Friday, February 25, 2011

Remember the AlaMainz and others

THE economic downturn worldwide has drastically affected sponsorship in chess but obviously not Ceboom, as you will read later on.

Chess festivals ala Mainz are rare in the Fide chess calendar . This is not your ordinary tournament but a chess fiesta, comprising several events. This includes Chess960,a variant conceptualized by Bobby Fischer.

More than a thousand world class players regularly attend this festival in Germany and a decade full of dedication and passion for international rapid chess has come to an end.

The Brainchild of Hans-Walter Schmitt. It started in Frankfurt before changing to the city of Mainz. Last year there was a slimmed down event and this year no sponsor could be found.

The M-Tel in Bulgaria, and the Youth vs Experienced tournament in the Netherlands are major super- tournaments and have also been cancelled.

M-Tel Masters is an annual super-GM chess tournament held since 2005 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, sponsored and organized by the leading Bulgarian mobile network operator, M-Tel.

The “Youth vs Experience” Chess Tournament is a double round robin ‘Scheveningen’ team tournament played in Amsterdam.

This will also be the last year of Melody Amber, the only major tourn ament played blindfold by the cream of the crop.

This 20th Amber tournament will be the final edition of an event unparalleled in the history of chess and will be played next month.

In this final jubilee edition the following grandmasters will take part: World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) and Anish Giri (The Netherlands).

Bombi Aznar Memorial Hazel Morala, our 13- year old girl journalist-chessplayer ,sent this report.

“The Bombi Aznar Memorial Chess Tournament held in Elizabeth Mall, which started on February 19 and lasted for three days, turned out to be another feather on Sander Severino’s already well-feathered hat, a Fide Master who traveled all the way to Cebu from Bacolod.

Though physically-challenged, FM Severino, a highly regarded chess player, had rendered speechless the local chess enthusiasts of Cebu after making a staggering accomplishment of being able to stay on the top boards throughout the whole tournament.

With 8 points, the latter was acknowledged the victor of the 9-round tourney, taking possession of the P20,000 worth of cash prize and a grand trophy. Next in line is another 8 pointer, Rogelio Enriquez, who in turn took hold of P10,000. Meanwhile, Barlo Nadera and Johnnel Balquin scored 7.5 points each, seizing the third and fourth place respectively.

Meanwhile, as the other winners were enjoying their victories, Eden Tumbos, a chess devotee from La Salle, was recognized as the top female awardee of the said tournament after gaining 6 points. In addition, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano of the University of San Carlos, the child marvel of Cebu, was acknowledged the top Kiddies awardee of the same tourney.”

Charter Day The Cebu City Charter Chess Open will start tomorrow at Elizabeth Mall up to Monday and offers an unprecedented P300,000 in total prizes with P100,000 going to the champion.

With this much moolah, this tournament has attracted the top players of the country led by the Boy Wonder Wesley So and other GMs namely Joey Antonio, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo.

Eugene Torre might also play.

IMs playing are Cebuanos Richard Bitoon and Barlo Nadera and Oliver Dimakiling.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2011.

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