri Cauba.

Meanwhile, Allan Pason from Pajo National High School seized victory in the Kiddies Boys Division with 7.5 points,followed by Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and fellow 6.5-pointers Jethro Esplenada and Alson Vincent Lim.

On the other hand, USJR’s Jessa Marie Balbona was the victor of the Juniors Girls Division. Hot on pursuit were 6 pointer Mary Israel Palero and Ma. Olympia Harvey Jane Hilvano with 5.5 pts.

10-year-old Vic Glysen Derotas of USC finished as solo 6.5 pointer, grabbing the champion trophy for the Kiddies Girls Division. KeithClaire Carlisle Morala with 6 points was declared 1st runner-up followed by Armi Venice Lumapac with 5.5 points.

Silvaderio and Fernandez finish their matches with an amazing record of 6 wins, two draws and no loss in their division.

Pason, a Palarong Pambansa 2011 competitor, drew his match against Sevillano, making it the only speck on his no-loss record of 7.5 points in the 8-round event.

Roxanne Tampus, also a Palarong Pambansa 2011 player, was unfortunately defeated by Hilvano on the last round, losing her chance to be the unquestionable victor of the Juniors Girls Division.
Fernandez, Silvaderio, Pason, Sevillano, Balbona and Derotas will be sent to Manila to compete with other players nationwide in the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship.”
World Cup Peter Svidler won the FIDE World Cup 2011 after drawing the 4th game of the final against Alexander Grischuk . He won with a score of 2.5-1.5 in a 4-game match .
Vassily Ivanchuk managed to draw a difficult ending for the second time against Ruslan Ponomariov and finished third with the same score and qualified for the next FIDE Candidates tournament together with Svidler and Grischuk.
Svidler officially won US $120,000 but as 20% goes to FIDE, he actually pocketed 'only' $96,000. Grischuk won net $64,000, and both Ivanchuk and Ponomariov net $40,000.
And so after three gruelling weeks the World Cup is finally over. There were 128 elite qualifiers from 46 different countries including pinoys Wesley So and Mark Paragua who both won $8,000 and $4,800 respectively.

Svidler's path to the final was tough.He beat the experienced Darcy Lima and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Fabiano Caruana Gata Kamsky, Judit Polgar ,Ruslan Ponomariov and then finally Grischuk.,

New Cebuano Grandmaster

Organised by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association, with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group Berhad under its Educating Malaysia Corporate Social Responsibility program ,The DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters proved a huge success with two new Grandmasters in Cebuano Richard Bitoon from Medellin and Oliver Barbosa from the Philippines.
In a tense last round encounter Bitoon, in a must win situation despite having the Black pieces, played a solid game over his unbeaten opponent, GM Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, to take the victory that won him his 3rd GM norm and the long overdue and well deserved Grandmaster title.
Filipino Oliver Barbosa made it a double celebration by winning the overall title and earning his third and also final grandmaster norm.
Richard got his first during the 2008 Singapore International Open and his second in the Battle of GMs earlier this year same as Barbosa,
Final standings(round robin):1 IM Barbosa Oliver PHI 2538 – 7;2.IM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2392 – 6.5;3. IM Bitoon Richard PHI 2504 – 6.5;4. IM Das Arghyadip IND 2461 – 5.5;5. GM Vakhidov Tahir UZB 2485 – 4.5;6. IM Goh Wei Ming Kevin SIN 2449 – 4;7. IM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2449 – 3.5;8. GM Nguyen Anh Dung VIE 2479 – 3;9. IM Mas Hafizulhelmi MAS 2413 – 2.5;10. GM Wong Meng Kong SIN 2355 – 2.
Barbosa and Bitioon will still have to wait for a while for their GM titles which will be confirmed in the next FIDE congress. Both have the required minimum rating of 2500.
They are set to join the country’s elite GM circle which includes Eugene Torre, Rogelio Antonio Jr., Buenaventura Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez, Roland Salvador, Rogelio Barcenilla Jr., Julio Catalino Sadorra and the late Rosendo Balinas Jr.
World Cup The big story out of the FIDE World Cup in Russia was the incredible sportsmanship shown by David Navara and Alexander Moiseenko in the second game of their match, having drawn the first game. On the 35th move , Navara touch two pieces -- his king and a bishop -- at the same time, accidentally, which would force him to move the king -- and lose a piece.
Navara clearly didn't wish to move the king; a bishop move was the only move that made sense in the position. However, Moiseenko told Navara that he didn't need to move the king regardless of what he had touched, and the game continued.
After 40 moves, Navara had forced a winning position...but then offered Moiseenko a draw, feeling that winning the game would not be justified under the circumstances from earlier in the game. It was the kind of situation you see rarely in an elite tournament such as the World Cup; winning this match and moving on to the 4th round meant an extra $7,200 in guaranteed prize money! Navara would ultimately win the match in tiebreaks , 4-2 .
Both GMs received special monetary awards from the organizers.
The semifinals were between two Ukrainian and two Russian chess players: Vassily Ivanchuk vs Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov vs Peter Svidler.
Peter (Russia) won against Ruslan (Ukraine), and was the first to advanced to the final.
On the other board Alexander (Russia) defeated Vassily in the blitz portion of the tiebreaks to make the finals an all-Russian affair.
The winner will snare $120,000 and the runner-up $80,000 in a 4 game matchup including tiebreaks starting today.
Both will advance to the Candidates portion of the World Championship cycle as well as the winner between Ivanchuk and Ponomariov who will battle for 3rd ,also in 4 games.,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to excel in chess

The Cebu City Sports Commission and the Cebu Chess Federation in cooperation with the Department of Education Cebu City Division are in the midst of training teachers from the different public Schools of both Elementary and High Schools the basics of chess.

These teachers are then expected to impart what they have learned to their students as part of the grass roots development of The Chess in Schools program.

I estimate that more than 40,000 students will benefit from this program not counting the private schools students and the schools in the province.

If you want to learn how to excel in chess this is for you .
One of the many problems a beginner faces in a game, once he is familiar with the rules, is what to do when playing the game, how to play the opening and how to attack his opponent.
Here are specific guidelines on what or what no to do. Winning at chess basically consists of creating and exploiting you opponent’s weaknesses.
Understanding, not memory, is the essential key to success. The chess player who understands why will consistently defeat the player who only knows how
Anyone can try their hand at a chess game, but it takes a bit more effort to become a good chess player.
First ,Join a local chess club. Don't make yourself feel good by playing people that clearly are worse than you and play with good players.
Learn the value of the pieces. A pawn is worth one point. Knights and Bishops are worth three points each. A Rook is worth five points. A Queen is worth nine points
Play for the center. Occupy, guard and influence it. Drive away enemy pieces that control it.
In general, make only two pawn moves in the opening, usually the center pawns. When capturing with pawns, it is correct most of the time to capture toward the center even if the result is doubled pawns.

Develop knights toward the center.
Place bishops on open diagonals. Avoid unnecessary exchanges with knights .Develop the Bishop on the side you wish to castle before the other Bishop.
King-side pieces should usually be developed sooner than Queen-side ones, and Knights before Bishops. Develop during exchanges
Put rooks on open files, half-open files, files that are likely to be opened, or behind advanced passed pawns. Double them, so that they support each other.
Castle early.After castling, don't move the pawns in front of your King without specific reason.
Don’t move the queen out too early in the game. In the opening, don't remove your Queen from play to "win" a pawn.
Determine whether you have an open or closed game, and play accordingly Usually play to retain Bishops in open games, and Knights in closed games
Move every piece once before you move every piece twice unless there is a clear reason to do so.
Having the 'Bishop Pair' - two Bishops when your opponent does not - is worth about half a pawn. To improve the scope of your Bishop, place your pawns on squares opposite in color to it.
Stay flexible. Always be ready to transform one type of advantage to another, or to switch from tactical to positional play.
Respect all opponents, but fear none. If you blunder, don’t resign. Sit back and figure out how to give your opponent trouble. Go down fighting.

Be aggressive, but play soundly. Don't take unnecessary chances. Make sure every move has a purpose.Don't sacrifice without good reason.
When you can't determine whether to accept or decline a sacrifice, accept it.
Attack in number. Don't rely on just one or two pieces. Look for double attacks.
Remember that there are exceptions to every general principle and law in chess. Knowing when you can violate them is one of the hallmarks of a strong player.

World Cup results 1st round

The 2011 FIDE World Cup is a 128-player knockout format that is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia from August 27th till September 20th.
Except for the final, which will be played in 4 games all rounds have 2 game matches plus rapid and blitz tiebreaks and an Armageddon
The good news is that Wesley So won his 1st round match against China champion Ding Liren via tiebreak 2.5-1.5.

The bad news is that Mark Paragua lost to England`s Michael Adams 0.5-1.5 although it was not unexpected.

China arrived with a large delegation and large ambitions .

However they had a bad 1st round as 7 of their players lost their matches and only Ni Hua and Bu Xiangzi advanced to the second round. Wang Hao had to withdraw because of a heart problem
Wang Yue, who at 2709 Elo is number 27 in the World Cup, was knocked out by Alexandr Fier of Brazil, rated 2566 .Li Chao also lost to the Vietnamese Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son . It was downhill from there as Zhou Jianchao lost to the Ukrainian Anton Korobov and Yu Yangyi was defeated by Mircea-Emilian Parligras of Romania.
The tragedy of the Chinese team, however, was my young idol 17-year-old Women's World Champion Hou Yifan who had a promising position against Sergei Movsesian in the 1st game but blundered. In the 2nd game Yifan outplayed her Armenian opponent, who is 125 points ahead of her by ratings . But just when she had the win , a rook sacrifice on move 30 , she failed to see it and allowed her opponent to get back into the game.
Bu Xiangzhi secured himself a place in the second round by winning the 1st game against Egyptian Ahmed Adly, who then fell ill and missed the second game. Adly had to go to a hospital for a kidney stones operation
Ni Hua prevailed over Ildar Khairullin of Russia which was decided by blitz matches.
Aside from the loss of Wang Yue, Hungarian Peter Leko was the most prominent player to be eliminated in the first round. After losing a fighting game against Samuel Shankland of the US in the 1st game , Peter had to go for broke in their second encounter but played recklessly in the opening, and in the end Leko had to offer a draw.
While China struggled ,Vietnam and India had flawless results.
India`s talents had a successful run as Abhijeet Gupta defeated Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan 1,5:0,5, Pentala Harikrishna won against Maxim Rodshtein of Israel 1,5:0,5, and Parimarjan Negi had a walkover against the injured Vladimir Akopian, who broke his leg.
Vietnam also had a solid 1st round as Le Quang Liem secured a 1,5-0.5 victory against Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia , while Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son won against Li Chao with the same score.
As I write this Wesley (2658) is playing the tournament`s top seed,Sergey Karjakin (2788) in the 2nd game . The 1st game was a solid draw in a French by Wesley. It was Karjakin who offered the draw.
Mabolo Kc Morala ,our Kiddie Chess player and future chess columnist emailed this report.
“Duanne Borgonia reigns victorious over fellow kiddies participants in the Mabolo Chess Tournament last August 28, 2011.
The young 10-year-old chess enthusiast earned straight wins in the 5-round event, having defeated 2nd placer Kirk Patrick Morala who had 4pts and Aldritz Pondoyo who placed third.
Meanwhile, Christian Pondoyo was proclaimed victor in another tournament still held in the Mabolo Chess Club last August 30, 2011. Tailing closely are his younger brother, Aldritz Pondoyo and Duanne Borgonia. Running fourth is Fernando Ryan.
The tournament was made possible thanks to the Cebu City Sports Commission, Brgy. Mabolo and Council, Macasero Torrefranca and associates. The club plans to hold monthly tourneys to gain more members.”,

