Friday, March 25, 2011

New Pinoy grandmaster

A NEW grandmaster is always big news. Julio Catalino Sadorra is the country’s 14th chess grandmaster.

This was revealed just recently by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., who produced eight GMs under his six-year leadership.

The eight are Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez, Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla and Roland Salvador.

In the past, it took at least 45 years to produce GMs in the likes of Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II and Mark Paragua.

“Ino (Julio Catalino Sadorra) from Cavite, is assured of his third and final GM norm after beating GM Alex Shabalov in the 10th round of the 2011 University Texas (UT) Dallas Grandmaster International Tournament,” said Pichay.

The tournament was held last week.

He finished with 7.5 points, placing in a three-way tie for second with GM Julio Becerra of the USA and GM Dejan Bojkov of Bulgaria. The 24-year-old Filipino was just 0.5 points adrift of GM Valentin Iotov of Bulgaria, who bagged the title with 8 points.

Sadorra earned his first GM norm during the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup last 2008 and he got his second GM norm during the Battle of GMs in Tagaytay last June 2010.

“I have also crossed the 2500 rating in the live ratings for the first time,” Sadorra informed Pichay via e-mail. This is important as an Elo rating of at least 2500 is
necessary for GM confirmation.

According to Sadorra’s father Bing, Ino continues to represent the Philippines in all his tournaments in the US while pursuing an academic degree at the University of Texas Dallas.

His 2011 summer schedule includes tournaments in the US mainland: Chicago Open, World Open and US Open. Incidentally, he tied for second place in the 2010 US Open, but unfortunately missed his final GM norm because he was not paired against the required number of GMs and titled players.

To the young players, Julio said, “My message to our promising juniors is to hold on to their dreams of becoming a GM. Work on improving your games by studying your games with a master to learn your weaknesses and solve positions that will strengthen them.”

“I would like to start by praising and thanking God who is always in control, even when we think things are going wrong. I almost gave up pursuing my last norm while pursuing my degree (Business Administration)... I kept working on chess whenever I got some free time and trusted that God will let me have the GM title this year, which I’ve been aspiring to achieve since I was 10. With my training and support from loved ones, I played my best on every round. I must say that I’ve never played so solid before,” he said.

Pichay said the NCFP will also “fully support Sadorra’s future tournaments.”

Local news. The Elementary Inter-school chess festival was held at the Ateneo in Manila last March 19 and our kids performed well as expected. Child wonders Kyle Sevillano won third place in the boys section, while Vic Glysen Derotas won the girls’ division.

Glysen was offered an elementary scholarship at Arellano University and a high school scholarship in Ateneo.

The Lapu-Lapu City Chess Club recently elected its new set of officers for 2011. They are Judy Tamala (president), Norman Olaybar (vice-president), Allan Bongolto (secretary), Rolando Torres (treasurer), Aldwin Daculan (PRO), Weynard Labastida (Sgt. at arms). The board members are Dennis Ferrer and Jun Olis.

Chessmoso will induct their new set of officers today.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chess arbiters and poker dealers

IN ANY competitive sport, there is always an official who controls the action. In basketball and boxing, they are called the referees and in baseball and tennis, they are called umpires.

They are also called the marshal, arbiter and dealer in golf, chess and poker, respectively.

Arbiters must have thorough knowledge of the laws of chess, the Fide regulations for competitions and the Swiss pairing systems.

Most local tournaments are organized by the Rose Pharmacy Chess Club and are managed by Marvin Ruelan and NM Roger Abella.

Marvin belongs to a family of chess players. His father is the late NM Loloy Ruelan and his relatives are NM Lincoln Yap and IMs Rico Mascarinas and Kimkim Yap. He attended the seminar under the late Manuel Lara and became Fide arbiter in 2007 together with Roger Abella and Louie Navaja.

Abella managed the Arena (Association of Regional Executives) and GCAA (Government agencies) tournaments in the 1990s and early 2000. He was also chief arbiter of the FEBTC and Shell tournaments for almost 10 years.

Louie Navaja manages corporate games and student organizations.

Felix Poloyapoy is secretary of Cepca and handles its tournaments. He also handles Deep Blue Chess Club and out-of-town NCFP tournaments in Tacloban and Davao.

