Friday, September 25, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So out of World Cup

THE World Cup, an integral part of the World Championship Cycle 2014-2016, is currently on-going in Baku, Azerbaijan and is now in the quarterfinal stage.
The format is six rounds of matches comprising two games per round plus tiebreaks, with the winners progressing to the next round and the final seventh round will have four (4) games.
This is a an extremely strong tournament as of the top 100 players, only Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand are absent.
Wesley So is out of the competition after being booted out by his nemesis Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France in the rapid tiebreaks in the Round-of-16. Although rated lower than Wesley, Maxime has won two of their classical games with seven draws. Wesley goes home though with $25,000.
Also out are top 10 players and Sinquefield 2014 and 2015 winners Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian, perennial candidates qualifier Boris Gelfand, previous World Cup winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Veselin Topalov and Ding Liren.
Those who made the quarterfinalists are Anish Giri, Pavel Eljanov, Sergey Karyakin, Wei Yi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Peter Svidler and Lagrave.
The losers in the quarterfinals will receive $35,000, while those who make the semis get $50,000. The runner-up gets $80,000 while the champion gets $120,000. In major tournaments Fide usually gets 20 percent of the prize money. In this case however, the organizers have been generous by assuming the Fide tax and the players will receive the full amount.
Round 5 pairings are Giri vs. Lagrave; Mamedyarov vs. Karjakin; Nakamura vs. Eljanov; and Svidler vs. Wei Yi. Incidentally, Chinese sensation Wei is the youngest player ever to reach the quarterfinal stage.
Cepca. Rommel Ganzon was crowned king of the recently concluded Cepca Silver Open tournament at SM City, while Felix Shaun Balbona was a close runner-up with the same score but lower tiebreak points.
For his feat, Ganzon earned P10,000, a beautiful championship trophy and a DGT chess clock from Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy. Balbona received P7,000, a runner-up trophy and a brand new chess clock from Raymond Garcia, the club’s guest of honor. All other winners, up to the 20th placer, received cash prizes as well.
Other special winners are: Top Cepca A--Arnold Cadiz, Jimmy Ty Jr., Ross Yamyamin; Top Cepca B--Gabby Misterio, Mario Bustillo, Romy Pialan; Top Ladies--Charry Jacobs, KC Morala, Belinda Baguio; Top Kiddies--Jeremy Pepito, Jerish Velarde, Marc Bryan Villarojo; and Top Senior--Jun Kidlat.
The club, through president Engr. Jerryboy Maratas, is very thankful to all the sponsors and donors for the successful holding of the tournament.
Thank you so much to the following major sponsors—Jemar Engineering Services, Celgem Construction and Development Corp., Handuraw Pizza, SM City-Cebu. The minor sponsors are Prime Parts Fabricators and Development Corp. and San Narciso Builders Corp.
The donors are Rose Pharmacy, Model Rent-A-Car, Ecotherm Water Heater Co., Gonzalodo Enterprises, JJ & J Construction and General Supply, Biao Builders, Ritebuild System Corp., Reliabuild Corp., Federal North Hardware, Inc., Steeltech Colored Roofing, MGM Financial Services, Heinar Traders Corp., Kawashima and Dalawampu Families, Rhaffy Bensi, SSGT Amado A Jr Olea, Capt. Mercurion Fernandez, Engr. Marvyne Guardiana and Mayor Aljun Diamante.
Also personal contributions were received from Rosendo Yamyamin, Silverstein Torres, Felix Balbona, Denster Abella, Ben Dimaano and Elmer Odango. Special thanks to honorary members Kelly Uy and Andrew Aznar for the trophies; honorary member Boojie Lim and Raymond Garcia for the chess clocks.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pestaño: Talented Cepca children

VYNNE Mharie Ant is the 16-year-old daughter of Cepca vice president Marvynne Guardiana. At her tender age, Vynne had brought honor to the family by bringing home two bronze medals in the recently concluded World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Long Beach, California last July. WCOPA is the Olympics of performing arts.
Vynne does possess all what it take to become a singing sensation. And with the full support given by her parents, this first year dentistry student of Cebu Doctors’ University would go a long long way.
Original member Bob Inocian invited a select group of fellow members to lunch last Saturday. The occasion was to celebrate his daughter’s passing of the Physician licensure examinations last week of August.
