Saturday, February 28, 2009

GM Dejan Bojkov wins 73rd Bulgarian Individual Championship

Readers of this blog may still remember GM Dejan Bojkov, one of the live games commentators from who annotated one of the live games of GM Wesley So during the Corus C tournament. ChessHeroes had conducted an interview with Mr. Bojkov a couple of weeks ago regarding his thoughts about Wesley's triumph in his group and the game So-Holzke he annotated. Guess what, the guy had just won a tough tournament in Bulgaria a few days ago, the 73rd Bulgarian Individual Championship. Bojkov wrote:

After 11 rounds both Boris Chatalbashev and me shared the lead with 9 points. However, I lost in the penultimate round against the bronze medalist Momchil Nikolov, while Chatalbashev won against Petkov. Everything looked over, but Fortuna had left our three-time champion in the last round. Boris lost his final game, I won mine, and won the title for the first time due to my better tie-break!

Do check out Bojkov chess blog, he's doing extensive analysis of his games from the tournament. CH wishs to extend its congratulation to GM Dejan Bojkov latest success. Cheers!

-GM Dejan Bojkov Chess Blog
-ChessHeroes interview with GM Bojkov

Friday, February 27, 2009

2009 Philippine "Battle of Grandmasters" is next for GM Wesley So

The Philippines so-called "Battle of Grandmasters" is the next in line for GM Wesley So to conquer, the first major event he will be competing in his native country this year. So is the defending champion here and undoubtedly the most popular and sought after chess player in the country today. The tournament will be held on March 24-31 at Pavilion Hotel, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte Mindanao. More details of the tournament, including the complete players list will follow soon.

One of our reader dropped us an email asking if there is an official website for the Battle of GMs; live games, PGN, latest results, videos and photos, these kind of stuffs. Sorry folks. No official website for the tournament so Filipino chess bloggers will again left accountable of giving the tournaments a bit of "taste" (not in a journalistic style, I mean) as though we are getting paid for doing this. Anyways, I'm still a bit disappointed that the tourney won't take place at least around the Metro Manila area. Of course bringing these event to the provinces will have a positive effect for the popularity of chess in the far away regions of the country but Filipino chess bloggers who are based mostly around the Metro won't be able to share some first hand, behind the scene moments that local newspapers and online chess journalist won't be able to submit to their employers. Truth is the last time I set my eyes on most of our Pinoy GMs was at the 4th PGMA Cup in September. As of now, our Filipino chess heroes are busy gearing up themselves for the Battle of GMs. Let us go to Linares then.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Aeroflot Open: After all, draw of lots still favor Wesley So

The draw of lots for GM Wesley So's opponents on the just concluded Aeroflot Open in Moscow where he finished tied for 19th to 37th place, still favors the lad from Cavite. The irony here is Wesley never face a player that is higher rated than himself! Wesley posted 3 wins, 2 loses and 4 draws. Two from those three wins comes from women, IM Kosintseva (2497), and WGM Shen Yang (2448). Take a look at the final charts below and compare the statistics of the players who finished the tournament much higher than Wesley, the qualities of their opponents, but has a lower rating than Wesley. GM So (2627) has an average opponent ratings of 2541 (19-37 place finished), WIM Tatiana Kosintseva (2497) an average opponent ratings: 2621 (10-18 place finished) GM Zhaou Weiqi (2542) average opponent rating: 2632 (10-18 place finished), IM Sergei Yudin (2562) average opponent ratings: 2636 (10-18th place finished). So also lost around 6 points at Aeroflot.

Click the images to enlarge

GM Wesley So (2627)

WIM Tatiana Kosintseva (2497)

GM Zhaou Weiqi (2542)

IM Sergei Yudin (2562)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 Aeroflot 9th and final round: Just give us this one Wesley...

GM Wesley So had a convincing win yesterday against Chinese WGM Shen Yang, the second dame of chess Wesley had defeated in the tournament, then drew his game last night with GM Ajrapetjan. It was an interesting draw nonetheless. Looking closely at the final position of So-Ajrapetjan, it is obvious that somebody will take the match, one way or another, that's for sure should the game dragged on with pawn race but I guess playing safe is a wise choice for both players. It's just a matter of opinion on who will have the advantage should the game continued. I say it was a mutual draw though the game ended in threefold repetition. Nerves, nerves. In the final round of the tournament, Wesley So will be up against GM Zaven Andriasian (2564) of Armenia. Andriasian is a former 2005 European U-16 Youth Chess Champion and 2006 World Junior Champion. Braced for a good game between these two young promising GMs although I sense a drawn game. Wesley is aiming for a respectable top 15 finish should he win his final game against Andriasian tonight. Currently, So is tied from 17th to 36th place with 4.5 points.

