Friday, May 25, 2012

The kulilats of chess

Previously I penned an article about the little giants of chess-Armenia and Iceland. In Armenia they have 33 grandmasters, 22 International masters and 29 Fide masters in a population of three million. Iceland has 13 Grandmasters, 13 International Masters, and 25 FIDE masters in a country of only 300,000 inhabitants! At the opposite end of the list are a number of countries whose chess-playing abilities are, to say the least,ridiculous. Leading the kulilats are Taiwan and Pakistan. In Taiwan or Chinese Taipei the sport was relatively little known before 2004 and the average rating for their top 10 players is 1663 with only one titled player. This means that if our kiddie players Allan Pason,Kyle Sevillano and even our kiddie journalist KC Morala or 9 year old Jeremy Pepito were to compete there ,they have a good chance of winning. Taiwan ,by the way has a population of 26 million. Its even worse in Pakistan. They have no titled player even with a population of 177 million. It is really a paradox as Pakistan was formerly a part of India where chess was born and considered a chess giant as the current champion is Anand. Bangladesh or formerly East Pakistan also has 5 grandmasters and 26 titled players. Another astonishing fact is Japan. Athough,they have the 3rd biggest economy in the world and a population of 127 million, they are another Kulilat. Japan is ranked number 93rd by Fide and has no grandmaster. Its top 10 players have an average of 2200 which means the Cebu Selection alone will clobber Japan, Other kulilats are South Korea (pop.-49 million) and Thailand (pop.-66 million). South Korea`s top 10 players have an average rating of 2075 and Thailand 2194. There are also more than 20 countries who are chess “poor".It could be due to: 1) Competition from a similar game with cultural roots in the country (e.g. Shogi in Japan, Xiangqi in Taiwan and Korea) 2) Small overall population, or geographic isolation of a country (Bahamas,Brunei, San Marino) 3) Illiteracy Asian Continental This is an important tournament in the calendar as it is a part of the World Cup and the World Championship Cycle. The big news is that Oliver Barbosa qualified while Wesley So did not due to tiebreaks ,although he won the Blitz side event. Here are the top placers: 7 points---GM Parimarjan Negi (India/advance World Cup) 7 points---GM Yu Yangyi of China (China/advance World Cup) 6.5 points---GM Salem A R Saleh (UAE/advance World Cup) 6 points---IM Liu Qingnan (China/advance World Cup) 6 points---GM Oliver Barbosa (Philippines/advance World Cup) 6 points---GM GM Ding Liren (China) 6 points---GM Ni Hua (China) 6 points---GM Wesley So (Philippines) 6 points---GM Wen Yang (China) 6 points---GM Lu Shanglei ( China) World Championship The World Chess Championship 2012 is being staged in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, between the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India and the winner of the Candidates tournament Boris Gelfand of Israel. The match is over twelve games and lasts from May 11 to 30. The prize fund is US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1,02 million (40%). The players have drawn the first 4 games of the World Chess Championship, leaving the score leveled at 2.0-2.0. Inmates tournament today Cepca,with the support and approval of Supt. Jessie Calumpang,warden of the Mandaue City Jail will sponsor today a tournament among inmates,considered to be the first in the country. After the tournament,cepca members Jojo Muralla,Dante Arguelles, Jun Olis ,Mike Banebane and Nicnic Climaco will conduct a simul among the participants. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.,

