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.,