Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pestaño: Felixberto Balbona—pure chess lover

FELIX, 56, was a soft-spoken man and in all the years we have been together, I’ve never heard him raise his voice. I admired him because he was kind, generous and he was a pillar of strength to our club.
Not once did he refuse my request for financial assistance to some of our tournaments and I’ve never heard him complain about anything. In fact, he was one of only a few members, who received an award in our Silver anniversary, despite not being a founder nor a past president of the club.
I met him 25 years ago when I organized a team tournament with the help of the late National Master Ben Macapaz, who was the tutor of all his children on chess.
The team tournament was composed of players of the same profession and Felix was the leader of the CPAs together with another Cepca member, now based in the USA, Susan Itaas. My team of chemical engineers included Bob Inocian and Pablito Argamosa. I also recall two lawyer teams composed of Alex Tolentino, Damaso Uy and Bebs Andales (presently a councilor of Cebu City).
Felix raised all of his children to be chess players like him because he had the firm belief that playing the game on a regular basis from early childhood will improves the learning, thinking, analytical power, and decision-making ability of the child and it is extremely helpful in brain development.
He has been proven right. All of his children—Jessa, Felix Shaun, Marq Gabriel, John Francis and James Andrew—are scholars, disciplined, well-behaved and confident. Jessa is also a CPA like Felix. She graduated cum laude and is presently connected with the prestigious accounting and management firm Sycip, Gorres and Velayo.
Felix’s life was taken away from us too soon and it is hard to understand why tragic things like this happen to such good people. However, this is a question without an answer and we should not dwell on the loss of our dear friend, a husband and father. Even though he may be gone, his memory will live on in all the members of Cepca and all the chess players in Cebu forever.
It is incredibly sad that his life ended so soon and I cannot put into words how much I will miss him. Felix, I appreciate your friendship and will never forget you.
Our esteemed president, Jerry Maratas says, “I am deeply saddened by his sudden passing. He was a pure chess lover that even with his last breath, he was playing the sport that he really loved. But more than that, he was such a good and humble family man. He was a great loss to Cepca. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his bereaved family,”
Jun Olis also said, "He was just playing the game he cherished and loved most, when suddenly death appeared uninvited and in a most shocking fashion, struck with blinding swiftness. Just like a thief in the night, catching everyone unaware and unprepared, We have lost one of the club's pillar of strength - a kind, generous, unassuming and dedicated family man." 
If you visit an on-going big chess tournament, you can immediately feel the tension in the air. A study of top level chess shows that the players have elevated blood pressure and experience a lot of stress.
Felix is not the only one nor will he be the last. Vladimir Bagirov (64), Efim Bogoljubov (63), Jose Capablanca (53), Ed Edmondson, Forry Laucks, Paul Leonhardt (57), Frank Marshall (67), Cecil Purdy of Australia (73) , Vladimir Simagin (49), Johann Zukertort (44), Gideon Stahlberg (59), and Herman Steiner (50) all died while playing chess or just finishing a chess game. NM Ben Macapaz that I mentioned earlier died while on a chess simul exhibition last year at Timex, Mactan.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pestaño: One big tournament after another

LAST weekend marked the end of a great tournament --the London Chess Classic. The tournament was the third and final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, a newly formed circuit of three premier chess events organized by former World Champion Gary Kasparov.
Here are the final scores: 1.) Magnus Carlsen (5.5), 2.) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (5.5), 3.) Anish Giri (5.5), 4.) Levon Aronian (5.) 5-7.) Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana, Michael Adams (4.5), 8.) Hikaru Nakamura (4), 9.) Viswanathan Anand (3.5), 10.) Veselin Topalov (2.5).
In addition to the tournament win, Magnus also clinched the top place in the Grand Chess Tour with a total of 26 points, three points ahead of his nearest rival, Anish Giri. Magnus finished another year as the best chess player in the world.
Qatar Open. The 2nd Qatar Masters Open 2015 just got bigger and better and will be the strongest Open chess tournament in history. Reigning world champion and world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen is playing together with this amazing cast--Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin and other 2700+ giants. Wesley So is also playing!
It starts tomorrow and will end on Dec. 30, so the players will be spending Christmas there. The hefty prize fund is $130,000, with $27,000 for the first prize men’s division and $8,000 for the first prize of the women’s division. There will also be appearance fees for the top players.
Tata Steel. The 78th edition of the Tata Steel Chess 2016, also known as the Wimbledon of chess, will take place from Jan. 15 to 31 2016 in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands. The participants are Magnus Carlsen (2850), Fabiano Caruana (2787), Ding Liren (2781) Anish Giri (2778), Wesley So (2767), Sergey Karjakin (2766) Michael Adams (2744), Shakhryar Mamedyarov (2743), Wei Yi (2737), David Navara (2730) Hou Yifan (2683) and Loek van Wely (2632.)
With an average rating of 2750, the top tournament once again has a strong field of participants. All eyes will be on the new sensation, Wei Yi from China, who is only 16. He won the Tata Steel Challengers in 2015, thus obtaining a slot in this year’s Masters. He is already on the threshold of the world’s top 20. Wei Yi’s countrywoman and the world’s strongest female player, Hou Yifan, will participate in the main tournament for the third time.
It is also interesting how Wesley will perform here.
Pacquiao Random team. The second Manny Pacquiao Random Chess Team Championship, which offers a total cash prize of P1.5 million pesos, started yesterday at Gen. Santos City.
Pacquiao will be giving away P400,000 for the winner in the team event . The second placer gets P220,000 and the third placer earns P130,000.There are roughly 300 players in 74 teams.
In the individual event, the winner will take home P50,000, while the second and third placers will win P30,000 and P20,000 respectively. 
Cepca grand finals. The grand finals of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (CEPCA) tournament will be held at Handuraw Pizza along Gorordo Avenue this Sunday . The club’s Christmas party will follow after the tournament.
Among those who will see action in the ‘Battle of Champions’ are two-time grand champion Jimmy Ty Jr., Rey Flores, Arnold Cadiz, Tony Cabibil, Amado Olea Jr., Carlo Maraat, Stein Torres, Jojo Muralla, Peterson Sia, Rogelio Enriquez, Ross Yamyamin, and Martin Kwan for Group A.
The other qualifiers as champions in Group B are Regelito Hortelano, Ruel Hortelano, Jun Kidlat, Elmer Odango, Jerry Maratas, Felix Balbona, Mike Tinga, Jojo Paredes, Jessa Balbona, Michael Ventulan, Edwin Cablao, and Romy Pialan. There will also be a tournament among the non-qualifiers with some invited ladies varsity players and gifted kiddies.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pestaño: US imposes sanctions on Fide president

