Friday, May 27, 2011

Goodbye to a good friend

OUR talented journalist and chess player KC Morala sent in this report about the Palarong Pambansa.

The Cviraa chess team brought home not one but three team trophies and three medals in one of the most exciting events of the year, the 2011 Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan City just recently.

The team was composed of eight players, all from Cebu-- Allan Pason and Felix Shaun Balbona in the secondary boys, Roxanne Tampus and Keith Claire Carlisle Morala for the secondary girls, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and John Francis Balbona for the elementary boys and Vic Glysen Derotas and Honey Mae Panonce for the elementary girls.

Pason made an extravagant performance after finishing as silver medalist with 5.5 points, losing only to NMRAA. F.S. Balbona got 4.5 points, and, with their victories combined, they placed third overall.

Both Sevillano and J.F. Balbona lost to NCR, which placed first, and the two grade school players made up for it by seizing second place in their category.

Though Morala was defeated by Cavraa in her first round, she did well in her next six rounds, even though she lost to IRAA. Tampus was also doing good in her first two rounds, unfortunately, her last five rounds were not in her favor.

Third-grade Derotas and Panonce also did well in their category, placing third, while Panonce won the silver in the individual standing.

SRP Open. FM Anthony Makinano staged his own unique comeback in the SRP Chess Open for this year’s Cebu Sports Festival held at the South Road Properties, from May 20 to 22, 2011.

As players from different the sports in the Cebu Sports Festival arrived at their respective venues, there was excitement among the 100 participating youngsters and veterans as they waited for the chess tournament to be officially open.

The event began with a seven-round tourney to determine the top 16, the next round of games, which will follow the knockout format.

FM Makinano, who was already seeded to the final rounds of the top 16 with IM Kim Steven Yap for being highest rated persons present in Cebu, won the title after defeating NM Merben Roque in the finals.

The FIDE Master didn’t get the chance to face IM Yap as the latter was whitewashed by Rommel Ganzon on the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, in the Kiddies Category, Felix Shaun Balbona and Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano tied for first and second places with five points apiece, with Allan Pason as the solo third placer. Those who had four points were Aldritz Pondoyo, Jeffu Dorog, Christian Pondoyo, Adrian Basiligo and Duane Borgonia.

On the other hand, Airene Robillos was the solo first placer with 4.5 pts, while Quennie Cablao and Jessa Balbona shared the 2nd and 3rd places in the Ladies Category.

Hazel Sato and KC Morala were the fourth placers.

GERRY OUANO. One of the most active member of Cepca passed away recently, at the age of 46. It was a big surprise to us as a few days earlier, we were having the time of our lives celebrating Dante Arguelles birthday.

Being a civil engineer and a successful contractor, Gerry was always there with a helping hand in all our big projects.

His loving wife Evelyn and chess-playing children, Kryztelle Kaytte and Donn Gerard, will miss him.

His parents are Eulogio and Estrella Ouano. Brothers are Davy and Joel and sisters are Cherry, Annette, Rowena and Rosemarie.

Interment will be on May 29 at Grosmar Memorial Park in Mandaue City after the 1 p.m. Requiem mass at San Isidro Parish in Talisay City.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 27, 2011.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oriental Poker Sports Club

Like the rest of the world ,poker is growing by leaps and bounds. A testament to its increasing popularity in Cebu is the opening of a new club to accommodate the increasing number of new players.

Everytime I play, I see new faces and a lot of them are women. Poker players are requesting me “adopt” the game and to cover big events .

The new kid on the block is Oriental Poker Sports Club located at Casino Filipino,2nd floor ,Parkmall ,Mandaue City. The location is easily accessible and parking is safe and secured.

This is the 5th Poker Club in Metro Cebu. The others are All-in in Waterfront Lahug, Metro Card also in Mandaue, Tulip in Mactan and Diamond Club beside the Grand Convention Center.

Grand opening of Oriental is tomorrow May 21. They started right by featuring a Free Roll tournament (no buy-in).

The guaranteed pot is 30K and registration is on a first come, first serve basis.

Eat-all-you-can Lechon Fiesta dinner will also be served.

I will be playing tomorrow with my daughter ,Zarah, and my chess buddy Nicnic Climaco. Coming with me are lovebirds Joe “Phoenix” Luna and Cindy Yap. Poker buddies Keith Coyoga and Jessie Ruiz will also be playing.