Wesley and Mark in World Cup 2011

Aside from the Chess Olympiad and the World Championship, The World Cup is a premiere event in the Fide calendar.
The competition will start tomorrow August 27 up to September 21 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. The event starts with128 players and has a knockout format , where the winner has to progress through seven consecutive match victories and possible tiebreaks to reach the finals.
The competition also has one of the biggest prize funds, amounting to $1.6 million.
The winner qualifies for the next World Chess Championship Candidates event. Last year’s winner Boris Gelfand went on to win the Candidates matches and will play the World Chess Championship 2012.
Boy Wonder Wesley So will open his campaign against the tough GM from China, Ding Liren, in the first round , The other Filipino player ,Mark Paragua , faces an even bigger challenge in Michael Adams of England .
So is confident about his chances against Liren,who defeated him in their only meeting in the 2004 World Under-12 championships.
The 17-yar-old Filipino champion will easily be one of the players to watch following his surprisingly strong showing in Khanty-Mansiysk two years ago.
So defeated Gadir Gusienov of Azerbaijan, 3-1, in the first round and then shocked the world chess hierarchy by defeating world championship candidates Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, 1.5-.5 in the second round and Gata Kamsky, 1.5-.5, of the United States in the third round
So’s near-magical run ended at the hands of Vladimir Malakhov of Russia, 4-1, in rapid tiebreak matches in their fourth- round showdown.
Ding is no pushover though as he is the reigning 2011 Champion of China and was also champion in 2009. He is about the same age as Wesley and has a rating of 2664 vs Wesley`s current rating of 2658.
Paragua will make his third appearance in this prestigious event.
He qualified for the 2004 World Championship in Tripoli, Libya, but was eliminated by GM Viktor Bologan of Moldova, 1-3, in the first round 1-3.

He also qualified for 2005 World Cup, where he upset GM Sergei Movsesian of Armenia in the first round before narrowly losing in the tie breaker to GM Alexey Dreev of Russia in the second round.
Michael Adams was ranked world number 4 from October 2000 to October 2002 and has achieved a peak rating of 2755. He has achieved good results in World Chess Championship tournaments and was runner-up in 2004 in Tripoli,Libya.
Milo.KC Morala,our 14 year- old kiddie chess player who aspires to be a sports journalist sent this update.
“University of San Carlos won 3 out of 4 of the team championship medals of the Little Milo Olympics Chess Tournament Elementary Level and Secondary Girls Level held in Elizabeth Mall last August 13-14 ,2011 and in Cebu City Sports Institute of Brgy. Sawang Calero last August 20, 2011.
USC Elem. Girls had14 pts over 42 participating schools, public and private alike, followed by Sangat Elem. School with 12 pts and Marigondon Elem School with11.
Meanwhile, in the Elementary level Boys division, USC was also champion over 58 schools. Sabang Elem.School finished second tailed by third-placer Lahug Elem. School.
In the Secondary Level Girls Division, USC with Jazzelle Villarin, Hazel Sato and Cunag, had 14 match pts. Closely following the victors are its two strongest rivals, USJ-R with 12 pts and UC with 10 pts.
USJ-R consisting of the Balbona Siblings-Felix Shaun, Marq Gabrielle and Francis-and Donn Gerard Ouano, won the Secondary Boys division with their 13 pts followed by Sangat National High School and UC, second and third placers respectively.”,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cebu aims for 2nd Guinness record

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

Edward Hayco of the Cebu City Sports Commission, never ceases to amaze me as he is after a second Guinness record attempt.

Last June 27, 2010 Guinness confirmed and authenticated that 7,770 people converged at the Cebu City Sports Center for a dancesport class. The previous record of 2,289 was held by the city of Budapest in Hungary.

This time, Edward and his group are aiming at chess.

As mentioned in a previous article, there are several records in chess, most of it inconsequential and negligible like longest or shortest games, most consecutive wins etc.

The Cebu City Sports Commission and Department of Education Cebu City Division will attempt to break the Guinness World Record of the “World’s Largest Chess (Board Game) Tournament”. The current record holder is Krasnoyarsk, Russia with 1,214 participants.

The program began with a chess coaching and officiating seminar last July 13, 2011, followed by a series of school-based and city-wide Simultaneous Chess Tournaments. 20,000-30,000 players are targeted to participate .

Championships (Finals) will be on October 8, 2011, Saturday at the Cebu City Sports Center. Be a part of history by participating!
Take note that on October 21, 2006, a gigantic multi-simul was organized in El Zócalo, Mexico City. 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.
Armenia is considered the “brightest nation” on Earth . It is a tiny country ,formerly a part of the Soviet Union,of around three million who has won consecutive Olympiads in 2006 and 2008.
Last month it won the 2011 World Chess Team Championship in China solidifying its internationally-recognized status as a chess powerhouse.
The Armenian team led by Levon Aronian, the world’s third-highest-ranked chess player, dominated throughout the 12-day tournament, winning five games and drawing the four others. It sealed the title with a draw against Ukraine in the final round.
In so doing, it has triumphed over giants like Russia, China,India and the US.
Chess is pursued fanatically in Armenia, where its over-the-board stars are national celebrities and chess is taught in schools.
Chess has been one of Armenia’s most popular sports ever since Tigran Petrosian, a Tbilisi-born Armenian, became a world champion in 1963. The country currently boasts the largest per-capita numbers of chess grandmasters in the world.
Two of its three post-Soviet presidents are keen chess players who have promoted the game while in office. The current president, Serge Sargisian, heads the Armenian Chess Federation. He personally supported the national team during its Olympic triumphs.
I personally do not know if Pnoy plays chess but his mother, the late President Cory Aquino, was a chess player and one of those mainly responsible for the Chess Olympiad held in Manila in 1992. Players and officials considered the Olympiad as the best ever.
Last week I wrote about Chess in Schools. How about it sir Pnoy?
This nation can be great not by being employed in other countries but by being employers. Chess can help improve the children become good and productive citizens.,

whatever happened to the Chess in Schools program?

