Saturday, January 31, 2009

Corus 2009 round 11: Wesley So back on top, Anish Giri, 12th youngest grandmaster.

Maurice Ashley: Look at Garry Kasparov. After he loses, invariably he wins the next game. He just kills the next guy. That's something that we have to learn to be able to do

If there is one person in the whole wide world who have already buried for good the painful memory of Wesley So's loss in round 9, that person is no other than Wesley himself (people are still freaking mad over the blunder!). When was the last time we've seen a young grandmaster who, after suffering a setback would cruises to three straight wins with apparent ease? Now, Wesley So, all 15 years of him found himself within striking distance of winning his first major tournament in the European soil. But first thing first there is T. Hillarp Persson on his path, the erstwhile leader of the tournament who is eager for a victory after a shock defeat to Ali Bitalzadeh, the lowest rated in the group with a mere rating of 2400. 2010 Group B is beckoning. Meanwhile, 14 year old FM Anish Giri, a Russian of Nepalese decent and resides in the Netherlands now joins the elite groups of chess prodigies who made to the list of the youngest grandmasters in history. It was a leap frog for Anish since he is also one of those players who earned a grandmaster title without ever awarded the title of an International Master. And he earned it in less than a year! Stars of the future are being born in Corus.

Standings after 11 rounds:

Corus A

1. L. Aronian, L. Dominguez, T. Radjabov, S. Movsesian 6½
5. M. Carlsen, S. Karjakin 6
7. G. Kamsky, J. Smeets 5½
9. V. Ivanchuk, L. van Wely, M. Adams 5
12. D. Stellwagen, Y. Wang 4½
14. A. Morozevich 4

Corus B

1. N. Short 7½
2. F. Caruana, R. Kasimdzhanov 7
4. A. Volokitin, A. Motylev, F. Vallejo Pons 6½
7. D. Navara 6
8. Z. Efimenko 5½
9. D. Reinderman, E. l'Ami 5
11. Y. Hou 4½
12. H. Mecking, J. Werle 3½
14. K. Sasikiran 3

Corus C

1. W. So 8
2. T. Hillarp Persson 7½
3. A. Giri 7
4. D. Howell, F. Holzke 6
6. A. Gupta, D. Harika, M. Bosboom 5½
9. M. Leon Hoyos 5
10. F. Nijboer, E. Iturrizaga, A. Bitalzadeh, R. Pruijssers 4½
14. O. Romanishin 3

Offficial website:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Corus 2009: Wesley So back on track with a win, Carlsen nine straight draws

The suffering of Wesley So's fans had finally ended last night with a win against IM Bitalzadeh. I won't be surprise if Wesley's round 8 blunder is the most talked about chess topics in the internet! Grandmasters blunder somehow makes chess more exciting! Come on, we need to see more Grandmaster blunders :) I don't know if Wesley did visit chess forums to hear the reactions of his fanatic followers about his loss to Holzke but if he did, the result of his match with Bitalzadeh could have been different.

Checking the standings, how one could actually beleive that Magnus Carlsen is just a point behind the leaders, Karjakin and Aronian despite nine straight drawn games? A single win and and a loss by the leaders could actually put him tied for first place! In the meantime please do check the replays of the game between Karjakin and Movsesian. It is so far one of the best performance in the tournament and one could only marvel at the superb calculation skills of Karjakin.

