Friday, August 28, 2015

Pestaño: Sinquefield Cup 2015 and scrabble in Cebu

THIS tournament, currently ongoing in the Scholastic Chess Center of St. Louis, is billed by journalists as the strongest tournament in history and has eight of the current top 10 players in the world.
The field has World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, No. 2 Viswanathan Anand, No. 3 Veselin Topalov , No. 4 Hikaru Nakamura, No. 5 Fabiano Caruana, No. 6 Anish Giri, No. 8 Wesley So, No. 9 Alexander Grischuk, No. 11 Levon Aronian and No. 16 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Everybody wins as the winner gets $75,000 and the last placer gets $15,000. They will also be refunded for their expenses.
The previous record holder as the strongest tournament in history is the same event in 2014, which only had six players in a double-round robin format.
The 2014 tournament will long be remembered by the incredible performance of Fabiano Caruana, who had a 7-0 streak and was considered the greatest performance of all time. The history of chess has seen longer streaks, but never against such highly-rated players
St. Louis has rapidly risen as the chess capital of the world thanks to “tyrannosaurus” Rex Senquefield--a financial wizard and a philanthropist. He founded Dimensional fund advisers, which manages more than $310 billion in assets as of 2013.
Strongest tournament? I have checked the past big tournaments and this is rather controversial. By ratings of the players, this is definitely true, but the ratings have inflated by 100 to 150 points since Elo started in 1970. Before this, there were many big tournaments.
According to statistician Jeff Sonas, the best way to determine strong tournaments is by the presence of the world’s top 10 players.
The top five before were Vienna 1882 (with nine of the world’s top 10), Linares 1993 (Also with nine of the top 10), Nottingham 1936 (with eight of the top 10), Avro 1938 (with 8 of the top 10), and Linares 1992 (also 8 of the top 10).
After three rounds in St. Louis, the leader is Topalov with 2.5 points and is followed by Giri, Aronian and Carlsen with two points each. Wesley has 1.5 with a win against Grischuk and draw with Giri, He lost in the first round to Lagrave. Surprisingly, Caruana and Anand are last with only 0.5.
Scrabble. This distant cousin of chess had a big tournament last Aug. 21 at the City Social Hall. Organized by Marilyn Abella the event attracted about 200 “word-pushers” (my third contribution to the English language. The first was “xylothism” -look for its meaning by Googling it. Another is “Grandmartyrs” or those who died while playing chess. I guess very few have contributed a new word and get recognized).
It was sponsored by the City through the Philippine Sports Commission in coordination with the Department of Education.
Here are the list of winners.
Professional and College Category: Renante Dela Cerna, Jowar Ayuno, Joel Toroy.
High School Category: Emyrose Avise, Julifer Tuba, Russel Sartagoda.
Elementary Category: Jonspeed Eslao, Chairylle Bucao, Anne Rallos.
Renante and I go a long way together. He excels in mind games and aside from being a good chess player, he is also one of the top poker players in Cebu. I hate to tangle with him on a one-on-one basis. He is also a very sharp mahjong player.
He was the national scrabble champion in 2004 and 2008 and was he first-runner-up in 1998 and 2002. He placed fifth in the First International Scrabble tournament in Baguio in 2009.
He plans to play in Thailand in July next year to compete with the world’s best in the Crossword brand International Kings Cup.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pestaño: 165 Grandmasters in one tournament