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been checkmated. Following the furor of the Paris bombings, the reactions has spread across the globe with France, United Kingdom, Canada ,Germany and Russia joining the airstrikes against the Islamic State and .
It has spread to the world of chess as well. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was put on a US sanctions list on Nov. 25 for providing support to the Syrian government. This means that any assets he has in the US are to be frozen and US citizens are prohibited from having any dealings with him.
Following a unanimous decision by the Fide presidential board, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has stepped down temporarily as Fide president. For the moment, Fide deputy president Georgios Makropoulos is the acting president. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is no longer representing the World Chess Federation. This decision was taken during a three-hour presidential board meeting in the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens last week.
“Following the announcement by the US Department of the Treasury that the US levied sanctions against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a Russian citizen and Fide President, Mr. Ilyumzhinov has informed the presidential board that he will withdraw from any legal, financial and business operations of Fide until such time as Mr. Ilyumzhinov is removed from the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list,” Nigel Freeman, Executive Director of FIDE, wrote on the Fide website.
“Mr. Ilyumzhinov advised that he has initiated legal procedures in the US aiming to request additional information and reverse restrictive measures put by the US Department of the Treasury,” Freeman said in his statement. “During the next Presidential Board meeting, Mr. Ilyumzhinov will update the Board as to the progress of the legal procedures.”
“The aim is to protect the good name of the organization,” said Zurab Azmaiparashvili, the Continental President for Europe, to “He has the moral right to individually fight for his rights, when he is accused. It’s better for him to do that and not be the Fide President at the same time.”
The decision did not come as a surprise to the Fide Board members, said Azmaiparashvili, who attended the meeting in Athens . “We expected it. It’s a hard decision but it’s the right decision.”
Restrictive measures against Ilyumzhinov were introduced because he was “materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the Government of Syria, Central Bank of Syria, Adib Mayaleh, and Batoul Rida”, the US Department of Treasury said in a statement. He has been linked to financial transactions involving companies associated with another sanctioned person – Syrian businessman, Mudalal Khuri – since 1997, the statement said.
The announcement implies that the Syrian government is actually trading with its biggest enemy on the ground, buying oil from its own refineries, which fell into Islamic State’s hands.
$50 billion. Ilyumzhinov denies the charge and claimed his only contact with Syria was in his role as head of FIDE. Ilyumzhinov also said yesterday he would seek $50 billion in damages from the United States over his addition to a blacklist for alleged ties to the Syrian regime.
“I consider that these accusations are either a mistake or a provocation,” Ilyumzhinov told Russia’s Sport-Express newspaper.
This isn’t the first time 53-year-old Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has found himself at the focal point of world events. In 2003 he visited Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the Iraq War, while in 2011 he was one of the foreign guests of visit Colonel Gaddafi. Libya later faced bombardment by American and other allied forces.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pestaño: fetes GM Antonio

THE London Chess Classic tournament, the last in this year’s Grand Chess Tour, starts today in Kensington, London and ends on Dec. 13.
The Grand Chess Tour was created with one goal in mind: to have a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players.
The 2015 Tour is a partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup), Tower AS (Norway Chess 2015) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). The legendary Garry Kasparov inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers.
Each of the three 2015 Grand Chess Tour events will award individual prize funds of $300,000, with competitors also tallying points toward a tour prize fund of $150,000. The overall tour champion will receive an additional $75,000. The total prize fund for the circuit is $1,050,000.
There are nine participants, who are the same entries in each event, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The wild card in London is Michael Adams.
The tournament has seven of the top 10 players as of the December FIDE rating list, and the world No.s 11, 17 and 20. The first leg of the Grand Chess Tour, Norway Chess, was won by Veselin Topalov. The second tournament in the series, the Sinquefield Cup, was won by Levon Aronian.
The time control for each tournament in the Tour is 40 moves in two hours, followed by the rest of the game in 1 hour with a 30-second increment from move 41.
Here are the earnings after two legs among the participants: Topalov ($90,000), Aronian ($90,000), Nakamura ($80,000), Anand ($65,000), Carlsen ($55,000), Giri ($55,000), Lagrave ($50,000), Caruana ($40,000), Grischuk ($35,000).
The wild card entry in Norway Jon Ludwig Hammer earned $15,000 while Wesley So also earned $15,000 as the wild card entry in Sinquefield.
Rogelio Antonio Jr. was awarded the GM title in 1993 and is affectionately known as GM Joey. He became the first player in the Philippines’ history to qualify for the World Cup in 2009 and also won the National Championship 13 times! Joey has also played in 10 Olympiads in Board 2 behind Torre. Joey’s tally in the Olympiad has never fallen below 50 percent and in 2000 at Istanbul, he scored 7/10 with a performance rating of 2682.
I am featuring him here because he was recently featured and interviewed in for having played 105,874 games in six years! Probably the most by any player in the world! Here is part of the interview.
Did you have any celebration when you got to 100,000 games? It will be much appreciated if you can give me recognition for the largest number of games in your site. I would like to add that I believe that I have the most numbers of checkmates.
Who are some of the biggest names you’ve beaten on Well I think GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA. I beat him three games and I lost two games in blitz. We also played two games over the board and they were both draws.
You’ve played with Eugenio Torre many times. What have you learned from him? Well I learned a lot from the icon of chess in the Philippines.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pestaño: Bleak future for Philippine chess