Just give us this one Wesley!

-2009 Aeroflot Official Website

Monday, February 23, 2009

The One Thing Needful

Peter Doggers popular chess blog ChessVibes brought this Aeroflot fiasco to our attention early this morning that rocks the chess communities around the world. Below is the excerpts of Mamedyarov's protest:

During the game my opponent went out of the playing hall after each move, took his coat and withdrew himself on the toilet. After suspicion of unfair play on move 14 I offered a draw, he refused. We quickly played 11 moves, on the 12th move I played a move which confused my opponent. The next moves from him were given as first choice by Rybka, which quickly allowed him to win the game.

Due to this series of suspicions, having to do with the unusual behaviour of my opponent, Igor Kurnosov, I hereby lodge a protest and refuse to continue participation in the tournament.

I hope that this kind of situation will not occur in the future.

Now, what I want is, Facts...nothing but Facts, Facts.

Fact no. 1
We understand Mamedyarov’s (2724) claim due to the unusual behavior of Kurnusov during the game. An opponent that leaves after each move and plays very accurately in a very complicated and dangerous line is indeed suspicious.

Fact no. 2 However, it is very clear that Mamedyarov has no direct proof at all with his claim that Kursunov (2602) was getting some help from Rybka or any chess computer program. Accusing without very strong proof is totally unacceptable.

Fact no. 3 Kursunov is 2600 player and we've seen several times that at this level, they can even beat players with ratings above 2700 although this is seldom happens unless the 2700 players blunders during the game.

Fact no. 4 In addition we haven't heard anything from Mr Kursunov himself to defend his side so jumping to any conclusions is not wise.

Fact no. 5 Igor Kursunov has a super human performance rating of 2908!

Stick to Facts, sir!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday Backlash

"By taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing over it, he is superior."

2009 Aeroflot Open: GM Wesley So commits some mental lapses in the middle game and lost his match in just 24 moves while handling the white pieces to GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan. Wesley now has piled up a total of two wins, two defeats and a draw good for just 2.5 points with three more rounds to play. It was a sweet revenge for Safarli who lost to So in their previous encounter at Turkey. Wesley's legion of fans are not used to see their hero loosing two games early in the tournament but just exactly what this blog had predicted before the start of the tournament, don't expect Wesley to wield some magic again by winning three or four straight in a row, Corus style. Wesley So's round 6 assignment is another junior prospect, GM Sanan Sjugirov (2562) of Russia. If my memory serves me correctly, Sjugirov is one of the players So tied for first place in 2005 YWCC U-12.

But definitely the news of the day is the impressive victory of Gata Kamsky against Topalov in their Challenger's Match. The game dragged for 73 moves of pure mental torture for both players. For Kamsky, it was like finally having a drink of a glass of cold water after days in the desert. Kamsky used to be an automatic for the Bulgarian but the bullying ends yesterday and more importantly Kamsky level the score 2-2 and put the pressure back on Topalov who was still probably in shock by the defeat.

In the meantime, no English translation for Linares official website? Do Spanish is now the official language of chess? Just asking.

Not leaving the playing hall. He was still probably in shock.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So-Safarli for the third time

Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan will have his chance for revenge against Wesley So tonight. The last time this two youngster face off over the board was at World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad in August last year in Turkey were Wesley run away with the victory. Wesley has a 1- 1/5 edge in their two previous encounter.

My interest in chess deepened in the Philippines -Anand

This interview of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand was dated December 26, 2008 and was originally posted at Dennis Monokroussos blog, The Chess Mind. The interview was very informative that truly deserved our attention especially for Filipino chess fans. Some of the interview consist of Anand's stint in the Philippines, it's impact to his chess career; also about GM Eugene Torre, the 1980 Baguio City Karpov-Korchnoi championship match and a lot more about chess in the Philippines in general. This is a must read!

