Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cebu City chess classic

2011 was a banner year for local chess. The last major tournament was the Cebu City chess classic organized by the Cebu Chess Association sponsored by the Cebu City government held at the Activity Center of Elizabeth Mall last December 20-23. It was the 4th Fide rated tournament for this year.

The top rated player, Eden Diano (2416) won his first 6 games but lost to eventual champion Kimkim Yap in the last and 7th round.

Here are the final ranking of the contest: 1. IM Kimkim Yap- P25,000 and trophy 2-6. Danny Mangao, Eden Diano, Allan Pason (a big surprise!- a kiddie player from Lapulapu and a protégée of Cepcan Jun Olis ),Allan Salientes,Richard Natividad-P6,800 each 7-12.Jimson Bitoon, Michael Silvederio, Joel Fernan, Ben Polao,Rogelio Enriquez, Joseph Caballes.

Ben Polao headed a large contingent is from Lanao del Sur.

Jack Rennet scored a respectable 5 points and tied for 13th -20th and was the only foreigner from Holland. He arrived a week before the tournament and read about the competition in a local paper. He enjoyed so much about the tournament that he is planning to join the Cepca-organized team competition next year if a team will get him. He is a very good player who knows how to pace the game with a chess clock.

The top 3 players in the special categories and received cash prizes were: Senior citizen-Miguel Banebane, Carlito Santos, Dennis Gonzales. Ladies- Airene Robillos, Cacille Lumapac. Jessa Balbona, Saharia Monsalud.Kiddies-Felix Shaun Balbona, Jethro Dorog, Kyle Sevillano and Christian Pondoyo.

A total of P75,000 was distributed as cash prizes to the top 20 winners including the special categories.

While we had a banner year for chess in Cebu, the international scene has delivered a hard blow to chess with the economic crisis experienced especially in Europe

The Amber chess tournament was an annual invitation-only event for some of the world's best players, from 1992 to 2011, its last edition. Since the second edition, the event uniquely combined blindfold chess and speed chess, and has been held in Monte Carlo. The tournament is sponsored by the Dutch businessman and world champion of correspondence chess, Joop van Oosterom.

Also cancelled was The NH tournament . It was was a 'Scheveningen' team tournament between an 'Experience' team and a 'Rising Stars' team. There was a special prize for the best Rising Star (provided he has a positive score): an invitation to the prestigious Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament.
Probably the hardest blow was the loss of Linares - considered the Wimbledon of chess. It was first held in 1978 and has been held annually up to 2010. It was cancelled in 2011 although there are plans to hold it in 2012.

A decade full of dedication and passion for international rapid chess has also come to an end in Mainz.A splendid decade from 2001 to 2010 with ground-breaking innovations in tournament organization for world class players and amateurs alike and the “Mainz System” Chess960, based on the ideas of the World Champion Robert James “Bobby” Fischer.

Sinulog- Here is an update on teams who have expressed interest in joining the team tournament on January 7-8 next year. Among the schools, USJR will field 2 teams, USC 3 teams, UV 2 or 3,CIT,CDU one each.

Barangays planning to join are Mabolo and Guadalupe while Talisay chess club and Colonnade will enter the fray. Deep Blue chess club will have 2 teams . Handuraw. Julie`s bakeshop .Opascor and Aboitizland are competitive.

There are 4 out of town teams-Bohol,Bayawan, Dumaguete and Tanjay. Lapulapu will probably have 2 teams.,

Guidelines-2012 Sinulog team tournament

The Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association Inc. (Cepca) with the support of the Cebu City government is pleased to invite all chess teams to the “2012 Sinulog Open chess team tournament” slated on January 7-8 at SM City.

This team tournament is open to all schools, clubs, companies, barangays, cities, municipalities, government agencies and other interested groups.

Each team shall be composed of four regular players and one alternate.

