Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley is now the No. 7 in the world

Thursday, January 29, 2015

THE tournament in Wijk Aan Zee has a long tradition. Now known as Tata Steel, it is on its 77th year and has grown into an international tournament of world class renown, for which top players will clear their diaries. Among chess players it is known as the “Wimbledon of chess.”
During the tournament more than one million people visited the official website.
The participants of the 2015 edition are Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Teimour Radjabov, Baadur Jobava, Ding Liren, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ivan Saric, Hou Yifan, and Loek van Wely. Average rating of the players is 2747.
This is a tournament to remember for Wesley and his many fans around the world. This was his greatest test and he hurdled it with flying colors. He finished in a four-way tie for the second to fifth places, just half a point behind world champion Magnus Carlsen.
Rated 2770 at the start of the tournament and at in 10th place, Wesley now has a live rating of 2788, good for seventh place in the world. So has surpassed Bobby Fischer’s highest Fide rating of 2785, which was achieved after the epic world championship match with Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1972. So is also now the No. 1 player in America overtaking Hikaru Nakamura, and he will be 12 rating points above Nakamura in the next Fide list in February.
This tournament is a clear indication that Wesley has arrived. World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana finished 1.5 points behind him and Levon Aronian, last year’s winner and formerly world No. 2, finished a full three points behind.
Wesley had five wins,seven draws and one loss for a total performance rating of 2854. His one loss to Anish Giri was an epic match lasting 111 moves and took more than 8 hours and 40 minutes .This loss ended his unbeaten run at 54 games.
Incidentally, all the players had losses including Carlsen. Two of So’s wins came at the expense of Armenian Levon Aronian, the 2014 titlist, and Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk, a former World Challenger, while two of his draws were with Carlsen himself and Caruana.
Wesley’s goal for the year is to reach 2800 and he is just 12 points away, and he still has 11 months left to achieve it. Leonard Barden, one of the oldest hands in chess journalism, wrote “He could become the real deal, the American with a chance of regaining the crown once held by Fischer. “It is rather odd as Wesley is now known as American not Filipino!”
His former coach at Webster University Paul Truong said in his Facebook page: “The next six months will be crucial. Top players will no longer underestimate him, and lower rated players will play more drawish lines against him.”
Professions. Last week I wrote about the professions of Cepca members. I missed out on CPA member Susan Itaas, who is now based in the USA and is the only Woman National Master in Cebu and Olympiad player.
Harvey Jane Hilvano is a Civil and Structural Engineer who is now the club sectretary.
If you want a child to improve in chess Cebu has a school founded by IM Kimkim Yap and Cebu Chess Masters of Eduard and Therese dela Torre.
Cepca. There will be an important change in our monthly tournament. The members will now be divided into two groups--A and B. The A players will play among themselves only likewise for B players.
Format will be five rounds Swiss with a time control of 20 minutes per player for each group.
For this month, children of Cepca members will be allowed to participate and they will also be screened as to what group they can play.
The tournament will be tomorrow Saturday at Handuraw Gorordo at 2 p.m.

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