Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pestaño: Nelson Mandela as a chess player

Thursday, December 19, 2013

WHEN Nelson Mandela died last Dec. 5 at the age of 95, it was front page headline all over the world.
He emerged after 27 years in prison in 1990 to lead his country out of decades of apartheid. He served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid, racism, poverty and inequality.
He received the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin, the Bharat Ratna and more than 250 honors in his lifetime. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often described as “the father of the nation.”
“He achieved more than could be expected of any man,” said Obama who became president of America because of Mandela’s legacy. “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.”
As a man,he had all the qualities of a good chess player, which he was, like patience, creativity and imagination.
Mandela turned to chess to pass the time during his more than 27 years as a political prisoner. Fellow detainees at the country’s notorious Robben Island prison recall him as a good player who favored a strategy of “attrition” to wear down opponents.
“He would take his time with every move, he would consider it very carefully,” recalled Neville Anderson, a fellow detainee who often played with him. “He would sort of mislead the other person by pointing things this way, that way, the other, and then making the move that wasn’t expected and so on.”
Current South African President Jacob Zuma, a good player himself and a fellow detainee , recalled the way they had to improvise just to play chess. “We made chess sets out of soap and driftwood and makeshift chessboards that allowed us to continue
to play this noble and great game,” Zuma said .
In 1996,Mandela gave a chess set to Queen Elizabeth, a chess player herself, during a state visit that featured Zulu tribesmen.
In 1977, South Africa was banned from Fide events because of its apartheid practices.
The ban was lifted in 1992 by Florencio Campomanes and that allowed South Africa to play in the Manila Olympiad.
Tournaments. The 2013 Cepca grand champion is Tacloban City-born civil engineer Jimmy Ty, who defeated Peterson Sia in the finals. Third placer is Percival Fiel and the fourth placer is Manuel Abucay.
The results were a big surprise to all of us as the favorites were last year’s champion Rey Flores, Romy Pialan, Jomgjong Melendez and Maggi Dionson.
In the non-qualifiers category, the winner was Carlo Maraat, as expected. I even wondered why he did not make it to the grand finals. Both winners were awarded unique trophies fabricated by Dr. Ronald Galindo, the coordinator of the USC college of engineering.
The Deep Blue “D” Woodpushers Club will sponsor a Christmas Tournament for kiddies and open division tomorrow and Sunday at the second level of SM City Cebu.
The format is seven rounds Swiss and the time control is 25 minutes plus five-second increments to finish the game. The tournament is supported by lawyer Mariano Tan, CPA Nestor Encallado, Molet Hortelano and Vizmin Marketing.
The top four kiddies players will go home with P1,200, P800, P600 and P400, respectively. In the open category the top four finishers will get P3,000, P2,000 ,P1,000 and P500. The fifth to the 10th finishers will get a consolation prize of P200 each.
The registration fee for the Open players is P150 and P100 for the Kiddies players. For more information contact FA Marvin Ruelan 09267352951

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pestaño: Induction of officers and grand finals

