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.

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