Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Remembering the Death of Jose Rizal

Rizal's execution at Luneta (then Bagumbayan)

It was December 30, 1896. Moments before his execution by a firing squad of Filipino native infantry, backed by an insurance force of Spanish troops, the Spanish surgeon general requested to take his pulse; it was normal. Aware of this, the Spanish sergeant in charge of the backup force hushed his men to silence when they began raising '¡vivas!' with the partisan crowd. His last words were that of Jesus Christ: "consummatum est",--it is done.

The pride and the greatest of the Malay/Brown race

Rizal, ready and calm, took his position opposite his executioners. Roll of drums and a volley of artillery accompany the firing of the soldiers. And even at the moment of his fall, Rizal turns his body so that he ends up lying on his back, with his face to the sun. The elegant Spanish ladies wave their handkerchiefs, the Gentlemen applaud. And while the Filipinos see the execution in enraged silence, calls of "Viva España!" resound thunderously.

to die to give you life, to rest under your sky, and in your enchanted land forever sleep.

On the afternoon of Dec. 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Dr. Jose Rizal was visited by his mother, Teodora Alonzo, sisters Lucia, Josefa, Trinidad, Maria and Narcisa, and two nephews. When they took their leave, Rizal told Trinidad in English that there was something in the small alcohol stove (cocinilla), not alcohol lamp (lamparilla). The stove was given to Narcisa by the guard when the party was about to board their carriage in the courtyard. At home, the Rizal ladies recovered from the stove a folded paper. On it was written an unsigned, untitled and undated poem of 14 five-line stanzas. The Rizals reproduced copies of the poem and sent them to Rizal's friends in the country and abroad. In 1897, Mariano Ponce in Hong Kong had the poem printed with the title "Mi Ultimo Pensamiento." Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid(jail), published it in the first issue of La Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898 with the title "Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell). The poem later became the most translated and beloved patriotic swan song in the world.

My Last Farewell

Farewell, beloved Country, treasured region of the sun,
Pearl of the sea of the Orient, our lost Eden!
To you eagerly I surrender this sad and gloomy life;
And were it brighter, fresher, more florid,
Even then I’d give it to you, for your sake alone.

In fields of battle, deliriously fighting,
Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret;
The place matters not: where there’s cypress, laurel or lily,
On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom,
It’s all the same if the home or country asks.

I die when I see the sky has unfurled its colors
And at last after a cloak of darkness announces the day;
If you need scarlet to tint your dawn,
Shed my blood, pour it as the moment comes,
And may it be gilded by a reflection of the heaven’s newly-born light.

My dreams, when scarcely an adolescent,
My dreams, when a young man already full of life,
Were to see you one day, jewel of the sea of the Orient,
Dry those eyes of black, that forehead high,
Without frown, without wrinkles, without stains of shame.

My lifelong dream, my deep burning desire,
This soul that will soon depart cries out: Salud!
To your health! Oh how beautiful to fall to give you flight,
To die to give you life, to die under your sky,
And in your enchanted land eternally sleep.

If upon my grave one day you see appear,
Amidst the dense grass, a simple humble flower,
Place it near your lips and my soul you’ll kiss,
And on my brow may I feel, under the cold tomb,
The gentle blow of your tenderness, the warmth of your breath.

Let the moon see me in a soft and tranquil light,
Let the dawn send its fleeting radiance,
Let the wind moan with its low murmur,
And should a bird descend and rest on my cross,
Let it sing its canticle of peace.

Let the burning sun evaporate the rains,
And with my clamor behind, towards the sky may they turn pure;
Let a friend mourn my early demise,
And in the serene afternoons, when someone prays for me,
O Country, pray to God also for my rest!

Pray for all the unfortunate ones who died,
For all who suffered torments unequaled,
For our poor mothers who in their grief and bitterness cry,
For orphans and widows, for prisoners in torture,
And for yourself pray that your final redemption you’ll see.

And when the cemetery is enveloped in dark night,
And there, alone, only those who have gone remain in vigil,
Disturb not their rest, nor the mystery,
And should you hear chords from a zither or psaltery,
It is I, beloved Country, singing to you.

And when my grave, then by all forgotten,
has not a cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let men plow and with a spade scatter it,
And before my ashes return to nothing,
May they be the dust that carpets your fields.

Then nothing matters, cast me in oblivion.
Your atmosphere, your space and valleys I’ll cross.
I will be a vibrant and clear note to your ears,
Aroma, light, colors, murmur, moan, and song,
Constantly repeating the essence of my faith.

My idolized country, sorrow of my sorrows,
Beloved Filipinas, hear my last good-bye.
There I leave you all, my parents, my loves.
I’ll go where there are no slaves, hangmen nor oppressors,
Where faith doesn’t kill, where the one who reigns is God.

Goodbye, dear parents, brother and sisters, fragments of my soul,
Childhood friends in the home now lost,
Give thanks that I rest from this wearisome day;
Goodbye, sweet foreigner, my friend, my joy;
Farewell, loved ones, to die is to rest.