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ATTENTION, all Cepca members. Please be reminded that our Christmas party will be this Sunday at Lola Saling’s Grill and restobar in Casungtingan,Mandaue beside Gaisano. Please inform me today if you can attend if you had not done so.
We will also have the Grand Finals for the monthly winners. They are Jongjong Melendez, Percival Fiel,last year`s champion Rey Flores, Maggi Dionson, Manny Abucay, Jun Kidlat, Freddie Casagan, Arnold Cadiz, Harrison Chua, Peterson Sia, Jimmy Te and Romy Pialan.
The non-qualifiers will also have a separate tourney. The champions of both events will receive unique trophies, handmade by member Engr. Ronald Galindo Ces, the coordinator of the college of Engineering of the University of San Carlos.
We will also have an induction of the new officers for 2014. The incoming officers are
president Jerry Maratas, vice president external Marvyne Guardiana, vice-president internal Dante Arguelles, secretary Jun Olis, treasurer Jun Kidlat, auditor Ruel Hortelano, and me as PRO. Completing the nine-man board are Jojo Muralla and Mandy Baria.
The inducting officer will be former city mayor Alvin Garcia, an honorary member of the club.
Chess prisoners. The news this week has also been about those in prison. Homicide convict and former Batangas Gov. Antonio Leviste is a free man again after being granted parole.
But P-Noy has strongly objected to his release.
He is a national figure as he once was married to Sen. Loren Legarda and is the father of Toni Leviste, the bemedalled Asian Games equestrienne.
There were nearly 600 detainees at the Leyte Provincial Jail when Yolanda destroyed the complex allowing all of the prisoners to escape. 251 prisoners returned, and are now being housed in a section of the jail that suffered minor damage.
World champions who have been in prison were Bobby Fischer, detained in Japan when his passport was cancelled,Garry Kasparov for protesting against Putin and Russian Alexander Alekhine, arrested in Germany when war broke out.
Claude Bloodgood was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering his mother, although the sentence was later commuted. While in prison, he played a large number of correspondence games. Over time, he achieved a very high ranking in the United States Chess Federation.
Robert Stroud, known as the “Birdman of Alcatraz” (there’s a movie made about him), was sentenced to life in prison for murder and while there, killed one of the guards and was placed in solitary. He reared and sold birds and became a respected ornithologist. The only contact he had with the outside world, aside from the birds, was playing chess with his guards .
Raymond A. Weinstein has an IM title acquired in 1962. He has been incarcerated since for killing a man in 1964. He defeated many top American players, including Reshevsky and Benko.
Milan Matulovic, who died a few months ago, was a grandmaster and one of the strongest Yugoslav player for much of the 1960s and 1970s. He was convicted of manslaughter and served nine months in prison for a car accident in which a woman was killed.
Alexandre Deschapelles was a French chess player who was probably the strongest player in the world after Philidor. He was considered the unofficial world champion from 1800 to 1820.He was in prison for his part in the insurrection of June 1832.
Other chess playing prisoners were James Mortimer, GM Ludek Pachman, Norman Whitaker and world champion Wilhelm Steinitz for the silly crime of sending coded military secrets when he was just playing correspondence chess.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pestaño: The hybrid sport of chess-boxing

Thursday, December 5, 2013

MOST of the sports news this past week has been about chess and boxing.
In a match that was viewed by over 200 million live and online daily, Magnus Carlsen easily overwhelmed the reigning world chess champion Viswanathan Anand in Chennai.
Almost at the same time, Manny Pacquiao demolished Brandon Rios in Macau that gave Pinoys and the suffering victims Yolanda something to cheer for as the match was also viewed by millions elsewhere.
Do you know that there is a sport now which is a combination of both? It is called, of course, chess-boxing and if you don’t believe it’s for real , read on. It is described in puns as a showdown between brains and brawns, rooks and hooks and wits and fists.
The hybrid sport of chess-boxing, developed initially in Berlin by Lepe Rubingh, was established in London by television producer Timothy Woolgar in 2008.
Los Angeles , Tokyo , Nantes (France), Reykjavík , Amsterdam , Calcutta and Krasnoyarsk (Russia) have all staged events over the last five years.
How does it work? A full match consists of 11 rounds: six rounds of chess, each four minutes long, and five rounds of boxing, each three minutes long. The match begins with a chess round, which is followed by boxing. Rounds of chess and boxing alternate until the end of the match. There is a one-minute break between each round, during which competitors change gear. Rules of blitz chess are used (including touch move), and a competitor only has a total of 12 minutes in chess. The players wear closed-back headphones during the chess rounds to avoid being distracted by the live chess commentary, or hearing advice shouted from the audience. Time is measured using a chess clock.
A competitor may win the match during a boxing round by knockout or TKO, by achieving a checkmate or if the opponent’s 12 minutes run out during a chess round, or by the opponent’s resignation at any point.
If there is a stalemate, the scores from the boxing rounds are used to determine the winner. If the boxing score is also a draw, the outcome is declared as a tie.
The sport is governed by the World chess-boxing Association (WCBA) based in London and it has promoted more than 20 tournaments in the last five years. Another group is the World Chess Boxing Organization.
Chess-boxers must not only be fit and experienced boxers, but must also be at least Class A as a chess player. Nikolai Sazhin has an Elo 1900, while European chess boxing champion Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev is a Fide Master with a rating over 2300 and has won multiple chess competitions. Arik Braun, the strongest chess player to have competed in Chessboxing, is a grandmaster rated 2556. Chess players are intelligent enough to know what they are doing.
Thirteen countries, including the US, Germany, Russia, the UK and France, play the game. Newer entrants like Iran, China and India (over 300 members including lots of women) have also introduced the sport.
Calling Cebu boxing promoters!
Chess-boxing is a global phenomenon. There are around 380 active members of the World Chess Boxing Organization, with affiliate groups across Europe, Asia and America. The Berlin Chessboxing Club alone has 450 members, 80 of whom are in training every day.
There’s a chessboxing club in China, asking “Who’s the smartest, toughest guy in China?” In the last three months, a chessboxing club was even formed in Iran.
This new sport has competitors floating like butterflies and stinging like kings!
An excellent chessboxing match would be between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who are both avid chessplayers. How about it Bob Arum?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pestaño: Carlsen is the new king of chess

Thursday, November 28, 2013

ALTHOUGH the result was not unexpected, the margin was. Magnus Carlsen of Norway won three games and drew seven and that is like winning a basketball game by 50 points.
Anand was thoroughly humiliated and that was a surprise, at least to me, as I had a bet on him. Carlsen so dominated the match that it lasted only 10 games out of 12 .
Carlsen is the first Westerner to win the crown since 1972 when Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky also by a wide margin. Experts are saying now that Magnus is the greatest player of all time and he has not even reached his peak yet. He will probably dominate chess for the next 20 years.
Kasparov compares him as a combination of Fischer and Karpov, a deadly blend of a positional attacking player. He says “Magnus rocketed to the top of the rating list almost without pause, displaying a consistency and tenacity rare in a young player to accompany his limitless talent.”
He also said that he comes once-in-a-generation and “a win by Carlsen is also a win for the chess world.” Kasparov was in India and watched all of the games.
Unlike Fischer, Carlsen is neither a xylothist nor a bigot and is personable and friendly. He was once described by the Washington Post as the “Mozart of chess” and also dubbed the “Justin Bieber of chess” after the match.
A fashion model in his spare time, Carlsen made it to the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. He also won the Chess Oscars, awarded by Russian chess magazine ‘64’ to the world’s best player, for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.
Carlsen missed by a few weeks becoming the youngest world champion, a record set by Kasparov in 1985. He will be 23 on Nov. 30.
He has dominated the World Chess Federation’s list of top players in the last three years, with a top rating of 2870 Elo that broke Kasparov’s best of 2851 achieved in 1999. On the other hand , Viswanathan Anand has been champion for five years and was playing at home in Chennai, where he is considered a national icon.
It was the first time in eight world championship matches that Anand failed to win even a single game. He became the first Asian world champion in 2007 and at 43 was almost double Carlsen’s age.
“It’s clear he dominated,” Anand said. “My mistakes didn’t happen by themselves, clearly he provoked them, and all credit to him. The fifth game was a heavy blow.
I really hoped not to be afraid of him in long games but to match him. But it wasn’t meant to be.”
Organisers said up to 100 million people a day in India watched the games on TV and online, and estimated another 100 million hits in the world. In Norway, 600,000 households out of a population of six million watched the game, which was broadcasted live.
“I really hope that this can have some positive effect for chess, both in Norway and worldwide,” Carlsen said after clinching the title. “The match was shown on television and I know a lot of people who don’t play chess found it very interesting to follow.
And that’s absolutely wonderful.”
Despite his overwhelming dominance in the last few years, Carlsen warned rivals his best has yet to come.
“I still have so many ways to improve,” he said. “In every tournament, in almost every game, I find that I make mistakes. I definitely have some kind of talent but I don’t know exactly what it consists of.”
Chess sets in Norway were all sold out during the match.
With the title, Carlsen gets about 60 percent of the total $2.24 million in prize money, while Anand took home the rest. Fide also gets approximately $600,000.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pestaño: Your guide to collecting chess coins