IN THE 60s,70s and even up to the 80s, we were the dominant chess playing country in Asia. The late Rodolfo Tan Cardoso was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1957, making him the first Asian IM and he also defeated Bobby Fischer.
We have Eugene Torre, the first Asian grandmaster and considered the strongest player in the 70s and 80s in Asia.
In 1988, the Philipines held its own against the best teams in the world in Greece – the best effort by the Filipinos in the history of the Chess Olympiad besting our 11th place finish in 1974 in Nice, France.
The Filipinos scored 33 points to edge China, Cuba, Argentina and Israel for seventh place behind eventual runaway champion Russia with 40.5 points and England (34.5), Netherlands (34.5), United States (34), Hungary(34) and Yugoslavia (33.5).
In the last Olympiad in Norway in 2014 we placed a disappointing 41st and would have placed 70th if not for the valiant effort by Eugene.That we are still relying on Eugene (age 64) up to this time and Joey Antonio (53) is a testament to the sorry state of chess in this country.
We recently had two international tournaments. The Philippine International Chess Championship from Nov. 9-14 and the PSC Puregold International Open from Nov. 16-24. The results showed why Pinoy players cannot compete with foreign players anymore.
Ukrainian GМ Vitaly Sivuk collected 7/9 points to emerge a solo winner with half point advantage ahead of the nearest followers. The second place was shared in a seven-way tie by GM Anton Demchenko (Russia), GM Anton Shomoev (Russia), GM Boris Savchenko (Russia), GM Abhijeet Gupta (India), GM Chakkravarthy J. Deepan (India), IM Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna (India) and GM Shanglei Lu (China), after the whole group finished the event with 6.5 points.
The best Pinoy player was Rolando Nolte, who only placed 12th. The Elo ratings of the winners are just in the 2500s, showing that these foreigners are just ordinary GMs.
Although Darwin Laylo placed third in the Puregold tournament, he was the only Pinoy in the top10 and one of only three in the top 20. Emmanuel Garcia (18th) and Joey Antonio (20th) were the others. The winner by an amazing 9.5/10 was Russian GM Boris Savchenko 2567, he finished 2.5 2 points better than Lu Shangli and Vitaly Sivuk.
There are no outstanding players among the younger generation. We can only go from bad to worst in international events. The next Olympiad will be in Baku, Azerbaijan next year and more disappointments are coming.
Europe. Aside from the chess Olympiads and the world championship, the next important major tournament is the European team championship primarily because the Europeans dominate the game.
Russia completely dominated the Championships, winning the gold medals in both men’s and women’s events.
In the final round of the men’s section, Russia tied the match against Hungary to complete the race with 15 points and take the winner’s trophy. This is Russia’s first gold in ETCC since 2007.
Two points behind the champions are Armenia, Hungary and France on the shared second place. Armenia won the silver medal via tiebreaker, while Hungary took the bronze.
Among the women, Russia defeated Germany, 3-1, and convincingly took the trophy with 17 points (from 18 possible). The silver medal went to Ukraine on 15 points and the bronze went to Georgia on 14 points.
World champion Magnus Carlsen, playing for Norway, played miserably and lost two games against Yannick Pelletier and Levon Aronian and had a draw with lowly rated Berg Hansen. He lost 18 Elo points in this tournament.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pestaño: The stars of tomorrow will come from India

THE World Youth Chess Championship is a major Fide event and is an annual competition for Boys and Girls 8-Under, 10-Under, 12-Under, 14-Under, 16-Under and 18-Under divisions. Historically, majority of the top players today started their careers in this event.
It was held in Porto Carras, Halkidiki, Greece, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6 and was one of the most massive Fide events with close to 1,700 participants from over 90 countries. The USA had 194 participants and Russia sent 180. Unfortunately, the Philippines did not participate, which is lamentable.
The players from India dominated the event, winning 11 medals, five of them gold. Russia and USA took four medals each, but none of them was a gold. Iran, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Germany, Greece, Uzbekistan and Vietnam had one gold medal each.
The gold medal winners are Mosadeghpour Masoud (2420) of Iran , WFM Mahalakshmi (2019) of Indeia, Vogel Roven of Germany, WIM Tsolakidou Stavroula (2279) of Greece, Vokhidov Shamsiddin (2336) of Uzbekistan, WFM Vaishali (2314) of India, CM Muradli Mahammad (2121) of Azerbaijan, WFM Salimova Nurgyul (2144) of Bulgaria, FM Praggnanandhaa (2077) of India, Rakshitta Ravi (1516) of India, Bharath Subramaniyam of India and WCM Nguyen Le Cam Hien of Vietnam.
Caruana and Yifan. Fabiano Caruana defeated the favorite Hikaru Nakamura in their showdown at the scholastic Center of St,Louis, 10-8, while In the undercard, Hou Yifan easily wrapped up her annihilation of Parimarjan Negi,11-7, with a dominating performance in random chess.
The exhibition matches includes two games of Basque chess at 90 minutes per game, Four 20-minute Fischer Random (Chess 960) , four 15-minute rapid chess and eight three-minute Blitz Chess matchs.
In Basque chess, players compete on two boards simultaneously with opposite colors, with rolling office chairs gliding them back and forth. The progenitor of the format is the city of San Sebastian in Northeast Spain, which is in Basque country and has held several of these matches in the past.
Chess960 (or Fischer Random Chess) is a variant of chess invented and advocated by Bobby Fischer. It employs the same board and pieces as standard chess; however, the starting position of the pieces on the players’ home ranks is randomized.
In Basque chess, Caruana and Nakamura had a draw, .5-.5, while Negi beat Hou, 2-0. In random chess, Nakamura beat Caruan, 3-2, and Hou beat Negi, 3.5-.5. In rapid chess, Caruana won 3-1, while Hou won, 3.5-.5 and in blitz chess, Caruana won, 4.5-3.5 and Hou won, 4.5-3.5.
Caruana took $60,000, while Nakamura settled for $40,000. Hou got $30,000 and Negi earned $20.000, a big payday for all the players.
Cepca. The November qualifiers in the last weekend tournament at Handuraw are Rogelio Enriquez and Martin Kwan in Group A and Felixberto Balbona and Michael Tinga in Group B.
Enriquez and Kwan will join previous qualifiers Jimmy Ty Jr., Rey Flores, Arnold Cadiz, Peterson Sia, Tony Cabibil, Ross Yamyamin, Amado Olea Jr., Zilverstein Torres, Carlo Maraat, and Jojo Muralla in the Battle of Champions under Group A. In Group B, Tinga and Balbona will compete with Regelito Hortelano, Ruel Hortelano, Elmer Odango, Jojo Paredes, Jun Kidlat, current club president Jerry Maratas, Jessa Balbona, Edwin Cablao, Romy Pialan, and Michael Ventulan.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pestaño: Richard Bitoon wins battle of GMs

