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.

No comments: