Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pestaño: How to play like an animal

Thursday, January 30, 2014

YOU can play like an animal in chess. Unknown to many, including chess players, there are dozens of chess openings named after animals.
Many are silly, and not for serious tournament play. Some are actually good opening moves, like the Wolf, and the Pelican, which are both variations of the Sicilian.
Chess is already fun but can sometimes get serious so it’s nice to have a break from all the studying and just play like an animal.
Do you want to play like an Elephant (1…a6 2…h6)? Or Kangaroo (1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+)? Maybe Mongoose (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Qa5)? There’s a chess opening called the Orangutan (1.b4). The Bird is another chess opening and starts with f4 and is played quite often at high levels.
Here are some animal chess openings: Bullfrog ,Chameleon, Clam, Crab, Dragon, Fox, Giraffe, Gorilla, Halibut, Hawk, Hedgehog, Hippopotamus, Kingfisher, Lion, Lizard, Lobster, Mad Dog, Monkey, Mustang, Polar Bear, Porcupine, Scorpion, Pterodactyl, Rat ,Snake , Snail, Tortoise, Vulture, Wasp, Whale, Wild Bull. There are many more.
Wesley So. Since the end of 2013, when Wesley was rated at 2719 (no. 30 in the world), he has improved considerably to a live rating of 2737 (no.19 ) after a great performance in the Pan-Am where he led Webster University to first place in the World Series of Chess with six straight wins in Board 1.
In the just-concluded Tata Steel Masters in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands, considered the strongest and most difficult in his career, he had a satisfactory result and finished tied at fourth to sixth although he was seeded no.9 in the 12 player category 20 A group.
The players were Levon Aronian (2803), Hikaru Nakamura (2786), Fabiano Caruana (2782), Gelfand Boris (2777), Karjakin Sergey (2756), Dominguez Leinier (2754), Naiditsch Arkadij (2737), Giri Anish (2734), So (2719), Harikrishna Pentala (2708), Richard Rapport (2687), Van Wely Loek (2678).
Wesley won over Rapport, Van Wely and Naiditsch and lost to Aronian and Dominguez . The rest were draws.
Aronian was the runaway winner and was also a three-time winner here (2007, 2008, and 2012).
Major tournaments. The line-up in the 2014 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, which started yesterday, is the strongest Open tournament this year with over 60 GMs, nine of which are 2700+ and 16 over 2600. A total of 60 different federations are participating across all five sections.
Confirmed entries in the Masters section include Mickey Adams, Gata Kamsky, Vassily Ivanchuk, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Nigel Short and 2013 Gibraltar Masters winner, Nikita Vitiugov.
A strong women’s contingent is headed by Anna Muzychuk (2566), Zhao Xue (2565) winner of the top female prize in 2013, Pia Cramling (2520), Marie Sebag (2510), Zhongyi Tan (2510), Viktorija Cmilyte (2506) and 2012 Women’s World Championship runner-up Antoaneta Stefanova (2494).
Another big tournament, The Zurich Chess Challenge, will start today. Six of the world’s strongest players will participate, including the new world champion Magnus Carlsen, Aronian, U.S. no. 1 Nakamura and former world champion Vishy Anand.
With an average rating of 2801 this will be the strongest tournament in history with a category rating of 23, the first and only! Gelfand and Caruana complete the field.
A blitz tournament will determine the playing color on the first day. Five rounds of classical chess will then be played in the next five days. On the last day, a rapid format will be played with reversed colors.
The Zurich Chess Club is the organizer and host of this unique event, which is sponsored by Oleg Skvortsov.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pestaño: Chess horoscope