Here are the standings after 9 rounds:

Corus A

1. L. Aronian, S. Karjakin, L. Dominguez 5½
4. T. Radjabov, S. Movsesian 5
6. M. Carlsen, L. van Wely, M. Adams, J. Smeets 4½
10. V. Ivanchuk, G. Kamsky, Y. Wang 4
13. D. Stellwagen 3½
14. A. Morozevich 3

Corus B

1. N. Short 6
2. A. Volokitin, A. Motylev, D. Navara, F. Caruana, F. Vallejo Pons 5½
7. R. Kasimdzhanov 5
8. Z. Efimenko 4½
9. E. l'Ami 4
10. Y. Hou, D. Reinderman 3½
12. K. Sasikiran, H. Mecking, J. Werle 3

Corus C

1. T. Hillarp Persson 6½
2. W. So 6
3. D. Howell, A. Gupta, F. Holzke 5½
6. A. Giri 5
7. D. Harika, M. Bosboom 4½
9. F. Nijboer, E. Iturrizaga, A. Bitalzadeh, R. Pruijssers 3½
13. O. Romanishin, M. Leon Hoyos 3

Official website:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Corus 2009: Wesley So lost to Holzke, Carlsen eight straight draws

Truth is, I didn't finished the live coverage of Wesley So-Frank Holzke last night. Having an eight to five office work, you know it's not an easy thing to stay up that late. So confident I was that Wesley would win the game after the exchange of rooks (26...Rxc6 27. Qxc6) I just say good night to my best friend Acer and hastily go to bed. I know that the sickly looking black a6 and c4 pawns is doomed and there's no way black can stop the advance of White's queenside pawns. I was wrong. This is chess. I won't tell the rest when the moment I got up in the morning, woke up Acer, and saw the result! Coffee never taste so bitter! How come, with your opponent in severe time trouble, and you are a pawn up, committed an elementary blunder on your 34th move and lost a piece! I feel sorry for Wesley. It surely a very painful loss, poor lad. I hope he would recover soon.

Meanwhile Magnus Carlsen cruise to his eight straight draws of the tournament. His match against Kamsky took only sixteen move before signing the peace treaty. Hmmm...I guess Magnus is beginning to defy the world now. "I'm Magnus Carlsen, your future world champion, this is my game, this is my life, this is my decision and I will do whatever I want." You're growing up Magnus...

Corus standings after 8 rounds:

Corus A

1. S. Movsesian 5
2. L. Aronian, S. Karjakin, L. Dominguez, T. Radjabov 4½
6. M. Carlsen, L. van Wely, G. Kamsky, M. Adams, J. Smeets 4
11. D. Stellwagen, V. Ivanchuk, Y. Wang 3½
14. A. Morozevich 2½

Corus B

1. N. Short 5½
2. A. Volokitin, A. Motylev 5
4. D. Navara, F. Caruana, F. Vallejo Pons, R. Kasimdzhanov 4½
8. Z. Efimenko, E. l'Ami 4
10. Y. Hou, K. Sasikiran, D. Reinderman, J. Werle 3
14. H. Mecking 2½

Corus C

1. T. Hillarp Persson 6
2. W. So 5
3. D. Howell, A. Gupta, F. Holzke, M. Bosboom 4½
7. A. Giri, D. Harika 4
9. F. Nijboer, A. Bitalzadeh, R. Pruijssers 3½
12. O. Romanishin, M. Leon Hoyos 3
14. E. Iturrizaga 2½

Official website:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Corus chess round 7: seven straight draws for Carlsen; So still in the lead

Here's a quick summary of GM Magnus Carlsen performance so far in the tournament: Draw, draw, draw, draw, draw, draw, draw.

