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.,

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