POKER. A poker dealer distributes cards to players and manages the action at a poker table. This includes prodding players to act, verbally announcing actions of players to the rest of the table, and correcting players who act out of turn.

Dealers also must manage the pot and keep track of the amount of money and remove the appropriate cut (called a “rake”) for the house.

Dealers get good pay and a dealer’s primary source of income is not his or her salary, but tips from players on cash games.

Diamond Poker Club beside the Grand Convention Center is my favorite as it is accessible and affordable and you have a chance to win a million pesos on their jackpot called a ‘’Bad Beat.” This happens when at least a full house of aces and tens gets beaten by quads or better.

The jackpot is now P2.7 million and the losing hand gets 40 percent while the winning hand wins 20 percent.The rest of the table shares the remaining 40 percent.

Here are the dealers. Some of the women have a chance to win a beauty contest!

Manny Ronquillo loves his job because he loves the game itself. Just say “All in” and everything follows.

Katrynna Angela Dollosa says she gained more confidence by becoming a dealer and meeting more friends. The job has helped her managed people with different personalities.

Roslene “Ayen” Fernandez-Longakit says being a dealer is probably the best job in the world—it has no paperwork, quotas and deadlines. She says it is work and play for her.

James Michael Amante is also known as the Bad Beat dealer because he dealt three consecutive jackpots in the Club. He has a lovely daughter, Margaret Jarmaine.

Joy Maris Geyrosaga says you must have patience and always be ready for problems. You should also be neutral and treat all the players fairly no matter who they are.

Sheila Apalisok says you can’t ask for more from this job. You should be flexible at the same time be firm in applying the rules.

Danica Damayo is known as the “Poker Chic” of Diamond and rocks on the table. She used to be the receptionist but management saw her potential as a dealer.

Precy Montebon is known as the “Momo Queen” and has a good heart. She is also pretty as a picture.

Metro Card Club Cebu located along AS Fortuna St in Mandaue has a P300,000 guaranteed tournament starting at 4 p.m. today until Sunday.

Buy-in is P3,000 plus P300 service charge.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 18, 2011.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Women grand prix

This week,we are celebrating the centenary of International Women`s Day held every March 8 since 1911.

It is just fitting that our topic this week is about the Fide Women Grand Prix, a series of six events held from 2009-2011 to determine the challenger to the world champion.

18 top world players had been selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player agreed and contracted to participate in exactly 4 of these tournaments.

The winner of each leg takes home 6,500 euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 euros.

This is the first time that such a series was organized and is a significant development for Women chess. The introduction of the Grand Prix series meant that there will be a World Championship contest annually now from 2010.

In 2010,The Champion was Hou Yifan of China who won the Knockout tournament held in Turkey.

The winner of the Grand Prix series will play the Women World Champion in the third quarter of 2011 in a ten game match for the Women’s World Championship title.
The first Women GP was held in March 2009 in Istanbul and was won by Humpy Koneru. The second, in September-October 2009 in Nanjing, was won by Xu Yuhua. Tatiana Kosintseva won the third, in March 2010 in Nalchik and Nana Dzagnidze the fourth in June-July 2010 in Jermuk. Hou Yifan won the fifth tournament in Ulaanbaatar.
The sixth tournament has just concluded in Doha,Qatar last week and was won by Koneru Humpy.
Since the overall winner of the Grand Prix was Hou Yifan then the Challenger rights will go to the second placed overall in the Grand Prix, which, in this case,is Koneru Humpy.

Thus, Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy of India will play in the third quarter of 2011 in a ten game match for the Women’s World Championship title.

Miyoko Watai An Icelandic court said last week that Miyoko Watai, the widow of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, should inherit his estimated $2 million estate, which has been in dispute since his death in 2008.

Claimants to this big amount of money are Fischer`s nephews, Alexander and Nicolas Targ, children of Bobby Fischer`s late sister,Joan Fischer Targ.

Another claimant is Jinky Young,The Filipina girl, whose mother , Marilyn Young, says she is the daughter of Fischer. However a DNA Test showed that Jinky is not the biological daughter of Bobby.