It's seven straight draws for the Norwegian wunderkind, Magnus Carlsen. And these seven D's is the hot topic of avid chess kibitzer on the internet. Some are surprised, some are disappointed and some are even making fun of him. But considering his last game against Van Wely, and Ivanchuk's three losses in seven games, I am still totally convinced that there's nothing out of ordinary happening in Corus. These two are the top favorites to win Corus but their scores are nowhere near the leaders simply because Karjakin, Movsesian are playing smart. End of discussion. But I do really think that for most of his matches Carlsen was really pushing hard to pull off a victory, even taking some risks. Still, there are games that we can't take anything away from Magnus. He is trying, trying, trying. And he was very close of doing so not once but twice. First against Aronian in round four and second against Karjakin in round six. But let me also point out that Carlsen is also very close from loosing one of those drawn games. And that was in round seven against Van Wely. Van Wely was playing perfectly for much of the game until he committed a crucial error in his 28th move, allowing Carlsen to equalize. It was not a "lucky" escaped for Magnus but surely it was a very close one to be called "lucky". Same situations in which Aronian and Karjakin find themselves against Carlsen. Magnus made some crucial mistakes in the climax of the middle games, allowing his opponents to escapes. So you see, Carlsen is still in his usual fighting chess, only other players are doing much better thus far in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Wesley So couldn't find a way to defeat WIM Harika (2473) of India (replay the game at chessdom), the reigning World Junior Champion (girls division) and the game ended in draw, snapping So's two game winning streak. With the result Wesley suddenly found himself sharing the lead with Swedish GM Hillarp Person.

Standings after 7 rounds:

Corus A

1. S. Karjakin, S. Movsesian 4½
3. L. Aronian, L. Dominguez, T. Radjabov 4
6. M. Carlsen, L. van Wely, G. Kamsky, M. Adams, J. Smeets 3½
11. D. Stellwagen 3
12. V. Ivanchuk, A. Morozevich, Y. Wang 2½

Corus B

1. N. Short 5
2. A. Volokitin, A. Motylev, F. Caruana 4½
5. D. Navara, Z. Efimenko, R. Kasimdzhanov 4
8. F. Vallejo Pons 3½
9. E. l'Ami 3
10. Y. Hou, K. Sasikiran, D. Reinderman, J. Werle 2½
14. H. Mecking 2

Corus C

1. T. Hillarp Persson, W. So 5
3. A. Gupta 4½
4. M. Bosboom 4
5. D. Howell, D. Harika, F. Holzke, A. Bitalzadeh 3½
9. O. Romanishin, A. Giri, M. Leon Hoyos 3
12. F. Nijboer, E. Iturrizaga, R. Pruijssers 2½

Official website:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Prodigies leads Corus Chess

Sergei Karjakin survives Carlsen in a marathon game and draw their match to stay on top, David Navara defeats Francisco Vallejo and Wesley So produced his best performance of the tournament so far by crushing Mexican Manuel Leon Hoyos (Replay So-Hoyos match at chessdom. And so halfway through the tournament, three of the youngest grandmasters in history leads their respective groups. Sergei Karjakin (18), the youngest grandmaster in history at 12 years, 7 months leads Group A, David Navara (23) who became a grandmaster at 16 leads Group B, and Wesley So (15), the seventh youngest grandmaster in history at 14 years, 1 month, 28 days leads Group C. Fact is this three are some of my favorite players. Sergei Karjakin for his sheer talent and gentleness over the board, David Navara for his extreme politeness in victories and defeats (I wouldn't mind Wesley loosing to this well-mannered guy from the Czech Republic once in a while :) and of course the charm of Wesley So and for being a fellow Filipino. It is good to see that three of some of the most likable figures in today's ego infested chess world are within striking distance of winning their respective groups. Now who says good men finished last?

Standings after 6 rounds:

Corus A

1. S. Karjakin 4
2. L. Aronian, L. Dominguez, J. Smeets, T. Radjabov, S. Movsesian 3½
7. M. Carlsen, L. van Wely, G. Kamsky, M. Adams 3
11. D. Stellwagen, V. Ivanchuk 2½
13. Y. Wang 2
14. A. Morozevich 1½

Corus B

1. N. Short, D. Navara, R. Kasimdzhanov 4
4. A. Volokitin, A. Motylev, Z. Efimenko, F. Caruana 3½
8. F. Vallejo Pons 3
9. Y. Hou, K. Sasikiran, D. Reinderman, J. Werle 2½
13. E. l'Ami 2
14. H. Mecking 1