Thursday, November 21, 2013

COIN collecting is the collecting of coins or other forms of minted legal tender.
Coins of interest to collectors often include those that circulated for only a brief time. Early coins or those with mint errors or beautiful or historically significant pieces are much sought after.
It is estimated that there are 30 million coin collectors around the world. Next to stamps, it is widely recognized as the most popular and rewarding of hobbies.
Also, like stamps, most collectors specialize on specific themes, countries or topics.
Chess stamps are issued by almost all countries worldwide and number to more than a thousand.
Chess coins, however, are few and rare and all are commemorative . They are intended to be used only as souvenirs, and are often produced in gold or silver with a proof finish. They are not intended to circulate. Minting is limited to only a few thousands.
In terms of cost, collecting modern commemoratives  are more expensive than collecting coins from circulation at face value.
The issuing country—at a high premium above face value—sells them directly to collectors. Laws authorizing commemorative coins usually mandate that a certain amount of the purchase price benefit a group or event related to the coin’s theme.
Most chess coins minted by a country honor a specific event. Here are the following chess coins.
The Philippines issued in 1992 a P5 coin to honor the Chess Olympiad which was held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
When the Olympiad was held in Turin, Armenia in 1996, they also issued a 100 dram coin. Another coin was also issued in 1999 with a value of 5,000 dram in honor of world champion Tigran Petrosian.
Cuba issued three coins--P1, P5 and P20 coins during the centennial celebration of Jose Capablanca in 1988.
China had two chess players with the Great Wall as the background in 1995 with a value of 5 yuan, to showcase its emergence as a world power in chess.
The Czech Republic honored Wolfgang Kempelen, the inventor of the chess-playing automaton, the Turk, with a coin worth 200 Koruns in 1994. Hungary also featured the Turk in 2002 with a value of 500 Forint.
The United Arab Emirates, Yugoslavia , Slovenia and Greece issued coins worth 10 Dirhams, 5 Dinaras ,2,500 Tolars and 100 and 500 Drachmas for the chess Olympiads held in these countries .
Other countries that also issued coins are Moldova (10 Leu in 2005), Belarus (20 Ruble in 2006) and Russia featuring Michael Chigorin in 2000.
Kasparov. Garry Kasparov arrived in the country last Tuesday afternoon and stayed overnight. He met officials of the National Chess Federation led by president Prospero Pichay, secretary general Jayson Gonzales, Eugene Torre and media to announce his donation of $10,000 for the victims of Yolanda.
“I understand there are far more important things than chess at this time in your country. My heart goes to the typhoon victims,” said the 50-year-old Kasparov, the
former world champion for a long time.
“We will course the donation to the Philippine National Red Cross. We are very thankful for Mr. Kasparov for lending a hand to our fellow Filipinos, who are in dire need after the super typhoon,” said Pichay.
Although the elections are still in August next year, Kasparov is campaigning for president of Fide this early. He will challenge incumbent president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of the Republic of Kalmykia who has been holding the title since 1995.
He describes the Philippines as a “very important chess country.”

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pestaño: Chess masters who love to drink

Thursday, November 14, 2013

In the chess world, alcoholism is a problem. Numerous grandmasters are addicted to alcohol.
A few years ago GM Vladislav Tkachiev turned up drunk and could not finish his game in a tournament in India as he fell asleep during the game and could not be awakened.
Even world champions, especially Mikhael Tal and Alexander Alekhine, could not stay away from the bottle even during world championships.
Sometimes Tal had to be carried away from his game because he was so drunk! When told that the Soviet Union was launching a campaign against alcoholism he commented, “I’ll be on the side of vodka.”
James Mason, the Irish-born American and an author of several chess books, sometimes fell out of his chair because he was so drunk.
Joseph Blackburne favorite opening was the Scotch game and also his favorite drink. He would place a glass of whiskey at strategic locations while giving simuls. He even claimed that he was a better player while drinking.
Efim Bogoljubow was a beer drinker. It is said that beer was the only English word he knew.
Mikhael Chigorin was drinking free brandy from one of the sponsors while playing the world championship against Steinitz, who went along the ride by drinking champagne.
Another good player while drunk is the late Florencio Campomanes. He doesn’t seemed to be affected by beer, his favorite drink.
Charles Stanley was an alcoholic who was champion before Paul Morphy. Morphy would
play against him and sent all his winnings to Mrs. Stanley.
I think playing chess and drinking are inseparable because both are entertaining. Most chess clubs, not only here but all over the world are located in pubs and cafes where drinks are readily available. Cepca is no exception.
From Baseline to Lynn’s Juntion to Teofel and from there to Kawayan Grill and Handuraw, Cepca members meet to play chess and drink with very few exceptions. Of course, drinks are off limits during tournaments.
It has been observed that clubs worldwide that meet and practice chess where there are alcoholic drinks available tend to have more members. Most club members attend meetings and practice sessions because of the drinking sessions on the side.
Mactan. The Mactan Island Chess and Scrabble Association will be sponsoring two tournaments this weekend at the Super Metro in Lapu-Lapu City in celebration of the town fiesta-Kiddies and Non-master team tournament.
The Kiddies section is open only to Lapu-Lapu residents 14 years and below.
Registration is only P25 and prizes total P1,000 with the winner taking home P500.
This will be on Nov. 17.
The team tournament on Nov. 16-17 must have four regular members and one alternate.
All members must be residents of Lapu-Laupu City or employed in a company in Lapu-Lapu City for at least six months. The number of rounds will depend on the total number of teams playing.
Time control is 20 minutes plus two-second increments. Registration is P1,000 per team.
The top three teams will win P5,000, P3,500 and P2,500 plus trophies. All board winners, including the alternate, gets P500 each. Deadline of registration is Nov. 16 at 9:30 am.
The tournament director is Hon. Galileo “Django” Roma and interested teams may contact t Felix Poloyapoy 09336642958 or Rene Romero 09324051689.
PIcpa . The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Picpa) team tournament will proceed this weekend at Deep Blue SM at 1pm. It was originally scheduled last weekend but was cancelled due to Yolanda.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pestaño: Where chess champions are buried

