Friday, December 18, 2015

Pestaño: One big tournament after another

LAST weekend marked the end of a great tournament --the London Chess Classic. The tournament was the third and final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, a newly formed circuit of three premier chess events organized by former World Champion Gary Kasparov.
Here are the final scores: 1.) Magnus Carlsen (5.5), 2.) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (5.5), 3.) Anish Giri (5.5), 4.) Levon Aronian (5.) 5-7.) Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana, Michael Adams (4.5), 8.) Hikaru Nakamura (4), 9.) Viswanathan Anand (3.5), 10.) Veselin Topalov (2.5).
In addition to the tournament win, Magnus also clinched the top place in the Grand Chess Tour with a total of 26 points, three points ahead of his nearest rival, Anish Giri. Magnus finished another year as the best chess player in the world.
Qatar Open. The 2nd Qatar Masters Open 2015 just got bigger and better and will be the strongest Open chess tournament in history. Reigning world champion and world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen is playing together with this amazing cast--Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin and other 2700+ giants. Wesley So is also playing!
It starts tomorrow and will end on Dec. 30, so the players will be spending Christmas there. The hefty prize fund is $130,000, with $27,000 for the first prize men’s division and $8,000 for the first prize of the women’s division. There will also be appearance fees for the top players.
Tata Steel. The 78th edition of the Tata Steel Chess 2016, also known as the Wimbledon of chess, will take place from Jan. 15 to 31 2016 in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands. The participants are Magnus Carlsen (2850), Fabiano Caruana (2787), Ding Liren (2781) Anish Giri (2778), Wesley So (2767), Sergey Karjakin (2766) Michael Adams (2744), Shakhryar Mamedyarov (2743), Wei Yi (2737), David Navara (2730) Hou Yifan (2683) and Loek van Wely (2632.)
With an average rating of 2750, the top tournament once again has a strong field of participants. All eyes will be on the new sensation, Wei Yi from China, who is only 16. He won the Tata Steel Challengers in 2015, thus obtaining a slot in this year’s Masters. He is already on the threshold of the world’s top 20. Wei Yi’s countrywoman and the world’s strongest female player, Hou Yifan, will participate in the main tournament for the third time.
It is also interesting how Wesley will perform here.
Pacquiao Random team. The second Manny Pacquiao Random Chess Team Championship, which offers a total cash prize of P1.5 million pesos, started yesterday at Gen. Santos City.
Pacquiao will be giving away P400,000 for the winner in the team event . The second placer gets P220,000 and the third placer earns P130,000.There are roughly 300 players in 74 teams.
In the individual event, the winner will take home P50,000, while the second and third placers will win P30,000 and P20,000 respectively. 
Cepca grand finals. The grand finals of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (CEPCA) tournament will be held at Handuraw Pizza along Gorordo Avenue this Sunday . The club’s Christmas party will follow after the tournament.
Among those who will see action in the ‘Battle of Champions’ are two-time grand champion Jimmy Ty Jr., Rey Flores, Arnold Cadiz, Tony Cabibil, Amado Olea Jr., Carlo Maraat, Stein Torres, Jojo Muralla, Peterson Sia, Rogelio Enriquez, Ross Yamyamin, and Martin Kwan for Group A.
The other qualifiers as champions in Group B are Regelito Hortelano, Ruel Hortelano, Jun Kidlat, Elmer Odango, Jerry Maratas, Felix Balbona, Mike Tinga, Jojo Paredes, Jessa Balbona, Michael Ventulan, Edwin Cablao, and Romy Pialan. There will also be a tournament among the non-qualifiers with some invited ladies varsity players and gifted kiddies.

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