Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shell highlights ; Svidler wins World Cup

Earlier I wrote that since 1992, the Shell companies in the Philippines have promoted and sponsored the biggest annual competition among kiddies and juniors held in strategically located sites nationwide. To date, tens of thousands of youngsters have been motivated and credit chess playing as an activity that has positively contributed to enriching their lives.
Children have come to appreciate the values that the game of chess has taught them. Discipline. Diligence. Sense of fair play. Maturity. Responsibility.
Among the winners who have gained individual prominence are GM Wesley So,GM Nelson Mariano III, GM Mark Paragua,GM Darwin Laylo ,GM John Paul Gomez,IM Ian Cris Udani, FM Ildefonso Datu, NM Onofre Espiritu Jr., NM Arlan Cabe, NM Rodolfo Panopio Jr., NM Elmer Sumangat, NM Rodolfo Diaz Jr., NM Virgilio Vuelban, NM Exfelicos Bolico, NM Romeo Alcodia, NM Herbert Ciocon, NM Roland Perez and NM Roland Castro.
KeithClaire Morala , Our kiddie chess player who aspires to be a sports journalist,sent in this report.

“UV Lancers Alfer Joseph Fernandez and Michael Silvaderio prevailed in the Juniors Boys Division held in SM last September 10-11.

Both players had 6 wins and two draws in the 8-round tourney. Just a half point behind and finishing third, fourth and fifth were Yves Christian Fiel, King James Torres and Yuri Cauba.

Meanwhile, Allan Pason from Pajo National High School seized victory in the Kiddies Boys Division with 7.5 points,followed by Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and fellow 6.5-pointers Jethro Esplenada and Alson Vincent Lim.

On the other hand, USJR’s Jessa Marie Balbona was the victor of the Juniors Girls Division. Hot on pursuit were 6 pointer Mary Israel Palero and Ma. Olympia Harvey Jane Hilvano with 5.5 pts.

10-year-old Vic Glysen Derotas of USC finished as solo 6.5 pointer, grabbing the champion trophy for the Kiddies Girls Division. KeithClaire Carlisle Morala with 6 points was declared 1st runner-up followed by Armi Venice Lumapac with 5.5 points.

Silvaderio and Fernandez finish their matches with an amazing record of 6 wins, two draws and no loss in their division.

Pason, a Palarong Pambansa 2011 competitor, drew his match against Sevillano, making it the only speck on his no-loss record of 7.5 points in the 8-round event.

Roxanne Tampus, also a Palarong Pambansa 2011 player, was unfortunately defeated by Hilvano on the last round, losing her chance to be the unquestionable victor of the Juniors Girls Division.
Fernandez, Silvaderio, Pason, Sevillano, Balbona and Derotas will be sent to Manila to compete with other players nationwide in the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship.”
World Cup Peter Svidler won the FIDE World Cup 2011 after drawing the 4th game of the final against Alexander Grischuk . He won with a score of 2.5-1.5 in a 4-game match .
Vassily Ivanchuk managed to draw a difficult ending for the second time against Ruslan Ponomariov and finished third with the same score and qualified for the next FIDE Candidates tournament together with Svidler and Grischuk.
Svidler officially won US $120,000 but as 20% goes to FIDE, he actually pocketed 'only' $96,000. Grischuk won net $64,000, and both Ivanchuk and Ponomariov net $40,000.
And so after three gruelling weeks the World Cup is finally over. There were 128 elite qualifiers from 46 different countries including pinoys Wesley So and Mark Paragua who both won $8,000 and $4,800 respectively.

Svidler's path to the final was tough.He beat the experienced Darcy Lima and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Fabiano Caruana Gata Kamsky, Judit Polgar ,Ruslan Ponomariov and then finally Grischuk.,