ASIDE from the chess Olympiad, I have never come across a tournament with this record number of grandmasters. A record 165 GMs, and possibly more , will play in the 22nd Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.
Husain Abdullah Khouri, chairman of the organizing committee, said the event has reached a milestone since it was launched 22 years ago. “We could hardly get a few GMs in those early years but now, we have more than 25 in the waiting list .”
This tournament is a favorite destination as players are treated exceedingly well and are provided with free accommodation in a five-star hotel plus expenses.
The Emiratis are as hospitable as the Filipinos.
The tournament will start this Sunday and will end on Aug. 31. It has three sections--Masters, Open and Juniors Under 16. Total prize money is P3.25 million.
A few columns ago, I featured the 10-year-old prodigy FM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who made chess headlines last year when he upset the GMs Andrei Zhigalko and Ruslan Khusnutdinov in the Uzbekistan Open.
The kid won the gold medal in the Under-8 age category at the world youth chess championship in Maribor, Slovenia, in 2012 and is the highest-rated Under-12 chess player in the world at over 2400.
“He’s one of the top draws in the competition,” said Ismail Ibrahim Al Khouri, the tournament director.
Masters section. Open for players rated 2000 and above, the event will be a nine-round Swiss system with time control of 90 minutes for each player plus 30-second increments for each move. The organizing committee will provide free accommodation in a five-star hotel for players rated 2500 and above.
Open section. It is open for players rated 2000 ELO and below and will have also be a nine-round Swiss system with 90 minutes for each player and 30-second increments for each move.
The Juniors section is for players born in 1999 or later. The tournament will be a seven-round Swiss system with time control of 60 minutes for each player and 10-second increments for each move. The top four players from each age group--U10, U12, U14, U16--will qualify for the finals, which will be a knockout system tournament.
Pacquiao. The 1st Manny Pacquiao Cup Random Chess Team Tournament will be on Sept. 4 and 5 at the SM City General Santos.
The seven-round Swiss System format competition will offer P300,000 to the champion but the registration fee is only P2,000 per team.
The runner-up will get P200,000, while the third-placer will get P100,000. The next four teams will receive P50,000, P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000, respectively.
A consolation prize of P7,000 will be given to the eighth to 10th placers, while the 11th to 15th placers will each settle for P5,000.
Top board 1 performer will also win P5,000, while top players in Boards 2, 3 and 4 will get P3,000 each.
Rose Pharmacy of chess patron Bodjie Lim will field two teams. Team A will have GM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Kimkim Yap, Edsel Montoya and Kyle Sevillano, while Team B is composed of GM Oliver Barbosa, NM Merben Roque, Michael Pagaran and FM Anthony Makinano.
UNIQUE FORMAT. Random Chess is a variant of chess 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, compelling players to rely on their talent and creativity. Most GMs memorize the first 10 or so moves of the current setup
The game is played the same as standard chess in all respects, with the single exception of castling from the different possible starting positions for king and rooks. Black’s pieces are placed equal-and-opposite to White’s pieces.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So’s busy schedule