SINCE 2008, the National men’s and women’s chess championships has been dubbed the “Battle of the Grandmasters” and feature the top 12 players in both sections in a round robin format.
Thirty-nine-year old GM Richard Bitoon of Medellin, a close friend, emerged with a superior tiebreak over fellow GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio to capture his first title in the 2015 Battle of Grandmasters-National Chess Championships at the Philippine Sports Commission Athletes Dining Hall, RMSC, Vito Cruz, Manila.
The event used the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. Under the system, a win is equivalent to two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 1.5 for the last player to make a move and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Here are the final results. Open Division – Richard Bitoon and Joey Antonio (14 points), Haridas Pascua (11), Eugene Torre, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez. Joseph Turqueza (10), Jerad Docena (9), Paolo Bersamina, Koel Abelgas (8), Janelle Frayna (6). Janelle is a woman who chose to compete in the men’s section.
Richard was undefeated in the tournament with wins over Gomez, Bersamina, Abelgas and Frayna and a draw against the rest.
Women’s Division – Fronda (11.5), Perena-Secopito, San Diego (11_, Suede, Enriquez (10), Bernales (8.5), Lozano, Membrere, Mendoza (8), Pineda (4).
Previous winners in the men’s and women’s sections are John Paul Gomez and Catherine Perena in 2008, Wesley So from 2009-2011, Shercila Cua and Rulp Ylem Jose in 2009-2010, Mark Paragua and Catherine Perena in 2012, John Paul Gomez and Janelle Frayna in 2013 and Eugene Torre and again Catherine Perena in 2014.
Although this is the best result of Richard locally, I think his best performance was in 2012.
The “750 Years Melaka International Chess Festival” in Malaysia was held from April 21 to 30 2012 and had three major events – the Florencio Campomanes Memorial International Rapid Chess Championship, the Historical Melaka International Chess Championship and the Historical Melaka Challenger Chess Championship and had total prize of $35,000.
The Florencio Campomanes Memorial was the first event for the Festival and it offered a prize fund of $20,000. Bitoon won first place with 8.5/11 points in the very strong field with 15 Grandmasters and 12 International Masters. Sixth-nine players from 14 countries played.
Poker. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Nov. 10 to Dec. 22, there will be a P100,000 guaranteed tournament at All-In, Waterfront Hotel. Buy in is P1,000 with a maximum of three rebuys allowed and an add-on after the sixth round. On Dec. 22, a final P300,000 tournament will be played.
Test your skills. If you want bigger pots, Pokerstars has sent me an invitation to play in Manila billed “Megastack 4” starting Dec. 1.It features a series of tournaments for five days with a final P2 million event on Dec. 5 with a buy-in of P10,000.
Side events are P200,000, P250,000, P300,000 and P500,000 guaranteed tournaments.
Cepca. This is a reminder that there will be a board meeting on Saturday at Chikaan in Parkmall, Mandaue to discuss the general membership meeting and election of new officers for 2016 to 17, Christmas party as well as the publication of a Cepca magazine to celebrate our silver anniversary.
Our November tournament will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Handuraw Gorordo. This is the last qualifying tourney before the grand finals in December.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So scores biggest win of career

WESLEY So scored the biggest victory of his career last weekend in a tournament in Bilbao, Spain that is one of the premier events on the world chess calendar.
So won the Bilbao Masters over a former world champion and two other top 10 players. So has won high-level tournaments before, but none with a field this strong.
After quitting school and leaving the Philippines to play for the United States, he suffered a big setback at the Sinquefield tournament the other month where he finished last but has returned to the top 10 with this win. The lessons from the Sinquefield Cup are bearing fruit.
With the win Wesley So now joined the ranks of former Bilbao Chess Masters champions, including the current world champion Magnus Carlsen, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand, former Fide world champion Veselin Topalov and former world No. 2 Levon Aronian.
“It’s really an amazing experience for me competing against the best players in the world, and of course I wasn’t expecting to win before the event,” So said in comments at the closing ceremony.
The Bilbao victory may be So’s most lucrative tournament to date. Tournaments at this level typically offer huge prize funds and guaranteed appearance fees. This year the organizers did not announce the prizes, but in 2008, the champion collected 150,000 euros (about $165,000 in today’s conversion rate).
The 8th Bilbao Masters 2015 took place from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 and was a double round-robin event featuring four of the world’s best chess players--five time world champion and last-year’s winner, Viswanathan Anand, No. 4 Anish, No. 6, Giri, No. 7 Liren and So.
The so-called Sofia Rule was applied, establishing that only the arbiter will have the power to determine whether a game is drawn or not, thus avoiding pacts between players. On top of this, a scoring system similar to football is used, awarding three points for a win, one for a draw and no points for a defeat. This system is known as the “Bilbao Rule.”.
However, of the 12 games played, there were only two wins! One was by Wesley over Liren and the other win by Giri over Anand. All of the games were fiercely contested.
So and Giri played a two-game playoff to decide the title but Wesley took the lead in the first encounter in an exchange Variation of the Slav Defence. In a sharp second duel Giri could not convert his material advantage and the draw was fixed after a marathon 98 moves. Thus, So was crowned the new champion.
The next stops for Wesley are the 2015 Qatar Masters Open on Dec. 19 to Dec. 29 and the 2016 Tata Steel Chess on Jan. 15-31 in the Netherlands.
The Qatar Open is considered the strongest tournament ever and features 20 GMs rated over 2700, including world champion Magnus Carlsen, Giri, Vladimir Kramnik and World Cup 2015 winner Sergey Karjakin .
The 78th Tata Steel is known as the Wimbledon of chess and has three sections and a long tradition. Starting as an employee tournament in 1937, it has grown into an international tournament, for which grand masters will clear their schedules if invited. With an average rating of 2750 in the A group, this tournament once again has a strong field of participants spiced by the presence of the strongest female player now, Hou Yifan.
The 2016 Tata Steel Group A participants are Magnus Carlsen (2850), Fabiano Caruana (2787), Ding Liren (2781)(, Anish Giri (2778), Wesley So (2767), Sergey Karjakin (2766), Michael Adams (2744), Shakhryar Mamedyarov (2743), Wei Yi (2737), David Navara (2730), Hou Yifan (2683) and Loek van Wely (2632).

