Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pestaño: Tournaments are the soul of any sport

Thursday, September 20, 2012

THE essence of any sport is the constant exposure to matches or tournaments. This is perhaps the reason chess is the most popular sport in this planet.
It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 international open tournaments a year worldwide, which means that these are Fide-rated. The number of non-Fide-rated tournaments is perhaps 20-30 times as much.
The most popular format is the Swiss style as the winners can be determined in as little as 11 rounds even if hundreds are competing. Other formats are round-robin or the increasingly popular knockout format.
Right now, there are several tournaments locally, on the regional level and the ultra-major ones that are scheduled this month.
The Goodwill Gallery Open is scheduled on Sept. 22-23 at 1 p.m. on J Centre Mall in Mandaue and is open to ladies 20 yrs and below and to kiddies up to age 16. Format is 7 rounds Swiss and time control of 25 minutes per player. Registration is P150 with free snacks.
Another tournament is the PICPA Open Team Tournament set on Sept. 29 and 30 in the same time and venue as above and is either a round robin or 7 rounds Swiss. Time control is 30 minutes per player.
Since this is organized by the Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants, each team of 4 players must have at least 1 PICPA member. Another requirement is that a team must have a lady player who will play in board 4 and the lady player can be the Picpa member.
Another requirement is that the team can only have 1 class A or titled player so the contest will be competitive. Registration is P1,500. The champion will win P10,000, plus trophy.
Another tournament tentatively scheduled this month is the Cepca vs. Ladies Varsity Selection at Deep Blue in SM on 12 boards. This is a unique exhibition match that seldom happens and a test for the senior members of Cepca against the ladies as young as their grandchildren. The last time this happened was in the early 90’s against the top lady players of Cebu.
Richard Bitoon was chosen as the top athlete of 2012 in Cebu because he earned his third and final norm in this international tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the DYTM Raja Nazrin International Open Championship. He is again playing this year, on Sept. 17-23, at the Olympics Sports Hotel in that city.
Oliver Barbosa, the top Pinoy performer in the just concluded Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, is the defending champion and will be joined, aside from Richard, by Pinoy GMs Joey Antonio, Mark Paragua and Darwin Laylo.
Other top players in this now-popular tourney are GMs Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands, Thomas Luther of Germany, Wong Meng Kong of Singapore, Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, Deepan Chakkravarthy of India and Cao Sang, Bui Vinh and Nguyen Ang Dung of Vietnam.
The sixth Women’s Grand Prix is now on-going in Ankara, Turkey from Sept. 15-29. This is the last of the 2011–2012 series of elite events organized by Fide and Global Chess to determine the challenger to the World Champion, Hou Yifan of China in 2013.
Sao Paulo and Bilbao will again host the Grand Slam Chess Masters Final, on Sept. 24-29 in the Brazilian capital and the second half in Bilbao, Spain from Oct. 8-13.
This is the most prestigious and strongest individual tournament in the Fide calendar and five of the world`s top players are competing: world champion Vishy Anand (2780), world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen (2843), No. 2 Levon Aronian (2816), No. 7 Sergey Karjakin (2778) and No. 8 Fabiano Caruana (2773). Joining them will be the host nominee, Paco Vallejo (2697).

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