Friday, May 27, 2016

Pestaño: Busy month for Cebu chess

IN a previous article, I reminded Cebuano players that they are quite lucky as there are plenty of tournaments here because of chess patrons Boojie Lim, Marvynne Guardiana and of course, Cepca. There are other sponsors as well.
We have three coming tournaments in just a week after the just concluded tournaments in Mabolo and Apas this month.
On May 29, Cepca will have a tournament for members, ladies as well as Kiddies at the Robinson’s Galleria at 1:30 p.m. Registration is P200 for members and P100 for ladies and kiddies.
The five-round tournament will have two categories--A and B. Class A players are selected members of Cepca and some of their children, while all ladies and kiddies will be playing in the B category with the other members. Prizes for Class A are P2,000, P1,000, and P500 for the top three and P2,500, P1,500 and P1,000, for the Class B.
This month’s sponsor is Cepca president Engr. Jerry Maratas.
On June 1 and 2, there will be the open 4th VBMA Power tournament also at Robinson sponsored by Cepca vice president Engr. Marvynne Guardiana. It will be a seven-round tournament and it will start at 1 p.m. On-site registration starts at 1030 a.m. on Wednesday. There will be P20,000 in prizes for the winners. Registration is P250.
On June 4 and 5, Barangay Kalunasan will hold an open tournament at the 4th floor of the Barangay hall starting at 9:30 a.m. for the open, ladies and kiddies division.
The results of the following tournaments, just concluded this month, was sent lady journalist and my favorite player, Keith Claire Morala.
“Mabolo. Chess players from all over Barangay Mabolo showed off their skills in the 2016 Barangay Mabolo Annual fiesta chess tournament at the Mabolo Elementary School Cultural Center last May 15.
Justin Misa and Alex Bayubay tied for top spot at six points apiece in the 7-round Swiss system competition. Misa brought home the champion trophy courtesy of a superior tiebreak.
Hector Villamora, Norvil Tagnipis, Duane Borgonia, and Edsel Vosotros finished in a four-way tie at 5.5 points respectively. Those who made the top 12 with 5.0 points each were Rodolfo Ang, Bonjoe Lanorias, Laila Nadera, Reshie Rolan, Christian Pondoyo and Alberto Rivera.
Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano was unmatched in the 2016 Barangay Apas Junior Chess Tournament held at the Brgy Apas Sports Complex last May 18. Sevillano racked six straight wins before settling for a draw in his last round with Aldritz Pondoyo, securing his solo top spot in the 7-round tournament.
Meanwhile, Edsel Vosotros posted five victories and a draw to seize second place. Ryan Pacres and Kirk Morala both wound up with five points but Pacrestook third place with a superior tiebreak score.
Reishi Polan and Pondoyo finished tied with 4.5, but Polan made top 5 since he won against Pondoyo in the fourth round.
Jeremy Bajo scored four points to nab the Top Female’s crown for the 17-under category, while Jasia Dorog took the 12-under Top Female title.
The top three finishers for 12-under category were Rolfred Lacanaria (4 points), Gyles Derotas (4), and Jave Peteros (3.5 ). Derotas was also hailed as the Top Apas Player.”

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pestaño: No generation gap in chess