Q. To go back to the Philippines, is it fair to say that was a critical year because at that time the Philippines had better chess infrastracture?

Anand: I think that is correct. The Philippines had just organized a world championship match between Karpov and Korchnoi...I also remember joining a chess club interest in chess deepened in the Philippines and by the time time I got back I was pretty much hooked...we went to Baguio. It is a lovely hillside resort. While we were there, my parents took me to this place, see this is where the Karpov-Korchnoi match took place...The Philippines was a very strong Asian chess country. Now it's less so but they still field a decent team. Clearly no one has come along the stature of Eugene Torre...

and then Vishy said this,

If now, a very strong Filipino player emerged, there is already a base on which to build on...somebody they can follow they go for that. You need a constant feed of good players, to fire people's imagination.

Full interview from
Also at

Friday, February 20, 2009

In case some Filipino chess fans are not yet aware of

Just a piece of trivia. Aside from Viswanathan Anand, who is the only other Asian player to defeat Vaselin Topalov and the first Asian to defeat Gata Kamsky?

Answer: Eugenio Torre, Topalov at 32nd ol, in Yerevan Armenia, 1996 and Kamsky, Manila Interzonal, Philippines 1990

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kamsky and his seconds, is it a matter of poor coordination?

Please allow me to deviate for a moment to air some of my thoughts on Topalov -Kamsky match before the already much discussed defeat of Wesley So last night at the hand of a young IM Pavel Ponkratov of Russia. Let me put it this way. Kamsky graduated from law school in New York and he attended medical school for about a year. You have zero chances of finishing law without time management. But here's what happened in game two of the challengers match. Kamsky lost on time on his 32nd move and in a completely hopeless position by the time his flag fell. Track these: Kamsky spent 4 minutes on his 4th move (he's up against Topa's Berlin defence), 20 minutes on his 5th move, 11 minutes on his 7th move, 8 minutes on his 8th move, 27 minutes on his 10th move (an hour and a half on his first 10 moves!), and 13 minutes on his 15th move. My point is, this is supposed to be the second's job, if I'm not mistaken? Unless of course, Kamsky hires them just for flaunt. Kamsky has a solid team of seconds namely GM Emil Sutovsky, GM Evgeny Najer, GM Andrei Volokitin. Their responsibility with their chief is done once the opening variations and theory run out of water. After that Kamsky is on his own. But still, the indecision, doubt, and shilly-shally is something not to be expected in top level competition. His seconds might also be the ones who are shaking their heads. Migg Greengard's blog The Daily Dirt Chess Blog even go through of saying that "Watching game two of the Kamsky-Topalov candidates final match was like living in one of those Salvador Dali paintings with the melting clocks."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2009 Aeroflot: So escaped with a victory

If the live coverage is to be believe, this was the case: Wesley was a pawn down and with a "much better position for Filipov", the Uzbek Grandmaster time expires before making his 40th moves. Apparently though, Wesley made a move(s) that forced his opponent to spent some time a thinking, right? Though I believe that might not be the case. There must be some problem with the transmission. Granting that So got lucky with this one, I remember the great Filipino pool player Efren Reyes once said: "The more I practice, the more I get lucky" ;)

Now to Sofia. We are not mistaken when we said that the Topalov-Kamsky will be a show case of offense vs defense? Their game 1 all proves that. This is going to be a very interesting series. Topalov unleashed a "novelty" in his 17th move to break Kamsky's defenses but to no avail. Psychologically I think Toplaov was beaten here. He throws everything at Kamsky but the American used his other "weapon", his nerve, to survived the Bulgarian's aggression. Interesting to see what Kamsky will do when he handles the white pieces.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joseph Sanchez the newest Filipino Grandmaster?

click the image to enlarge

According to reports that are circulating around the Filipino chess community on the web, IM Joseph Sanchez became the 11th grandmaster of the Philippines. Joseph Sanchez earned his 3rd and final Grandmaster norm during the just concluded 23rd Cannes Chess Festival in France where he finished in joint third place and with performance rating of 2635. There are claims that Sanchez's Elo will be 2507 (though this is not fully confirmed yet) by April rating list based on the individual calculation. However ChessPhi live rating of Filipino chess players indicates that Joseph has an unofficial live rating of just 2490 which makes him still ineligible to be elected as a grandmaster. More to come...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Topalov - Kamsky World Chess Challenge: it's all about the master attacker versus the defensive master