A team is allowed to field only one titled player and one highly rated player or two highly rated players in a line-up. All team line-ups will be subject to approval by our screening committee to ensure a level playing field.

Competition will be played over 4 boards.

All players are required to wear their respective playing uniforms.

Players are not allowed to wear slippers and short pants during the tournament.

Cellphones must be put off otherwise the game will be forfeited if it rings.

Each participating team must submit its official line-up with the order of board assignments before the start of the competition. The order of board assignments must be observed in every round. A player cannot play on a board lower or higher than one board than his original board position.

A team captain or coach shall be nominated by each team .He maybe a playing or non-playing member of a team. The team captain must submit their team line-up 10 minutes before the start of a match ,otherwise he can only field his regular line-up from board 1-4 if he failed to do so.

The official line-up cannot be changed after the first round.

This team tournament is a 7 rounds Swiss System using the match point scoring system-2 points for winning the match (2.5;3.0; 3.5; 4.0); 1 point for a draw(2-2) and 0 point for a loss (0.0;0.5; 1.0; 1.5).

Each player is given 30 minutes plus 5 seconds increment to finish the game,35 minutes for clock with no increment.

Ties for final ranking shall be resolved by the following tiebreaks in descending order: game points-total cumulative score of a team; direct encounter-in case of a drawn match (2.0-2.0) minus the result of board 4; of board 3; or board 2, until the tie is resolved; Buccholz system.

Special award shall be given to a player with the best performance on his original board based on the percentage of score over the number of games played. To qualify, a player must play at least the following number of games: board 1-4-5 games; board 5-4 games.

Recording of moves is not compulsory.

Schedule of games: Saturday (January 7) -1030 am (registration for on -site registrants ); 11am-opening ceremonies; 1230pm-round 1;2pm-round 2 ; 4pm-round 3.

Sunday(January 8): 1030am-round 4; 1230pm- round 5; 2 pm-round 6; 4pm-round 7; 6pm- closing ceremonies.

Prizes: Champion-P25,000 plus signature trophy ; runner-up-P16,000 ;3rd- P10,000 ; 4th- P7,000 ; 5th P5,000 ; 6th-P3,000 ; 7th-10th-P1,500 each.Total-P72,000.

Board winners: 1-P1,000; 2- P700; 3-P700; 4-P700; 5-P500.

Cepca reserves the right to amend or alter any provision of the aforementioned rules and regulations for the success and interest of the tournament.

The tournament director is the president of Cepca-Jojo Muralla Jr, while the chief arbiter is Marvin Ruelan and arbiter is Roger Abella.

Committee members are Jun Olis, Boy Pestano, Ely Berciles, Nicnic Climaco, Dante Arguelles and Jun Quidlat.

You may register early at the Colonnade Chess Club-Lito Pielago(09463549027) or Marvin Ruelan(09237352951).

For more information call or text Jojo Muralla (09236793822) or Jun Olis (09232629642) or Dante Arguelles (09235879169).,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Will chess become an Olympic sport?

Millions of chess players worldwide are hoping it will be ,but I seriously doubt it will happen.

Chess has been played for 1,500 years and it is the most popular game in this planet with over 700 million who know the basic moves.

Like checkers ,bridge ,scrabble ,monopoly and mahjong or poker it is considered a parlor game but has entered mainstream sport due to the antics of an eccentric genius, Bobby Fischer.

When Bobby bulldozed his way to the world championship against Boris Spassky in 1972, it was the height of the cold war. It was a battle between the Soviet chess machine and a lonely boy from Brooklyn.

It was shown on American and European live on television and the number of chess players worldwide rose to unprecedented levels.

The late Florencio Campomanes and lately Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov have been very vocal on including chess in the Olympics. At one point, FIDE considered suing the IOC in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which handles international sport disputes in Lausanne, Switzerland, but later relented.