After a lot of publicity and excitement among chess masters and arbiters as they will soon have a steady income and permanent jobs, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo approved last May 2009 the inclusion of chess in schools curriculum in primary and secondary schools across the country.
Where is it now? I don`t see any development in this administration.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero Pichay and Department of Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus signed the Memorandum of Agreement launching the National Chess Academy then.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued the Executive Order to encourage children to play chess in accordance with the Grassroots Program of the Philippine Sports Commission.
"Chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytical skills. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieve academically better, or even faster than those who have not been engaged in the game. Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and in making disciplined decisions. Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship," Secretary Lapus stated in the Memorandum.

The Department of Education (DepEd) shall adopt chess as another strategy to promote the development of higher order thinking skills and values among Grades 3 to 6 in the Physical Education department. Chess will continue at the secondary level.
It was also announced that Grandmaster Bong Villamayor shall lead the team of accredited lectures and supervise the examination for instructors.
I believe then that this was the most significant achievement of PGMA and P`Noy should set aside political differences and coordinate with NCFP Chairman Prospero Pichay now. It is for the good of the country.
Mabolo KC Morala, a 14 year old kiddie chess player who wants to be a sports journalist someday sent in this report about the just concluded tournament in Mabolo .

“The Mabolo Elementary School and Mabolo National High School chess players toppled their rivals in the yearly District 4 Meet held at Mabolo Elementary School last August 6, 2011.

The Mabolinians had rendered speechless the four grade schools and two secondary schools who chose to be involved in this faithful event.

Board 1 Francis Fernandez and Board 2 Rafael Nardo (boys), Board 1 Algelline Lawan and Board 2 Mae Villamor (girls) of Mabolo National High School, smash their way in to the top in the secondary level.

Meanwhile, the grade-school team of Mrs. Myra Fleur Salar, Board 1 Kirk Patrick Morala and Board 2 Clyd Rejel Perandos (boys), Board 1 Therese Cabantan and Board 2 Krizia Franchette Ottara (girls) were declared victors without a single loss on the record. Right behind them is the Bagong Lipunan Elementary School, who were proclaimed second placers.

The grade schools who participated were Bagong Lipunan Elementary School, Mabolo Elementary School, Pulangbato Elementary School, Adlaon Elementary School and Mabolo Christian Academy. The secondary schools were Adlaon Integrated School, Mabolo National High School and Mabolo Christian Academy.”

Minglanilla There will be a tournament this coming Sunday Aug 14 starting 9 am at tha Reroma apts. Near Minglanilla Central School. Format is 7 rounds Swiss with 15 mins time control.

Registration is P75 . The top 5 winners will take home cash prizes.

Sponsor is LTO Carcar organized by Minglanilla Chess Club president, Mario Mangubat.,

Friday, August 5, 2011

A collection of chess poems

Chess, as a game, is like poetry in motion. That is why of all the sports, chess has the most poems. Some are very good and entertaining but are much too long ,

Others are too serious. Here are the cheerful ones.


Chess is a game
Just played by two,
Mind over matter,
Me vs. you
"What's your rating?"
The stranger does ask,
He wants to know
The degree of his task!
"1400, and what is yours?"
I kindly reply.
"Oh, I'm unrated!"
Watch out for this guy!

A silence begins
As their minds shift into gear,
They parry and spar,
Seems there's nothing to fear,
When all of a sudden
On move thirty eight,
One player moans, "Oh, no!"
As a whisper breathes, "Mate!"

Opening Overture

First I push a center pawn
Then I move a Knight
Next I get my Bishop out
And everything`s alright

Now I want to castle
Lock my King up safe and tight
Castling also puts my rook
Where it can join in the fight

Once I have both Bishops and
Both Kights where they can help
I move my Queen behind them
So her power can be felt

All my pieces come to life
Rooks, Bishops ,Knights and Queen
I now advance my pawns
Attacking everything I see

I keep my pieces active
They attack and they defend
I know that if I start out like this
I`ll win more in the end!

Peaceful Game

I like to think chess is a courteous game
I play it with family and friends
I like to think chess is a peaceful game
Nobody gets hurt when it ends

I never distract my opponent
I don`t want to act like a pest
I hope they believe in the very same way
So both of us play at our best

I know chess is not really gentle
Its more like war or a fight
I always shake hands at the start and end
So we can stay friends day and night

On the board we`re enemies
Off the board we`re friends
On the board there`s never peace
But off the board I hope for peace that never ends

Watch out man

Watch out man
The game is mine
Beating you is a crime
The next time you want to play
You better practice all that day

White Squares or Black

White squares or black
Bishops or Knights
You better get ready to put up a fight

I might open with the English
I might open with the French
But nothing you do will break
My defense

My pieces will surround your King
And then you`ll know its just too late
For the next word out of my mouth
Will be the word “checkmate”!

The Knight

I am the Knight of chess
I move like the letter L
I move two squares then turn
And I do that very well.

I can do it upside-down or sideways
To the left or right.
I can jump over other pieces
No matter what their height.

And every time I move,
I switch the color of my square
No one else can say that
No one else would dare

No King or Queen can move
like me,or jump over anyone
So with my jumping L shaped
Move, I have the greatest fun.

PMS Chess tournament There will be a 7 rounds Swiss tournament on Aug 7 for Talisay residents and neighboring towns comprising 3 individual and a team tournament.

The competition is for Kiddies, Juniors and class B senior players,
The team tournament should be composed of 3 members(senior Class B,Junior and Kiddie).

Organizer is Jojo Powao, president of the Talisay Chess Club.,

Eugene Torre

It seems odd that after writing about chess for 8 years now I have written no article exclusively about Eugene Torre. He recently showed that he still has “it” in the just concluded 4th Battle of GMs

He was voted by sportswriters as the athlete of the millennium beating Carlos “ The great difference” Loyzaga, who was chosen one of the best 10 basketball players of the competition in the World championhip in Brazil in 1954, Felicissimo Ampon, who made a gallant stand in Wimbledon in the late 1940s and the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde,the longest reigning boxing champion in the Junior Lightweight division.