Corus C

1. W. So 4½
2. T. Hillarp Persson, M. Bosboom 4
4. D. Howell, A. Gupta 3½
6. D. Harika, F. Holzke, A. Bitalzadeh 3
9. O. Romanishin, A. Giri, E. Iturrizaga 2½
12. F. Nijboer, M. Leon Hoyos, R. Pruijssers 2

Official website:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Luck does exist in chess

After some photo sessions and interviews during day off for Group C top seed GM Wesley So, the hugely popular Filipino youngster returns on the board tonight against top Venezuelan GM, Eduardo Iturrizaga (2528). In the meantime check out this video folks (starting at 3:02) it was a game between GM David Howell of England and GM Nijboer of the Netherlands. GM Friso Nijboer, the first round victim of Wesley So, committed a huge blunder on his 60th move, loosing a piece. Notice that Howell had only six seconds left on his clock before Nijboer blundered! Indeed luck does exist in chess...sometimes.

Was that Magnus Carlsen on the background or just a mere look a like?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Corus Chess 2009 round 4: one more day for Wesley So at Chessdom

The current world junior chess champion GM Abhijeet Gupta of India is next in line for the popular GM Wesley So tonight at Chessdom 13:00 CET (central European time) or around 9:30 p.m. Manila time. GM Valentin Iotov will comment the game of the W.So-A.Gupta match. The last time these two entangled over the board was at 10th Dubai Open where Wesley handily won. In the meantime want to know how GM So will look wearing shades somewhere in freezing Wijk aan zee? Check this guys out! Isn't Wesley soooo photogenic?

-Wesley So-Abhijeet Gupta live commentary at chessdom
-Corus Chess 2009 official website

Monday, January 19, 2009

Corus Chess 2009 round 3: Wesley So Live at Chessdom

Filipinos and people from anywhere else on the planet who are following the progress of this young talent from the far east will get another chance to view live and commented games of GM Wesley So tonight at 13:30 CET that is around 9:30 pm Manila time through chessdom. Having succesfully resisted the furious onslaught of two of the most battle hardened veteran in the group, So will be paired this time against another up and coming star from Russia, 14 year old FM Anish Giri (2469). Meanwhile the voting for round 4 is now open, submit your votes HERE. The players with most votes will be commented live in the next round.

-Anish Giri -Wesley So Live game at chessdom
-Corus Chess 2009 official website

Fischer's first yeard death anniversary

GM Wesley So drew his game against Oleg Romanishin in round 2. The PGN and replays of the games of the round are not available at the moment but in the meantime, I hardly notice that yesterday was the first year death anniversary of the late great Bobby Fischer. You can read the interview on Susan Polgar regarding his friendship with one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the game.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sunday, January 18, 2009
Story last updated at 1/18/2009 - 1:50 am

One year ago on Jan. 17, Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players in history, passed away at the age of 64 in Reykjavik, Iceland, just as the number of squares on a chess board.

I received many questions about Bobby. Here are some selected ones.

Question: How did you meet Bobby Fischer?

Answer: In 1992, Bobby played his second match against Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia and was unable to return to the U.S. because of his defiance of economic sanctions. The organizer Janos Kubat arranged for my family to visit Bobby at a hotel in Yugoslavia, near the border of Hungary, in order to convince him to go to Hungary rather than being in a cramped hotel room in a small Yugoslavian village.

Bobby expressed his wish to meet me, but unfortunately I was in Peru at that time. I accompanied my family on the following visit and eventually the idea of moving to Hungary became more attractive to Bobby.

Just to be sure everything was OK, we asked the border guards if Fischer could enter Hungary and they had no objection. With that assurance, Bobby moved to Hungary. At one point, he stayed in our summer home, which is about one hour from Budapest. He was accompanied by GM Eugenio Torre from the Philippines and his bodyguard. Read full article HERE

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Round 2 live coverage on cast your vote!

If you want to see more of your GM Wesley So's live, commented games, you can vote at Chessdom (registration required). For most Filipino (not Philipino :) chess fans, we may not opt to stay up that late but at least getting up in the morning before we go to school or work and replay the commented games of Wesley would be more than enough to compliment a cup of coffee.