New Cebuano Grandmaster

Organised by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association, with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group Berhad under its Educating Malaysia Corporate Social Responsibility program ,The DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters proved a huge success with two new Grandmasters in Cebuano Richard Bitoon from Medellin and Oliver Barbosa from the Philippines.
In a tense last round encounter Bitoon, in a must win situation despite having the Black pieces, played a solid game over his unbeaten opponent, GM Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, to take the victory that won him his 3rd GM norm and the long overdue and well deserved Grandmaster title.
Filipino Oliver Barbosa made it a double celebration by winning the overall title and earning his third and also final grandmaster norm.
Richard got his first during the 2008 Singapore International Open and his second in the Battle of GMs earlier this year same as Barbosa,
Final standings(round robin):1 IM Barbosa Oliver PHI 2538 – 7;2.IM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2392 – 6.5;3. IM Bitoon Richard PHI 2504 – 6.5;4. IM Das Arghyadip IND 2461 – 5.5;5. GM Vakhidov Tahir UZB 2485 – 4.5;6. IM Goh Wei Ming Kevin SIN 2449 – 4;7. IM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2449 – 3.5;8. GM Nguyen Anh Dung VIE 2479 – 3;9. IM Mas Hafizulhelmi MAS 2413 – 2.5;10. GM Wong Meng Kong SIN 2355 – 2.
Barbosa and Bitioon will still have to wait for a while for their GM titles which will be confirmed in the next FIDE congress. Both have the required minimum rating of 2500.
They are set to join the country’s elite GM circle which includes Eugene Torre, Rogelio Antonio Jr., Buenaventura Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez, Roland Salvador, Rogelio Barcenilla Jr., Julio Catalino Sadorra and the late Rosendo Balinas Jr.
World Cup The big story out of the FIDE World Cup in Russia was the incredible sportsmanship shown by David Navara and Alexander Moiseenko in the second game of their match, having drawn the first game. On the 35th move , Navara touch two pieces -- his king and a bishop -- at the same time, accidentally, which would force him to move the king -- and lose a piece.
Navara clearly didn't wish to move the king; a bishop move was the only move that made sense in the position. However, Moiseenko told Navara that he didn't need to move the king regardless of what he had touched, and the game continued.
After 40 moves, Navara had forced a winning position...but then offered Moiseenko a draw, feeling that winning the game would not be justified under the circumstances from earlier in the game. It was the kind of situation you see rarely in an elite tournament such as the World Cup; winning this match and moving on to the 4th round meant an extra $7,200 in guaranteed prize money! Navara would ultimately win the match in tiebreaks , 4-2 .
Both GMs received special monetary awards from the organizers.
The semifinals were between two Ukrainian and two Russian chess players: Vassily Ivanchuk vs Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov vs Peter Svidler.
Peter (Russia) won against Ruslan (Ukraine), and was the first to advanced to the final.
On the other board Alexander (Russia) defeated Vassily in the blitz portion of the tiebreaks to make the finals an all-Russian affair.
The winner will snare $120,000 and the runner-up $80,000 in a 4 game matchup including tiebreaks starting today.
Both will advance to the Candidates portion of the World Championship cycle as well as the winner between Ivanchuk and Ponomariov who will battle for 3rd ,also in 4 games.,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to excel in chess

The Cebu City Sports Commission and the Cebu Chess Federation in cooperation with the Department of Education Cebu City Division are in the midst of training teachers from the different public Schools of both Elementary and High Schools the basics of chess.

These teachers are then expected to impart what they have learned to their students as part of the grass roots development of The Chess in Schools program.

I estimate that more than 40,000 students will benefit from this program not counting the private schools students and the schools in the province.

If you want to learn how to excel in chess this is for you .
One of the many problems a beginner faces in a game, once he is familiar with the rules, is what to do when playing the game, how to play the opening and how to attack his opponent.
Here are specific guidelines on what or what no to do. Winning at chess basically consists of creating and exploiting you opponent’s weaknesses.
Understanding, not memory, is the essential key to success. The chess player who understands why will consistently defeat the player who only knows how
Anyone can try their hand at a chess game, but it takes a bit more effort to become a good chess player.
First ,Join a local chess club. Don't make yourself feel good by playing people that clearly are worse than you and play with good players.
Learn the value of the pieces. A pawn is worth one point. Knights and Bishops are worth three points each. A Rook is worth five points. A Queen is worth nine points
Play for the center. Occupy, guard and influence it. Drive away enemy pieces that control it.
In general, make only two pawn moves in the opening, usually the center pawns. When capturing with pawns, it is correct most of the time to capture toward the center even if the result is doubled pawns.