Thursday, November 1, 2012

TODAY is All Souls Day and being a predominantly catholic country, almost everybody goes to the cemetery.
Our article today chronicles the cause of death of world chess champions and where they are buried.
Bobby Fischer, although born a Jew, was buried in Selfox, near Reykjavik in the small Christian cemetery of Laugardælir church, after a Catholic funeral. He died of kidney failure after refusing treatment and medication.
Tigran Petrosian, who was champion from 1963-69, died of stomach cancer in 1984 and is buried in Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow. The cemetery, established in 1771, is located in the Krasnaya Presnya district of Moscow.
Emanuel Lasker (Dec. 24, 1868 – Jan. 11, 1941) was the world chess champion for 27 years, from 1894-1921. He died of a kidney infection in New York at the age of 72 and interment took place at the Shearith Israel Cemetery in Cypress Hills on Long Island.
Alexander Alekhine’s death and burial is controversial. He was originally buried in Estoril, Portugal but reburied in Paris in 1956 after 10 years under the sponsorship of Fide. His tombstone is a chess board.
Although others say he choked on a piece of meat, he probably died of a heart attack. There are also speculations that he was murdered. The body was not buried for three weeks as no one claimed it.
Mikhael Tal was known for his tactics and unbelievable sacrifices. Later in life he mellowed, becoming a fully rounded player. He once went over 100 games without a single loss.
Tal succumbed to his life-long kidney ailment (one of his kidneys was earlier removed) on June 28, 1992 in a Moscow hospital and was buried in his native Riga, Latvia in Shmerly Cemetery .
José Raúl Capablanca was a Cuban chess player who was world champion from 1921 to 1927. Due to his relatively simple style of play, he was nicknamed the “Human Chess Machine.”
On March 7, 1942, Capablanca was chatting with friends at the Manhattan Chess Club in New York City, when he collapsed. The cause of death was given as “a cerebral hemorrhage provoked by hypertension.” Capablanca’s body was given a public funeral in Havana’s Colón Cemetery on March 15, 1942.
Wilhelm Steinitz (May 17, 1836 – Aug. 12, 1900) was the first undisputed world chess champion from 1886 to 1894. He died of a heart attack in the Manhattan State Hospital at Ward’s Island, New York and buried at the Bethal Slope in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn, New York (grave number 5893).
Max Euwe who was champion from 1935-37 was cremated on Dec. 1, 1981 in Driehuis-Westerveld, following a ceremony attended by hundreds of visitors as he was also a former Fide president.
KC Morala reports. ”The National Little Milo Olympics Chess Competition was held in Marikina City last Oct. 20-21.
The secondary boys division team of Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano, Felix Shaun Balbona, John Francis Balbona, Glexan Derotas and Jeffu Dorog of the Visayas scored 8.5 points, to take the crown, while Luzon and NCR were second, 2.5 points behind.
The secondary girls team of of Jazzelle Villarin, me and Sharon Princess Lee Pacres and Laila Camel Nadera defeated their NCR and Mindanao to win the division.
The elementary girls team of Vic Glysen Derotas, Jeremy Rose Bajo, Cherry Mae Caballes and Claire Sy, fell short by two points against NCR and settled for second place.
For playing in the champion teams, Felix Shaun Balbona and me, both playing board 2, received the Most Outstanding Athlete plaques each for having been the highest scorers.”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wesley So shines again