Photo from wikipedia

Corus Chess: Wesley So escaped with a victory against Friso Nijboer

A game that should have been ended in a draw...or a loss for Wesley. But solid center pawns structure enable GM So to escape a narrow, hard fought victory against the tough Dutch player GM Friso Nijboer. The game ended after 67th move of the Sicilian (Paulsen) and nearly six and a half hours of torturous playing. You can still catch up the replay of the game with commentary at Chessdom. Meanwhile Peter Doggers of Chessvibes had an interesting observation on Nijboer-So match up: "I was filming the timetrouble in that game and the Dutchman had to make his 39th and 40th move in two seconds, but he managed! If So had played 39…Rxc1+, Nijboer would probably not have managed to execute the response in less than a second, I was thinking." GM So's round 2 assignment is against another veteran campaigner, the "Eugene Torre" of Ukraine, 57 year old and former European Junior Champion, GM Oleg Romanishin who also scored a victory in the first round against IM Ali Bitalzadeh also from the Netherlands.

Other results:

Round 1 - Saturday the 17th

Group A

D. Stellwagen - S. Movsesian ½-½
M. Carlsen - T. Radjabov ½-½
L. Aronian - W. Yue ½-½
V. Ivanchuk - J. Smeets 0-1
S. Karjakin - A. Morozevich 1-0
L. van Wely - L. Dominguez ½-½
G. Kamsky - M. Adams ½-½

Group B

H. Yifan - R. Kasimdzhanov 0-1
K. Sasikiran - E. l'Ami ½-½
D. Reinderman - F. Vallejo Pons 0-1
N. Short - J. Werle ½-½
A. Volokitin - F. Caruana ½-½
H. Mecking - Z. Efimenko 0-1
A. Motylev - D. Navara 0-1

Group C

T. Hillarp Persson - R. Pruijssers ½-½
D. Howell - M. Bosboom 0-1
F. Nijboer - W. So 0-1
O. Romanishin - A. Bitalzadeh 1-0
A. Giri - F. Holzke ½-½
A. Gupta - D. Harika 0-1
E. Iturrizaga - M. Leon Hoyos 1-0

Corus Chess 2009 official website

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Corus Chess Round 1 pairings

GM Wesley So (2627) first round assignment is the local bet, GM Friso Nijboer (2560) of the Netherlands. You can view the live game of So-Nijboer tonight complete with commentaries and analysis by GM Dimitrov, GM Iotov, and IM Perunovic through Chessdom. Great that it is Sunday tomorrow so expect a long night for me!

Pairings round 1

Corus A round 1

D. Stellwagen - S. Movsesian
M. Carlsen - T. Radjabov
L. Aronian - W. Yue
V. Ivanchuk - J. Smeets
S. Karjakin - A. Morozevich
L. van Wely - L. Dominguez
G. Kamsky - M. Adams

Corus B round 1

H. Yifan - R. Kasimdzhanov
K. Sasikiran - E. l'Ami
D. Reinderman - F. Vallejo Pons
N. Short - J. Werle
A. Volokitin - F. Caruana
H. Mecking - Z. Efimenko
A. Motylev - D. Navara

Corus C round 1

T. Hillarp Persson - R. Pruijssers
D. Howell - M. Bosboom
F. Nijboer - W. So live on Chessdom!
O. Romanishin - A. Bitalzadeh
A. Giri - F. Holzke
A. Gupta - D. Harika
E. Iturrizaga - M. Leon Hoyos

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wesley So favorite to win Corus Chess Group C

A few days ago, Peter Dogger's ChessVibes conducted a poll on who will win the Corus C this year. Out of 594 respondents, 226 (38%) believe that group's no. 1 seed, GM Wesley So will top this years edition of Corus group C. Far second is perennial rival GM David Howell of England who garnered 89 votes (18%), third is Swedish GM Tiger Hillarp Persson with 74 votes (12%) and fourth in the poll is the current world junior champion, GM Abhijeet Gupta of India with 44 votes (7%).