Develop knights toward the center.
Place bishops on open diagonals. Avoid unnecessary exchanges with knights .Develop the Bishop on the side you wish to castle before the other Bishop.
King-side pieces should usually be developed sooner than Queen-side ones, and Knights before Bishops. Develop during exchanges
Put rooks on open files, half-open files, files that are likely to be opened, or behind advanced passed pawns. Double them, so that they support each other.
Castle early.After castling, don't move the pawns in front of your King without specific reason.
Don’t move the queen out too early in the game. In the opening, don't remove your Queen from play to "win" a pawn.
Determine whether you have an open or closed game, and play accordingly Usually play to retain Bishops in open games, and Knights in closed games
Move every piece once before you move every piece twice unless there is a clear reason to do so.
Having the 'Bishop Pair' - two Bishops when your opponent does not - is worth about half a pawn. To improve the scope of your Bishop, place your pawns on squares opposite in color to it.
Stay flexible. Always be ready to transform one type of advantage to another, or to switch from tactical to positional play.
Respect all opponents, but fear none. If you blunder, don’t resign. Sit back and figure out how to give your opponent trouble. Go down fighting.

Be aggressive, but play soundly. Don't take unnecessary chances. Make sure every move has a purpose.Don't sacrifice without good reason.
When you can't determine whether to accept or decline a sacrifice, accept it.
Attack in number. Don't rely on just one or two pieces. Look for double attacks.
Remember that there are exceptions to every general principle and law in chess. Knowing when you can violate them is one of the hallmarks of a strong player.

World Cup results 1st round

The 2011 FIDE World Cup is a 128-player knockout format that is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia from August 27th till September 20th.
Except for the final, which will be played in 4 games all rounds have 2 game matches plus rapid and blitz tiebreaks and an Armageddon
The good news is that Wesley So won his 1st round match against China champion Ding Liren via tiebreak 2.5-1.5.

The bad news is that Mark Paragua lost to England`s Michael Adams 0.5-1.5 although it was not unexpected.

China arrived with a large delegation and large ambitions .

However they had a bad 1st round as 7 of their players lost their matches and only Ni Hua and Bu Xiangzi advanced to the second round. Wang Hao had to withdraw because of a heart problem
Wang Yue, who at 2709 Elo is number 27 in the World Cup, was knocked out by Alexandr Fier of Brazil, rated 2566 .Li Chao also lost to the Vietnamese Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son . It was downhill from there as Zhou Jianchao lost to the Ukrainian Anton Korobov and Yu Yangyi was defeated by Mircea-Emilian Parligras of Romania.
The tragedy of the Chinese team, however, was my young idol 17-year-old Women's World Champion Hou Yifan who had a promising position against Sergei Movsesian in the 1st game but blundered. In the 2nd game Yifan outplayed her Armenian opponent, who is 125 points ahead of her by ratings . But just when she had the win , a rook sacrifice on move 30 , she failed to see it and allowed her opponent to get back into the game.
Bu Xiangzhi secured himself a place in the second round by winning the 1st game against Egyptian Ahmed Adly, who then fell ill and missed the second game. Adly had to go to a hospital for a kidney stones operation
Ni Hua prevailed over Ildar Khairullin of Russia which was decided by blitz matches.
Aside from the loss of Wang Yue, Hungarian Peter Leko was the most prominent player to be eliminated in the first round. After losing a fighting game against Samuel Shankland of the US in the 1st game , Peter had to go for broke in their second encounter but played recklessly in the opening, and in the end Leko had to offer a draw.
While China struggled ,Vietnam and India had flawless results.
India`s talents had a successful run as Abhijeet Gupta defeated Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan 1,5:0,5, Pentala Harikrishna won against Maxim Rodshtein of Israel 1,5:0,5, and Parimarjan Negi had a walkover against the injured Vladimir Akopian, who broke his leg.
Vietnam also had a solid 1st round as Le Quang Liem secured a 1,5-0.5 victory against Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia , while Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son won against Li Chao with the same score.
As I write this Wesley (2658) is playing the tournament`s top seed,Sergey Karjakin (2788) in the 2nd game . The 1st game was a solid draw in a French by Wesley. It was Karjakin who offered the draw.
Mabolo Kc Morala ,our Kiddie Chess player and future chess columnist emailed this report.
“Duanne Borgonia reigns victorious over fellow kiddies participants in the Mabolo Chess Tournament last August 28, 2011.
The young 10-year-old chess enthusiast earned straight wins in the 5-round event, having defeated 2nd placer Kirk Patrick Morala who had 4pts and Aldritz Pondoyo who placed third.
Meanwhile, Christian Pondoyo was proclaimed victor in another tournament still held in the Mabolo Chess Club last August 30, 2011. Tailing closely are his younger brother, Aldritz Pondoyo and Duanne Borgonia. Running fourth is Fernando Ryan.
The tournament was made possible thanks to the Cebu City Sports Commission, Brgy. Mabolo and Council, Macasero Torrefranca and associates. The club plans to hold monthly tourneys to gain more members.”,