Thursday, January 23, 2014

ALMOST all major newspaper in the world has a horoscope section, attesting to its popularity .
No scientific studies have shown support for the accuracy of horoscopes and Sun.Star Cebu also cautions their readers not to take them seriously as it is just for fun.
I examined the zodiac signs of the top chess players in the world, past and present, including selected Cepca members. Here are their horoscopes.
ARIES. March 21-April 19 (Korchnoi, Smyslov, Portisch, Kasparov, Najdorf, Mamedyarov, Susan Polgar, Humpy, Maggi Dionson, Gino Tequillo, Jun Olis) Aries players are not afraid to experiment with new moves. However , they are sometimes entangled with petty quarrels over the chess board.
TAURUS. April 20 - May 20 (Spielmann, Steinitz, Euwe,Miles ,Nunn, kosteniuk, Cramling, Joe Atillo). Those born under the Taurus sign are ideal opponents as they are good losers .They are also reliable, forbearing and pragmatic.
GEMINI. -May 21 - June 20 (Karpov, Reti, Short, Kamsky, Petrosian, Euwe, Svidler,
Marvynne Guardiana, Chessmoso, Jerry Maratas)- Those bearing the Gemini zodiac can play any kind of opening. They are Inquisitive but are also easily distracted.
CANCER. -June 21 - July 22 (Bird, Benko, Gelfand, Anderssen, Morphy ,Kramnik, Morozevich)- People bearing the Cancer sign care for other players and make them ideal club members . They are compassionate but are unable to let go of past mistakes.
LEO. July 23 - Aug. 22 (Judit Polgar, Marshall, Botvinnik, Caruana, Gabi Misterio, Jun Kidlat, Edmund Suralta)- The Leo is willing to teach and help you improve your game. Creative, although biased.
VIRGO. Aug. 23 - Sept. 22 (Philidor, Zukertort, Koltanowski, Leko) Those born under the Virgo zodiac are so reserved that it is hard even to play some practice games in their spare time .They are also kindhearted and faithful but too critical and very shy.
LIBRA. Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 (Fine, Rubinstein, Ehlvest, Aronian, Wesley So, Ben Dimaano)- Libras are active people who like to play everyday . They are Gregarious, impartial and tactful but are prone to a wishy-washy attitude.
SCORPIO -Oct 23 - Nov 21 (Alekhine, Nimzovich, Tal, Tchigorin, Capablanca, Grischuk, Adams, Eugene Torre, Ruel Hortelano, Serge Borres,Jojo Muralla)- Self-motivated, they are ideal officers of any chess club. They are ingenious, sincere but also envious and sarcastic.
SAGITTARIUS. Nov. 22 - Dec. 21 (Reshevsky, Pillsbury, Blackburne, Timman, Anand,Carlsen,Nakamura)- The optimistic Sagittarius is always in good spirits even if they lose most of their games. They are blunt to the point of being crass.
CAPRICORN. Dec. 23 - Jan. 19 (Keres, Browne, Em Lasker, Teichmann, chiburddanidze, Karjakin, Lahno, Ronald Galindo, Jimmy Ty, Percival Fiel, Marvin Ruelan, Caesar Fernandez, Rey Flores ). The pragmatic Capricorn can sense at once whether a new move will work. They are dependable and good leaders. They also have a tendency to be snobby smart-alecks and pessimistic.
AQUARIUS. Jan. 20 - Feb. 18 (Spassky, Mecking, Reinfeld, Chernev, Loyd, Gligoric, Taimanov, Bronstein, Felix Balbona)- Those born under the Aquarius sign are so unpredictable that it is impossible to know what chess opening they will play.. They are broad-minded, self-reliant and philanthropic . They are also uncomfortable with tense positions.
PISCES. Feb. 19 to March 20 (Bronstein, Tartakower, Mieses, Schlechter, Geller, Maroczy, Tarrasch, Fischer, Larsen, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Hou Yifan, Muzychuk). Pisceses have an unrivalled talent in making tactical moves and are perceptive and sensible.
They are also easily depressed.
Cepca. Our tournament for January is this Sunday at Handuraw at 1 p.m.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pestaño: More gory crimes by chess players