Please take note that it is not for a year,a decade or a 100 years but for a thousand years!

Eugenio Torre was born in La Paz in Iloilo City on November 4, 1951, and with the possible exception of Wesley So, is considered to be the strongest Filipino chess player ever.

Torre has the distinction of being the first Asian to earn the title of International Grandmaster in a region of 3.2 billion people!.

He accomplished the feat at the age of 22 while winning a silver medal at the 21st World Chess Olympiad held in Nice, France in 1974 where he went undefeated in 19 games (9 wins, 10 draws).

Torre has been a veteran of the World Chess Olympiad for 4 decades now and led the Philippine team to a 7th place finish at the 1988 Greece Olympiad.

He also won a bronze medal in the 24th Olympiad (1980 La Valletta, Malta) where he scored 11 points in 14 games (9 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss) and another bronze in the 27th Olympiad (1986 Dubai, UAE) where he garnered 9.5 points in 13 games (7 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss).

He beat Anatoly Karpov in Manila in 1976, one of Karpov's few losses during his championship reign. Torre qualified for the Candidates round in 1984 but lost to Zoltan Ribli of Hungary. That year he was chosen as one of the top 10 players in the world.

He became a celebrity later due to his daily one hour TV program "Chess Today", and was once voted one of the ten sexiest sportsmen in the Philippines - all of which ultimately led to a cameo spot in a movie opposite Vilma Santos with whom he was romantically linked.

I think the title of the movie was “Basta isipin mo mahal kita”.

It is not well known but he was considered by Bobby Fischer as his best friend. He worked on Fischer's team in his 1992 rematch with Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia. During this rematch present was Cebuano Eric Gloria who did the research for Fischer.

Much later, Torre conducted interviews on Bombo radio with Fischer. Those interviews gained notoriety for Fischer and despair for his fans.

One anecdote in 1996 says that when Torre and Fischer boarded a taxi in Buenos Aires, while both were promoting Fischer Random Chess , the driver immediately recognized Torre as a chess player. As both were about to leave the taxi, the driver, not knowing who the other distinguished passenger was, asked Torre: “Whatever happened to that crazy guy Fischer?”

Another anecdote to the seeming popularity of Eugene happened during the 1998 Elista Olympiad. Eugene and fellow GM Joey Antonio went to the market to buy some beef. The beef seller instantly asked in awed tones “ Are you grandmaster Torre of the Philippines?” Imagine that in a far corner of the world and the vendor recognized Torre!

In 1990 I invited Eugene and another GM,Jaime Sunye-Neto of Brazil, to dinner in the now Marco Polo and one of the topics in our conversation was about computer programs.

Eugene believed that no computer programs will ever be created that could defeat the current world champion. That has been proven wrong, of course, as computers now can defeat any human being.,

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer chess extravaganza

Its summer time and as tradition goes Europe is choke full of chess tournaments.

These are not your usual 9 or 11 rounds Swiss tourneys but chess fiestas of extravagant proportions.

The 44th Biel Chess Festival is taking place from 18th to 29th July in Biel, Switzerland. There are several main groups : the Master Tournament (11 rounds Swiss- open to all); the Main Tournament (9 rounds Swiss- for players with Fide rating of 2050 and below); a Rapid and a Blitz tournament; Chess960 (Fischer random chess); Youth (free of charge for children) ,Simul exhibitions and tennis among the players . There also chess seminars for those who are interested to improve their play.

However the main interest is the Accentus Grandmaster Tournament with six very strong grandmasters playing a double round robin: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexei Shirov, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Morozevich and Yannick Pelletier. The scoring system is three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. No draw offers are permitted before move 30.

Another great tradition marks the 22nd year of the Pardubice festival in the Czech Republic.The festival has attracted 1445 players from 44 countries including 60 GMs and WGMs, and 81 IMs and WIMs.

It started last July 17 and participants of the festival can choose from almost 30 different types of chess tournaments.

For example there are the Polgar Superstar Chess World Championship and the Fischer Random Chess event. There is also a 4-member team tournament with 114 teams from the Czech Republic alone and several foreign teams competing.

The 39th Dortmund Chess Meeting started yesterday up to the 31st in the theater at Hiltropwall in Dortmund, Germany.
There are 4 main events- the Super tournament , Helmut Kohl's Tournament with ten players and the Sparkassen Open A and B which take place in the Dortmund Town Hall.
6 players compete in the double round robin Super Tournament. 9 time winner Vladimir Kramnik heads the field that also includes Hikaru Nakamura, Ruslan Pononmariov (last year's winner), Anish Giri, Le Quang Liem (qualified from the Aeroflot Open) and Geog Meier (the German number 2 player). The tourney boasts of an average rating of 2740.
For the second time the Sofia rule is in effect. The GMs are not allowed to offer a draw during the game.
Another important Fide event is also now taking place in Ningbo, China. The 2011 World Team Chess Championship is currently on-going from July 15-July 26 at the playing venue in New Century Grand Hotel Ningbo.
This 8th edition It is a kind of exclusive Olympiad, in which only ten elite teams compete for top honors. As such, most of the players are world class. The players are treated like royalty with single rooms in the 5-star hotel. Each team consists of five players (including one reserve) and one coach/captain of the team for a total of 6 .
According to FIDE Regulations the following Federations are entitled to send a team: China (host country),Russia (winner 2009),Ukraine (Olympiad 2010),Israel (Olympiad 2010),Hungary (Olympiad 2010),Azerbaijan (Europe qualifier),India (Asia qualifier),USA (America's qualifier),Egypt (African qualifier),Armenia (FIDE President's nomination).
Mingglanilla Chess Club. The Club recently was organized and elected the following set of Officers: Mario Mangubat-president,Eto Cañada-vice president, Dannie Reroma-secretary, Jason Orfano-treasurer, Francisco Nebria-auditor, Dennis Gonzales-PRO, Sgt at arms-Doming Villamor and Jerwin Flores.Directors-Romeo Delima and Marlon Dosados. Adviser is Manny Manzanares.,

World`s top players and poker results

It has been sometime since I featured the top rated players of the world in different categories. Here are the highlights of the new list as of July 2011.

