Friday, January 20, 2012

50,000 players

I never in my wildest imagination expected this kind of achievement.50,000 chess players and counting have participated in what is expected to be a Guinness record that will last far beyond our lifetime.

Guinness World Records is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, mostly in human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The book itself holds a world record, as the best-selling copyrighted book series of all time.

A series of eliminations began last October 2011, which will culminate in January 21 and 22 this month. More than 50, 000 participants have been recorded and authenticated in the most ambitious chess program ever anywhere in the world..

“Nearly 4,000 finalists will converge at the Grand Finals during the first “Cebu Chess Festival: World’s Largest Chess Tournament” on January 21, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cebu City Sports Center Grand Stand and on January 22, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at the Cebu City Sports Center Gym.”

This ambitious project is organized by the Cebu City Sports Commission in cooperation with the Cebu City Government, Department of Education Region VII and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Sponsors are Julie’s Bakeshop, Bioderm, International Pharmaceuticals Inc., Rose Pharmacy, Virginia Foods Inc. and the University of Cebu and supported by the Cebu Chess Association .

The existing record is held by Krasnoyarsk, Russia with a “puny” 1,214 participants.

In essence, the current record was already broken by one school alone, the Apas National High School that had 1,594 registered participants. Barrio Luz Elementary School had 1,369 participants; while Don Carlos Gothong Memorial Night High School had 2,289. The Abellana National School alone had 3,432 registered participants.

Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman Edward Hayco exclaimed,
“We first targeted only 1,500 participants. We didn’t realize the number would balloon up to more than 50,000 after we launched an aggressive grassroots program that took three months of extensive chess workshops in over 150 public schools.”

The main bulk of the 50,000 registered participants are elementary and secondary students, with winners pitted against winners in a series of tournaments from classroom level to schoolwide, finals at the sports center, until a grand champion emerges.”

Instructions on how to play chess and how to conduct chess tournaments began early August this year with selected school teachers and school coordinators who in turn trained the students in the classrooms, section by section.

Tata Steel formerly known as Corus and originally Hoogoven has been held since 1938 in Wijk aan Zee, a small wind-swept town on the coast of the North Sea in the the Netherlands.

It is one of the most prestigious event in the chess calendar and starts January 13..

The tournament takes place in three Grandmaster Groups, with a number of amateur events being held at the same time. The three Grandmaster tournaments have 14 players each and are full round robins
According to “The participants of the 74th Chess Tournament Tata Steel is the strongest of its long and rich history. It features eleven of the top twenty chess players in the world-. Carlsen, Aronian, Topalov, Nakamura, as well as juniors Giri and Caruana.With an average rating of 2754, it exceeds the previous record of 2740 held by the 2008 edition..
Also of note is Veselin Topalov, who has played very little following his defeat in the world championship match against World Champion Anand in 2010, and Boris Gelfand, who will be Anand's next challenger in May.,

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