Two days from now, two great gentlemen of the sport and with complete contrast of playing styles will come face to face to determine who will have the right to challenge the current world champion, Viswanathan Anand of India later this year. Here's a bit of bio and preview of the two antagonist:

Vaselin Topalov
, (2796) from Bulgaria, lives in Spain, age 33. The current no.1 rank chess player and former FIDE world champion. Topalov had the second highest Elo rating of all time (2813). During the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship, Topalov's performance rating was 2890. The average rating of the field in the championship was 2739. In January 2007, Topalov finished in joint first place at the Category 19 Corus Chess tournament along with Levon Aronian and Teimour Radjabov. In September 2008, Topalov won the Bilbao 2008 tournament, the highest rated chess tournament to date. Going into his match with Kamsky, Topalov has a live rating of 2809,2.

Style of play: a berserk attacker, produced exciting games.
Strong Points: precise calculation, excellent home preparations and physically fit.
Weak Points: his often make-or-break, frenzied style of play sometimes creates a problematic end game positions.

Gata Kamsky (2725) born in Siberia, Russia now resides in New York city USA, age 34. America's no.1 rank player and the best player the country ever produced since Bobby Fischer. Kamsky won the Chess World Cup 2007 and this earned him a match against Topalov. Kamsky reached the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996 but lost his match in the final against Anatoly Karpov 7.5–10.5 (+3=9−6). After losing the match to Karpov, Kamsky gave up chess but return to playing serious chess again in mid 2004.

Style of Play: a brilliant defensive and positional player. Fundamentally sound.
Strong points: not easily intimidated and has a nerve of steel, good in handling the black pieces.
Weak Points: limited opening variations

-WCC2009 Official website

Saturday, February 14, 2009

2009 Aeroflot Open: It's for all the glories and marbles

This is the real test of one's machismo. With 74 GMs (A1) 42 of them with ratings above 2600, the fields of 2009 Aeroflot reaches an almost epic proportion. It is always such a thrill to see so many chess tables lineup majestically like battlefields with top GMs rapt in their deepest thoughts. There is something of an Napoleonic air in that. Something heroic. Sure other "invite only" grand slam tournaments carries the same atmosphere but four or five tables doesn't have the same grandeur of what the Aerofolt participants will bring. Gear up folks, this tournament is going to be brutal. This is not the kind of "well learned politesse" chess have been known to be. Wesley must be mean here if he wants to win this thing. He must be arrogant in every victory, and revengeful in every defeat. He must.

ChessHeroes wishes GM Wesley So all the best in the world!

- 2009 Aerofolt Open official website

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sympathy for the Devil

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste...
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints...
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste...


This is an excerpt from an article "It's Outrageous" by Peter Wallace of :

Would I be overstating it if I said the Philippines seems to have lost its moral underpinnings?...

The real national hero is not Manny Pacquiao, it’s Wesley So, the 15-year-old chess grandmaster. What a magnificent feat—I’ll pick brains over brawn anytime. Which is not to denigrate Manny’s success but to point out how much attention he gets versus how little Wesley does. Mind you, my dad was world bridge champion and my uncle world chess champion so I’m a bit biased, but nonetheless Wesley deserves a red carpet too."

I don't know about this one. Ask any Americans who they think is the real sport hero of their country and I bet that nine out of ten they will tell you that it is Mohammad Ali and not Bobby Fischer thinking that Ali had accomplished more things though Ali is also more brainy of the two. Now tell me are we have to be that outrageous? True sports heroes, after all is not made out of their chosen profession. I shouted out, where are these world's undisputed boxing and chess heroes when the hijacked planes on 9/11 slammed into New York's twin tower? The other hero was grieving while the other "hero" was watching in glee. And where's the greatest chess player of our time from Azerbaijan when the Chechnyan separatist attacks Dagestani? Where? And where's the best boxer of his generation, when Islamic separatist groups attacks villages in warn torn Mindanao? He's there. Among all this, who could possibly be the real heroes? These brawny. Sure, I will also pick brains over brawn. Count me as one of those people who believe in human intellect over physical strength. That is what a hero should be. But comparing the accomplishments of Manny Pacquiao and Wesley So is kind of overstating, I think. Manny is "a man of wealth and taste" whereas Wesley is just an upstart kid with but "well-learned politesse". People always love man of wealth and taste. Boxing is an evil business. I never like the violence of the sport, in fact. But also you won't expect a 15 year old boy who barely scrape a living in the streets by selling cigarettes to play chess than brawl for his own survival? You see there is devil in every sport. Chess is not spare. Chess is not as neat as you might think. Ahhh...I know. What's puzzling you is the nature of their game.