CH wishes GM So all the best in the world!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Breaking News: Playing chess is now allowed in Philippine schools!

(On the declaration of the Department of Education on the inclusion of chess in the curriculum starting Jan. 8 this year)

Can you believe it? Playing chess is now allowed in most Philippine schools! I remember during my grade school days (that was on the late 80's) one of our teacher would literally chase us around the school with blackboard eraser on one hand and a centimeter thick of Narra wooden ruler on the other every time she caught us playing chess before the start of the classes in the morning, during break time, and after the classes. She would yell at us: "Now what do you think you brats are doing? Have you already finished doing your homework? Now give me that chessboard! You-" and warned us that if she caught us playing chess again inside the classrooms, she'll throw us in the principal office (first offense) to be reprimanded. Hah! We could become super Grandmasters then even before we reaches 13 if they decided to integrate chess in the grade school curriculum during my time! What a sudden twist of events. Below is the full article from

MANILA, Philippines—National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Tuesday hailed the Department of Education’s decision to integrate chess in the grade school and high school curriculum starting this year.

“It’s a brilliant move, a welcome development for chess,” said Pichay. “This will be a golden opportunity to develop new talents like Wesley So and help catapult us to world supremacy in chess.

“On behalf of the NCFP, we would like to thank Education Secretary Jesli Lapus for finally deciding to offer chess in public schools. We would like to assure the secretary that the NCFP would throw 100 percent support behind this new project by the DepEd.”

Pichay has produced four grandmasters— So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales and John Paul Gomez—since taking over the helm of the chess body in 2005.

Lapus declared the inclusion of chess in the curriculum on Jan. 8.

“In Singapore, parents encourage their children to study chess in elementary because studies have shown that they’re likely to succeed in life if they’re a good chess player,” Pichay said.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Corus Chess 2009: Wesley So Live at Chessdom

Our friends over there at informed us that GM Wesley So's round 1 game in group C, that will be on the 17th of January, will be the featured game of the round and will be covered live on Chessdom during the Corus tournament. Commentaries will provide by GM Iotov and GM Dimitrov. Live game and commentary of GM So will begin at 13.30 CET (Central European Time) that is around 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Manila time (I'm still verifying, folks!).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Alexandra Kosteniuk: The modeling is just a hobby.

This article is from

An aspiring model who uses her good looks to promote chess, Kosteniuk has been compared to Russian tennis knockout (and Miami Beach resident) Anna Kournikova. (Kosteniuk debunks the comparison by noting that she has won individual tournaments, a feat the other Russian cannot claim.)

But, like Kournikova, Kosteniuk has managed to broaden her sport's appeal by selling her combination of talent and beauty.

About 3,000 people subscribe to her podcast at, and about 10,000 others log on each month to her website, where they can see photos of Kosteniuk in bikinis and buy her instructional DVDs.

''It's the most popular chess site out there,'' said her husband, 49, who is also her webmaster and publicist.

After which, Mrs Kosteniuk claimed:

`The modeling is just a hobby. What I really want is for people to enjoy chess the way I do.''

Is that really the case Mrs Kosteniuk? Okay, I am a chess purist and a hopeless conservative one. I never once thought that modeling and chess could merge into one single force and break the friction between the two. Much more seeing a world women chess champion posing in bikinis to attract tens of thousands of male chess players to her site every month. Is chess really have a place for sex symbols like Alexandra Kosteniuk? Yeah I know, this is already the 21st century, the internet age, where everyone could start a sort of revolution of their own and it is Mrs Alexandra Konsteniuk that is in the fore front of what she claimed she is promoting the "talent and beauty" in chess or should we say "talent and bikinis?"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Emmanuel Lasker Society in Berlin honored Victor Korchnoi

