Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cebu aims for 2nd Guinness record

Guinness World Records is a reference book that is published annually, and contains an internationally recognized collection of world records, most of it in human achievements . The book itself holds a world record, as the best-selling copyrighted series of all time

Edward Hayco of the Cebu City Sports Commission, never ceases to amaze me as he is after a second Guinness record attempt.

Last June 27, 2010 Guinness confirmed and authenticated that 7,770 people converged at the Cebu City Sports Center for a dancesport class. The previous record of 2,289 was held by the city of Budapest in Hungary.

This time, Edward and his group are aiming at chess.

As mentioned in a previous article, there are several records in chess, most of it inconsequential and negligible like longest or shortest games, most consecutive wins etc.

The Cebu City Sports Commission and Department of Education Cebu City Division will attempt to break the Guinness World Record of the “World’s Largest Chess (Board Game) Tournament”. The current record holder is Krasnoyarsk, Russia with 1,214 participants.

The program began with a chess coaching and officiating seminar last July 13, 2011, followed by a series of school-based and city-wide Simultaneous Chess Tournaments. 20,000-30,000 players are targeted to participate .

Championships (Finals) will be on October 8, 2011, Saturday at the Cebu City Sports Center. Be a part of history by participating!
Take note that on October 21, 2006, a gigantic multi-simul was organized in El Zócalo, Mexico City. About 600 masters played against 20 to 25 opponents each. The total number of players was 13,446.The tables were arranged in squares of different colors, each containing seven simuls. Guiness acknowledged the event as the largest one held in a single day.
Armenia is considered the “brightest nation” on Earth . It is a tiny country ,formerly a part of the Soviet Union,of around three million who has won consecutive Olympiads in 2006 and 2008.
Last month it won the 2011 World Chess Team Championship in China solidifying its internationally-recognized status as a chess powerhouse.
The Armenian team led by Levon Aronian, the world’s third-highest-ranked chess player, dominated throughout the 12-day tournament, winning five games and drawing the four others. It sealed the title with a draw against Ukraine in the final round.
In so doing, it has triumphed over giants like Russia, China,India and the US.
Chess is pursued fanatically in Armenia, where its over-the-board stars are national celebrities and chess is taught in schools.
Chess has been one of Armenia’s most popular sports ever since Tigran Petrosian, a Tbilisi-born Armenian, became a world champion in 1963. The country currently boasts the largest per-capita numbers of chess grandmasters in the world.
Two of its three post-Soviet presidents are keen chess players who have promoted the game while in office. The current president, Serge Sargisian, heads the Armenian Chess Federation. He personally supported the national team during its Olympic triumphs.
I personally do not know if Pnoy plays chess but his mother, the late President Cory Aquino, was a chess player and one of those mainly responsible for the Chess Olympiad held in Manila in 1992. Players and officials considered the Olympiad as the best ever.
Last week I wrote about Chess in Schools. How about it sir Pnoy?
This nation can be great not by being employed in other countries but by being employers. Chess can help improve the children become good and productive citizens.,

whatever happened to the Chess in Schools program?

After a lot of publicity and excitement among chess masters and arbiters as they will soon have a steady income and permanent jobs, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo approved last May 2009 the inclusion of chess in schools curriculum in primary and secondary schools across the country.
Where is it now? I don`t see any development in this administration.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero Pichay and Department of Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus signed the Memorandum of Agreement launching the National Chess Academy then.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued the Executive Order to encourage children to play chess in accordance with the Grassroots Program of the Philippine Sports Commission.
"Chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytical skills. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieve academically better, or even faster than those who have not been engaged in the game. Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and in making disciplined decisions. Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship," Secretary Lapus stated in the Memorandum.