AS one of the top 10 players in the world, Wesley So gets invited to a lot of big tournaments.
The French Highest League for Men Top-12 took place from May 30 to June 9, in the seaside resort of Le Grau-du-Roi, and it’s marina Port-Camargue and So was invited. The other participants were Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, David Navara, Laurent Fressinet, Etienne Bacrot, Alexander Ipatov, Tornike Sanikidze, Dmitry Jakovenko, Matthieu Cornette, Sebastien Maze, Pavel Tregubov, Laurent Fressinet.
Wesley played Board 1 for Clichy, which placed second in the team contest.
The traditional EZ Chess Trophy 2015 Festival was held from June Jun 12 to 16 Prague, the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is also known as the annual “David Navara versus a very strong GM,” tournament and is organized by the Prague Chess Society.The highlight of the festival was a four-game match between World No. 14 David Navara (2751) and World No. 9 So (2778). Wesley won Games 2 and 4 with the final score at 3-1.
Before the match, Wesley conducted a 22-board simul exhibition match and won 19, drew two and lost 1. They told him later that he played faster than anyone in this event’s history. For the same number of boards, Korchnoi took five hours and Kasparov six.Wesley finished the simul in one and a half hours.
From there and after a few days rest, he went to Germany to play in a very strong tournament, the Dortmund Sparkassen, which took place from June 27 to July 5 at the NRW Orchestra Centre in Dortmund, Germany.
Wesley was the only to defeat the winner Fabiano Caruana, who scored an impressive 5.5/7. Wesley was second and the other players were Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Vladimir Kramnik, Arkadi Naiditsch, George Meier and Women champion Hou Yifan.
From there, he proceeded to the Metropolitan Chess Camp in Glendale, California to teach chess. Wesley noted in Facebook, “Having a wonderful time in Glendale, California at the 2015 Metropolitan and ACA Summer Chess Camp! These are my students and these wonderful kids take full responsibility for any white hair I may now have!”
He is now playing in the Turkish Isbank Chess Super League 2015, which started last Aug. 4 and will end on Aug. 15 in Kocaeli, Turkey. A total of 14 teams are playing.
The top players of the event are GMs So, Esen Baris, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Eltaj Safarli, Dragan Solak, Pentala Harikrishna, Vladislav Artemiev, Alexander Ipatov, Ivan Cheparinov, Ivan Salgado Lopez, Ferenc Berkes, Anna Ushenina and Boris Grachev.
Wesley will then play in the strongest tournament in his career at the Third Annual Sinquefield Cup, which will be on Aug. 22 to Sept. 3 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
The super tournament will gather some of the strongest players in the world: reigning World champion Magnus Carlsen (2853), World No. 2 2 Viswanathan Anand (2816), World No. 3 Veselin Topalov (2816), World No. 4 Hikaru Nakamura (2814), last year’s winner and World No. 5 Caruana (2797), World No. 6 Anish Giri (2791), World No. 9 Alexander Grischuk (2771), World No. 10 Levon Aronian(2765) and World No. 26 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2731).
Marie Ernestine. The first tournament in their Talamban campus was held last Saturday by coach Therese dela Torre. The top three winners are Kyle Matthew Dizon (Grade 6), Armando Angelo Ybañez (Grade 5), Christian Elijah Ybañez (Grade 4).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pestaño: Fide showdown: Ex-champ vs. alien abductee

Friday, February 21, 2014

Garry Kasparov became the youngest world champion in 1985 at the age of 22 and went on to hold the No. 1 ranking for 20 years before his retirement from professional chess in 2005. Now he wants to be in charge.
He plans to unseat multi-millionaire incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in the elections this August during the Olympiad in Tromso, Norway. Although Garry has been campaigning for over a year now, visiting a large number of federations, he has a lot of catching up to do. He donated $10,000 last year to Yolanda survivors.
Kirsan has been the President of World Chess Federation (Fide) since 1995. Fide has about 175 members and the unusual thing is that micro-organizations like the Virgin
Islands and Palau has the same vote as Russia, China or the United States.This is the main reason he has beaten serious rivals before like Bessel Kok and another former champion Anatoly Karpov, a legacy that he got from Florencio Campomanes who personally handpicked him.
Ilyumzhinov has drawn world-wide attention for claiming personal contact with aliens, alleging that they took him on a mystical tour of the galaxy in their spaceship in 1997.
Kirsan said he saw a “semi-transparent half tube” spaceship on his balcony. He then entered it and met “human-like creatures in yellow spacesuits”. “They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around.” The aliens took him to “some kind of star.”
“I’m not ill. I’m psychologically normal,” he says. “I didn’t hide it even though I knew that people would laugh at me and say I was crazy.”
A lot of people, including me, believe his story to be true. I was exposed to these kind of stories as I was a member of the Philippine Astronomical Society in the 70s and 80s.
Kasparov has chosen his running mates well, although Ignatius Leong, the current secretary–general of Fide , is unethical if true.
A document was recently released that appeared to show that Kasparov had offered Leong $500,000 to switch sides.
Kasparov promised Leong, who is influential with Asian federations and lives in Singapore, an office for him to run. He also said that if he was elected, the Kasparov Chess Foundation would pay $1 million over four years to the Asean Chess Academy, a teaching organization owned by Leong, who employ a lot of Pinoy masters.
Others in his line-up are Jan Callewaert (Europe), Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Hamed (Asia), Afrika Msimang (Africa) and Rex Sinquefield (Americas).
Jan is the co-founder and President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe . An avid chess player, he is passionate about bringing the numerous benefits of chess to as many people as possible, and is a supporter of the chess in schools program.
Sheikh Mohammed’s has investments in the industrial, real estate, and tourism sectors. He owns the five-star hotels Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel Abu Dhabi, and Sheraton Hotel in Al Ain and a number of malls, including the Al Ain Mall.
Ms Afrika has served as a trustee member of Moves for Life, a chess organization that enjoys the patronage of South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma and has a masters degree in public administration.
Rex formed Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) in 1981 along with associate David Booth, which today oversees more than $300 billion in assets worldwide. He is the primary sponsor of big tournaments in the USA.
Cepca. Our February tournament will be this Sunday in Handuraw at 2 p.m. Registration is P200. The total prizes is P3,000 courtesy of Marvyne Guardiana with free snacks.
Club president Jerry Maratas will treat members after the tournament. Come, play and enjoy!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pestaño: Landlord gipatay sa iyang kalalis sa duwang chess