"It is completely ruled out" that Jinky Young can be the biological daughter of the former World Champion.
Miyoko Watai of Japan had claimed before the court she was Fischer's wife and heir while two of the chess master's nephews and Jinky, thru her mother, had questioned the legitimacy of the marriage.
In 2009 Iceland's Supreme Court overturned a municipal court decision that Watai was the rightful heir, saying definite proof of the marriage had not been made available.
However Reykjavík District Court’s verdict has concluded that the “document submitted by Watai confirmed that she and Fischer were legally married on September 6, 2004. She is said to have submitted sufficient proof to that account at the time of his death and is therefore his legal heir. Watai is a pharmacist and the chairperson of the Japanese Chess Association. She said she and Fischer met in Japan in 1973.”
The nephews' lawyer said they would appeal the court ruling.
Sammy Estimo, Jinky`s Filipino Laywer, sent me a text message that they would also appeal to the Icelandic Supreme Court.
However, sources in Iceland said that the appeal is without merit or chance.,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Joseph Sanchez wins Cannes festival

THE 25th International Open “Pierre et Vacances” took place from Feb. 21 to 27 in Cannes, France.

Sixty-four players, including 17 GMs, competed in the nine-round Swiss event, which had a 10,000-Euro prize fund with the champion taking home 2,200 Euros.

Cebuano GM Joseph Sanchez surprised everybody, including himself, by claiming first with seven points. Sanchez was only seeded 15th before the start of the tournament, but played in excellent form and led the standings throughout the event. He also won this event in 2009, thereby bagging his third and final norm to become the first Cebuano grandmaster.

Sanchez, playing black, defeated Italian GM Sabino Brunello after 33 moves of English Opening in the ninth and final round.

Final standings:

1: 7 points GM Joseph Sanchez (PHL, 2516); 2 to 6: 6.5 GM Michael Roiz (ISR 2649), IM Xavier Vila Gazquez (ESP, 2488), GM Christian Bauer (FRA, 2633), GM Evgeny Romanov (RUS, 2606) and GM Andrey Sumets (UKR, 2619);7-8: 6 points GM Alberto David (LUX, 2580) and GM Vlad-Cristian Jianu (ROU, 2539).

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero Pichay Jr. lauded Sanchez’s latest feat saying, “He deserves this… I’m really happy for him .This
proves once again that the Filipino can be at par with the world’s best woodpushers.”

Here is the report by our budding 13-year-old sports journalist KC Morala, who is also an excellent chess player.

“Held in the Elizabeth Mall Activity Center last weekend was Cebu City’s very first major tournament in years--the Cebu City Charter Day Open Chess Tournament. The three-day event fascinated scores of chess enthusiasts, which attracted the world’s seventh-youngest Grandmaster, Wesley So, and also other GMs, IMs, FIDE Masters and NMs from
all over the country.”

Though he tied with GM So with a score of 8 points, GM Gomez won in the tiebreak, and was acknowledged champion with GM So as the first runner-up. Both sides split the P150,000 prize money.

Catching up, the 7.5 pointers were IM Chito Garma, GM Darwin Laylo, IM Ronald Dableo, and IM Richard Bitoon.

Meanwhile, GM Rogelio Antonio, along with NM Reggie Olay, Jayson Salubre, FM Anthony Makinano, NM Rodrigo Atotubo, NM Joel Fernan, FM Sander Severino, NM Rhobel Legaspi, Redentor Nailon, and Voltaire Sevillano, shared the seventh to the 16th places with 7 points.

GM So drew with IM Bitoon in the 5th round and with GM Gomez in the sixth round, both games featuring the Sicilian Defense with So playing Black.

GM Gomez also settled for a draw against IM Dableo in a Semi-Slav Defense opening.

A total of 156 players took part in the nine-round tournament, many of whom came from various parts of the country. For Cebu, it must have been a great honor to sponsor such a big event like this.

With chess players thirsty for more, Cebu City will yet again hold another tournament to break Russia’s record for the largest board game tournament with 1,214 participants in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Cebu City Sports chairman Ed Hayco and Sportsman of the year Boojie Lim are targeting a record attendance of a mind-blowing 4,000 players for the record attempt.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 04, 2011.