Thursday, October 31, 2013

THE 17th Unive Chess Tournament was held last Oct. 18-26 in Hoogeveen, Netherlands. The Crown Group featured two talented juniors against two experienced players in a double round robin event.
The players are Michael Adams (2753 England), Loek Van Wely (2693 Netherlands), Robin van Kampen (2607 Netherlands) and Wesley So (2706).
Wesley was “So” dominant that he practically won this prestigious tournament at the halfway point with two wins and a draw. He defeated van Wely twice, drew both his games against the top seeded Adams and had a win and a draw against van Kampen.
Wesley had a performance rating of 2877 and gained 13 Elo points.
It will be recalled that he won the World University Championship in Russia last August over an elite field that included Li Chao, Evgeny Aleekseev and Dmitry Andreikin all rated over 2700.
He also figured in a three-way tie in the Reykjavic open with Pavel Eljanov and Amin Baseem early this year.
Last May, Wesley won the Standard and Blitz events in the Calgary International chess classic.
June 2013 was a big surprise as Wesley snared three titles--US Championship, US National Open and US Blitz championship, in a span of four days from June 6 to 9 at the 2013 Las Vegas International Chess Festival.
His next major tournaments will be the Pan-American Team Chess Championship and the A group in Tata Steel.
The 76th Tata Steel (formerly Corus), scheduled on Jan. 10-26 next year in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands is now considered the most prestigious tournament in the calendar as Linares and Melody Amber have been cancelled. To be invited to the A group is like getting an invitation to the White House and it means “you have arrived.”
The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (“World Series of College Chess”) is the foremost intercollegiate team chess championship in the Americas and will take place this Dec. 27–30, at Texas Tech University.
Wesley is a sophomore at Webster University (2013 U.S. College Chess Team National Champion) in Saint Louis, Missouri taking up Business and Finance.
Wesley’s family migrated to Canada two years ago and he is now based there. Has he changed his citizenship? In the Las Vegas tournament he was classified as from Canada.
If you will recall, our top lady player, Fil-Aussie mestisa Arianne Caoli transferred to Australia. She has, since then, played for Australia in the last two Olympiads.
Tournaments. Four Central Squares Strike Open chess tournament has two events--Kiddies and Open.
The Kiddies (14 years and Under) will start tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. at the Robinson Cyber gate  Event Center. The format is 7 rounds Swiss with a time control of 15 minutes plus two-second increments.
Prizes are P3,000 plus trophy, P2,000 and P1,000 to the top three placers, while the best female finisher gets P500.
The Open category will follow on Nov. 3 and has the same format and time control as the Kiddies.
Prizes are P4,000 plus trophy, P3,000, P2,000 for the top three placers and P500 for the top lady finisher.
Registration is P150 for the kiddies and P200 for the Open event. For details, contact 09336642958.
On Nov. 7 and 8, the B.C. Hortelano Open will be held at Deep Blue in SM. The format is seven rounds Swiss with a time control of 25 minutes plus 5-second increment. Registration is P150.
Prizes are P3,000, P2,000,P1,000 for the top three placers and those who make the top 20 will also get cash prizes.
For details contact Marvin Ruelan at 09267352951.
World Championship. Watch out for the world championship match between champion Vishy Anand of India and Magnus Carlsen of Norway, which will start Nov. 9 in Chennai ,India.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pestaño: Physically-challenged players