The world's top 10 has undergone some substantial changes. Magnus Carlsen's performance in the Kings Tournament in Medias took him back to World Number One replacing World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Levon Aronian dropped back after his tied match with Alexander Grischuk in the Classical games section of their Candidates Match.

Sergey Karjakin has become the number one Russian player and improve to no. 4 in the World after his Kings tournament performance. Boris Gelfand moves up to no. 12 after winning the candidates matches to challenge Anand for the World Championship.

Ruslan Ponomariov's performance in the Ukraine Championship catapulted him from 11 to 7 in the world.

Le Quang Liem gained a valuable 19 points at the Capablanca Memorial Tournament and is now the top Junior player in the World. He is now the top Asean player beating our Boy Wonder Wesley so in their personal battle.
42 players are above 2700 and 2649 is the rating that gets you into the top 100.
Top 10 players :1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2821 2 Anand,Viswanathan IND 2817 3 Aronian, Levon ARM 2805 4 Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2788 5 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2781 6 Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR 2768 7 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2768 8 Topalov, Veselin BUL 2768 9 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2766 10 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 27.
Top 10 women :1 Polgar, Judit HUN 2699 2 Koneru, Humpy IND 2614 3 Hou, Yifan CHN 2575 4 Kosintseva, Nadezhda RUS 2560 5 Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS 2557 6 Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2538 7 Dzagnidze, Nana GEO 2537 8 Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2536 9 Cmilyte, Viktorija LTU 2528 10 Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL 2524
Top 10 juniors: 1 Le, Quang Liem VIE 2715 2 Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2711 3 Giri, Anish NED 2701 4 Yu, Yangyi CHN 2672 5 Feller, Sebastien FRA 2666 6 So, Wesley PHI 2658 7 Ding, Liren CHN 2654 8 Negi, Parimarjan IND 2642 9 Matlakov, Maxim RUS 2632 10 Sjugirov, Sanan RUS 2629
Top 10 girls:1 Hou, Yifan CHN 2575 2 Ju, Wenjun CHN 2515 3 Harika, Dronavalli IND 2513 4 Muzychuk, Mariya UKR 2469 5 Bodnaruk, Anastasia RUS 2431 6 Paikidze, Nazi GEO 2416 7 Savina, Anastasia RUS 2398 8 Tan, Zhongyi CHN 2396 9 Cori T., Deysi PER 2376 10 Girya, Olga RUS 2371
Poker All In Anniversary P1,000,000 Guaranteed main event final results held at the Waterfront last month: 1st – P313,600 Richard Tolentino 2nd – P166,600 Sonny Ugalde 3rd – P78,400 Galileo Roma 4th – P58,800 Ben Dimaano 5th – P49,000 Marv Dumoin 6th – P39,200 Eddie Kagas 7th – P29,400 Damon Shulenberger 8th – P19,600 Bobby Valero 9th – P18,620 Nelson Reserva 10th – P16,660 Manuel Reyes.

Notable players that played in the Main event: Brad Daugherty – 1991 Main Event Champion of the WSOP ;Enrique Del Prado Jr. – APT Philippines 2011 Main Event Champion (a classmate in my elementary days); Galileo Roma-President of the Mactan Chess Club; Ben Dimaano- former president of Cepca.

The Diamond Club beside the Grand Convention Center holds a tournament every day with buyins ranging from P100 – P1000. Points are awarded to the top 10 players and the champion for the month gets to play for free the following month. 1st runner-up gets a discount of 60% and 3rd 40%.

Here are the top players for June: 1.Jay de la Fuente-176 points 2.Chessmoso-171 3.Joe “ Phoenix” Luna-113 4.Jessierez Ruiz-107 5. Tito Calderon-105 6.Junele Oswa-103 7. Adrian Jayme-81 8.Keiyes (Korean) tied with Mac Mantos-76 9. Randy Malagao-75 10. Kim Michael Enriquez-74.

My lucky dealer is Harold Flores who also acts as the tournament director.,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Expensive chess sets and the Taliban

Expensive chess sets, also called luxury sets feature pieces created from the highest and most extravagant materials, such as high quality wood, crystal, gold, diamond, ivory, and so on, as well as expensive chess boards made with wonderful materials and workmanship.

More often than not, these sets are personally hand made by a skilled craftsman.

Bonham is a leading auctioneer of fine arts and rare items and scheduled for auction this year are unusual and expensive chess sets.