THE generation gap is common in all societies between one generation to another. It can be differences in customs, attitudes, beliefs ,opinions or sense of values between younger people and their parents or grandparents.
The sociological theory of a generation gap first came to light in the 1960s, when the younger generation (later known as Baby Boomers) seemed to go against everything their parents had previously believed in terms of music, values, governmental and political views. Usually, when any of these age groups is engaged in its primary activity, the individual members are physically isolated from people of other generations, with little interaction across age barriers except at the family level.
The gap is even more apparent now with the advent of technology such as cell phones and the internet.
There is only one activity I know that has no generation gap--the game of chess. Old people can play with younger people, even children and children can play with much older people and enjoy and interact with no sense of conflict and with no apparent advantage over the other.
This week, a grandparent was featured in my favorite website--an 89-year-old chess fanatic desperate for opponents who is now taking on student volunteers at the nursing home where he stays.
Here’s what wrote: “Bill, who’s been an avid chess player for almost 70 years, posted a cardboard sign on the door to his room at Creasy Springs Health Campus in Lafayette, where he’s lived for three years. It read: “Anybody want to play chess?”
The plea broke the hearts of all who saw it, his daughter Trish said.
“It was just so sad,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh, how can I get him some chess players?’ I knew some schools have chess players or chess clubs.…”
Trish contacted Gloria Grigsby, the assistant principal at McCutcheon High School, from which Trish’s own kids graduated.
Grigsby told ABC News that six students were willing to play chess with Bill. Some of the teens belonged to the school’s board game club, some were from the National Honor Society.
Paige Vester, life enrichment director of the nursing home, said Bill had been having trouble finding chess opponents until the seniors at McCutcheon came along.
“It’s tough to find someone, especially in a long-term care facility, who has the ability to do those kinds of things,” Vester said. “I think these kids are really special and the fact that they get to visit with Bill ... it’s a special connection. [Bill’s] very talkative, very personable ... he’s hilarious.”
Now, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the kids challenge Bill to games of chess.
“Not only do these students have high academic standing, but they’re involved in multiple activities,” Grigsby said. “To then continue to give up more of their time to volunteer, to me, is very heartwarming. We are very proud of them.”
Ryan Howard, 18, said he’s learning a thing or two from his new opponent.”I enjoy interacting with Bill,” Ryan said. “I have elderly grandparents that I don’t get to see much. Interacting with that generation is very meaningful for me. Bill enjoys the experience very much.”
Joshua Stalbaum, 18, also plays chess against Bill. “I feel like Bill really is very passionate about the game of chess and at the place where he lives, he doesn’t feel there’s anyone who’s is good enough competition to give him a fair opponent,” Joshua said.
Bill’s daughter Trish said she’s extremely grateful for the kids spending time with her dad, and hopes it inspires more good deeds.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pestaño: Philippines in arrears with Fide

AS OF of April 14 last month the Philippines is one of those listed that has pending arrears with FIDE. This has become a habit in the past several years and there is a clear and present danger that we may not be able to play in the coming Olympiad. There are no current news that this has been paid. More on this later.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad, will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan on Sept. 1-14.There were two other interested cities—Albena in Bulgaria and Tallinn in Estonia but were not approved.
This was a controversial decision as many countries know that Armenia will not participate. The delegation of Armenia declared that participation of the Armenian chess players would be in that case impossible.
With the breakup of the Soviet Union, ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan fought a brief conflict, backed by Armenia proper, that resulted in the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabak (NKR) alongside a 1994 ceasefire agreement.
Some clashes occurred in the years following the 1994 ceasefire. Although no exact casualty figures exist, by 2009, as many as 3,000 people, mostly soldiers, had been killed. In 2008, the fighting became more intense and frequent. With 72 deaths recorded throughout the year, 2014 became the bloodiest since the war ended.
Since the country's independence, the Armenian men's chess team has won the European Team Championship(1999), the World Team Championship (2011) and the Chess Olympiad (2006, 2008, 2012). The women's team had its crowning victory at the 2003 European Championship. As of February 2016, Armenia ranks seventh in the world by the average rating of its top players. Levon Aronian, Armenia's best chess player, is currently world No. 4 in the FIDE rankings. Aronian was a World Champion candidate several times.
Since the 2011–12 school year, Armenia is the first country in the world to make chess mandatory in schools.
Garry Kasparov has compared the popularity of chess in Armenia with the popularity of football (soccer) in Brazil and Argentina.
Another problem before was Ukraine. It is also a major power in Chess. Fide suspended Ukraine last March 25 as it failed within the set deadline, to pay the full amount of the fee for the Women's World Championship match in Lviv has not been paid within the set deadline.
The Ukrainian debt is estimated at EUR 60,000. It can be recalled that the women’s championship between Mariya Muzychuk and Hou Yifan was played in Lyiv last March and normally Fide gets 20% of the prize money.
Andriy Sadovy, Mayor of Lyiv, announced that the problems between FIDE and the Ukrainian Chess Federation have been smoothed out last April 18 as the city’s pride and reputation was at stake.
As approved by the Presidential Board in Sochi, there will be a new procedure regarding Federations more than six months in arrears. The new policy, which comes into immediate effect, is that on December 31, the treasurer will list on the FIDE website those countries that are deemed to be over six months in arrears. Until the arrears have been paid off, players from these Federations cannot participate in any FIDE events that are under the aegis of a.) the World Championship & Olympiad Commission or Events Commission, b.) Continental competitions that provide qualifiers to any of the aforesaid competitions.
Wesley So recently won $35,000 for placing second in the US Championship and earning $15,000 in the Blitz match yhat followed. This week, he got another $10,000 in his losing match (2.5-1.5) with Ding Liren in Shanghai,China as part of the US-China Summit. Making good money