Wesley and Mark in World Cup 2011

Aside from the Chess Olympiad and the World Championship, The World Cup is a premiere event in the Fide calendar.
The competition will start tomorrow August 27 up to September 21 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. The event starts with128 players and has a knockout format , where the winner has to progress through seven consecutive match victories and possible tiebreaks to reach the finals.
The competition also has one of the biggest prize funds, amounting to $1.6 million.
The winner qualifies for the next World Chess Championship Candidates event. Last year’s winner Boris Gelfand went on to win the Candidates matches and will play the World Chess Championship 2012.
Boy Wonder Wesley So will open his campaign against the tough GM from China, Ding Liren, in the first round , The other Filipino player ,Mark Paragua , faces an even bigger challenge in Michael Adams of England .
So is confident about his chances against Liren,who defeated him in their only meeting in the 2004 World Under-12 championships.
The 17-yar-old Filipino champion will easily be one of the players to watch following his surprisingly strong showing in Khanty-Mansiysk two years ago.
So defeated Gadir Gusienov of Azerbaijan, 3-1, in the first round and then shocked the world chess hierarchy by defeating world championship candidates Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, 1.5-.5 in the second round and Gata Kamsky, 1.5-.5, of the United States in the third round
So’s near-magical run ended at the hands of Vladimir Malakhov of Russia, 4-1, in rapid tiebreak matches in their fourth- round showdown.
Ding is no pushover though as he is the reigning 2011 Champion of China and was also champion in 2009. He is about the same age as Wesley and has a rating of 2664 vs Wesley`s current rating of 2658.
Paragua will make his third appearance in this prestigious event.
He qualified for the 2004 World Championship in Tripoli, Libya, but was eliminated by GM Viktor Bologan of Moldova, 1-3, in the first round 1-3.

He also qualified for 2005 World Cup, where he upset GM Sergei Movsesian of Armenia in the first round before narrowly losing in the tie breaker to GM Alexey Dreev of Russia in the second round.
Michael Adams was ranked world number 4 from October 2000 to October 2002 and has achieved a peak rating of 2755. He has achieved good results in World Chess Championship tournaments and was runner-up in 2004 in Tripoli,Libya.
Milo.KC Morala,our 14 year- old kiddie chess player who aspires to be a sports journalist sent this update.
“University of San Carlos won 3 out of 4 of the team championship medals of the Little Milo Olympics Chess Tournament Elementary Level and Secondary Girls Level held in Elizabeth Mall last August 13-14 ,2011 and in Cebu City Sports Institute of Brgy. Sawang Calero last August 20, 2011.
USC Elem. Girls had14 pts over 42 participating schools, public and private alike, followed by Sangat Elem. School with 12 pts and Marigondon Elem School with11.
Meanwhile, in the Elementary level Boys division, USC was also champion over 58 schools. Sabang Elem.School finished second tailed by third-placer Lahug Elem. School.
In the Secondary Level Girls Division, USC with Jazzelle Villarin, Hazel Sato and Cunag, had 14 match pts. Closely following the victors are its two strongest rivals, USJ-R with 12 pts and UC with 10 pts.
USJ-R consisting of the Balbona Siblings-Felix Shaun, Marq Gabrielle and Francis-and Donn Gerard Ouano, won the Secondary Boys division with their 13 pts followed by Sangat National High School and UC, second and third placers respectively.”,