José Rizal, 1896

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best of chess for 2008: ChessHeroes picks

Standing tall from among the rest for 2008: Vaselin Topalov

Here's my pick for the best of chess for 2008

Best Player of 2008:
Vaselin Topalov. Winner of the strongest chess tournament in history, the Bilbao Grand Slam 2008 a point and a half ahead of Aronian, Ivanchuk, and Carlsen and in the same tournament he literally crushed to pieces the current world champion Viswanathan Anand in just 25 moves. Recently he captured the title of the strongest chess tournament to be held thus far in Asia, the Nanjing Pearl Spring, a point and a half ahead of Aronian. His other major tournament for 2008 are Dos Hermanas 2008 (Rapid) and Villarrobledo 2008 (Rapid). He has an unofficial live rating of 2809, the highest ever achieved by any in 2008.

Most Improve Player : Wang Yue. Except for Anand, no other Asian player did better than the Chinese super star. From March to December 2008, Wang Yue went 85 games without a loss, one of the longest streaks on record. His unbeaten run ended during round 1 of the third FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2009 tournament. In March 2008, Wang finished shared first at the Reykjavík Open, together with compatriot Wang Hao (who won on tiebreak) and Hannes Stefansson. In his super-tournament debut in April-May 2008 at the 1st FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, he came joint first place with Vugar Gashimov and Magnus Carlsen, scoring 8.0/13 (+3,=10,-0) with a performance rating of 2806. He is the current leader of the FIDE Grand Prix with 273.3 points.

Sportsmen of the Year : Peter Leko and David Navara.

Unsportsmanlike players of the year : Vassily Ivanchuk, Victor Korchnoi

Top Junior player of 2008 : Isn't it pretty obvious? Yes, it's the wunderkid from Norway, marvelous Magnus Carlsen

Best Interview of the year (player) : Ruslan Ponomariov (HERE)

Best place to play chess for 2008: UAE.

Best English chess site of 2008 : Chessdom.com

Best chess fans of 2008 : Filipinos!

Friday, December 26, 2008

How do you cope with failures?

"I love the winning, I can take the loosing, but most of all I love to play."
-Boris Becker

"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot . . . and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why . . . I succeed."
-Michael Jordan

"Wise men never sit and wail their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms."
-William Shakespeare

Anyway it is good to hear what these masters of the game we all love has to say about loosing and failures. Fire on guys, we're all listening. Too bad, Ivanchuk is not competing in the FIDE Grand Prix to hear his thoughts about loosing...too bad.

This is the Question of the Day from Elista FIDE Grand Prix Official website

Vugar GASHIMOV: - Many chess players usually suffer from defeats or overall tournament failures. I think, one should stand defeats philosophically, because it is impossible to win all the time and be among the winners. But on the other hand, if you prepare comprehensively for the competition and aim at struggle, then there will be more successes than failures, or, moreover, you will have no defeats in the tournament. As for me, I easily stand failures, defeats, and I try not to get stuck on it. I consider such an attitude to failures as one of my fortes. I prefer not to think too much and about my victory or draw in the lately played game, and not to revolve in my head some separate moments of it. More...

Teimour RADJABOV: - I also try to treat losses philosophically. Failure is one of the three possible results in the game, and from time to time it happens anyway, no matter what the player wants. But no defeats are alike, there are losses which you feel very bad about and it is very difficult to switch from them. For example, yesterday I lost to Ernesto Inarkiev because of the blunder under the time trouble, though throughout the game I had a clear advantage. I regretted the outcome very much, so I cannot give any advice about the way to overcome such offensive failures, as far as I cannot master my emotions, I feel very bad in such situations. I would prefer to lose the game due to the opponent’s flawless performance, but not to experience such a disappointing loss when you have done everything to win, but a single incomprehensible blunder in the time trouble ruins everything..

Rustam KASIMZHANOV: - A defeat is the most upsetting, I would even say, the ugliest thing for a player, at least, for a professional chess-player. I even think that grandmasters are happy not to face frequent life stresses comparable to a defeat in a significant and important game. After the upsetting loss one needs time to recover not only morally and psychologically but physically as well. It happens this way to me actually. I cannot offer any ready recipe for feeling better after a loss.

Peter LEKO: - Like any sportsman I don’t like losing. This year I held the traditional commercial 8-game match in Miskolc, Hungary. Magnus Carlsen, the 4th in the world ranking, was my opponent this time. Unfortunately I lost the match without a single victory. The game was a utter frustration: I missed a number of opportunities and made awful blunders. Certainly I was very much upset about a defeat and my poor performance. This was, I remind, an unofficial match of no sport importance. I recovered from it only after the victory in the traditional Dortmund Super Tournament.

Evgeny ALEKSEEV: - I try to forget the defeat as fast as possible and concentrate on the coming game. Some times I cannot do it however. Yesterday I lost to Grischuk, for example, today once again I was defeated by Cheparinov. I don’t know how I will overcome this failure but of course I’ll try to compose myself and aim at struggle in the coming game. One should fight until the very end.

Ernesto INARKIEV: - Of course failures occur in my tournament practice. I cannot say anything new on the point: you should toil at the preparation, theory, analyze a lot in order not to lose but to win. The basis of success is nothing else but elaborate and comprehensive theoretical preparation.

Shakhriyar MAMEDYAROV: - Speaking about defeats in the tournament and not just some losses in some games, I should say I am not satisfied with my performance in ten tournaments out of the last eleven I participated in. Still I believe that very soon there will be victories. Such is the life of a professional chess-player.

Ivan CHEPARINOV: - Defeat is an ordinary phenomenon. Everyone can lose a game, and you shouldn’t take failures too close to heart as life goes on. Any defeat can teach us a lesson and not only in chess. You should of course make a comprehensive analysis of the lost game to find the cause, but preferably not in the course of the tournament. You just have no time for this, you got to prepare for the coming game. Yesterday I lost to Eljanov, but today I managed to rally my thoughts and defeated Alekseev.

Etienne BACROT: - Defeats do not put me out that much. Even after a most unpleasant loss I come to the next game as if nothing had happened. You should treat chess as a game but not as a cutthroat battle.

Dmitry JAKOVENKO: - After any failure, whether it is a defeat or an offensive draw, I try not to pay attention to it and am thinking about my coming game. In case I fail my last game … my thoughts switch to the following tournament. It is the only way for me to overcome the unpleasant consequences of sport failures.

Pavel ELJANOV: - Yesterday I played the longest record game in my tournament career. It lasted no less than 7,5 hours! Though it ended with my victory it’s been a stress for me because the resistance was very stiff. After the game I had a sound sleep and got up only at 11 a.m. I haven’t even had lunch before today’s game because I spent the rest of the time preparing for the coming game and analyzing my opponent’s opening variations. I recommend a sound sleep, ideally 10 hours, especially after a defeat to get rid of unpleasant thoughts. During such enduring and tiresome tournaments sound sleep is especially useful. Furthermore this tournament has a strict rule that forbids the players to offer a draw. Many games drag on for long and blunders and disappointing breakdowns take place. After failures you shouldn’t give up, just pull yourself together and recover fully to do your best the next game..

Vladimir AKOPIAN: - Losses and defeats are a part of a professional chess player’s life just like upheavals and victories. Of course I‘d like to have fewer defeats. For me losing a game or an overall tournament failure is not a tragedy. But there are chess-players who are extremely hurt by failures and take it too close to heart. I have on quite a few occasions seen players who were totally down-spirited after a loss. Every sport and every game means defeat for one of the parties. Someone succeeds and someone fails. It’s normal and we have to take it philosophically.

Wang YUE: - Life is life, chess is chess. OK. I lost. So what?

It's just like this: you lost because you win so many games, and you win because you lost so many games, I guess there is really an "in between" situation about winning and loosing for an average sportsman. Whatever that is, is something we have yet to figure out but that is certainly, friends, a very nice feeling.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Season's Greetings!

CH wish its dear readers from everywhere a merry Christmas. It is always great to know that you have so many friends to spend quality time with even though you don't have the privileged of actually seeing them. I'm dying for a bottle of fine New Zealand red wine at the moment! Cheers everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Radjabov: chess is not a team kind of sport

This interview is from FIDE GP website.

In my opinion chess in general is not a team kind of sport. There are cases when a number of stars, the strongest chess players, are gathered in one team, and there is no unity. It occurs because there is a competition between the players at a high level. In particular, the Russian national team is used to face such problems, on multiple occasions. A long-term member of this team, Alexander Morozevich said in an interview that he had not felt a real team spirit already for twelve years. But basically the team spirit was present in our team, until a certain moment, when our trainers did not make the right decisions. We have no individualists in our national team. For example, when we participated in the Team Championship in Crete, there was a healthy atmosphere in the team, and all our players showed good results.

I guess the individuality of this sports failed once again to convinced top class players that chess could be a good team sports as well. With good reasons. No wonder why unheralded and low seeded teams (Dresden Olympiad and European Championship, are some of the good examples) surprises everyone with their not so impressive performance but come up with good results. The Philippine team at Dresden also has to deal with similar problems, right? To many of you who are regularly updated about our team in Dresden, remember the Torre/Gonzales - Laylo, Gomez and So incident? That could also ad to the strings of "reasons" regarding the poor showing of our team in the Olympiad. Yes, yes there was these money and organization "problems" but their just part of it. I say open your eyes folks and let us not single out the bad atmosphere that surrounds the team members themselves.

How about seeing ten players on one chess board like a game of Basketball? Stupid questions.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Ten Holiday Wish List

I could list down over a hundred wishes but I will only mention ten which can quite easily done.

1. To members of the opposition, media personnel, militant groups and political activist: if you don’t have any good to say about our country and fellow men or inspire people to be a law abiding citizens, please keep quite.

2. To all dog owners and breeders: if you will keep dogs only to let them suffer in lease or lock them up in cage or use them for breeding just for profit, please leave the dogs alone.

3. To whom it may concern: please visit Aranque market at Quiapo one time and see for yourself the appalling conditions of animals being abused for profit.

4. To MTRCB board of directors. Please keep a tight watch on everything that is being shown at MTV, channel V, Mix channel, especially foreign shows if you care about the future of the young people.

5. To ALL pop, rock, metal, hip hop, boy band, celebrity, movie, sport superstars here and overseas : Please use your popularity to encourage other people especially the young ones the value of humility and please don’t fight and curse one another on and off the camera. Please stop brainwashing them that sex and orgies are the most important thing to be happy.