For more details on this and upcoming tournaments and events ,contact Joey Barbas @0917-3202695, operations manager or Mona @ 0915-8533836-floor manager.

Gelfand and Grischuk in finals The Candidates matches is taking place from May 4-26 in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. 8 top rated players are vying for the right to challenge Vishy Anand for the 2012 World Championship match.

Levon Aronian (Armenia), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals, Alexander Grischuk (Russia) won against Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) after a rapid and blitz tiebreak thriller.

In the other semis Boris Gelfand beat Gata Kamsky (USA) also in the rapid and blitz tiebreaks.

To review, time controls in the regular games are 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. In case of a tie there will be four rapid chess games, and if the tie is still not broken then up to five two-game blitz matches 5'+3". Finally there may be a sudden-death final decider.

The Grischuk-Gelfand final was not expected. When a survey was made on a leading website prior to the matches less than 10% of the readers expected anyone of them making it.

The finals will be played in 6 regular games plus tiebreaks if necessary.

Asian Championship The 10th Asian Continental Individual Championship and First Asian Individual Blitz Championship (Open and Women's) took place from May 1-11 in Mashhad, Iran.

GM Wesley So had 2 final draws against GMs Bu Xiangzhi of China and Parimarjan Negi of India and finished in a tie for ninth to 12th places .

So, one of five Filipinos entered in the prestigious, nine-round tournament, had too many draws ,as usual, with 5.5 points on three wins, five draws and only one loss.

Wesley, who was seeded third in the 50-player field, finished a full point behind GMs Pentala Harikrishna of India, Yu Yangyi of China and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.

The top four players – P. Harikrishna , Y. Yu , N.N. Truong Son and R. Jumabayev (Kazakhstan) -earned the right to play in the 2011 World Chess Cup scheduled in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia later this year.

As a consolation though, Wesley tied for 1st -3rd in the blitz competition.,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Believe it or not

Remember Ripley`s Believe it or not? It was syndicated for a long time not only in print media but also on radio and TV about bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers question its authenticity.

It has been commonly accepted for about a decade that computers are better than people at chess. But a couple of weeks ago, a widely circulated story out of Ukraine suggested that a man who learned to play the game less than a year ago had beaten the world’s best chess program.

According to the press release the man “Andriy Slusarchulk beat Rybka 4 , the strongest and smartest commercially available program in the world , in a two-game match, winning one and drawing the other. He not only won, he played what is known as blindfold chess, meaning he called out his moves and had the computer’s relayed to him. The match was taped in front of an audience and broadcast on television.
Slyusarchuk claims to be a genius. He says he has memorized 20,000 books and can recite pi to 30 million decimal places. And he was widely quoted in newspaper, television and Web site reports as saying he had memorized 3,000 chess books in eight months — more than 12 a day — in preparation for his match against Rybka.”
Andriy Slyusarchuk does not apply for the title of grandmaster. He just wanted to show the audience that the potential of the human brain is incredible. Slyusarchuk is an amateur in chess playing – he is a 39 year old neurosurgeon who specializes in studying the brain as well as improving memory.
If he recited digits of Pi at one digit per second, day and night, 24-hours a day without a break, it would take him about one year to get to the 30 millionth digit. Still, both these claims pale in comparison to the idea of a chess amateur reading three thousand books and then beating Rybka blindfold.
In another demonstration of his abilities, he “memorized” where pieces were on 80 boards in 41/2 mins and then had a grandmaster move a piece on four of them, which he had to identify .
Cepca vs Lapulapu A 10 board match was played last weekend in kawayan Grill in Mabolo and Cepca won ,just barely. The score was 10.5-9.5.
Here are the game results: board 1. Jojo Muralla- Ramil Resuera 2-0 2. Dante Arguelles-Aldwin Daculan 1-1 3. Mike Banebane- Alvin Rigodon 1.5-0.5 4. Manny Manzanares- Judy Tamala 2-0 5. Mandy Baria-Amado Olea 1-1 6. Gerry Ouano-Norman Olayvar 1.5-0.5 7. John Dunne-Dodong Ferrer 0-2 8. Fabio Abucejo-Wynard Abucejo 1-1 9. Mat Matuco- Jerome Moncopa 1-1 10. Ely Berciles-Caesar Fewrnandez 0-2.
This is the 8th straight year that both clubs have met and the tournament director and arbiter was Jun Olis who is a member of both clubs.
Candidates Matches The FIDE Candidates matches are being held in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, from May 5-26 with eight strong GMs competing to qualify as Challenger for the 2012 World Champion match vs Viswanathan Anand.
The total prize fund of the candidates matches is 500,000 Euros.
The quarterfinals is over and the big surprise is the elimination of the top favorite,Levon Aronian (2808) of Armenia by Alexander Grischuk (2747) of Russia via tiebreaks 3.5-4.5.
Another big surprise was Gata Kamsky (2732) of the USA prevailing over veteran Veselin Topalov (2775) of Bulgaria 2.5-1.5.
Boris Gelfand (2733) of Israel also won over Shak Mamedyarov (2772) of Azerbaijan and Vladimir Kramnik (2785) of Russia over Teimour Radjabov (2744), also of Azerbaijan, which was decided by blitz games.
The semifinals pit Kamsky vs Gelfand and Kramnik against Grischuk which were being played starting yesterday.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Candidates matches