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pestaño: Wesley in ultimate blitz game vs. Kasparov

THE entire world was looking forward to this blitz event where Garry Kasparov was going to lock horns against three of the best players in the world--Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So.
This was part of the US Championship and format was a four-player sextuple round robin. Each player would play against the other six times or 8 rounds of chess divided equally over two days. The time control was five minutes plus 3-second delays (not increment).
This was the strongest tournament of Kasparov since he retired and he performed quite well though he was at the receiving end of what commentators claimed as an immortal blitz game.
Wesley played a spectacular game against Kasparov in his 10th game. It was power chess with hard to see threats and surprising sacrifices. He was immediately compared to two of the 19th century chess legends: the American Paul Morphy and the brilliant German attacker Adolf Anderssen.
Wesley’s game was showered with superlatives all around the globe.
Kasparov took the defeat in stride, praised Wesley and even donated his winnings to the US chess olympiad team. But Kasparov will now be called the Kieseritzky of Blitz chess. Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky was known not only for his long name, but for his loss of the original Immortal Game as well. It was won by Anderssen in London in 1851. This friendly encounter later became the subject of many books.
This is what the commentators had to say about the game:
Maurice Ashley: “The day started with a thunderbolt: Wesley So playing one of the finest attacking game since Morphy!”
Yasser Seirawan: “Wesley’s game against Kasparov will go down in history as one of the greatest blitz games ever played. I will remember that game for the rest of my life.”
Nakamura ($20,000) had a strong second day and won the event with 11/18 a point clear of Wesley ($15,000) on 10 points. Kasparov ($10,000) acquitted himself very well and finished on 9.5 points, a plus score. Caruana ($5,000) got cut adrift and collapsed to only 5.5 points.
Chess in Schools. There will be an international conference this month on Chess in Schools in Poland on May 20.The project “Education through Chess in Schools” is organized by the Polish Chess Federation in cooperation with Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Sport and Tourism.
The direct stimulus for the start of implementation came from the European Parliament in 2012 calling on all member states of the European Union to introduce Chess in Schools.
Playing chess improves logical and analytical thinking, problem solving skills, development of spatial orientation, concentration and many others. Through chess we try to support the intellectual, social and emotional development of children.
Another conference is in Armenia, organized by the ministry of Education and Chess Academy of Armenia, in cooperation with Fide, the International Conference entitled “Theoritical and practical issues of Chess in Schools” will be held in  Tsaghkadzor on Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.
The main topics of the conference are the following: Chess education and personality development, socio-psychological issues of chess education, chess teachers’ training and professional development, technological and methodological aspects of chess education and chess and inclusive education practices.
Armenia is one of the countries in the world where chess is mandatory in primary schools.
The Philippines should send some representatives to these conferences to gain some insights on the benefits of chess on children.