The Department of Education (DepEd) shall adopt chess as another strategy to promote the development of higher order thinking skills and values among Grades 3 to 6 in the Physical Education department. Chess will continue at the secondary level.
It was also announced that Grandmaster Bong Villamayor shall lead the team of accredited lectures and supervise the examination for instructors.
I believe then that this was the most significant achievement of PGMA and P`Noy should set aside political differences and coordinate with NCFP Chairman Prospero Pichay now. It is for the good of the country.
Mabolo KC Morala, a 14 year old kiddie chess player who wants to be a sports journalist someday sent in this report about the just concluded tournament in Mabolo .

“The Mabolo Elementary School and Mabolo National High School chess players toppled their rivals in the yearly District 4 Meet held at Mabolo Elementary School last August 6, 2011.

The Mabolinians had rendered speechless the four grade schools and two secondary schools who chose to be involved in this faithful event.

Board 1 Francis Fernandez and Board 2 Rafael Nardo (boys), Board 1 Algelline Lawan and Board 2 Mae Villamor (girls) of Mabolo National High School, smash their way in to the top in the secondary level.

Meanwhile, the grade-school team of Mrs. Myra Fleur Salar, Board 1 Kirk Patrick Morala and Board 2 Clyd Rejel Perandos (boys), Board 1 Therese Cabantan and Board 2 Krizia Franchette Ottara (girls) were declared victors without a single loss on the record. Right behind them is the Bagong Lipunan Elementary School, who were proclaimed second placers.

The grade schools who participated were Bagong Lipunan Elementary School, Mabolo Elementary School, Pulangbato Elementary School, Adlaon Elementary School and Mabolo Christian Academy. The secondary schools were Adlaon Integrated School, Mabolo National High School and Mabolo Christian Academy.”

Minglanilla There will be a tournament this coming Sunday Aug 14 starting 9 am at tha Reroma apts. Near Minglanilla Central School. Format is 7 rounds Swiss with 15 mins time control.

Registration is P75 . The top 5 winners will take home cash prizes.

Sponsor is LTO Carcar organized by Minglanilla Chess Club president, Mario Mangubat.,

Friday, August 5, 2011

A collection of chess poems

Chess, as a game, is like poetry in motion. That is why of all the sports, chess has the most poems. Some are very good and entertaining but are much too long ,

Others are too serious. Here are the cheerful ones.


Chess is a game
Just played by two,
Mind over matter,
Me vs. you
"What's your rating?"
The stranger does ask,
He wants to know
The degree of his task!
"1400, and what is yours?"
I kindly reply.
"Oh, I'm unrated!"
Watch out for this guy!

A silence begins
As their minds shift into gear,
They parry and spar,
Seems there's nothing to fear,
When all of a sudden
On move thirty eight,
One player moans, "Oh, no!"
As a whisper breathes, "Mate!"

Opening Overture

First I push a center pawn
Then I move a Knight
Next I get my Bishop out
And everything`s alright

Now I want to castle
Lock my King up safe and tight
Castling also puts my rook
Where it can join in the fight

Once I have both Bishops and
Both Kights where they can help
I move my Queen behind them
So her power can be felt

All my pieces come to life
Rooks, Bishops ,Knights and Queen
I now advance my pawns
Attacking everything I see

I keep my pieces active
They attack and they defend
I know that if I start out like this
I`ll win more in the end!

Peaceful Game

I like to think chess is a courteous game
I play it with family and friends
I like to think chess is a peaceful game
Nobody gets hurt when it ends

I never distract my opponent
I don`t want to act like a pest
I hope they believe in the very same way
So both of us play at our best

I know chess is not really gentle
Its more like war or a fight
I always shake hands at the start and end
So we can stay friends day and night

On the board we`re enemies
Off the board we`re friends
On the board there`s never peace
But off the board I hope for peace that never ends

Watch out man

Watch out man
The game is mine
Beating you is a crime
The next time you want to play
You better practice all that day

White Squares or Black

White squares or black
Bishops or Knights
You better get ready to put up a fight

I might open with the English
I might open with the French
But nothing you do will break
My defense

My pieces will surround your King
And then you`ll know its just too late
For the next word out of my mouth
Will be the word “checkmate”!

The Knight

I am the Knight of chess
I move like the letter L
I move two squares then turn
And I do that very well.