6. To our politicians: corruption cannot be eradicate but please give something (in return) a small portion of your wealth to the poor.

7. To religious leaders: Please stop teaching your members to praise the Lord too much but teach them how to make the Lord praise them.

8. To all elite world champion caliber chess grandmasters, retire from chess before 50. you are blessed with some of the most brilliant mind in the planet and we just all wish the world will benefit from your wit, tactics and strategy. Not just for chess. There is more to give to humanity than chess.

9. To our president: may God blessed you and help you in your desire to make our country a first world nation and eliminate poverty within sixteen years.

10. And finally, to ourselves. Let us not blame too much other people for the bad things that is happening to us (though there are one or two exceptions). And most of all, never ever loose your sense of humor :D

Friday, December 19, 2008

Anand launches chess academy: But is it really that worthy?

"Chess helps academic performance, computers help academic performance and also chess. We need to use technology for chess and life...Use technology for improving academic performance and chess. Bihar will produce a lot of mind champions. Start playing for fun. Learn the rules. Find a friend and play. It will also produce a lot of chess champions. I hope to see it," Anand said from the Time of India interview.

Personally, what I want to see from world chess champions is the gradual promotion of other intellectual means or academies other than chess. Chess champions can change the world like artists and writers! I mean if we really intend to improve life in general, then why not just by going right straight on it? World chess champions are possesses with some of the most brilliant mind in the world and this exceptional qualities of chess champions are, one way or the other, could put to use and help improve the qualities of life in the world. Whatever it is, I think we can have them to think and analyze in anyway they choose. I remember a scene from Spiderman: "Great power comes great responsibility". And Anand has a great power! For instance, I think that Kasparov political involvement is but for selfish and personal ambition (as the majority of politicians are) but at least some part of him believes that he has a great responsibility for Russia and believes that his brilliant mind could actually help his country on what he thought is "heading to disaster".

Yes, it may start from chess academies but going right straight seems more logical if we really intend to improve life other than waiting to produce another brilliant chess players to emerge out of the academy. Even if the said academy works, it has some drawbacks. Remember that not all world chess champions thinks about humanity or ones country very much. Now we're talking about Bobby Fischer or Mikhail Tal but that's another story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

IM Richard Bitoon wins 5th Singapore Chess Fest Masters Tournament

Becoming a favorite battleground for many Filipino masters

It's one, two finish for Filipino chessers in the Lion City!

Filipino IM Richard Bitoon (2439) scored a total of 6.5 points to bag the 5th Singapore Masters International Chess Tournament. Eight players finished second over all with 6.0 points but GM Mark Paragua took the second spot due to higher quotient points. Another Filipino campaigner, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra finished 5th over all, also with 6.0 points. The tournament saw the paricipation of the strong Vietnamese Olympiad team who finished 11th place in the just concluded 2008 Dresden Olympiad.

The 15th seed Bitoon (beat-o-on) posted a total of four wins and five draws with rating performance of 2596, gaining 19.5 points in the FIDE rating. He defeated two Grandmasters, Indonesian no.1 rank GM Susanto Megaranto in the third round and Uzbekistan's GM Anton Filippov in the seventh round. 5th seed GM Mark Paragua on the other hand posted a total of three wins and six draws. His final round victory against a untitled Chinese player, Yu Ruiyuan proved to be crucial for his strong finished. Ironically, all his victories came at the expense of two untitled players and one women International Master (ouch!). He picks 5.0 points in the FIDE rating. Were it not for his devastating loss to untitled Singaporean player Jonathan Koh who has a rating of just 2155, 17th seed IM Julio Catalino Sadorra (2431) result could be even better. Sadorra finished the tournament with four wins, four draws and a loss, gaining 8.4 points. Other Filipinos who see action in these week long festival are IM Oliver Dimakiling, Steven Kim Yap, Dino Ballecer, IM Luis Chiong who finished the tournament 17, 18, 19 and 20 place respectively.

- Tournament Official Website
- Final rankings, games, PGN are available at Chess-results website
- Photo from wikipedia

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Poor Pearl Spring Tournament Live Game Coverage

I'm very disappointed on the way the webmasters of the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament is handling the live coverage of the games from Nanjing, China. All you see is total black of emptiness then the discussion forum if you scroll down the page a little bit and nothing else! Round three is over and there's still no sign of improvement whatsoever. Just to think that Nanjing is just few hundreds of miles away from Manila is something you will not totally expect. I haven't encounter this kind of poor live game coverage in months. Anyways, Chessdom is doing a great job of covering the Live Games, complete with insightful commentaries. This is one of those many things in life that form is firstly prioritize over function. Alas! considering that the Pearl Spring is the toughest and most prestigious chess tournament to be held thus far in China...

Live and replays of games can be view from the Tournament Official website and I say good luck folks!