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pestaño: Fide bars Kasparov and Leong

GARY KASPAROV and Ignatius Leong are both banned for a period of two years from holding any office or position within FIDE, including its member federations, continental associations or any other affiliated international organisations, as well as participating in any FIDE meeting as delegate, proxy-holder or other representative of a FIDE member,” read the statement published on the Fide website.
This ban is effective from Oct. 21 until Oct. 20, 2017.
The Ethics Commission, at the FIDE Congress in Abu Dhabi, earlier said that Kasparov and Leong were found guilty of breaching the Fide Code of ethics for their conduct during the 2014 Fide presidential elections.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is a controversial figure for claiming that he was abducted by aliens in 1997 in a flying saucer and taken to a distant planet. I believe this story on his abduction though being a member of the Philippine Astronomical Society and a firm believer of intelligent aliens, some of whom are billions of years more advanced..
I have been a close observer of chess for a long time. My estimate is that Kirsan has spent over $50 million of his personal money on chess and that’s a lot of loves and of course there’s a saying, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!”
Before last year’s presidential poll, Kasparov, bidding for the office, and then General Secretary Ignatius Leong made a deal in which Kasparov paid Leong $500,000.
Leong promised Kasparov that he would get ten plus one votes of Asian chess federations for the $500,000. One of those who voted for Kasparov was Philippines’ Prospero Pichay who was in turn promised the presidency of the Asian Chess Federation.
The Kasparov Chess Foundation and Leong’s company, Asian Chess Academy, were also supposed to establish a new organization, Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia, which was supposed to transfer $1 million to Leong’s firm in case of Kasparov’s victory.
The FIDE Ethics Commission consists of Francois Strydom of South Africa (Chairman), Ion-Serban Dobronauteanu (Romania), Pedro Dominguez Brito (Dominican Republic), Willy Iclicki (Liechtenstein) and Rajesh Hari Joshi (Nepal).
According to the Kasparov team though, the $500,000 would not be granted to Leong personally but to the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia for “promoting and encouraging the study and play of chess in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region, as a means of intellectual development.”
Milo. Cleo Ilaras ( sent me this report: “The University of San Carlos chess team, dominated the 2015 Milo Little Olympics National Finals in Laguna last Oct 23-25.
The USC Secondary Boys tallied a total of 8.5 points in the round robin format event and took the top spot, while the Lady Warriors marched to their victory in the secondary girls division with 7.5 points.
The USC team elementary girls and boys also won their events. The secondary boys team is composed of Andrew Balbona, Ryan Pacres,Jeffu Dorog, Arvert Cadiz, Justin Bajo, Kirk Morala and Andrie Cadiz, while the members of the girls team are Jeremy Bajo, Laila Nadera, Glysen Derotas and Cherry Caballes. The members of the elementary boys team are Dwayne Abella, Raniel Perandos, Jave Peteros, Gyles Derotas, and Justin Joseph, and the members of the elementary girls team are Krisen Sanchez, Angel Bagano, Jasia Dorog and Althea Bagano.
Perandos, Bagano, Dorog and Nadera received the Most Outstanding Athletes (MOA) award and got P10,000 and a one-year supply of Milo.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pestaño: Two great one-on-one chess matches

THE Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis will be sponsoring a match between the two best players of America today, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, on Nov. 12 to 15.
As of the October live ratings, Nakamura is No. 4 with 2797, while Caruana is no.5 with 2795 in classical time controls. However, the format of the match is rapid and blitz. In rapid and blitz, Nakamura is rated 2850 and 2887 respectively, while Caruana is rated 2829 and a lowly 2665 in blitz. So, Nakamura is favored to win the match.
Format of the match will be four Fischer random chess at a time control of 20 minutes plus 10- second increments, four rapid games at 15 minutes plus 10-second increments and eight blitz games at three minutes plus two-second increments. They also announced “more to come” but that phrase remains ambiguous. All games will count equally, using the regular scoring system, making this a sort of “extended Death Match.”
The staggering prize fund is a whopping $100,000! The winner takes $60,000 while the loser will still grab $40,000.
They have played a number of classical games, with 75 percent ending in draws but with Nakamura holding a definitive five to one lead in won games. In faster time controls, Nakamura has a decisive lead with nine wins and only 2 losses and a single draw.
Also playing at the same time and place will be a “battle of the sexes” between Hou Yifan and Parimarjan Negi.
Hou (born Feb. 27, 1994) is rated 2676 and is a former chess prodigy and a former two-time women’s world chess champion, the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of Grandmaster. She just won the Monaco Grand Prix this week for women by an amazing two points. This is like winning a basketball game by 40 points.
Parimarjan Negi (born Feb. 9, 1993) is a grandmaster from India. On July 1, 2006, at the age of 13 years and 142 days (13 years, 4 months, and 20 days), he became the second-youngest GM ever, second only to Sergey Karjakin, when he earned his third and final GM norm at the Chelyabinsk Region Superfinal Championship at Satka in Russia. His rating as of Oct. 15, 2015 is 2664.
Their match will be worth $50,000, with the winner’s share again at 60 percent ($30,000). They’ve played several times, with Negi holding a narrow 2-1 edge in decisive games.
Marie Ernestine. Gabriel Karlo Tio topped the 1st Marie Ernestine School Tournament after securing four points and a draw in a five-round Swiss Tournament held in Handuraw Pizza Gorordo last Oct. 17.
Fellow sixth graders Kyle Matthew Dizon, Gayle Christine Macan and fifth grader Armando Angelo Ybañez each garnered four points and finished second, third and fourth spot respectively. Christian Elijah Ybañez of Grade 4 won fifth place.
The other players, Dominice Pegarido, Gabriela Marie Carvajal, Jacob Jacinto Tan, Yoo Do Young, Shaniasheen Newman, Simone Kyle Pono, Noelle Roa, Therese Marie Lagda, Yoo Su “Steve” Young, Avery Marc Tudtud, Al-Hamsha Khalif Macagaan, Elloiza Nielryn Borgonia, Ai Michaela Nakayama and Gustavo Manuel Larrañaga, went home with school supplies.
The tournament was organized by school trainer Therese Dela Torre and sponsored by Handuraw, Jojo Muralla, Atty. Jennoh Tequilo and Engr. Marvynne Guardiana and Cepca. Assisting Therese was Peterson Sia, Ateneo chess instructor.
CEPCA. A reminder to all Cepca members, awardees and invited guests to attend our Silver Anniversary party at the Sacred Heart Center social hall along D.Jakosalem St tomorrow at 6 pm.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pestaño: Major chess tournaments