Ilyumzhinov is confident that chess will soon be included in Olympics. "My aim is to ensure that chess becomes a part of the Olympic movement and is one of the events in the Olympic Games soon. Today, FIDE is made up of 165 countries and we would appeal to get recognition from the International Olympic Committee."

“Chess is unlike many games played. The element of chance does not exist just the pieces in the same starting position every time. Any lost position is the fault of the player, not a lucky dice roll, or malfunctioning equipment. In addition, no absolute win has been found. The starting player does not have a set of moves that guarantee victory.”

Chess is a mixture of mental strength, physical stamina, and no one is killed in the process. No submission holds, or bloody faces. The tournament could be held in a ball room. Civic centers will do just fine

Curling is also on the official Olympic roster, and that really piques Ilyumzhinov. Curling is simply "chess on ice, and it is an Olympic sport," he says, "but classical chess is not!"
One of the important criteria in being included in the Olympics is that the sport must be practiced by men in at least 75 countries and four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries .
The Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, are due to be held in London from July 12-27 next year. The Olympics are important to the world because, they are an event that brings peace to five entire continents. Holding it gives tremendous prestige and honor.
The games are estimated to cost $25 billion plus maybe another $5 billion. Organizers are cutting costs which is the reason why baseball and softball have been cut.
IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau says the Olympic Games are already so big that many cities can't accommodate or afford them.
When IOC president Jacques Rogge took office in 2001, he capped the number of sports at 35 (28 in summer, seven in winter) and implemented a regular review process to avoid further expanding the Olympic program. “The IOC now votes on new sports and reviews existing ones, based on thorough technical analyses and specific criteria, after each Olympics .”Mind sports, by their nature, cannot be part of the program. This basically means that the IOC will not accept anything that is not a physical activity
Opposition to chess also points out that the Olympic motto is “faster ,higher ,stronger ”. Where does chess comes in?. It's a board game, a fine game. But it's not a sport. Chess players are not athletes.,www,

Fallacies about chess players

One advantage of a chess player is that people assume that you are smarter than the average guy and that you must be intelligent.

I have been around chess for more than half a century and I know that this is not true.

There are all kinds of being smart: mathematical, creative, street-smart, social intelligence, musical etc. The truth is, the average chess player is just the average regular person who happens to like chess. He is smarter but only in chess.

It is true that studies have shown that chess can improve the IQ of a child but only up to a certain age. Beyond that it is mostly genetics. Knowledge inside the game is not transferable outside to other activities.

Also chess requires a very specific set of knowledge and skills, so there is no guarantee that being smart will mean that you are going to become a grandmaster.

You don’t have to be smart in order to be a good chess player. I`ve known expert chess players who are incredibly dumb.
Another fallacy is that chess players are anti-social. This is certainly not true. Throughout my life, I have been associated with mostly chess players and they are a bunch of likable individuals just like the rest who don’t play the game.
The top players, mostly grandmasters, study chess for ten hours and do not have the time to have a normal life and be social. But this is an exception.
Chess is brutal. As Bobby Fisher says you must break a man`s ego in order to win, We are here to trample each other to the ground. There’s only one winner and you are going to do your best to make sure that you are that winner.
Another fallacy is that chess players have superior memory skills. An expert in a given domain of activity, such as medicine, chess, music or golf, is “one, who has acquired special skill in or knowledge about a particular subject through professional training and practical experience”
Experts will therefore, by definition, have a greater body of knowledge about their domain of expertise than other individuals. You have all heard the phenomenal stories of the Grandmaster who can play 30 simultaneous games blindfolded and remember the positions in all of them. But the truth is that chess players do not have superior memorization skills, and it doesn't take superior memory skills to be a great chess player. Chess players are just tremendously familiar with chunks of pieces, known positions, familiar pawn structures, etc.
Another fallacy is that chess players are not athletic. Chess appeals to athletes and non-athletes alike.
It is true that few grandmasters are top athletes, but that is a function of dedication, not ability. That would be like saying that athletes are not intelligent. It's not true, it is just a matter of prioritization.
There is a sport that is getting a lot of adherents and that is chess-boxing.
Sinulog There is going to be a Sinulog chess team tournament on January 7 -8 next year sponsored by the City government and organized by Cepca. The champion will snare P25,000 out of a total prize fund of P75,000.
Format is 4- man team plus alternate and 7 rounds Swiss.Time control is 30 mins plus 5 secs increment.
Submit your lineup by text to Marvin Ruelan 09267352951 or Jun Olis 09232629642. All line-ups will be subject to review to ensure a balanced competition.
Registration is P1,200 (on-site P1,500). Register with Lito Pielago at the Colonnade chess club and submit your fee.
Cepca Xmas party is on December 18 at the Mactan beach resort. Assembly is 9am at the Kawayan Grill in Mabolo at 9am for Cebu residents .For details contact Jojo Muralla,your president ,at 0921 478 6075.,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Solitary gold in Seag; Sinulog