Rank Name Fed/Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Aronian Levon ARM 2757 *** 1 ½

½ 2
2 Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2786 0 ***

½ ½ 1
3 Sergei Movsesian SVK 2732 ½
*** 0 1
4 Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2714

1 *** ½ ½ 2
5 Peter Svidler RUS 2727
½ 0 ½ ***
6 Veselin Topalov BUL 2791 ½ ½

Thursday, December 11, 2008

GM Joey Antonio's post at Philippine Chess Web Forum

GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio recently posted a comment at Philippine Chess Web Forum site regarding his US Campaign. Though he remains polite in his words it is pretty obvious that he was visibly hurt by the criticism he's receiving from few who were not impressed by his strings of successful campaigns where he wins all his five "mediocre" tournaments he participates so far: the 17th North American Fide Invitational at the Skokie, Illinois on November 15 to 21, 2008 Los Angeles Open on October 31 to November 2 in Los Angeles, California, 8th Universal Annual Swiss Chess Open on September 28 in Auburn Hills, Michigan and the G/19 on October 19 in Scottdale, Georgia. Here's what GM Joey Antonio has to say:

"Thanks to all of you who continue to support me in my campaign here in the US ... I tried my best in every situation but I guess my best is not good enough to most people. I don't intend to be seeded during the Olympic elimination qualifier and I'm always willing to go through the selection process. I always made it to the Philippine Chess team even in the past but at this instance I was not feeling 100 % fit both mentally and physically. However, this is not an excuse on my part and I wanted to prove that I'm still a force to reckon with ... and that's why I'm campaigning here in American soil and hope to do well . Please wish me luck and include me in your prayers as I continue to strive for excellence and bring glory to our beloved country."

So a chess Grandmaster should be...

Kasparov's interview

He talks brilliant when it's all about chess, nothing more. Politics? forget about it. He may not admit it, but it it is pretty obvious that in this interview, a big part of him still yearns to return on the chessboard. Perhaps finally realizing that he's political involvement and ambition is nothing but a farce.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hero Dog

Please take a moment to watch this amazing and moving video. It just 44 seconds. A stray dog risk his own life to help saved another stray dog after being hit by car on a highway in Chile. Just look how the dog drags the body of his injured buddy into safety. It's simply amazing. Dogs are more loving and caring than we would have all thought!

"All dogs go to heaven because dogs are naturally good and loyal and kind." -Whippet Angel

1 Grandmaster 2 International Masters for the Philippines

Below are the list of Grandmaster and International Master titles approved at the 79th FIDE Congress which was held 16-26 November 2008 in Dresden, Germany. The Philippines produced a Grandmaster, John Paul Gomez and two new International Masters, Rolando Nolte (finally!) and Oliver Barbosa .

CH congratulates these new Pinoy world class chess players.

Titles awarded at the 79th FIDE Congress in Dresden, Germany
Country Name
Flores, Diego
Kovalyov, Anton
Valerga, Diego
Melkumyan, Hrant
Bojkov, Dejan
Rusev, Krasimir
CHN Hou, Yifan
Zhou, Weigi
Bosiocic, Marin
Saric, Ivan
Gonzales Vidal, Yuri
CUB Corrales Jimenes, Fidel
CUB Perez Rodriguez, Luis Manuel
EGY El Gindy, Essam
FRA Cornette, Matthieu
FRA Thal, Abergel
GEO Dzagnidze, Nana
GER Braun, Arik
GER Siebrecht, Sebastian
GRE Papadopoulos, Ioannis K.
HUN Berczes, David
IND Arun Prasad, S.
KAZ Ismagambetov, Anuar
PER Cordova, Emilio
PHI Gomez, John Paul
POL Socko, Monika
RUS Klimov, Sergey
RUS Orlov, Andrey
RUS Sjugirov, Sanan
SLO Borisek, Jure
SRB Milanovic, Danilo
UKR Simantsev, Mikhail
USA Friedel, Joshua E.
USA Gonzalez, Renier

Country Name
ARG Della Morte, German
ARG Iermito, Sebastian
AUT Hangweyrer, Manfred
AUT Santos, Marcus Vinicius M.
BUL Milchev, Nikolay
BUL Serafimov, Tervel
CAN Quan, Zhe
CHN Liu, Qingnan
COL Uribe, Mauricio
CRO Martinovic, Sasa
CRO Sertic, Rudolf
CUB Gomez Garrido, Camilo
CZE Biolek, Richard Jr.
ENG D'Costa, Lorin AR
ESP Recuero Guerra, David
FRA Delorme, Axel
FRA Goldsztejn, Gildas
FRA Housieaux, David
FRA Nezar, Mustafa
FRA Roser, Kevin
GEO Benidze, David
GER Morawietz, Dieter
GER Pasalic, Mehmed
GER Spiess, Gunter
GER Wegerle, Joerg
HUN Balog, Imre
HUN Nemeth, Miklos
HUN Toth, Ervin
INA Purnama, Tirta Chandra
IND Arghyadip, Das
IND Bathay T. Muralikrishnan
IND Narayanan, Srinath
IRI Toufighi, Homayoon
ISR Bykhovsky, Anatoly
ISR Caspi, Israel
ISR Kostromin, Mikhail
ITA Zimina, Olga
KAZ Amanov, Zhanibek
LTU Beinoras, Mindaugas
LTU Vaznonis, Vytautas
MKD Pancevski, Filip
NED Bitalzadeh, Ali
NED Rothuis, Vincent
NED Wemmers, Xander
PER Cruz Sanchez, Cristhian
PHI Barbosa, Oliver
PHI Nolte, Rolando
POL Piorun, Kacper
RUS Kharous, Ernest
RUS Klimov, Anton
RUS Kuznetsov, Gennady
RUS Moskalenko, Alexander
RUS Yatsenko, Alexey
SUI Carron, Julien
SUI Vuilleumier, Alexandre
SVK Jurcik, Marian
SVK Michalik, Peter
SWE Blomqvist, Erik
SWE Grandelius, Nils
SWE Smith, Axel
UKR Ipatov, Alexander
UKR Muzychuk, Mariya
UKR Nyzhnyk, Illya
UKR Tuka, Oleg
USA Kaufman, Raymond