 Friday, August 07, 2015
GIANGKON sa Sicilian nga si Saverio Bellante, 36, nga gipatay niya ang iyang landlord nga si AI Tom O’Gorman, 39, sa ilang gipuy-an sa Beechpark Avenue sa Castleknock, Ireland niadtong Enero 11 sa miaging tuig human sila nagkalalis tungod sa chess.
Ilihok unta ni Saverio ang king pero giingnan siya ni Tom “perverse and stupid”. Ilang gitawgan ang lain nila nga amigo nga si Brendan Gallagher para mag-referee. Gitawgan sad ni Saverio ang iyang igsuong babaye sa Italy ug nisulti nga mafia ug omerta kuno, senyales kini nga naliso na iyang hunahuna.
Samtang naghuwat sila sa tubag ni Brendan, ang tan-aw ni Saverio kang Tom demonyo kuno ug kinahanglan patyon.
Nikuha siya og dumbbell ug kutsilyo ug giatake si Tom. Unya gikuha niya ang tuo nga baga ug gidala sa kusina ug gikaon. Abi niya kasingkasing kini ni Tom. Iyang gikaon ang kasingkasing kay si Tom ug matod niya, “Tom was taking away my freedom”. Iya unta lutoon pero nakadesisyon kini nga dii na lang.
Si state pathologist Marie Cassidy mitestigo nga nakita niya ang uban nga lung lobe pag-adto niya sa Beech Park.
Nitawag siy Saverio og 999 ug iyang gisulti nga “Thomas is dead I killed him with a knife.”
Psychiatrist, Dr Conor O’Neill, maoy primero miexamine ni Saverio pagka human ug aresto ug iya gisulti nga buang kaayo sia . Gipasulod dayon sa Central Mental Hospital bisan daghan pa ang naa sa waiting list.
Si Dr. Stephen Monks mitestigo sab sa korte nga niundang og inom ug anti-psychosis medication si Saverio bisan giingnan siya sa iyang doctor sa Sicily nga for life ang iya tambal.
Ang duha ka psychiatrists mitestigo nga “not guilty” si Saverio kay buang kini. Ilang gisulti nga schizophrenic siya ug acute psychosis adtong pagpatay niya kang Tom.
Ang abugado ni Saverio misulti sa korte nga naa siya’y history nga mental illness sa Sicily pa.
Gidesisyunan kini sa jury of 5 women and 7 men nga “not guilty” si Saverio sa miaging semana kay buang.
Si Tom relihiyuso ug minister sa Eucharist hasta sad si Saverio. Nagkaila sila sa Focolare movement.
Niangkon si Saverio nga sayop ang pagpatay apan kinahanglan kini niyang buhaton kay lagi demonyo si Tom sa iyang panan-aw.
Samtang nagkalalis sila nakita nia ang duha ka briquettes nga ang usa wala magsiga. Iya kining gihimong ehemplo nga ang ilang panaglalis “between good and evil.”
Obsessed kaayo si Saverio sa relihiyon ug usahay tibuok adlaw kining mag-ampo sa iyang balay sa Sicily. Usahay makamatngonan kini nga naa’y demonyo sa ilang balay.
Napuno ang ilang balay og religious books ug dili mogawas kon dili siya maka ampo.(