CHESS is alive like never before. Four major tournaments are going on almost at the same time—the Millionaire Chess, Pokerstars, the World Rapid and Blitz Championship plus the Grand Prix for women.
For other players, the GMs and IMs who don’t want to compete with the elite players and have some chance to earn good money, there are plenty of other tournaments to choose from—the Mikhail Chigorin Memorial 2015, the European Universities Chess Championships, Dubai Chess, Georgian Club Championship 2015, Poikovsky Chess 2015 and a few more.
Also showing at major cities worldwide to fully packed movie houses is Pawn Sacrifice , a Tobey Maguire movie about the life of Bobby Fischer, the most loved, and later the most-hated American, in history.
Millionaire Chess is what it is--the richest open tournament in history which just concluded in Las Vegas with a total of $1 million in prizes. Wesley So won the first edition last year.
The Open section had a $100,000 top prize. Even the 1400U winner got $38,000 and the 1200U another $20,000. There were prizes for the fifth to 10th finishers in each section of the tournament, which had more than 600 participants.
US-based Cepca member Josito Dondon played in the 2200U category and scored a respectable four points.
The format in the Open section was seven rounds with the top four advancing to a knockout system. After seven rounds the top three qualifiers were Aleks Lenderman, Le Quang Liem and Yu Yangyi. Tied at fourth place were nine players, including Wesley and Hikaru Nakamura. After blitz tiebreaks among the nine players Nakamura snared the last slot.
Nakamura went on to defeat Yu Yangyi and finally Liem to win the $100,000 top prize.
Pokerstars, in recognition of a great number of chess players who have also turned to poker, is sponsoring a second chess tournament at their Isle of Man headquarters. At any one time 25,000 to 30,000 tables are being played in their website.
The format was a nine-round open tournament and the participants were headed by Michael Adams (2742), Pentala Harikrishna (2737), David Howell (2705), Laurent Fressinet (2702), Arkadij Naiditsch (2684), Gabriel Sargissian (2679), Nigel Short (2678), Julio Granda Zuniga (2667), Sergei Movsesian (2658) and Daniel Fridman (2642).
Pentala Harikrishna took the winner’s trophy after edging Laurent Fressinet and Gabriel Sargissian on tie-break.
The World rapid championship, with 184 GMs, was played over 15 rounds in Berlin with five rounds slated on each day. Magnus Carlsen won the title after winning the blitz format of 21 rounds.
The first leg of the women’s Grand Prix Series 2015-2016 took place in Monte Carlo, from Oct. 2 until today. The Prize fund is 60, 000 Euros, with 10, 000 for the winner.
The line-up includes: Yifan Hou (2671), Humpy Koneru (2578), Nana Dzagnidze (2573), Anna Muzychuk (2549), Alexandra Kosteniuk (2530), Mariya Muzychuk (2528) ,Pia Cramling (2513), Antoaneta Stefanova (2500), Natalia Zhukova (2482), Natalija Pogonina (2445), Almira Skripchenko (2441) and Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (2397). Yifan is leading with 7.5 points after 9 rounds.
SCHOOL CHESS. The Marie Ernestine- chess tournament for their Talamban campus will be held at Handuraw Gorordo tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. It will be conducted by their school chess instructor Therese dela Torre. The sponsors are Engr. Marvynne Guardiana, Atty. Jennoh Tequillo, Jojo Muralla, Handuraw and Cepca.
The Cepca October tournament follows on Sunday, also at Handuraw, at 2 p.m. Children of Cepca members and lady varsity players can also play.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pestaño: Karjakin wins weirdest World Cup

THE 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup came to an end in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku the other day with 128 of the world’s best players, including five former world champions, joining the major tournament considered by experts as the oddest world cup ever.
Eight of the top 10 players, most of them with Elo 2800s ratings, were eliminated in earlier rounds including our Wesley So. The surprise finalists were Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler.
Karjakin, became the youngest ever player in history to become grandmaster at 12 and prior to the world cup, was at No.11 in the world with a rating of 2762, while Svidler was at No. 26 and had a rating of 2726.
The match, a combination of classical, rapid and blitz games, delivered amazing moves and unexpected blunders. All 10 games were decisive with no draws. Svidler won the first two classical games and needed only a draw in the remaining two games to win. I think it was all a question of nerves why Karjakin came back from the grave.
Svidler expressed regrets that he was unable to win the match after having had many opportunities to do so. “I didn’t do it, I don’t deserve it,” he said.
Summarizing the final bout, Karjakin said that the match was any man’s game and that it could end with either player on top.
“Once it was time to tiebreak, me and Svidler were exhausted. Therefore, the game could go fast in any scenario. In the end, I won the World Cup and I think this is the best achievement of my career,” he said.
Karjakin earned $120,000, while Svidler got $80,000. The usual practice of Fide getting 20 percent of the prizes was paid for by the organizers.
Cepca. In celebration of the Club’s silver anniversary this year, we had a grand tournament last month at SM City that was widely accepted as the most prestigious and biggest this year.
On Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.,we will be holding a grand party at the Sacred Heart Center Social hall along Jakosalem St. This will also serve as our annual general membership meeting and election of new officers and induction of new members.
The Club will also recognize the founders and past presidents of the club, honorary members, selected members and some local media practitioners.
The awardees are past presidents Frank “Boy” Pestano (founder), Alex Tolentino (founder), Gerry Tomakin (founder–posthumous) Ben Dimaano, Danny Pestano (founder-posthumous), Nicnic Climaco (founder), Norway Lara, Mandy Baria, Manny Manzanares,Jojo Muralla and Jun Olis.
Honorary members are Bombi Aznar (posthumous), Benjamin Lim, Kelly Uy, Darcy Tabotabo, former mayor Alvin Garcia, Andrew Aznar and Mayor Mike Rama.
Outstanding members are Art Ynclino (founder-posthumous), Sonny Sollano (founder-posthumous), Luis Minoza (founder-posthumous, Susan Itaas and Josito Dondon.
Our next monthly tournament is on Oct. 18 18th at the ground floor of Handuraw Gorordo at 2 p.m.. Children of Cepca members are also invited including ladies varsity players.
Marie Ernestine. The first and only school in the Philippines that includes chess in their curriculum will hold a tournament at Handuraw Gorordo on Oct 17 at 2 p.m.. Participants will be players from Grades 3 to 6 exclusive from their Talamban Campus. They have undergone specialized chess instruction for the past four months.
Prizes will be minor home appliances with a trophy going to the champion. Cepca lady member Therese dela Torre, who is also the school’s chess instructor, will conduct the tournmanet.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pestaño: Legendary composers of chess problems