Saturday, December 6, 2008

1st Korea Open, 5th Singapore Masters International Open

Chinese chess domination of the region continues. It was not really a big surprise though, seeing another untitled, unknown Chinese player came out of nowhere and bag the first ever major chess tournament to be held in Korea like it was just another day of chess festivals for the Chinese. His name is Yang Kaiqi (2429) and that's all we know of him. There are two Filipino chess campaigners in this event. GM candidate Julio Catalino Sadorra and IM Oliver Dimakiling. Sadorra garnered a total of 6 points with 5 wins, 2 draws and two defeats to finished the tournament tied for sixth to eight place while IM Oliver Dimakiling had garnered a total of 5.5 points with 5 wins, a draw and 3 defeats good for eleven to thirteenth place finished. Next stop for some of our chessers is in Singapore to compete in the tough 5th Singapore Masters International Open to be held on December 9 to 15. Seven Filipino masters have already confirmed their participation in this week long event namely GM Mark Paragua (2526), IM Richard Bitoon (2439), IM Julio Catalino Sadorra (2431), Dino Ballecer (2410), Kim Steven Yap (2386), IM Chiong Luis (2361), Levi Mercado (2257). Please visit the -5th Singapore Masters International website for more details.

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds of the 1st Korea Open

NameFEDRtgPts. TB1 TB2 TB3
Yang KaiqiCHN24296,551,036,2535,5
2IMSitanggang SalorINA23756,549,534,0032,0
3GMEhlvest JaanUSA25816,549,533,7532,0
4GMAdianto UtutINA25546,548,533,5030,5
5IMLi WenliangCHN24436,548,032,5032,0
6GMFilippov AntonUZB25436,055,537,0035,0
7IMNadanian AshotARM24456,052,533,7533,0
8IMSadorra Julio CatilloPHI24316,050,531,2535,5
Pak EvgeniyKAZ22436,050,031,7530,5
10FMAltanoch GendenMGL22166,044,527,0027,0
11IMWang RuiCHN24205,548,027,7528,5
12IMDiu ViacheslavRUS24535,547,526,2528,5
13IMDimakiling OliverPHI24485,542,022,5024,5
Arauz SamuelTPE05,044,021,0026,0
Qu YanqiaoCHN21445,044,020,5023,0
Chogdov MonkhbatKOR05,042,020,2526,0
Tan WeiliangSIN20405,041,518,5026,0
18WIMTuvshinyugs BatchimegUSA22935,041,021,5023,0
Muniz Pardino AlbertoESP21135,039,519,0024,0
20GMKim AlexeyKOR24814,546,520,2526,5
21IMPetronic JovanSRB24054,545,520,0024,0
Kojima ShinyaJPN22724,542,016,7524,5
23CMLee SanghoonKOR21094,538,514,7523,5
Cho SunghoKOR15754,536,515,7517,5
Iwasaki YudaiJPN21104,044,517,5022,0
Lee KiyulKOR19524,040,016,5018,5
Chung SunghoonKOR18284,038,013,5020,0
Kim YongtaeKOR18534,038,012,0021,0
Yang Wen ChinTPE17614,036,012,5019,0
Kang HyoseokKOR04,034,511,5015,5
Han MoondukKOR04,031,013,7515,0
Mun IkchanKOR04,030,010,0015,0
33WFMZinmar Min ThanMYA20913,539,011,7521,0
Kim SungminKOR15393,533,511,5012,5
Son RomonKOR15703,533,59,7517,5
Batsaikhan TserendoriUSA20573,045,012,0020,0
Lim HakyungKOR15663,034,09,7516,5
Lee Sung GeunKOR03,033,58,0015,0
Wolfaardt FrancoisRSA18583,031,08,0016,0
Baek WongiKOR16812,537,58,2515,5
Byun SeongwonKOR02,535,59,2511,5
42FMSong JinwooKOR19932,041,55,5012,0
Kim MinheeKOR02,034,55,0013,0
Kang JinsuKOR15892,030,54,006,0
Lee YoungmiKOR16121,530,53,003,5
You GaramKOR15111,529,54,006,5
Im SunghaeKOR15280,024,50,000,0

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Corus 2009: So top seed in group C; Morozevich in group A; Sasikiran in group B

Bigger, tougher tournaments for 2009

GM Wesley So will be competing in his first major tournament for 2009, the group C of the prestigious Corus Chess Tournament that will take place in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands from January 16th to February 1st, 2009. He'll be the top seed in the group. According to the tournament official website all Grandmaster groups have been completed. Among the favorite to win the group A are defending champion Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen and the ever dangerous, Alexander Morozevich and Vasily Ivanchuk. Some of the biggest names in chess opted to skip the tournament for various reasons. Current world champion Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Vaselin Topalov are just some of the name chess fans will be missing in the 71st edition of the tournament next year.