Okay, I am not one of the biggest fan of the legendary Grandmaster Victor Korchnoi all these years. Maybe I still view chess as a gentleman's sports more than anything on the planet which Mr Korchnoi is not the best representative of the traditional moral of this game. How one could forget the tragic incident between Mr. Korchnoi and Susan Polgar's sister Sofia when Mr. Korchnoi get really cranky when he lost to Sofia in a blitz match sometime in early 2000 I beleive? Or when he shockingly smack and sent the king flying of a little boy in a simultaneous games and yelled at the poor boy "you lost! It's over!" or simply refusing to shake hands with his opponents after a destructive lost? Or the most arrogant showing of disrespect when he refuses to shake the offer hands of both FIDE President Kirsam Ilyumzhinoz and FIDE honorary President Florencio Campones and some of the top officials of the Chess governing bodies with no apparent reasons? Everything perhaps because of age, the man is already 77 years of age, or simply a chauvinistic guy, a many time World Chess Championship Challenger. But anyway setting aside the character for achievements, Mr. Korchnoi is indeed one of the most consistent chess player in the history of the sport and we must give all the credit to him for what he had done for chess. He is the undisputed, one and only true "Iron Man" of this ancient sport. Congratulation to Mr. Victor Korchnoi for the Honor conferred to him by the Emmanuel Lasker Society in Berlin. Cheers!

Full detailed report can be read at and the Emmanuel Lasker Society official website

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More about this blog

I am no chess journalist. I keep a chess blog like this one but I am no chess journalist nor have a degree in journalism though I read a lot and have a knack for researching, especially chess. I'm not associated with any chess journalist group/association anywhere else though I would love to lend a hand in the near future if my time allows. My blog is a free site for everyone and its content are also free to reproduce even without my permission ;) I'm not a chess blog hobbyist either since I took chess blogging seriously with great pains and expressing honest opinions other than presenting facts is my passion. Comments are most welcome. ChessHeroes is created out of intuition- inspired by the bloom of the new age of Philippine chess that had started a couple of years back. We are enjoying an exciting years in chess so far and I want to be part of it. Philippines is a chess nation and there are hardly a serious sites, excepts blogs and forums perhaps that is totally dedicated to chess in the Philippines. My blog is also free of any Google advertisement at the moment nor I ask for any donations (except for PAWS).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Corus Chess shortest games

Corus Chess 2009 hostilities is set to begin in nine days time, January 15 and since GM Wesley So will be one of the top attractions not only in the local chess community but to the whole of the chess world as well, I think it would be fitting to get a glimpse from some of the most interesting, behind the scene events. As I was browsing the site, I came upon this very interesting link about the shortest games in the history of the tournament. Games that ends short, I mean very very short, always bring a demonic smiles upon our face right? We couldn't help but utter some chuckles on the losers total lack of attention that lead to his early knock out (in boxing terms 60 seconds of the very first round) or just be simply amazed at the magics spelled by the winners over the board. There's something humorous, funny and farcical about the short games. Come on guys, just like boxing or any mixed martial arts sports, we loved violence in chess as we loved seeing an early knock out in boxing. Below is a selection of devastating early "knock outs" which I picked myself (below 15 moves) for us to enjoy!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

In a Lion's Den

Lie: awe, star struck...bullied

Only the lions were not so friendly this time. And he expects no mercy after all.

That must be what Norwegian Kjetil Lie is in a situation right now at Aker Chess Challenge in Norway. And he knew it, even before he was thrown into the den. Loosing four in a row in as many games against some of the fiercest chess competitors of the game at these moment, Lie certainly has no room to escape the raging Lions that are feasting on him. He was thrice mated in one or two in his games against Svidler, Nakamura and Carlsen and with just two more rounds left, I sometimes doubt that Lie would even be able to salvage a single draw. It would be a "shame" for the three big bad lions to let escape a hapless, sacrificial lamb. Of course it was not an embarrassing, if not uncomfortable situation for Norway's no. 3 player as he was up against 2700+ super talented players. But being bullied here and there with almost showing no fierce resistance at all is a different story. Like Daniel who was praying for some divine interference for way of escape and salvation from these Lions of chess.