Friday, May 11, 2012

World Championship starts today

The World Chess Championship 2012 will be a match between the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the Candidates tournament. The match will be held in Moscow up to May 30 under the auspices of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The prize fund is US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1,02 million (40%). The two will play a match of 12 games, unless someone scores a decisive 6.5 points at an earlier stage. In case of a tie, there will be a rapid / blitz playoff. Anand played his first World Championship match in 1995 for the PCA, and lost to Garry Kasparov. Between 2000 and 2002 Anand held the FIDE World Champion title and later became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 by winning the World Championship tournament in Mexico City. He then defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 in Bonn, Germany and also in 2010 against Veselin Topalov in Sofia, Bulgaria. Anand won numerous tournaments in his career, including Wijk aan Zee (1988, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005 joint with Veselin Topalov), Reggio Emilia (1992), Alekhine Memorial (Moscow, 1992), the PCA Interzonal (Groningen, 1993), Biel (1997) and Linares (1998, 2007, 2008). In 2009 Gelfand won the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia and thus qualified for the Candidates matches held in May 2011 in Kazan, Russia. Seeded fourth, the Israeli beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) in the quarterfinals, Gata Kamsky (USA) in the semis and Alexander Grischuk (Russia) in the final, qualifying for the 2012 World Championship match against Anand. Gelfand has won numerous tournaments in his career, including Wijk aan Zee (1992), Biel (1993), Dos Hermanas (1994), Belgrade (1995), Tilburg (1996), Malmö (1999), and Pamplona (2004 Statistics Between 1984 and 2012, Anand played 1496 games: +440-265=791 in tournaments with classical time control. Playing white he scored 68%, and playing black, 56%. Between 1991 and 2012 he played 1224 games in rapid chess and blitz: +527-151=564. Between 1983 and 2012 Gelfand played 1591 games in classical time control tournaments: +463-212=916. Playing white he scored 63%, and playing black, 52%. Between 1991 and 2012 he played 878 games in rapid chess and blitz: +300-209=369. Classical chess- The two men played 35 games with classical time control. The first game ended in a draw, after which Gelfand dominated, winning 4 games in a row playing white. In 1993 Boris scored his 5th and last victory, and he has not since defeated Vishy. In the 1997 FIDE Knockout Championship, the Indian drew head-to-head; nine years later he gained the lead by 6:5 in Wijk aan Zee in 2006. Rapid chess- Anand confirms his status as rapid chess king: he never lost a game against Gelfand until they traded victories in Monaco in 2008. Vishy and Boris played only one tie break in the 2000 World Cup, the Indian only gaining an edge in “Armageddon”. The lion’s share of the games was played in Monaco in the Amber tournaments. Inmates tournament- Cepca will be sponsoring a tournament among inmates of the Mandaue City jail next Friday May 18 starting at 1pm. Depending on the number of participants, format will be 5-7 rounds Swiss with a time control of 10 minutes and an increment of 5 secs. This is a project of Mandaue City jail warden, Supt. Jessie Calumpang and Cepca so the prisoners can “ learn from a game that rewards patience and problem-solving and apply it to their own lives.” After the tournament, Cepca members Jojo Muralla, Dante Arguelles, Jun Olis and Mike Banebane will play a simul among the prisoners . Winners of the tournament and simul will receive cash prizes.

Vietnamese wins Cebu leg of Poker Tour

The 2012 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Cebu Main Event has just concluded , with Hoang Anh Do crowned as the champion. He pockets P 5,927,000 and all the bragging rights that go with it. 245 players from 45 countries participated in this big event with all kinds of poker action from April 24-30 lured by all the publicity online acclaiming Cebu as a tourist paradise not only in Asia but all over the world.. The APPT Cebu tournament has been a favourite among players. More like a tropical holiday with hardcore poker action thrown in, the tournament was won last time by the first female to ever take down an APPT title. Im Young Shin – now known as Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im – conquered the P100,000 buy-in Main Event in 2010 over a 236-player field to win P5.81 million in prize money Hoang Anh Do is the first APPT Champion to come from Vietnam . He is a 27 year old banker who came to Cebu to holiday on the beaches but thought he would also like to give the APPT a try, having only taken up poker six months ago. Here are the players on the final table, their starting chips ,some background and their winnings in the tournament.. Seat 1: Antoine Amourette, London, England, PokerStars Qualifier (50,000 in chips)-28-year-old Antoine Amourette is one of the most accomplished players left in the tournament. He regularly plays online satellites for live tournaments . 9th place-P494,000. Seat 2: Sameer Rattonsey, Mumbai, India (908,000 in chips)-one of two final table players that hails from India, is a virtual unknown to the high-stakes poker world. His career highlight to date in more than 10 years of playing poker was finishing 2nd at the November 2011 APT Asian Series Goa Main Event ($25,749).6th place-P1,043,000. Seat 3: Alistair Duff, Melbourne, Australia, APPT Cebu Satellite Winner (486,000 in chips) 3rd place-P2,086,000 Seat 4: Nick Wong, Hong Kong (142,000 in chips)-is a 44-year-old investor who seems to specialize in investing tournament buy-ins into high roller events and then winning the events for a healthy return. He has two high roller wins under his belt, both in Macau: one in November 2011, one in November 2010.2nd place-P3,732,000 Seat 5: Jacky Wang, Singapore (402,000 chips) Wang shot to prominence in Australia last year in bizarre fashion when he was the victim of a unique angle-shooting case at a local tournament that sent shockwaves throughout the poker community. 7th place-P823,000. Seat 6: Do Hoang Anh, Hanoi, Vietnam (810,000 chips)-champion. Seat 7: Michael Kanaan, Sydney, Australia, PokerStars Qualifier (399,000 chips)- is a 28-year old professional poker player hailing from Sydney .He won the 2011 ANZPT Sydney title.4th place-1,592,000 Seat 8: Jae-Hyung Sim, Manila, Philippines (205,000 chips)-- “Simba” as he likes to be known, was listed as hailing from Korea, but his bio sheet indicates that his home town is Manila, which suggests that the locals have someone to cheer for on this final table. 8th place-P658500. Seat 9: Amit Varma, Mumbai, India (1,241,000 chips)-38-year old Amit Varma grabbed attention as our Day 2 chip leader and that’s a position he held throughout Day 3 to enter our final table as easily the biggest stack in the room. Amit has been playing poker for three years after getting started on the play money games on PokerStars. 5TH place-P1,317,000. The “bubbles” or those who missed out from the final table were Sungsik Bae and Bobby Zhang who won each P329,000. Many thanks to the team of PokerStars for giving me day to day updates of the main event as well as all the side events of this classic tournament.,