Back to group C. I like Wesley's chances. Wesley has already met 2nd seed GM David Howell before and Wesley wins both matches they fought in surprisingly easy fashion. Current world junior champion, GM Gupta is another player that is favorite to win the group. Former Ukranian number one player GM Oleg Romanishin will also see action in group C. GM Fabiano Caruana won the group C early this year but he will be competing in group B this January.

Grandmastergroup C
GM Wesley So
GM David Howell
GM Abhijeet Gupta
GM Tiger Hillarp Persson
GM Friso Nijboer
The Netherlands
GM Eduardo Iturrizaga
IM Manuel Leon Hoyos
GM Oleg Romanishin
GM Frank Holzke
FM Anish Giri
WGM Dronavalli Harika
IM Roeland Pruijssers
The Netherlands
IM Manuel Bosboom
The Netherlands
FM Ali Bitalzadeh
The Netherlands

Average rating: 2512
Category: 11

Participants grandmaster group A
Name Country Rating Position

GM Alexander Morozevich RUS 2787 2
GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 2786 3-4
GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2786 3-4
GM Levon Aronian ARM 2757 7
GM Teymour Radjabov AZE 2751 8
GM Wang Yue CHN 2736 11
GM Michael Adams ENG 2734 12
GM Sergei Movsesian SVK 2732 13
GM Sergei Karjakin UKR 2730 15
GM Gata Kamsky USA 2729 16
GM Leinier Dominguez CUB 2719 21
GM Loek van Wely NED 2618
GM Daniel Stellwagen NED 2605
GM Jan Smeets NED 2604

Average rating : 2720
Category : 19

Participants grandmaster group B
Name Country Rating Position

GM Krishnan Sasikiran IND 2694 35
GM Zahar Efimenko UKR 2680 41
GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov UZB 2672 49-50
GM Alexander Motylev RUS 2672 49-50
GM Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2664 55
GM Andrei Volokitin UKR 2659 61
GM Nigel Short ENG 2642 85
GM Fabiano Caruana ITA 2640 87
GM David Navara CZE 2633 99
GM Erwin l'Ami NED 2610
GM Jan Werle NED 2582
WGM Hou Yifan CHN 2578
GM Henrique Mecking BRA 2567
GM Dimitri Reinderman NED 2543

Average rating : 2631
Category : 16

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Remembering the Battle of Tirad Pass

Filipino soldiers, gearing up against the invaders

On this day, exactly 119 years ago a group of small Filipino soldiers made their last stand at Tirad Pass.

They were 60 men. Poorly armed and equipped, hungry and exhausted. Most of them walked for hundreds of miles barefooted. They were led by the 23 year old "boy General" Gregorio del Pilar. The hero of many battles in Bulacan.

Gen. Gregorio del Pilar a few months before his heroic death at Tirad Pass

Facing below them, readying themselves for an all out assault against the Filipino strong hold were nearly 600 well fed, well led American soldiers that were armed with the very latest war equipments.

At about 6:30 in the morning of December 2 1899, the fighting commenced. With the help of a local villager, he led a group of Americans up a trail by which they could emerge to the rear of the Filipinos' positions. Six hours after the battle began, 52 Filipinos lay dead or dying. Those who were lying wounded were all bayoneted. Among the dead was General del Pilar. The Americans lost 30 dead and 9 wounded.

"A good Filipino is a dead Filipino"

The night before the battle, General del Pilar wrote in his diary:

"The General (President Emilio Aguinaldo) has given me the pick of all the men that can be spared and ordered me to defend the Pass at all cost. I realize what a terrible task has been given me. And yet I feel that this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my beloved country. No sacrifice can be too great."

Am American soldier, Lt. Dennis Quinlan later buried his body and left a plaque that said:

"Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, Died December 2, 1899, Commanding Aguinaldo's Rear Guard, An Officer and a Gentleman."

Just like the brave 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, they too have to pay the ultimate prize.

Let us not forget the heroes of Tirad Pass.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Magnus Carlsen turns 18 today

The Norwegian wunderkid turns eighteen today, November 29. In a poll conducted at chess.com Carlsen emerges not only as one of the most popular chess players today but also one of the most influential alongside the now retired Gary Kasparov, world champion Viswanathan Anand and FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

-Photo from wikipedia

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chinese star Wang Yue on course to make history

The making of the next great Asian champion

Do not blink. But according to recent reports from our friends over there at Chessdom, Chinese chess hero and current FIDE Grand Prix leader, Wang Yue is only less than a dozen games away from breaking former world champion Mikhail Tal's record of the longest streak without a lost game. He remains unbeaten since March 4 this year and never taste a single loss for the past 82 games he played! And that games were all top competitions. Chessdom also added that Wang's game streak: "...is equal to Vladimir Kramnik's series of 82 games in the period January 1999 - July 2000. Mikhail Tal signed the top two records: 86 games in the period July 1972 - April 1973 and 93(!) games between October 1973 - October 1974. It should be added that the great Jose Raul Capablanca was immune from February 1916 until March 1924, but "only" over the course of 63 games."