Back in the 60s and up to the 80s the Philippines was considered a class A chess playing country. In fact, the western press dubbed us as the “Russians of Asia”. China and India were way behind us and Vietnam was unheard of, being in a state of war in the 60s and early 70s.

Now, the Men World Champion is from India, Viswanathan Anand and the Women Champion is from China,Hou Yifan.

Vietnam has dominated Asean chess for more than a decade now including the just concluded 26th Southeast Asian games in Indonesia, The best player in Southeast Asia is Le Quang Liem (2717) of Vietnam who is rated way above pinoy sensation Wesley So (2659).

Wesley So swept his all matches to pocket the country's lone gold medal at the conclusion of the 26th Southeast Asian Games. Over-all, the Philippine chess team bagged 7 medals. 9 gold medals were at stake.

Here's the complete details of the performance of the Philippine team: Men Blitz (GM Wesley So, Gold Medal), Men Blitz (GM Mark Paragua, Bronze), Men Standard (GM Wesley So, Silver), Women Standard (WFM Rulp Ylem Jose, Silver), Blindfold (GM John Paul Gomez, Silver), Blindfold (GM Darwin Laylo, Bronze) and Mixed pair (GM Oliver Barbosa and WIM Catherine Perena, Silver).

.In the other side of the world, in Tirana Albania, the FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Match between the current World Champion Hou Yifan of China and her challenger, Koneru Humpy of India, is now more than halfway thru.

After 6 games Yifan is leading 4-2 after winning the 3rd and 6th game and drawing the rest. She has virtually retained her title with just 4 games left and will pocket 120,000 Euro, a sizable fortune.

Sinulog The Cebu City government in cooperation with the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) will hold an Open chess team tournament during the Sinulog season next year, January 7 and 8.

Format will be 7 rounds Swiss with a time control of one hour per player. Each team will have 4 regular members and an alternate. Total prize fund is P75,000 and the champion will get P25,000 plus trophy.

Registration is P1,200.

There will only be one class A or titled player per team and all lineups will be subject to approval to ensure a balanced competition. Venue will be announced later.

KC Morala, our future chess columnist and an excellent kiddie chess player emailed this report.

“Mabolo Elementary School won the champion trophy in the 3rd Kiddie Chess Interschool Tournament held in Mez 2 last November 19, 2011.

the Mabolinian Stars were ahead 6.5 points over second placer Canduman Elementary School while Banilad was third.

A total of 140 students took part ranging from Grade 1 to 6 . Participating schools were Bacayan, Balamban Central, Balamban II, Banilad, Basak, Canduman, Casili, Gabi, Lagtang, Mabolo, Subangdaku, Talamban, Tawason, and Yati.