Pestaño: Manny Pacquiao’s love for chess

MANNY is a phenomenon. There has never been a personality like him ever since in this country or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
He was fascinated by chess long before he became a boxer. Whenever he is in Manila, Pacquiao would often gather his friends, led by former PBA player Zaldy Realubit, several times a week in his house in Forbes Park and host chess tournaments.
His chess activities are posted on Facebook and just recently, Manny put up a P100,000 for the team champion and P30,000 for the individual winner. In all, the prize money was as high as P500,000 according to Realubit.
“Maliit pa nga yan, kasi pag sa Gen. San siya nagpa-tournament, umaabot pa ng P3 million, kasi nagpapapalaro pa siya. Napakabait ni Boss. Hindi siya madamot,” Realubit said in a article.
Realubit says Pacquiao is a chess fanatic; his passion for the game is as fervent as his love for boxing and basketball. He also plays darts and billiards.
“Una kami-kami lang ‘yan. Tapos may nagdala na ng mga masters, tapos ayun nag team-team na ang laban. Hanggang sa dumami na. Kagabi nga, 28 kami,” Realubit in the article.
Asked if Pacquiao sometimes wins his own tournaments, Realubit said yes.
“Oo, laging nananalo sa individual, pero bihira siya mag-champion. Sa team, malakas siya, kasi kakampi niya sila Eugene Torre at iba pang national masters. Kaya natatalo kami,” he said. “Chess ngayon ang pinaka-favorite ni boss. Kilala naman si boss na matulungin talaga. Nilagyan lang nya ng kaunting challenge ngayon.”
“Maganda ito kasi hindi na siya nagsusugal. Pero nagpa-premyo na lang siya. Malaking tulong sa mga atleta natin na walang pondo, kasi nakakakuha sila. Wala kang talo, kahit di ka nanalo, may iuuwi kang P2,000 or P3,000.”
One of his favorite playing partners is a legend himself-Efren “Bata” Reyes, considered the best billiard player of all time.
“Lagi kaming naglalaban niyan, noong araw pa. Magandang kalaban eh. May premyo,” said Reyes.
Aside from Reyes and Realubit, other noted Filipino athletes who have joined Pacquiao’s private chess tournaments are “billiards great Francisco ‘Djanggo’ Bustamante, former world 9-ball champion Ronnie Alcano, former Olympic boxing silver medallist Onyok Velasco, and yes, even chess masters such as GM Eugene Torre, IMs Rolando Nolte, and Chito Garma.”
If by chance, Manny will be reading this article, you are invited to our 25th anniversary tournament scheduled on Sept. 19 to 20 tentatively at SM City. We will be deeply honored by your presence.
Cepca. Our August tournament will be on the Aug. 16 at our usual venue ,Handuraw Gorordo starting 2 pm. The total prizes is P10,000 courtesy of our New York-based member, NM Susan Itaas. She is the only Woman National Master in Cebu and was a member of the Philippine team to the Olympiads for three times. She is a CPA by profession.
This is Susan’s birthday gift (Aug. 11) to Cebuano chess players. She says “I love chess so much! Time to give back.”
Prizes for Group A are P2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 and For group B, the prizes are P1,500, 1,000, 800, 700 and 500. Registration for Ladies and kiddies will be free. Aside from that, the top lady and top kiddie will also receive P500 each. Thank you Susan! These prizes are the highest in our monthly tournaments for this year.