There’s a 1780 French “bust” set with images of Europeans and Moors (est. $11-$14,000), and an1820 Cantonese set depicting the contest between East and West ($4600-$7700).
Top seller is expected to be a 300 year-old German ivory and ebony figural set, with the King and Queen in medieval dress (est. $23-$31,000).
If you think that these prices are outrageous ,think again.
Thirty craftsmen, under the direction of renowned French artist and master of jewelry, Bernard Maquin created the Royal Diamond Chess set in 2005.
Maquin spent over 4500 hours creating the chess set. The work was done all by hand and when it was completed, the artists used 1168.75 grams of 14 carat white gold, and approximately 9900 black and white diamonds, bringing the total weight to 186.09 carats and the total cost to $500,000.
If you thought this set is out of this world then you haven’t seen the most expensive chess set yet. This label goes to the Jewel Royale Chess Set from Britain. Boodles, a British custom jewelry company commissioned its production.
Valued at over £5 million ($9.8m USD), this single chess set is the most expensive and exquisite game set of any kind in the world. Constructed of gold and platinum, it contains diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls and sapphires. The king piece alone weighs 165.2 grams of 18 carat yellow gold and has a spiraling mid-section graced by 73 rubies and 146 diamonds.
Where does the Taliban come in? They also have a chess set!
Jeffrey Train, a 48-year-old former Canadian soldier who designed the figures, says he has sold more than 1,500 sets mostly as souvenirs to the 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan
The Taliban features such figures as Osama bin Laden as the King , a woman in a burqa as the Queen , and Taliban snipers, RPGs, suicide bombers and assault soldiers as the Bishop, Rook, Knight and Pawn.
As for the U.S., you get to choose between Presidents Obama or George W. Bush for King, while the Statue of Liberty is the Queen. Various kinds of soldiers play the Bishop, Knight and Pawn with the World Trade Center as the Rook.
In the British set, the king is Tony Blair and the queen is the Queen, while the rook is Big Ben.
Train, who manufactures the resin sets in Manila , said he had the idea while working on Kandahar Airfield in 2006.
He said the sets, which include a board with a map of Afghanistan, were perfect souvenirs and were also educational. They have attracted occasional accusations of poor taste, he said, but most soldiers liked them.
"I have had Americans say 'How can you put a suicide bomber on the same board as the Twin Towers?' and I have said 'Look, this is reality, like it or not'
Fide Rated Here are the final results of the 1st Fide rated tournament exclusively for Cebuano players held at Deep Blue in SM City.
Champion -IM KimSteven Yap (2399) 7 2. IM Enrico Sevillano (2510) 6.5 3.Eden Diano (2058) 6 4. Rommel Ganzon (2053) 5.5 5. NM Eric Gloria (2336) 5 6. Richard Natividad (2098) 5 7. FM Anthony Makinano (2320) 3 8. Voltaire Sevillano (2334) 2.5 9. Rogelio Enriquez (2279) 2.5 10. NM Merben Roque (2294) 2.,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fide rated tournament among Cebuanos

A fide rated tournament among Cebuano players has never happened before and is as rare the Cebu Flowerpecker.

If you are familiar with birds, the Cebu Flowerpecker (Dicaeum quadricolor) was presumed extinct since 1906 but it was rediscovered by a birdwatcher in 1992 in the forests of barangay Tabunan – part of the Central Cebu Protected Landscape – in Cebu City, and has been spotted only a handful of times since. It is considered one of the rarest bird in the world.

We had fide rated tournaments before like the zonals in the CICC in Mandaue in 2007 and the Cepa-Cifya sponsored Cebu Grandmasters tournament in 1992 but these included mostly foreigners.

The Cebu City Masters Tournament has 2 stages-eliminations and finals.

The eliminations was held at the OPASCOR bldg rooftop last Jun 20. There were 36 participants and the qualifiers were Eden Diano,Richard Natividad ,Rogelio Enriquez and Rommel Ganzon.

The four will join the six FIDE rated players ; International Master Enrico 'Econg' Sevillano, a native of Tuburan, with 2510 ( a grandmaster-strength rating)(Econg has already 1 GM norm to his credit); International Master Steven Kim Yap - 2399; National Master Eric Gloria, a FIDE trainer now based in Singapore with 2336; Voltaire Sevillano, younger brother of Econg who is untitled but has a high FIDE rating of 2334; Anthony Makinano, a FIDE Master's(FM) title to his name with a rating of 2320; and National Master Merben Roque - 2294.

The ten players will play a single round robin with at least 3 hours per game and 2 games per day for 5 straight days . It should be noted that in a round robin tournament, in order for the tournament to be FIDE rated, the minimum FIDE requirement is 10 players with 6 players FIDE rated and four unrated.

The games are now on-going at Deep Blue in SM City.

This tournament is organized by the Cebu Chess federation and sponsored by the Cebu City government.

Rare pilgrimage- Cepca president, Manny Manzanares, is on a rare journey on a motorbike to celebrate his 62nd birthday and by honoring Jose Rizal 150th birth anniversary and to play chess at Rizal Park in luneta.

He started in Talisay,to Cebu City then on a ferry to Ormoc City. From Ormoc to Tacloban then across the San Juanico Bridge to Catbalogan City.

He then went to Calbayog,and Allen in Samar, rode a ferry to Matnog and then on to Sorsogon City.

He then proceeded to Legaspi then Naga and the Bicol region to Pamplona,Camarines Norte,on to Quezon province to San Pablo then Calamba, Laguna the birthplace of Rizal. From there ,he proceeded to Luneta to play chess!

Attaboy Manny!

Oriental Poker Clubs' 1 Million Guaranteed Poker Derby in Parkmall was a huge success! Entries with buyins of P25,000 included 44 players from professionals to poker enthusiasts. The list also consisted of international players from United States such as Steve Hennings, Robert Browning and Shaun.

Korean players were Park Yaehbon, Bobo, Brian, Frank, Noma and Arnold Kwon. Also a Japanese national Shin Siguira . locals to mention a few are : Paeng Escano, Wacky Salud, former cepca president Ben Dimaano, Mike Lacson, JR Vasquez and of course the 1st placer Dodo Soco. Tournament started at 5:30pm and ended at 12:35am, roughly 7 hours duration.

Here are the final table: 1st Dodo Soco P450,000 ;2nd Noma P250,000 ;3rd Arnold Kwon P175,000 ;4th Arnold Gonzaludo P125,000 ;5th Adrian Jaime P33,000 ;6th Wilfredo "Snake" Simmons P33,000 ;7th Presley Chiong P1,800 Bonus Bet;8th Park Yaehbon P1,800 Bonus Bet;9th Mike Lacson P1,800 Bonus Bet;10th Gel Bolingo P1,800 Bonus Bet.,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two eccentrics and a chess game

THE eccentric Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov visited an old friend and fellow eccentric—Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi--in Tripoli last June 11 and 12 , to play chess and boost his morale.

Ilyumzhinov has a seven-year close relationship with Gaddafi, who in 2004 sponsored the Fide World Chess Championship in Libya.

Win US $500 cash in Sun.Star’s music video contest

Kirsan once claimed to have been abducted by aliens and taken aboard their spaceship.

Gaddafi is struggling to hang on to power in the war torn in Libya, and the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity.