THE Fide candidates matches started yesterday, May 5, in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Eight players will fight for the chance to be the next challenger for Vishy Anand’s world title. We will know the challenger on May 25, when the candidates matches finish.

Rustam Minnikhanov, president of the Republic of Tatarstan, assured that the Matches will be organized on the highest level and thanked the Fide leadership for their choice of Kazan as the venue.

The competition consists of a series of short knockout matches, with the quarterfinals and semifinals played over four games, and the final over six games.

The time control will be 40 moves in two hours, followed by 20 moves in an hour, and then 15 minutes plus a 30-second increment for the remainder of the game.

If matches finish all-square, there will be tie-breaks of four games at a rate of 25 minutes plus 10-second increment. If scores are still level, there will be pairs of blitz games at a rate of 5 minutes plus three-second increment. If the scores are still level after 5 pairs of blitz games, then there will be a sudden-death game (5 minutes vs. 4 minutes, with a three-second increment after move 60).

The pairings are: Veselin Topalov (2775) vs. Gata Kamsky (2732); Vladimir Kramnik (2785) vs. Teimour Radjabov (2744); Levon Aronian (2808) vs. Alexander Grischuk (2747) and Boris Gelfand (2733) vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2772).

The players were chosen based on the following criteria: Topalov (lost to Anand in the last World Championship match); Kamsky (runner up to Topalov in the last qualifying cycle); Gelfand (winner of the 2009 World Cup); Aronian (winner of the Grand Prix Series); Radjabov (runner-up of the Grand Prix Series); Grischuk (third in the Grand Prix Series); Kramnik (next highest rated not otherwise qualified); Mamedyarov (wildcard)

Magnus Carlsen had qualified by virtue of his high rating, but sensationally declined to take part and was replaced by Grischuk. Mamedyarov was the wildcard choice of the original hosts Azerbaijan, and he still keeps his place despite the controversial change in venue.

Quarterfinal losers get €30,000, semifinal losers get €60,000 and finalists get €90,000 each.

A poll on currently puts Aronian as favourite (38 percent), followed by Kramnik (25) and Topalov (20). Will there be a shock winner?

DAVAO AGE GROUP. Here is the report of our Kiddie journalist KC Morala who was one of the participants: After mind-boggling yet exhausting battle among their respective categories, young Cebuano chess enthusiasts Vladimir Robillos and Jeremy Pepito finished as second placers in the Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-2011 National Age-Group Chess Championships held in Gaisano Mall from April 25 to 28.

Robillos bagged the second place in the Boys 8-under Category after four victories and a loss, while Pepito seized second place in the Boys 10-under Category with four wins and one setback. Both boys will be sent to Tarakan, Indonesia to represent the Philippines in the ASean Age-Group Chess Championship.

Six other players also finished in the top 10: Chris Aldritz Pondoyo (fourth, Boys 10-under), Vic Glysen Derotas (fourth, Girls 10-under), Laila Camel Nadera (third, Girls 12-under), USJ-R’s Felix Shaun Balbona (sixth, Boys 14-under), KeithClaire Calisle Morala (fifth, Girls 14-under) and Jessa Balbona (third, girls 20-under).


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 06, 2011.