Ellaine, 27, is also a superb athlete. She is a member of World Taekwondo Federation and became a 1st dan black belt at the age of 17.
She was also a badminton varsity player for CIC (Colegio dela Immaculada Concepcion) in 2004 and also a chess varsity player in 2005. CIC was the Inter-Catholic High-School Champion at that time and she was the Board 2 gold medalist. She also played soccer for the College of Nursing in the University of San Carlos (USC) Intramurals in 2008.
She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at USC last April 2009.
While taking medicine at the Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM), she played badminton, soccer and swimming from 2010 to 2014.
She graduated from the Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) on April 2014 and passed the Physicians Licensure Board Examinations in August 2015. She is planning to specialize in surgery.
Jessa, 22, daughter of Felix and Juliet, comes from the nationally famous chess-playing family-the Balbonas. She was a consistent honor student in elementary and graduated salutatorian in high school at CIC.
She graduated cum laude from USC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy and was once a member of the national chess team. She is also the first lady finals qualifier of Cepca in 25 years.
She passed the CPA board exams last June and is now connected with the prestigious Sycip, Gorres and Velayo management and accountancy firm in Makati.
We also have chess prodigies are Jerish 9 and Dwayne 8. Both are chess masters material and recipients of the sports writers award last year.
Jerish is the son of John Velarde and has played in Macau and Singapore representing the Philippines in his age group.
Dwayne was seven-under champion in Scotland last year while his father, Denster Abella, worked there as an OFW
World Cup. The FIDE World Cup, starting with 128 players, started last Sept. 10 and will end on Oct/ 5 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where next year’s Chess Olympiad will be held . The two finalists will qualify directly to the 2016 candidates’ tournament, and the winner of that tournament will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title later that year.
Wesley So overpowered an inexperienced Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran in the first round and the dangerous Csaba Balogh in the second to easily enter the third round. He is already assured of winning $16,000.
So’s best performance in this event came six years ago in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia where he made it to the Round-of-16 by stunning Gadir Guseinov, 4-1, Vassily Ivanchuk, 1.5-.5 and Gata Kamsky, 1.5-.5, one after the other before falling to Vladimir Malakhov, 1-4.
Tournament. This is to inform all chess players of the Cepca Silver Open tournament at SM City tomorrow Saturday and Sunday. Onsite registration is at 1030 a.m. and the tournament starts at 1 pm.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pestaño: Cepca silver jubilee tournament

THE Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca), the longest-running chess club in Cebu, will celebrate its silver anniversary this month with an open tournament in SM City on Sept. 19 and 20.
The club is not also known nationally but also, to some extent, internationally due to our grand masters tournaments and simul exhibitions with foreign players. I have already written a previous article two months ago about its beginning and accomplishments.
The club is not open to just any player, but is exclusive to executives, businessmen or entrepreneurs and professionals. Its primary purposes is to meet the chess needs of its members and to promote the game in Cebu.
The champion will take home P10,000 plus a magnificent trophy, while the second placer will get P7,000 and also a trophy. I have seen dozens of trophies in the past and these are the best of them. The winners will treasure these trophies throughout their life. The third placer will pocket P5,000 and the fourth and fifth placers will get P3,000 and P2,000, respectively. The sixth to 20th placers will also get cash prizes.
There will also be special prizes for the top three Kiddies (14-Under), top three ladies, top three Class A Cepca members, top three Class B Cepca members and the top senior (60-above players).
The format is nine-rounds Swiss and time control is 30 minutes plus five-second increments. Registration fee is P300 for the regular players, P200 for Cepca members and seniors, and P150 for ladies and kiddies.
Registration is on site starting at 10:30 a.m. while the tournament will start at 1 p.m. Four rounds will be played on Saturday and five rounds on Sunday starting 11 am.
Ouir monthly tournament, which will include children of Cepca members, will be this Sunday, at Handuraw Gorordo starting 2 p.m. Ladies are also invited and may register for free. This month`s sponsor is Ellery Berciles.
Pacquiao tournament. This 4-man team tournament was played last Sept. 4 and 5 at SM Mall, General Santos and sponsored by the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
Format was a random seven rounds Swiss with one hour time control. Random chess is a variant advocated by Bobby Fischer. Placement of the major pieces is not the same as standard chess but randomized for every round. This will force the players to rely on their creativity and talent as most masters memorize the first 10 or so starting moves of standard chess..