SOMETIME ago, I wrote about chess problems as an inherent part of Chessmoso. This time, I will write about the composers of chess problems.
Just like music and poetry, chess problem composers are a unique breed. Even grandmasters cannot create masterpieces, which come naturally to these people.
Composers are also given titles—International, Grandmaster, International Master, Fide Master and National Master.
Edith Helen Baird (1859-1924), born Winter Wood, was the most famous female chess composer. She published her problems using the name “Mrs W. J. Baird.” She composed over 2,000 problems. In 1902 she wrote 700 chess problems.
Vladimir Bron (1909-1985) was a top Soviet chess composer. In 1969, he wrote Selected Studies and Problems. He won 31 first prizes in composing tourneys and was awarded the International Master title for chess composition in 1966 and the Grandmaster Composer title in 1975.
André Chéron (1895–1980) is a French chess player, endgame theorist, and a composer of endgame studies. He was named a Fide International Master of Chess Composition in 1959, the first year the title was awarded.
Eugene Cook (1830-1915) was the first American chess composer of note and personally composed over 800 chess problems.
Fadil Abdurahmanovic (1939- ) is a Grandmaster of chess composition (1992). His best work is in the form of helpmates and fairy problems.
Thomas Rayner Dawson (1889-1951) was considered the father of Fairy Chess. He composed over 5,000 fairy chess problems and over 6,500 problems total. He invented the Nightrider and the Grasshopper.
Vincent Lanius Eaton (1915-1962) was one of America’s greatest chess composers. He graduated from Harvard at the age of 18. He worked as a scholar at the Library of Congress from 1939 to 1941 and was the Problem Editor of Chess Review.
Henrikh Kasparian (1910-1995) was one of the first Grandmasters of Chess Compositions. In 1980, he wrote Domination in 2545 Endgame Studies. Cyril Kipping (1891-1964) also composed over 7,000 chess problems, while another noted one is Karl Leonid Kubbel (1891-1942), who was a Russian endgame composer and problemist. He composed over 500 endgame studies.
Sam Loyd (1841-1911) was known as the Puzzle King. He produced over 10,000 puzzles in his lifetime, often with interesting themes. He was the most famous American chess composer. At his peak, Loyd was one of the best chess players in the US and was ranked 15th in the world, according to
Comins Mansfield (1896-1984) composed chess problems for 72 years. In 1972, he was one of the first four to be awarded the title of Grandmaster for Chess Compositions. The other three were Genrikh Kasparyan, Lew Koschinsky, and Eeltje Visserman.
William Meredith (1835-1903) was a problem composer. A problem which there are 8 to 12 men on the board is called a Meredith.
Another famous composer was Joseph Peckover (1897-1982) in the early 20th century. He was born in England but migrated to New York in 1921. He was the endgame editor for the American Chess Quarterly from 1961 to 1965 and composed over 100 endings.
William Shinkman (1847-1933) was one of America’s greatest chess composers. He published over 3,500 problems.
Alexei Troitsky (1866-1942) is regarded as the greatest chess composer of endgame studies. He has over 1,000 studies to his credit.
Alain Campbell White (1880-1951) was an American problem composer and chess patron. For 32 years, from 1905 to 1936, he published the Christmas series of chess problems. He did more than any other player to promote worldwide interest in chess problems.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So out of World Cup

THE World Cup, an integral part of the World Championship Cycle 2014-2016, is currently on-going in Baku, Azerbaijan and is now in the quarterfinal stage.
The format is six rounds of matches comprising two games per round plus tiebreaks, with the winners progressing to the next round and the final seventh round will have four (4) games.
This is a an extremely strong tournament as of the top 100 players, only Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand are absent.
Wesley So is out of the competition after being booted out by his nemesis Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France in the rapid tiebreaks in the Round-of-16. Although rated lower than Wesley, Maxime has won two of their classical games with seven draws. Wesley goes home though with $25,000.
Also out are top 10 players and Sinquefield 2014 and 2015 winners Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian, perennial candidates qualifier Boris Gelfand, previous World Cup winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Veselin Topalov and Ding Liren.
Those who made the quarterfinalists are Anish Giri, Pavel Eljanov, Sergey Karyakin, Wei Yi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Peter Svidler and Lagrave.
The losers in the quarterfinals will receive $35,000, while those who make the semis get $50,000. The runner-up gets $80,000 while the champion gets $120,000. In major tournaments Fide usually gets 20 percent of the prize money. In this case however, the organizers have been generous by assuming the Fide tax and the players will receive the full amount.
Round 5 pairings are Giri vs. Lagrave; Mamedyarov vs. Karjakin; Nakamura vs. Eljanov; and Svidler vs. Wei Yi. Incidentally, Chinese sensation Wei is the youngest player ever to reach the quarterfinal stage.
Cepca. Rommel Ganzon was crowned king of the recently concluded Cepca Silver Open tournament at SM City, while Felix Shaun Balbona was a close runner-up with the same score but lower tiebreak points.
For his feat, Ganzon earned P10,000, a beautiful championship trophy and a DGT chess clock from Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy. Balbona received P7,000, a runner-up trophy and a brand new chess clock from Raymond Garcia, the club’s guest of honor. All other winners, up to the 20th placer, received cash prizes as well.
Other special winners are: Top Cepca A--Arnold Cadiz, Jimmy Ty Jr., Ross Yamyamin; Top Cepca B--Gabby Misterio, Mario Bustillo, Romy Pialan; Top Ladies--Charry Jacobs, KC Morala, Belinda Baguio; Top Kiddies--Jeremy Pepito, Jerish Velarde, Marc Bryan Villarojo; and Top Senior--Jun Kidlat.
The club, through president Engr. Jerryboy Maratas, is very thankful to all the sponsors and donors for the successful holding of the tournament.
Thank you so much to the following major sponsors—Jemar Engineering Services, Celgem Construction and Development Corp., Handuraw Pizza, SM City-Cebu. The minor sponsors are Prime Parts Fabricators and Development Corp. and San Narciso Builders Corp.
The donors are Rose Pharmacy, Model Rent-A-Car, Ecotherm Water Heater Co., Gonzalodo Enterprises, JJ & J Construction and General Supply, Biao Builders, Ritebuild System Corp., Reliabuild Corp., Federal North Hardware, Inc., Steeltech Colored Roofing, MGM Financial Services, Heinar Traders Corp., Kawashima and Dalawampu Families, Rhaffy Bensi, SSGT Amado A Jr Olea, Capt. Mercurion Fernandez, Engr. Marvyne Guardiana and Mayor Aljun Diamante.
Also personal contributions were received from Rosendo Yamyamin, Silverstein Torres, Felix Balbona, Denster Abella, Ben Dimaano and Elmer Odango. Special thanks to honorary members Kelly Uy and Andrew Aznar for the trophies; honorary member Boojie Lim and Raymond Garcia for the chess clocks.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pestaño: Talented Cepca children