I can do it upside-down or sideways
To the left or right.
I can jump over other pieces
No matter what their height.

And every time I move,
I switch the color of my square
No one else can say that
No one else would dare

No King or Queen can move
like me,or jump over anyone
So with my jumping L shaped
Move, I have the greatest fun.

PMS Chess tournament There will be a 7 rounds Swiss tournament on Aug 7 for Talisay residents and neighboring towns comprising 3 individual and a team tournament.

The competition is for Kiddies, Juniors and class B senior players,
The team tournament should be composed of 3 members(senior Class B,Junior and Kiddie).

Organizer is Jojo Powao, president of the Talisay Chess Club.,

Eugene Torre

It seems odd that after writing about chess for 8 years now I have written no article exclusively about Eugene Torre. He recently showed that he still has “it” in the just concluded 4th Battle of GMs

He was voted by sportswriters as the athlete of the millennium beating Carlos “ The great difference” Loyzaga, who was chosen one of the best 10 basketball players of the competition in the World championhip in Brazil in 1954, Felicissimo Ampon, who made a gallant stand in Wimbledon in the late 1940s and the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde,the longest reigning boxing champion in the Junior Lightweight division.

Please take note that it is not for a year,a decade or a 100 years but for a thousand years!

Eugenio Torre was born in La Paz in Iloilo City on November 4, 1951, and with the possible exception of Wesley So, is considered to be the strongest Filipino chess player ever.

Torre has the distinction of being the first Asian to earn the title of International Grandmaster in a region of 3.2 billion people!.

He accomplished the feat at the age of 22 while winning a silver medal at the 21st World Chess Olympiad held in Nice, France in 1974 where he went undefeated in 19 games (9 wins, 10 draws).

Torre has been a veteran of the World Chess Olympiad for 4 decades now and led the Philippine team to a 7th place finish at the 1988 Greece Olympiad.

He also won a bronze medal in the 24th Olympiad (1980 La Valletta, Malta) where he scored 11 points in 14 games (9 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss) and another bronze in the 27th Olympiad (1986 Dubai, UAE) where he garnered 9.5 points in 13 games (7 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss).

He beat Anatoly Karpov in Manila in 1976, one of Karpov's few losses during his championship reign. Torre qualified for the Candidates round in 1984 but lost to Zoltan Ribli of Hungary. That year he was chosen as one of the top 10 players in the world.

He became a celebrity later due to his daily one hour TV program "Chess Today", and was once voted one of the ten sexiest sportsmen in the Philippines - all of which ultimately led to a cameo spot in a movie opposite Vilma Santos with whom he was romantically linked.

I think the title of the movie was “Basta isipin mo mahal kita”.

It is not well known but he was considered by Bobby Fischer as his best friend. He worked on Fischer's team in his 1992 rematch with Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia. During this rematch present was Cebuano Eric Gloria who did the research for Fischer.

Much later, Torre conducted interviews on Bombo radio with Fischer. Those interviews gained notoriety for Fischer and despair for his fans.

One anecdote in 1996 says that when Torre and Fischer boarded a taxi in Buenos Aires, while both were promoting Fischer Random Chess , the driver immediately recognized Torre as a chess player. As both were about to leave the taxi, the driver, not knowing who the other distinguished passenger was, asked Torre: “Whatever happened to that crazy guy Fischer?”

Another anecdote to the seeming popularity of Eugene happened during the 1998 Elista Olympiad. Eugene and fellow GM Joey Antonio went to the market to buy some beef. The beef seller instantly asked in awed tones “ Are you grandmaster Torre of the Philippines?” Imagine that in a far corner of the world and the vendor recognized Torre!

In 1990 I invited Eugene and another GM,Jaime Sunye-Neto of Brazil, to dinner in the now Marco Polo and one of the topics in our conversation was about computer programs.

Eugene believed that no computer programs will ever be created that could defeat the current world champion. That has been proven wrong, of course, as computers now can defeat any human being.,