Friday, May 22, 2015

Pestaño: Transfers make USA a world power in chess

 Thursday, May 21, 2015
FABIANO Caruana, the world’s No. 3 player, announced just recently that he was switching allegiance to the U.S. Chess Federation from the Italian federation.
The news of Caruana’s decision was described as a “bombshell announcement” in one chess website.
Caruana admitted that he was offered a “large sum” of money from an unnamed source to play for the USA. There’s speculation that the bill ($100,000) is being picked up by Rex Sinquefield, a wealthy chess benefactor and the host of the Sinquefield Cup.
Transfers of elite players are not common, partly because of the fees that must be paid. In Caruana’s case, the fees will total 55,000 euros (about $61,000)--50,000 euros to the Italian federation and 5,000 euros to Fide.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be representing the United States again,” Caruana said in a statement . “I’d like to thank everybody who has made this possible, and I look forward to this exciting new partnership. In addition, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude for the support given to me over the past 10 years by the Italian Chess Federation. “
The USA will now have three players in the world’s top ten. Caruana will join Hikaru Nakamura, world No. 4 and Wesley So, world No. 7, who recently switched his federation to the US from the Philippines. The US has never had three players in the modern era’s top 10. American chess is now poised to become a true powerhouse, and all of them are under 28 years old,
The trio sets up the U.S. team as a favorite in international competitions, including next year’s Chess Olympiad in Azerbaijan. The last time the United States won was in 1976, when the Soviet Union and allies boycotted the event in Haifa, Israel. The last time the United States won an Olympiad that was not boycotted was 1937.
Caruana’s playing strength has surged in the past two years. Carlsen has admitted that among the field of younger players closing in on his title, Caruana is “the guy.” This was confirmed when Caruana defeated Carlsen in the 2014 Sinquefeld Cup. He had a 7-0 winning streak against a super-elite field and that feat is now celebrated as the greatest tournament performance in chess history.
Caruana was born in Miami and raised in USA up to age 12 though he has enjoyed dual citizenship with Italy for the past 10 years.
Mabolo. In celebration of its fiesta , original Cepca member Bob Inocian, who just arrived after being an OFW for sometime, organized a chess tournament last weekend.
There were two categories--kiddies and seniors.
In the kiddies, Aldrich Podoyo was champion (P2,500). The other winners and their prizes were Edel Vosotros (P2,000), James Francis Paraon (P1,500), James Virneer Paraon and Jeremy Bajo (P1,000 each), Adelyn Bensi, Shaina Caparino, Robert Diloy, Rejel Perandos and Rex Sumalinog (P200 each).
In the seniors division, the winners were Christian Podoyo (P2,000), William Valle (P1,500), Raul Cinco (P1,000), Nick Monterroyo (P500) and Joe Nasul (P500).
An interesting match was between Rex Sumalinog and Glory Bensi. I have been observing chess for the past 60 years and I have never come across similar to this game. Peterson Sia, who has hundreds of books on chess, expressed the same sentiment.
Rex defeated Glory when she ran out of time (25 minutes per player). There were no pieces captured, not even a pawn! This game is Book of Guinness material.
The sponsors were Cepca, Mayor Mike Rama, Vice-Mayor Edgar Labella, JP Labella, Ading Macasero, Mabolo Baranday Council and Bob Inocian.
Tournament arbiters were Marvin Ruelan and Tony Cabibil.

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