Events to watch this year

The World Chess Championship 2012 will be a match between the current world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel. It will take place on May 10–31 in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia .The prize fund is 2.55 million US Dollars. Anand last defended his title by winning the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. The challenger won the eight-player Candidate Matches comprising Topalov, Gata Kamsky, Shakriyar Mamedyarov,Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik and Teimour Radjabov, Anand is 42 years old rated 2799 while Gelfand is a year older at 43 and rated 2727. The 47th Capablanca Memorial will be held from May 3-15 at the Riviera hotel in Havana, Cuba. The Elite Group will once again be a six-player double round robin. To date confirmed players are GM Vassily Ivanchuk (2766) of Ukraine, 5-times winner of Capablanca Memorial, and the Cuban GM Leinier Domínguez (2730), three-times winner, and Lázaro Bruzón (2691). The 7th Mikhail Tal Memorial will take place from 7th to 19th June, 2012, in Moscow, Russia. Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Radjabov Teimour, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana have confirmed the participation. Other players are Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grischuk, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Luke Mchane. The Kings Chess Tournament will follow in Medias, Romania, from June 23 to July 4. It will include Viswanathan Anand, who would have just finished his World Chess Championship match with Gelfand. The world number one rated player Magnus Carlsen and the main contender to enter the 2800 club Teimour Radjabov will also participate despite their tight calendar, coming from the Tal Memorial 2012. Sergey Karjakin and Vassily Ivanchuk are also confirmed participants, while the organization will announce one Romanian player in the coming days. Another major event in the Fide calendar is the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul ,Turkey scheduled on August 27 to September 10. It is a biennial tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The Philippines has been participating since the 50s and an elimination series of tournaments is currently on-going to determine our representatives in both the Men and Women events. The Bilbao Grand Slam Final Masters, considered one of the world’s most prestigious, will take place from September 24 to October 13, 2012 and, as in previous editions, the world’s top-ranked players will participate. Two players have already qualified—Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and Russian Vladimir Kramnik (the former being number 1 in the world ranking and winner of the last edition of the Grand Slam Final and the latter, former world champion and winner of the 2010 Final) The rest of the participants of this great chess event in the Biscayan capital, also receiving direct invitations are Aronian ,the winner of the 2012 Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, and the winner of the 2012 Kings tournament in Bazna, Romania . The 4th London Chess Classic will take place on December 1-10 . Players are Levon Aronian ,Luke McShane Magnus Carlsen ,David Howell, Michael Adams ,Viswanathan Anand. And Nigel Short. Other events to watch in the Asian region are Asian Continental Championship in Vietnam on May 4-14 and Asean Age Group also in Vietnam on June 10-19 . Other events are the Asian Nations Cup in Zao Zuang,China ,the Asian Junior U20 in Tashkent,Uzbekistan and the Asian Schools Championship and U5 Kindergarten in Davao from October 20-29.,