Friday, March 11, 2016

Pestaño: Manny Pacquiao joins elite group

MOST of the big sponsors are countries, corporations and organizations. Individuals are a rare breed.
In modern times, there have been only three--Luis Rentero, Joop van Oosterom and Rex Siquenfield. Manny Pacquiao is about to join them if he continues his tournaments in Gen. Santos City.
Rentero was a brilliant businessman who ran a chain of supermarkets and owned two hotels. He died last year at the age of 83.The Linares International Chess Tournament began in 1978 and was held annually up until 2010.
He succeeded in making Linares the best chess tournament in the world with the attendance of the main top players fighting for the honor to be the winners of this “Wimbledon” of Chess.
All the elite chess players of his era attended the famous tournament. He did not like “grand master draws” and his policy was not only to invite the best players but also the more combative ones. A quick draw usually leads to both players not invited for the next edition!
Joop van Oosterom is a Dutch billionaire. For many years he has staged the annual Melody Amber tournaments in Monaco, where world class grandmasters play rapid and blindfold games. It is named after his first daughter Melody Amber.
Van Oosterom was a strong correspondence chess player, but suffered a severe stroke some years ago. Nevertheless, he became the 18th world champion in Correspondence Chess.
The Amber chess tournament was an annual invitation-only event for some of the world’s best players from 1992 to 2011. Since the second edition, the event uniquely combined blindfold chess and speed chess, and has been held in Monte Carlo. Invited players considered this like an invitation to the White House and the players were treated like royalty.
Rex Sinquefield is an American financial wizard. In 1973, he helped create the first Standard & Poor’s index funds and in 1981, co-founded Dimensional Fund Advisors, which manages more than $310 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2013.
In 2007 Rex opened the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a non-profit organization. Its mission is to “maintain a formal program of instruction to teach the game of chess and to promote and support its educational program through community outreach and local and national partnerships to increase the awareness of the educational value of chess.”
The Sinquefield Cup is an annual, invite-only chess tournament in St. Louis, Missouri first held in 2013. The event in 2013 was the strongest chess tournament ever held in the US up until that time. The 2014 edition, however, is the strongest in the history of chess, as measured by actual average Elo ratings of 2802 for the six participants, who are all in the top 10 of FIDE’s Elo rating list. The third edition was held last Aug. 22 and the particpants had an average FIDE Rating of 2795.
Over P2 million in cash and prizes was given in the Pacquiao Random Chess Festival 2016 held last Feb. 20 to 23 at SM Mall in Gen. Santos City. This is the fourth time that Manny has sponsored a big tournament. The first was the Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championships (Open, Women’s and Blitz) from May 17 to 27 2013 at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.
The Elegant Houses in Pampanga, led by GM Darwin Laylo, emerged as champion in the team tournament via a superior tiebreak after it ended up tied with NICA Team Ilonggo and Pacman Team A with 12 points. Individual winners in the Rapid and Blitz events were IM Joel Pimentel and Jenrich Cajeras.

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