To many Filipino chess followers, he is still best remember as one time winner of Philippines International Open Chess Championship in Subic Bay Freeport Zone last April 2007. Wang Yue is currently world's 9th rank player with 2750,6 points, the highest ever ranking a Chinese player has achieved and the second highest rated Asian ever after Anand.

-Photo from Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Philippines is no. 1 (in Chess Olympiad reports)

The Philippines is no.1...in chess media

Here's a consolation: The Dresden Olympiad organizers reported that the Philippines leads other countries with most reports about the 2008 Olympiad even before the start of the actual competitions!

“In the home country of Eugenio Torre and Florencio Campomanes, more than twice as many Olympiad reports have been published. Most reports on the Dresden Olympiad have been written in the Philippines. Several articles have appeared in the country’s newspapers, websites and blogs almost every week.” the report said.

The other nations leading the publication rankings are India, United States, Nigeria and Argentina.

And ChessHeroes are proud to be part of these new global Pinoy force! Cheers!

Dresden Chess Olympiad round 11: Philippines beats Argentina, Armenia defends title

The RP men's team defeats Argentina in the final round of the 2008 Dresden Chess Olympiad, 1.5 : 2.5 and finished 46th while Armenia successfully defends their title for the second straight Olympiad.

Detailed stories to be followed...

Bo.31ARG Argentina (ARG)Rtg - 38PHI Philippines (PHI)Rtg1.5 : 2.5 PGN >Game<
30.1GMFelgaer Ruben2591 - GMSo Wesley2610 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<
30.2GMPeralta Fernando2557 - GMGonzales Jayson2469 0 : 1 PGN >Game<
30.3IMKovalyov Anton2571 - IMGomez John Paul2519 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<
30.4IMFlores Diego2568 - GMLaylo Darwin2507 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<

Monday, November 24, 2008

John Paul Gomez is the newest Filipino Grandmaster

Meet the Philippines 10th Grandmaster: GM John Paul Gomez

Add GM elect John Paul "the Pope" Gomez to the list of the Philippines chess heroes. Gomez, 22, had so far garnered a total of six points with four wins, four draws and a loss in the ongoing Dresden chess Olympiad. Gomez is also a three time national juniors champion and twice gold medalist of Palarong Pambansa (National Games of the Philippines). One important note to our newest chess heroes: that the Grandmaster title is only the first step towards improvement in chess these days.

ChessHeroes wish GM John Paul Gomez all the best in the world!

-Photo courtesy of DEUTS.Net

Dresden Chess Olympiad round 10: Philippines beats Tunisia

The Philippines beats the 89th seed Tunisia just hours ago, 3.5 : 0.5 in the penultimate round of the Olympiad. But it may be too late. The RP team is in the 53rd place. We're still beyond striking distance of landing into top 30 or even surpassing our 44th place finish in Turin. Not only that, we are also in serious danger of producing one of our worst showing at the Chess Olympiad. We will be facing next the 31st seed Argentina in the final round. Another team seeded higher than the Philippines.

Bo.38PHI Philippines (PHI)Rtg - 89TUN Tunisia (TUN)Rtg3.5 : 0.5 PGN >Game<
35.1GMVillamayor Buenaventura2468 - GMBelkhodja Slim2476 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<
35.2GMSo Wesley2610 -
Njili Kamel2350 1 : 0 PGN >Game<
35.3GMGonzales Jayson2469 -
Bouaziz Mehdi2203 1 : 0 PGN >Game<
35.4IMGomez John Paul2519 -
Meddeb Anis2071 1 : 0 PGN >Game<

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dresden Chess Olympiad round 9: Philippines lost to the Czech Republic

No alibi but could cold weather slightly affects one's performance?

The struggling RP men's team has yet to figure out on how to defeat their higher seeded counterparts as we lost anew this time at the hands of the 18th seed Czech Republic in Round 9, 1.5 : 2.5. As usual, GM Bong Villamayor, manning the board 1 for the RP, was being feasted upon by his opponents. Villamayor has yet to score a single victory in the Olympiad. We will be facing next the lowly team from Tunisia, seeded 88th, in round 10. We are currently rank 66th in the over all standings and we are in grave danger folks of not improving our previous Olympiad performance in Turin where we end up in a very disappointing 47th place finished. Our women's team on the other hand defeats Brazil 2.5 : 0.5 to occupy the 46th spot in the women's standing.

Bo.38PHI Philippines (PHI)Rtg - 18CZE Czech Republic (CZE)Rtg1.5 : 2.5 PGN >Game<
27.1GMVillamayor Buenaventura2468 - GMNavara David2633 0 : 1 PGN >Game<
27.2GMSo Wesley2610 - GMHracek Zbynek2613 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<
27.3IMGomez John Paul2519 - GMLaznicka Viktor2591 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<
27.4GMLaylo Darwin2507 - GMStocek Jiri2578 ½ : ½ PGN >Game<

Photo courtesy of Susan Polgar blog