Thursday, January 16, 2014

WHOEVER said chess is a harmless sport is talking through his nose.
In my article last week I narrated an incident in China where a man murdered his best friend and then killed himself so they could play chess in the afterlife.
Another gruesome case happened this week in Dublin, Ireland. Tom O’Gorman, 39, was found dead with a badly mutilated body in a pool of blood last Tuesday.
A post-mortem examination on the body of O’Gorman discovered that one of the victim’s lungs had been removed in the horrific attack.
Originally from Palermo in Sicily, the suspect, Saverio Bellante, 34, has been living in Ireland for the past two-and-a-half years working for a pharmaceutical company in Dublin. He is renting a room in the victim’s house.
He admitted the killing after an argument over a chess game and in his anger, bit his heart.
The suspect, who was arrested at the scene, told the police that O’Gorman asked him to leave the house following an argument over a chess move and he agreed to do so.
However, O’Gorman was then attacked and stabbed with a kitchen knife a number of times but managed to fight off .He was then beaten several times over the head with a dumbbell.
There were a number of stab wounds to the body and blunt-force trauma to the head. The chest cavity had been opened with a knife.
A source said: “The victim’s heart was intact but the post mortem confirms that a lung was removed from the body and has not been located.”
Police have said some of the details of O’Gorman’s death and the circumstances of the arrest of Mr Bellante are too horrific to release.
Detective Patrick Traynor told the court that when charged and cautioned last Tuesday, the defendant replied: “I am guilty.”
Here are some specific examples of violence related to chess posted in, my favorite website.
In January 1979, Patrick McKenna, a prisoner in Nevada, strangled his Las Vegas cellmate, Jack J. Nobles, after an argument over a chess game. McKenna has been on death row in Nevada since 1979.
In 1989, a Russian scientist killed another colleague with an axe after losing a chess game at the Vostok Research Station in the Antarctic. Russia has since then banned chess from being played in their research station.
In 1994, Martin Wirth of Fort Collins, Colorado, shot to death Vernie Cox after the two argued over a chess game. Cox died of two gunshot wounds to the chest.
Witnesses said that Wirth had lost a chess game with Cox, knocked over the chess board and some furniture, then began to argue with his opponent.
Wirth then went across the street to his home and returned with a gun and shot Cox to death.
In 2001, Christopher Newton murdered his cellmate, Jason Brewer, over a game of chess in an Ohio prison.
In 2003, Simon Andrews of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, stabbed to death Jerry Kowalski during a chess game
In January 2008, Zachary Lucov was playing chess with Dennis Klien in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, when a scuffle broke out. Luco pulled out a gun and Klein was shot in the elbow. Lucov was arrested for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
There are many other incidents of chess violence.
Wesley So. After the third round, Wesley is tied for the lead with Levon Aronian of Armenia, Hikaru Nakamura of the US, Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Pentala Harikrishna of India and Anish Giri of the Netherlands with two points apiece.
Wesley won against Richard Rapport and drew his two games against Nakamura and Arkadi Naidistch.
Rated 2719, he has a performance rating so far in this tournament with 2858 and has improved to no.20 in the world live ratings at 2734.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pestaño: Man kills self to play chess in afterlife

Thursday, January 9, 2014

THE basic instinct of man is survival. However, since the 1950s the suicide rate has almost tripled for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Self-harm now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.
Suicide is a major worldwide epidemic, taking the lives of more than one million people a year, according to the World Health Organisation.
The common link among people who kill themselves is the belief that suicide is the only solution to a set of overwhelming feelings. The attraction of suicide is that it will finally end these unbearable feelings. There are some exceptions though.
In general, people try to kill themselves for several reasons. Depression is the most common. Psychosis, and those who are impulsive and aggravated by drugs, are also major factors.
There are also some who have a philosophical reason to die like terminal illness.
They want to control their own destiny and are neither depressed nor psychotic.
There are also altruistic reasons like the kamikaze pilots of Japan, the suicide bombers and the self-immolations among Buddhists and Hindus.
Another unique reason is nararated in this story last week.
Two men in their 50s were found dead in Jinhua, China .One had been strangled and the other had consumed pesticide.
The younger man, surnamed Liao, had left two suicide notes, saying that he was lonely and wanted to have someone to play chess with in the afterlife.
The first suicide note talked about his family. He got divorced more than 10 years ago, and his daughter refused to see him or talk on the phone.
The second suicide note was brief, and said he wanted his best friend to die with him so that they could play chess together in the afterworld.
Some said that the two men won’t be playing chess together, because Liao would be in hell and Ju would be in heaven.
Here are some famous masters who committed suicide.
Curt von Bardeleben was a German master, journalist, and member of the German nobility who committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1924.
Josef Cukierman was a Russian master who committed suicide in 1941.
Carl Theodor Goering was a German professor, philosopher and chess master who died in 1879.
Karen Grigorian was from Armenia and jumped from the highest bridge in Yerevan in 1989.
Norman Willem van Lennep was from Holland who killed himself by jumping into the North Sea, at the age of 25.
Lembit Oll was an Estonian grandmaster. Oll, who fell into severe depression after he divorced. He committed suicide by jumping out of the fifth-floor window of his house in 1999.
Rudolf Swiderski was from Germany who committed suicide shortly after his 31st birthday, allegedly because he could not face an operation.
Alvis Vtolis was a Latvian master. He committed suicide by jumping onto the frozen ice of the Gauja river from a railway bridge in 1997.
Former national sub-junior champion and four-time state champion IM Sankar Roy,36, was found hanging at his residence in Tala Park in North Kolkata last May 9,2012 .A suicide note was found in the room.
Jessie Gilbert, 19, downed a cocktail of drinks with a friend before apparently throwing herself from her room last July 26, 2006 during a chess tournament.
The child chess prodigy who plunged to her death from an eighth floor hotel window was depressed as her father was on trial for raping her.
Another story is that the death was accidental after her friends revealed that she had suffered from sleepwalking since childhood. Her mother though insisted that her daughter took her own life. She spoke out after the inquest into the 19-year old’s death.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pestaño: World youth championship