Thursday, October 24, 2013

WHATEVER your status in life, do not be discouraged. Take note of the classic line, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw one who had no feet.”
Physically challenged chess players fall into three classes--the blind,deaf and those with problems in their musculoskeletal system, some of whom are afflicted with Lou Gehrig disease. It is a disorder where one has difficulty moving and talking ,even breathing.
The International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) is an organization for blind or visually-impaired chess players. The IBCA was formed in 1948 by Reginald Walter Bonham. Today, it has over 50 member nations around the world. The IBCA hosts two major competitions: the Blind Chess Olympiad and the Blind Team World Cup.
The International Committee on Silent Chess (ICSC) was founded in 1949 in Denmark. It organizes the World Individual tournaments for deaf men and women, team and continental championships.
Last Sept. 28, Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov communicated in sign language in his opening remarks to 170 participants in the 15th ICSC Championship in Kazakhstan, which impressed his audience.
In the 2012 in Istanbul the blind placed 44th, the deaf 77th and the Physically disabled (IPCA) 93rd among 157 teams in the men’s division. In the women’s section, IPCA placed 67th, ICSC 85th and IBCA 90th among 127 teams.
A young boy who is making waves is Poland’s Lucasz Novak , who can only move his head
Indonesia Open. GM Utut Adianto,the best player Indonesia has ever produced was elected senator in 2009, not a mean feat considering that Indonesia is not known as a chess playing country.
This should serve as an inspiration for our Eugene Torre that he is a sure bet to be a senator should he be interested, considering that the Philippines has one of the highest percentage of chess players in the world.
If movie actors and other celebrities, whose intelligence are the butt of jokes, can get elected, then Eugene, who is a legend not only here but worldwide, surely can.
In just its third edition, the Indonesia Open has already established itself as the premier international chess event in Southeast Asia and is one of the top tournaments in Asia with prizes totaling $100,000. I am sure that Adianto is mainly responsible for this.
Despite the presence of most of our top players, except Wesley So, our performance was a disaster. The best placer was Darwin Laylo at 25th and Oliver Barbosa at 28th.
Alexey Dreev snared the first prize of $20,000. Alexander Moiseenko was second and Nigel Short third. Antoaneta Stefanova won the women’s category, taking home $3,000.
One hundred and eight played, including 38 GMs and 21 IMs from Oct. 9-18.
Cepca. Maggi Dionson, Peterson Sia and Romy Pialan tied for first with four points in our monthly tournament at Handuraw Pizza Lahug but Maggi was declared winner via tiebreak.
Since Maggi and Peterson already qualified for the grand finals, Romy became the qualifier for October.
Maggi is a geodetic engineer, real estate broker and appraiser and PRC-accredited real estate reviewer, lecturer and speaker.
New members of the club are Jimmy Te, 27, a civil engineering graduate of Eastern Visayas University in Tacloban and like most Cepca members, started to play at a very young age.
Romy Pialan is a registered electrical engineer and also a chess trainer.
Mark Philip Caburubias is a licensed electronic engineer and a graduate of Eastern Visayas University. He is currently working at Lear Corporation in Mepza II as a Hardware Development Engineer.
Carlo Maraat is a CPA working at the Department of Budget and Management Region 7.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pestaño: Machines that play chess in pre-PC era

Thursday, October 17, 2013

BEFORE the advent of chess computers, there were also chess playing “machines” in the 18th and 19th centuries. The most famous were the “Turk”, ”Ajeeb” and “Mephisto.”
The Turk was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate hoax.
Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen to impress the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent.
The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. It played and defeated many challengers, including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin.
Napoleon was one of the world’s worst losers and, true to form, he tried to cheat the machine by making illegal moves, He also tried to upset the machine with an enormous magnet. Despite these efforts , he was soundly beaten and it is reported he threw the chessmen off the board and stormed out of the room shouting “Bagatelle.”
Another celebrated automaton was Ajeeb, constructed by Englishman Charles Alfred Hooper in the 1860s. Among its famous opponents whom it soundly defeated were the critic John Ruskin, the later King Edward VII, the Princess of Wales and Prince Leopold.
Peter Hill, one of Ajeeb’s operators, was twice attacked. A lady stabbed him with a hairpin and an angry Westerner shot him,wounding Hill on the shoulder.
Among the celebrities who played Ajeeb were Admiral Dewey, Teddy Roosevelt, Houdini, Sarah Bernhardt and O’Henry.
The third of the famous automatons was Mephisto, constructed by Charles Gumpel. Unlike Ajeeb and the Turk, the operator was in an adjacent room. The moves were transmitted electro-mechanically.
Mehisto participated in tournaments and even founded its own chess club.
Cepca results. Our lady journalist KC Morala sent in this report.
“NM Merben Roque and Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano finished tied for the top in the 23rd Cepca Chess Anniversary Open held in SM City Cebu Entertainment Center last Oct. 12 and 13.
Roque defeated eight opponents before losing in the final round against Eden Diano in the nine-round tournament.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sevillano wrapped up an astounding victory against Rogelio Enriquez, Jr. in the last round to finish with a tie with his former USC coach Roque at eight points.
Having beaten the chess prodigy in the sixth round, Roque secured his champion’s trophy and won P7,000 while Kyle settled for P5,000 and another P700 for winning the Kiddies section.
Diano was solo third placer at 7.5 points.
The rest of the top 20 were Richard Natividad, Bryll Arellano, Edsel Montoya, Ramil Wadim, Leonardo Alidani, Rogelio Enriquez, Jr, Joel Pacuribot, Glicerio Pardillo, Jr., Yves Fiel, Erwin Ababat, Felix Shaun Balbona, Bonn Tibod, Mark Mangubat, Michael Pinar, Allan Pason, Mark Sy, and Michael Pagaran.
Top Cepcans were Carlo Maraat, Peterson Sia and Jimmy Ty, Jr., while Leonardo Alidani, Erwin Ababat and Carlos Moreno III were the Top Seniors. Yves Fiel, Felix Shaun Balbona, and Allan Pason were the top juniors players and Laila Nadera, Airene Robillos and Quennie Cablao were the top ladies players.
This event was sponsored by Cepca and Rose Pharmacy Inc. A total of 156 players took part in the tournament.”
Cepca honorary member Mayor Mike Rama was the guest of honor and gave an inspirational talk.
Monthly tournament. Our tournament for October will be this Sunday at 1 pm in Handuraw Lahug.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pestaño: A chess playing dog?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

