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.

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