Thursday, January 2, 2014

THE 2013 World Youth Chess Championships were held last Dec. 17-29 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Aside from the world championship, this was the biggest and most important tournament in the Fide calendar.
A total of 1,773 players from 121 countries competed. Including the parents, guardians, coaches and media, the total participants exceeded 3,000 and that strained the logistics of the organizers.
India and China won three gold medals each, but the Indian players also bagged two silver and three bronze medals. We sent 12 of our best players in all categories but we did not win a single medal and some withdrew before the end of the tournament.
Other gold medal winners were Russia, United States, Canada, Armenia, Iran and Greece.
The winners are: U18 (boys)- IM Idani Pouya (2483) 8.5, GM Anton Guijarro David (2558) 8.0 and GM VaibhavSuri (2544) 8.0. In the U18 girls, the winners are - WFM Tomnikova Lidia (2167), 8.5, WGM Ziaziulkina Nastassia (2354) 8.5 and WIM Ibrahimova Sabina (2205) 8.5. Frayna Janelle Mae of the Philippines withdrew from the competition.
In the under 16 category the winners are IM Karthikeyan Murali (2431), 9.0, FM Girish A. Koushik (2413) 9.0 and FM Alekseenko Kirill (2445) 8.0 in the boys division and Gu Tianlu (2128), 9.0, WIM Nicolas Zapata Irene (2237) 8.5 and WGM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat (2298) 8.5 in the girls side. The Philippines bet Shania Mae Mendoza was at No. 23 with seven points.
In the under 14 category Li Di of China (2091) topped the boys side with 9.5 points, while Tsolakidou Stavroula (2132) of Greece won the girls title with 9.0 points.
Samantila Daryl Unix of the Philippines withdraw from the girsl competition.
In the Under 21 division, Hakobyan Aram (2015) won the boys title with 9.5, while Shengxin Zhao (1753) won the girls crown with 9.5.
In the under 10 category, FM Liang Awonder (2246) of the US won the boys crown with 10 points and WCM Salonika Saina (1642) of India got the girls title with 9.0. Again, the Philippines bet Mary Joy Tan withdrew from the event.
In the under 8 category, FM Praggnanandhaa (1852) got the boys title with 11.0, while the Philippines Michael Concio finished at No. 49 with 6.5 points. WCM Zhu Harmony got the girls title with 9.0, while Filipina Jerlyn Mae San Diego was at No. 46 with 6 points.
World No. 30 Wesley So Wesley (2719) will be playing in the A group of the 76th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, which will take place from Jan. 10 to 26, in Wijkaan Zee, The Netherlands. This is his biggest tournament ever and his greatest test.
This is the most prestigious tournament in professional chess and an invitation to the A group is like an invitation to the White House.
The other players rated higher than Wesley are Armenian Levon Aronian (2803) , rated second in the world, American Hikaru Nakamura (2786, 4th), Italian Fabiano Caruana (2782, 7th), Israeli Boris Gelfand (2777, 8th), Russian Sergey Kariakin (2756, 12th), Cuban Leinier Dominguez (2754, 14th), German Arkadi Naiditsch (2737, 18th) and Dutch Anish Giri (2734, 20th).
Also in the tournament are Indian PentalaHarikrishna (2708, 42nd), Hungarian Richard Rapport (2687, 58th), and Dutch Loek Van Wely (2678, 69th).
The average rating of the players is 2743, a category 20 tournament.