Friday, June 10, 2016

Pestaño: Grand chess tour and Gashimov memorial Thursday, June 09, 2016

THE Grand Chess Tour is a series of four events where players earn grand tour points in accordance with their final rank in each event. At the conclusion of the tour, the top two players based on the standings shall be awarded tour prizes worth $1 million.
Nine of the current top 10  grandmasters will compete in the Tour, since Magnus Carlsen will only participate in the two blitz and rapid events in Paris and Leuven.
“It’s great news that the grand chess tour have expanded with two new tournaments in Paris and Brussels,” said Carlsen. “I’m looking forward to playing both. Unfortunately, due to a very busy schedule, I won’t be able to play in Saint Louis or London this year. Hopefully I will get a new chance to fight for the GCT title again next year.”
It’s understandable that he is not playing in the classical events as he is scheduled to play Sergey Karjakin, who is also not playing in the tour, in the World championship in New York in November. They will be observing each other moves as part of their preparation.
Like last year, the 10th player will be added as a wildcard each time. For the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, that would be world No. 9 Ding Liren of China; the London Chess Classic hasn’t chosen a player yet.
The first leg is set to take place from June 9-12 at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris, France. The total prize fund is $150,000.
The Participants are Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Veselin Topalov, Maxime-Vachier Lagrave, Magnus Carlsen, Laurent Fressinet.
One of the strongest tournaments this year was theThe Vugar Gashimov Memorial held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan from May 26 to June 4, 2016. It was held in memory of the great Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on Jan. 10, 2014.
The tournament featured 10 world-class players: Fabiano Caruana (2795), Anish Giri (2790), Sergey Karjakin (2779), Pavel Eljanov (2750), Pentala Harikrishna (2763), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2750), Teimour Radjabov (2726), Eltaj Safarli (2664), Hou Yifan (2663) and Rauf Mamedov (2650).
Mamedyarv won the biggest strongest tournament of his career by defeating Giri in a superb rook endgame he played to perfection, right after beating Caruana in the previous round. In the playoff, he defeated Caruana and snatched the title.
Our lady journalist KC Morala sent in thie report.
“Check and mate: Richard Natividad came out on top in the 4th VMA Power Open Chess Tournament held at Robinsons Galleria Cebu last June 1-2. After overcoming Kim Yap in the last game of the seven-round tournament, Natividad finished with 6.5 points.
Second place Edsel Montoya also fought to a win against Kyle Sevillano and racked 6.5 points. A superior tiebreak output secured the champion trophy for Natividad.
Merben Roque and Ronald Ganzon both posted 6 points and took third and fourth places respectively.
Meanwhile, Airene Robillos claimed the top lady title with 4.5 points.
Battle of the brains: Yves Fiel held Richard Natividad to a draw and both finished even with 4.5 points in the 5-round Barangay Kalunasan Open Chess Tournament held at Kalunasan Barangay Hall last June.
Edsel Montoya and Merben Roque shared the third spot with 4 points.
Kyle Sevillano, a 17-year old Far Eastern University student, was the co-champion in a separate Juniors Category after sealing a draw with Ryan Pacres in the last round.Airene Robillos of the USJR Jaguars and USC Warrior Shaira Monsalud shared the top spot for the Ladies category.”

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