Below is three "mate in one and two" games of Kjetil Lie for your enjoyment.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Calendar of Events

I'm not sure why the NCFP calendar of events for 2009 is still on jpeg image format and not through excel for easy download. Anyway here's the (partial?) calendar of events for 2009 published on NCFP website. I also notice that there's not much major chess events to be held around the Metro area this year. I say that's too bad. The possibility of live-blogging coverage from CH (just a try out) for 2009 is very dim.

Click the image to enlarge

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Best of Philippine Chess in 2008: ChessHeroes picks

Happy New Year everyone. 2008 was definitely a good year for Philippine chess, at least individually, as we're slowly making a sort of chess "revival" in the country. Our readers can assure that this blog will continue to follow the development and progress of chess in our country in the coming year. Please walk beside me. As for our chess masters, organizers, sponsors, bloggers, and all unsung chess heroes, CH will be walking after you.

Now let's talk about the best of Philippine chess in 2008:

Best Filipino Player of the Year
: Wesley So. Without a shadow of a doubt it was a tremendous year for GM Wesley So. The fifteen year old boy phenom from Cavite has an unofficial live rating of 2637, the highest ever achieved by Filipino chess players and making him among the top 100 active players in the world (unofficial). May I also ad that Mr. So has been performing around 2710 performance rating in the second half of 2008. He has 1-0-2 win, loss and draw record thus far against players with above 2700 ratings and looks pretty at home competing against 2600 rated opponents. Now a brief bio of Wesley for 2008. On April 16, 2008, Wesley So, won the title in the $45,000 Dubai Open Chess Championships, "The Sheikh Rashed Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup", at the Dubai Chess Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and setting a record as the youngest winner in the 10-year history of the Cup. He finished with 7 points on six wins, one loss and two draws after nine games. GM So also placed third at the sidelight Blitz Tournament of the Dubai Open Chess Championships held during the rest day of the main open tournament. After his succes at Dubai, he then proceed to Indonesia where he completely outduelled Indonesia's Number 1 GM Susanto Megaranto 4-2 (three wins, two draws and one loss) in a six-game match on the occasion of the JAPFA Chess Festival. On May 5, 2008, So won the top prize of P 200,000, in the “Battle of GMs” chess competition by notching 8½ points, on six wins and five draws, at the Citystate Hotel, Manila. One point ahead of second placer Eugenio Torre and Richard Bitoon. He also won the Gold Medal in Board 1 at 2008 under 16 Turkey's World Youth Olympiad. He is rated the world's strongest chess player for his age level (players born in 1993 and later). The latest ratings put Wesley So on the 11th spot of the world top 20 juniors list.

Most Improved Player: John Paul Gomez. By virtue of his sterling performance during the 2008 Dresden Chess Olympiad and winning the Philippine National Championship (Qualifying round), GM John Paul Gomez became the newest chess sensation of the Philippines. Gomez has an unofficial live rating of 2536, the third best in the country behind So and Torre.

Best Place(s) to play chess for Filipinos: Singapore, UAE

Chess event of the year: Philippines "Battle of Grandmasters"

Most memorable tournament of the year: Eugene Torre's surprise victory at the 3rd PGMA Cup.

Best performance(s) of the year: Wesley So, Dubai Open Champion; IM Enrico Sevillano, US Open co-champion

Best Philippine Chess Site: Pinoychess

Other top performing players: FIDE Asian Grand Prix champion and Philippine Open co-champ IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, 2008 new GM Jayson Gonzales, 5th Singapore chess fest ruler IM Richard Bitoon, Marshal Chess Club Champion and WMSG blitz preliminary round winner Mark Paragua