The tournament was made possible through the efforts of the AboitizLand Chess Clinic. “

The Tal Memorial has started in Moscow and is remarkable in more ways than one. It is the highest rated 10-player round robin tournament in chess history

The players are Magnus Carlsen (2823, Norway), Vishy Anand (2817, India), Levon Aronian (2802, Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (2800, Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (2775, Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (2763, Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (2753, USA), Peter Svidler (2755, Russia), Boris Gelfand (2746, Israel) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (2730, Russia).

Calling all Cepcans! We will have a roll call tournament this Sunday ,November 27, at Deep Blue SM City. Games start at 1 pm and format is 5 rounds Swiss .Registration is P200. Participation is a must.

Tal Memorial ;Hou Yifan retains crown

The 6th Mikhail Tal Memorial has just concluded in Moscow, Russia. Ten of the world’s top players participated in a round robin tournament and The average Elo was 2776, making this a category 22 tournament and the strongest in chess history.
The players with their latest accomplishments are: Viswanathan Anand (India 2817) – World Champion and winner of the recent Botvinnik Memorial.
Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2823) – currently no.1 , winner in Biel and co-winner in Bazna Kings.
Levon Aronian (Armenia 2802) – World team champion and no.3 in the world.
Vladimir Kramnik (Russia 2800) – Former World Champion, winner of Dortmund.
Sergey Karjakin (Russia 2763) – Co-winner in 2011 Bazna Kings
Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2775) – Winner of 2011 Capablanca Memorial, bronze medalist of the 2011 World Cup, World Championship Candidate.
Hikaru Nakamura (USA 2753) – Winner of 2011 Tata Steel in Wijk aan Zee.
Boris Gelfand (Israel 2746) – Winner of the Candidate Matches, World Championship finalist.
Peter Svidler (Russia 2755) – Six-times Russian champion, winner of the World Cup, World Championship Candidate
Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia 2730) – 2010 European and Russian champion.
The presence of Anand and Gelfand is also unique as they will meet each other for the world championship on May next year.
Magnus Carlsen scored an all-important last round victory with black against Hikaru Nakamura to take the winner’s trophy. Carlsen shared first place (5.5) with Levon Aronian but had a better tie-break due to more games with the black pieces.
Hou Yifan and our Wesley So burst into the world scene 5 years ago and were considered exceptional children . But while Yifan became world champion, Wesley has not attained what most experts thought he was capable.

At 14½ years Yifan became the youngest female grandmaster in history; at seventeen she has already played in three world championships.

She recently accomplished the most one-sided world championship ever clobbering the higher rated Koneru Humpy by winning 3 games ,drawing 5 without a single loss. She also pocketed euro 120,000,a huge amount by any standards. She is also pretty ,by the way so she is a good catch. Ahem.

Sinulog If you love chess and you want to promote the game, play or sponsor a team in the Sinulog Open team tournament next year on January 7-8. Format is 4-man team and 7 rounds Swiss. Time control is 30 mins plus 5 secs increment.
Prizes total P75,000 with 25k going to the champion. All lineups will be subject to approval to ensure a balanced competition. Registration is P1,200 (on site-1,500).For more details contact Jun Olis 09232629642 or Marvin Ruelan 09267352951.

Cepca recently held its November tournament at Deep Blue in SM City and the winner was lawyer Jongjong Melendez of the Ombudsman. Second was Boy Gallardo who missed several winning lines while 3rd place was snared by John Francis Balbona.

Here are the results of the recent National Milo Little Olympics held in Pangasinan.The Gold winner in Elementary Boys was Ryan Fernando ,son of Cepca member Raul.

In Secondary Boys, the gold,silver and bronze were won by Felix Shaun Balbona, John Francis Balbona and Gerard Ouano respectively. They are children of Cepca members Felix Balbona and the late valued member Gerry Ouano.

Watch out and play in the Talisay Chessfest on December 3 and 4. It is open to kiddies, juniors and seniors B with a total prize fund of P20,000. There are also special prizes for Talisay residents. Contact the tournament director 2-time Cepca president Manny Manzanares 09058386310.,