WHAT? Believe it or not, a dog was once entered in a chess tournament in London. This is a true story, so read on.
Before the war, the most prestigious chess club in England was the Brighton Chess Club. One of its members was an aristocratic lady, Mrs. Sidney, who always brought
with her her inseparable companion,a dog affectionately called Mick.
The club members met and played in the elite Royal Pavilion built for George IV while he was Prince Regent and one of the strict rules was that no dogs were allowed.
The club secretary, fearful of the old crone’s wrath, pretended not to notice her canine companion and tolerated its presence. The other members of the club also did not object.
However, a new secretary was appointed and insisted to Mrs. Sidney that her dog must not be allowed to enter the club’s premises. There was an exchange of harsh words from the old crone and eventually a compromise was agreed upon. Mick was to be elected a full member but Mrs. Sidney must pay the membership fee and annual dues.
Sometime later, the club was scheduled to play a friendly match with another chess club. The team captain noticing a new member on the list, Mr. Mick, decided to include
him in the team to give him some match experience.
The result? Mr. Mick lost on time and the story goes that his opponent was an expert on the Collie System, not knowing that his opponent would be a dog. This true story comes from the book, the Complete Chess Addict.
Battle of GMs. John Paul Gomez and Woman International Master elect Janelle Mae Frayna dominated their divisions in the 2013 Battle of Grandmasters which ended last Monday at the Philippine Sports Commission Conference Room.
Here are the final scores: Men’s division. Gomez, Barbosa (30 points), Laylo (26.5); Antonio (25.5), Barcenilla (22.5), Paragua (21.5), Pimentel, Bitoon, E. Senador, Torre (18), Nava, Salcedo III (16.5), Reyes (7.5), Habla (4.5).
WOMEN: Frayna (34.5), Enriquez, Perena (27.0), Mendoza (25.5), Docena, Mejia (21.0), Mendoza, A. Lozano, L. Bermundo, B. Galas (18.0), R. Jose (15.0), Romero (11.0), Cabrera (4.5).
Gomez and Barbosa split the combined prize of P240,000 for the top two finishers. Laylo snared P75,000, while Antonio won P50,000 and Barcenilla P40,000.
In the women’s play, Frayna went home with the top prize of P50,000.
The event used the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. where a win is equivalent to three points, a draw is 1.5 points and a loss is zero. A stalemate is 2.0 for the last player to make a move and 1.0 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Cepca tournament. One of the biggest tournaments for this year is the 23rd cepca Open, on Oct. 12 and 13 at SM City in the Entertainment Center at 1030 a.m.
Format will be nine rounds Swiss with a time control of 25 minutes plus 5-second increments. Registration is P200 and P100 for kiddies and ladies at site.
Total prizes is P32,000 with P7,000 going to the champion plus trophy. There will be prizes up to 20th place.
Special prizes will also be awarded to the top 3 winners in the Senior category (50 above),Juniors (16-20), Ladies,Kiddies (15 below) and children (10 years and under) and also the top three Cepca members.
Major sponsors are Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy, Julie`s Bakeshop ,Jemar Engineering services and a host of Cepca members.
For more info please contact: Marvin Ruelan(09267352951) or Jun Olis (09232629642).