Cebu’s Rose Pharmacy A (IM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Kim Steven Yap, Edsel Montoya, Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano) finished at a tie for fourth to sixth places with Estomo Bohol (Norman Longjas, Jose Vito Tapulgo, Rommel Ganzon, Allan Salientes) and Acxent Glass A (GM Darwin Laylo, NM David Alorta, Sherwin Tiu, Samson Lim). Each won P35,000.
The big purse of P300,000 was snared by the Mark Yabut Jake Carlos Realty and Finance team composed of International Master Richelieu “Jongjong” Salcedo III, Alfredo Rapanot, National Master Jerad Docena and Kevin Mirano.
Tied for second and third were the Acxent Glass B team of International Masters Ronald Dableo, Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Timothy John Kua So and Christian Arroyo and the Pacman Crusaders team of Joel Pimentel Jr., Roel Abelgas and Recarte Tiauson and Lennon Hart Salgados. Each won P150,000.
Eugene Torre teamed up with Pacquiao, former PBA star Zaldy Realubit, and kiddie sensation Alekhine Nouri for the 11th placer Pacman 2 .Torre won the gold in board one, while Kimkim also won the gold medal in board 2. The board 3 and 4 winners were John So Kua and Allan Salientes.
Twenty-four teams participated in this first random team tournament.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So’s disappointing stint

THE Grand Chess Tour 2015 was conceptualized by the legendary Garry Kasparov and created for the world’s best players. It is made possible by the partnership among the Chess Club, Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup), Tower AS (Norway Chess 2015) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic).
Each of the three 2015 Grand Chess Tour events will award individual prize funds of $300,000, with competitors also tallying points toward a tour prize fund of $150,000. The overall tour champion will receive an additional $75,000. The total prize fund for the Tour is $1,050,000.
The events are the Norway Chess 2015 in Stavanger, Norway (June 15- 26), Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, USA, (Aug. 21 to Sept. 3) and the London Chess Classic in London, England (Dec. 3 to 14).
The Tour invited the world’s top 10 GMs, eight of whom agreed to appear in all three international events. A ninth GM, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, was added as Wesley declined to play due to conflicting schedules. The 10th and final GM will be selected as a wildcard by each organizing host. Wesley was the wild card entry in Sinquefield.
It is not reasonable to expect a stellar performance from Wesley, as after all, this tournament is the highest rated in history. But still he could have done better instead of being the cellar-dweller. He had a lone win over Alexander Grischuk and had draws with Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana. He lost to Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura. His performance rating is a lowly 2676 compared to the winner Aronian, who had a rating of 2918 and won by a full point.
As a result, Wesley is now down to no.12 in the world from no. 7 at the start of the tournament and lost a massive 13 points in live ratings as of Sept. 2. Last year’s winner Caruana was also off and finished just a half point better than So like Anand.
Aronian increased by 19 points and is now No. 7 in live ratings, improving by four ranks from No.11. He is an Armenian GM and is now back to his old form. In the March 2014 FIDE rating list, he was ranked No. 2 in the world and had an Elo rating of 2830, making him the fourth highest-rated player in history. His popularity in Armenia has led to him being called a hero. He was named the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia in 2009.
He is endeared to Filipino fans as he has been in a relationship with Fil- Aussie mestiza Woman International Master Arianne Caoili since 2008.
New GM. Haridas Pascua scored 5.5 points in nine rounds in the Abu Dhabi Masters Open Tournament last week and achieved his third and final GM norm and become the 12th Pinoy Grandmaster.
But Fide regulations say Pascua cannot be awarded the GM title until he hits an Elo rating of 2500. His present rating is 2447. There is no deadline though and it is only a matter of time
Remarkable. John Burke of USA, who was born in 2001, is still untitled but has broken Wei Yi’s record as the youngest player in the world to achieve a 2600 rating.
Ding Liren is now world No.7 as of Aug. 31 beating the record of Wang Yue as the highest-rated Chinese ever.
Battsooj Amina of Mongolia went from beginner to master in four months! This is rather unusual as the 14-year-old girl gained an incredible 850 Elo points from 1458 to 2309, from mid-May up to this month.