VYNNE Mharie Ant is the 16-year-old daughter of Cepca vice president Marvynne Guardiana. At her tender age, Vynne had brought honor to the family by bringing home two bronze medals in the recently concluded World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Long Beach, California last July. WCOPA is the Olympics of performing arts.
Vynne does possess all what it take to become a singing sensation. And with the full support given by her parents, this first year dentistry student of Cebu Doctors’ University would go a long long way.
Original member Bob Inocian invited a select group of fellow members to lunch last Saturday. The occasion was to celebrate his daughter’s passing of the Physician licensure examinations last week of August.
Ellaine, 27, is also a superb athlete. She is a member of World Taekwondo Federation and became a 1st dan black belt at the age of 17.
She was also a badminton varsity player for CIC (Colegio dela Immaculada Concepcion) in 2004 and also a chess varsity player in 2005. CIC was the Inter-Catholic High-School Champion at that time and she was the Board 2 gold medalist. She also played soccer for the College of Nursing in the University of San Carlos (USC) Intramurals in 2008.
She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at USC last April 2009.
While taking medicine at the Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM), she played badminton, soccer and swimming from 2010 to 2014.
She graduated from the Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) on April 2014 and passed the Physicians Licensure Board Examinations in August 2015. She is planning to specialize in surgery.
Jessa, 22, daughter of Felix and Juliet, comes from the nationally famous chess-playing family-the Balbonas. She was a consistent honor student in elementary and graduated salutatorian in high school at CIC.
She graduated cum laude from USC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy and was once a member of the national chess team. She is also the first lady finals qualifier of Cepca in 25 years.
She passed the CPA board exams last June and is now connected with the prestigious Sycip, Gorres and Velayo management and accountancy firm in Makati.
We also have chess prodigies are Jerish 9 and Dwayne 8. Both are chess masters material and recipients of the sports writers award last year.
Jerish is the son of John Velarde and has played in Macau and Singapore representing the Philippines in his age group.
Dwayne was seven-under champion in Scotland last year while his father, Denster Abella, worked there as an OFW
World Cup. The FIDE World Cup, starting with 128 players, started last Sept. 10 and will end on Oct/ 5 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where next year’s Chess Olympiad will be held . The two finalists will qualify directly to the 2016 candidates’ tournament, and the winner of that tournament will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title later that year.
Wesley So overpowered an inexperienced Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran in the first round and the dangerous Csaba Balogh in the second to easily enter the third round. He is already assured of winning $16,000.
So’s best performance in this event came six years ago in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia where he made it to the Round-of-16 by stunning Gadir Guseinov, 4-1, Vassily Ivanchuk, 1.5-.5 and Gata Kamsky, 1.5-.5, one after the other before falling to Vladimir Malakhov, 1-4.
Tournament. This is to inform all chess players of the Cepca Silver Open tournament at SM City tomorrow Saturday and Sunday. Onsite registration is at 1030 a.m. and the tournament starts at 1 pm.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pestaño: Cepca silver jubilee tournament

THE Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca), the longest-running chess club in Cebu, will celebrate its silver anniversary this month with an open tournament in SM City on Sept. 19 and 20.
The club is not also known nationally but also, to some extent, internationally due to our grand masters tournaments and simul exhibitions with foreign players. I have already written a previous article two months ago about its beginning and accomplishments.
The club is not open to just any player, but is exclusive to executives, businessmen or entrepreneurs and professionals. Its primary purposes is to meet the chess needs of its members and to promote the game in Cebu.
The champion will take home P10,000 plus a magnificent trophy, while the second placer will get P7,000 and also a trophy. I have seen dozens of trophies in the past and these are the best of them. The winners will treasure these trophies throughout their life. The third placer will pocket P5,000 and the fourth and fifth placers will get P3,000 and P2,000, respectively. The sixth to 20th placers will also get cash prizes.
There will also be special prizes for the top three Kiddies (14-Under), top three ladies, top three Class A Cepca members, top three Class B Cepca members and the top senior (60-above players).
The format is nine-rounds Swiss and time control is 30 minutes plus five-second increments. Registration fee is P300 for the regular players, P200 for Cepca members and seniors, and P150 for ladies and kiddies.
Registration is on site starting at 10:30 a.m. while the tournament will start at 1 p.m. Four rounds will be played on Saturday and five rounds on Sunday starting 11 am.
Ouir monthly tournament, which will include children of Cepca members, will be this Sunday, at Handuraw Gorordo starting 2 p.m. Ladies are also invited and may register for free. This month`s sponsor is Ellery Berciles.
Pacquiao tournament. This 4-man team tournament was played last Sept. 4 and 5 at SM Mall, General Santos and sponsored by the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
Format was a random seven rounds Swiss with one hour time control. Random chess is a variant advocated by Bobby Fischer. Placement of the major pieces is not the same as standard chess but randomized for every round. This will force the players to rely on their creativity and talent as most masters memorize the first 10 or so starting moves of standard chess..
Cebu’s Rose Pharmacy A (IM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Kim Steven Yap, Edsel Montoya, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano) finished at a tie for fourth to sixth places with Estomo Bohol (Norman Longjas, Jose Vito Tapulgo, Rommel Ganzon, Allan Salientes) and Acxent Glass A (GM Darwin Laylo, NM David Alorta, Sherwin Tiu, Samson Lim). Each won P35,000.
The big purse of P300,000 was snared by the Mark Yabut Jake Carlos Realty and Finance team composed of International Master Richelieu “Jongjong” Salcedo III, Alfredo Rapanot, National Master Jerad Docena and Kevin Mirano.
Tied for second and third were the Acxent Glass B team of International Masters Ronald Dableo, Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Timothy John Kua So and Christian Arroyo and the Pacman Crusaders team of Joel Pimentel Jr., Roel Abelgas and Recarte Tiauson and Lennon Hart Salgados. Each won P150,000.
Eugene Torre teamed up with Pacquiao, former PBA star Zaldy Realubit, and kiddie sensation Alekhine Nouri for the 11th placer Pacman 2 .Torre won the gold in board one, while Kimkim also won the gold medal in board 2. The board 3 and 4 winners were John So Kua and Allan Salientes.
Twenty-four teams participated in this first random team tournament.