Ilyumzhinov said he had found Gaddafi “quite healthy and adequate.” He also said the Libyan leader told him that he was ready for immediate talks with Nato and the Benghazi representatives but had no intention to step down or leave the country.

“I am neither premier nor president nor king,” Interfax quoted Gaddafi as saying during the meeting. “I do not hold any post in Libya and therefore I have no position that I should give up.”

Gaddafi, referred to simply as “the Leader,” indeed has no official position in the Libyan government. However, he has wielded near-supreme power for 42 years in the North African nation.

The visit of the Fide president Ilyumzhinov to Gaddafi has caused such a storm of protest that Fide has released a press release to tone down the controversy.

“I was asked to visit Libya this weekend and I was satisfied that chess could play such a critical role in this time of crisis. I had serious meetings regarding the objectives I had set and I am proud that FIDE could contribute to the peace process in the region and the world. It is therefore unfortunate that some people are trying to use this trip to wrongfully politicize the situation in Fide and I am asking everybody to show complete solidarity for the peace efforts in Libya.”

BOY WONDER. Wesley So finished in a 3-way tie for first place in the 19th Annual Sigeman Chess Championship in Malmo, Sweden with Anish Giri of the Netherlands and
Hans Tikkanen of Sweden. He had 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss for 3 points.

It was a hi-low performance by Wesley as he defeated the highest-ranked player, Alexei Shirov and lost to the lowest rated player, Tikkanen.

Wesley will be playing in a big tournament in India, the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Tournament, which will start on June 21.

The center of attraction is World Women champion Hou Yifan and a tough test for her as it is a category 17 with World Junior No.1 Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Czech Republic No. 2 Viktor Laznicka, India No. 2 Krishnan Sasikiran and the reigning Indian National Champion Parimarjan Negi aside from So.

The tournament will offer a total prize money of $24,500. The winner takes $8,000, while the runner-up will receive $6,000. The purse for the next four finishers will be $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,500.

New GM. Julio Catalino Sadorra of Cavite is now officially a grandmaster.

“I can’t reduce my success to a formula, but it comes down to hard work and faith,” said Sadorra, a sophomore majoring in applied mathematics at the University of Texas-Dallas, USA.

The 25-year-old Sadorra achieved his third and final GM norm in the UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational when he beat Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov in Round 10 last March.

Oriental Poker Club. The P1 million guaranteed pot starts tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Parkmall in Mandaue with the champion taking home P500,000. Buy-in is P25,000. For details contact Mona at 09158533836.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 17, 2011.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Poker: gambling or sport?

Of all the forms of gambling, poker is one of the most complex and sophisticated, and because there is the ability to win even with a bad hand, there is much more skill involved.

It is a game that, over a long period of time, will always reward the more skilled player.

That is why there are professional poker players who depend on the game as a livelihood just like chess.

And so, even if you can't accept poker as a sport, it has to be accepted as a legitimate form of competition in which talent overrides luck.

Texas hold 'em is the most popular poker card game in Cebu and across North America and Europe, as well as online. It is a community card game where each player may use any combination of the five community cards and the player's own two hole cards to make a poker hand,

Because each player starts with only two cards and the remaining cards are shared, it is an excellent game for strategic analysis.

Metro Card in Mandaue recently had the Sharpe Classic P500,000 guaranteed tournament with a buyin of P5,500.

Here are the winners (in pesos): 1st: Anthony Song 147,500 2nd: Gerry Campo 85,000 3rd: Jett Latonio 60,000 4th: John Ruiz 50,000 5th: Joey Agustin 42,500 6th: John Ong 32,500 7th: Anthony Feliciano 22,500 8th: Ray Martin 17,500 9th: Jed Neri 12,500 10th: Taino Tenney 10,000 11th: Sonny Ugalde 10,000 12th: Rafael Escano 10,000.
The All In Poker Sports Club, located at Cebu’s Waterfront Hotel & Casino, is holding its Anniversary Series of Poker this month from June 20-27, 2011. The packed schedule will include a PHP 1 million guaranteed prize pool Main Event, which has been accredited by the Asian Poker Tour (APT) and is sure to attract the Philippines’ best poker players.
Players sitting down at the tables for the PHP 5500 buy-in Main Event of the All In Anniversary Series of Poker can be confident that the event will be run to according to the same protocol that has made the APT such a trusted tournament series.

“We’ve had a great partnership with the All In Poker Sports Club previously with the launch of our APT Asian Series Cebu tournament and are very happy to continue our association with the professional team there,” said Jeff Mann, CEO of the Asia Poker Tour.
Also The new Oriental Poker Sports Club in Parkmall ,Mandaue has also a P1,000,000 tournament this month with a buyin of P25,000 limited to 40 players. 1st prize is an amazing P500,000.
Plus they have freerolls (no buyin) that keep them coming.
Also remember that it is a special night for ladies tomorrow at Parkmall as they pay only P200 , convertible to cash game chips while gentlemen pay P500. Guaranteed pot is P15,000.
Also try your luck at Diamond Club beside the Grand Convention Center as they have affordable buyins and the lady dealers are a sight to behold and even prettier lady players.
Sigeman.The 19th Sigeman Chess Tournament is set to take place today up to the 13th in Malmö, Sweden.
The format is 6-player round robin and features Alexei Shirov (ESP 2709) and the world's top juniors namely Anish Giri (NED 2687) and our Wesley So( PHI 2667).
Completing the 6 man event are Sweden`s top players : Jonny Hector 2585, Hans Tikkanen 2560 and Nils Grandelius 2541
MICA.The "Mactan Island Chess Association" or "MICA" is organizing a tournament on June 17 1pm to be held in the park under the new bridge titled Singkwenta na Chess Tournament .
The occasion is the 50th Charter Day of Lapulapu City and has 3 sections: A,B and Kiddies.
Sponsor is councillor Harry Radaza and MICA. Prizes are cash and medals.
The president of MICA is Galileo Roma Jr who is a good poker player.,