Surprise! chess is one of Manny's favorite pass time.

Photo courtesy of pinoychess

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February is a chess month.

Aeroflot, Linares, Topalov-Kamsky challengers match, all begins in the 16th of February? You must be kidding me. But I think it would be better if they broke up these super chess events in different time schedules or chess fans might deprived of great competitions in the coming months. 2009 Aeroflot. I'm not downplaying Wesley So's success at Corus C but comparing the fields at Aeroflot (GM A1), the C group is simply nowhere near the caliber of Aeroflot. I think that 2009 Aeroflot is the toughest tournament Wesley is competing thus far. I still consider the 2008 Dubai Open chess championship to be the biggest victory of his young career. Don't expect Wesley to wield some magic again by winning three or four straight in a row just like what he did in Corus or you'll into big disappointment. Wesley can win this thing, of course but also expect a couple of hard fought losses from our young chess hero. Just be prepared. On to Linares. I don't have the smallest idea on who will win the so called "Wimbledon" of chess. Definitely Anand is the sentimental favorite here being the back to back winners but we've seen so many super tournaments won by players seeded on the bottom half of the rankings. Now finally to Sofia for the Topalov - Kamsky Challenger match. There is no doubt in mind that Topalov will win the match though I like Kamsky better than Topalov. Prepare for the blockbuster Anand - Topalov championship match later this year.

Papa Kramnik where are you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Now that is quite embarrassing :)

Could anyone politely reminds these people that GM Wesley So is no longer the youngest GM in the world? Government officials, movie stars, and heck believe it or not, even local newspaper/online journalist keeps saying that Wesley is currently the youngest Grandmaster in the world. Even if he is still the youngest, there is no need to overcharge it over and over again. It's quite embarrassing, really, not only to Wesley himself but the whole of the Filipino chess community who are some of the most chess literate people around. The Philippines has already past its bragging rights of having the youngest GM in the world. Could someone take these celebrities (not in public, please) in one corner and politely whisper in their ears that even before Anish Giri of Russia became a GM last January during Corus tournament at age of 14 years, 7 months and two days, Wesley So no longer held that right to be called the youngest GM but it was Hou Yi Fan of China. Hou Yifan was already GM elect since August last year at the age of 14 years 6 months 2 days and that was five months before Anish Giri became a GM!

Hope this will finally settle the confusions. Made me want to remove my photo in this blog :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

CH Interview with GM Dejan Bojkov

Chess fans who are regularly following the live games with commentaries of GM Wesley So's campaign in Corus tournament may want to a know a thing or two about the commentators over all thoughts about Wesley's triumph in Corus. One of them are GM Dejan Bojkov from Bulgaria and let us hear what he has to say about So. Thanks that the site provided GM Dejan Bojkov his chess blog and make this interview possible. A bit of his bio: GM Bojkov was installed as a new chess Grandmaster during the 79th Dresden FIDE congress in November last year, also the same time GM John Paul Gomez was honored. Currently GM Bojkov work as a trainer in Greece-Kavala, the strongest chess club in that country. ChessHeroes wish to extend its gratitude to GM Dejan Bojkov for this interview.

Before commenting one of GM So's live game at chessdom, have you already done live game commentaries/annotations of other top Grandmasters?

The game So-Holzke was my second live annotated game at chessdom. The previous day I annotated the game Ivanchuk-Movsesian also from Corus, for chessdom. However, I have lot of experience in annotating GM games for various magazines, and sites, too.

Since majorities of the followers of live games are below masters level and generally rely on the commentators insights of the ongoing game, are there any pressure from these passionate kibitzers?

I did not feel any pressure of anyone. My annotations are the thoughts that I want to share with the general audience. I understand that there are many supporters of Wesley So, but on the other hand, there are also many supporters of Frank Holzke (or any other player) and also mere chess fans, who enjoy the battle, and do not care about the result. I believe that the annotator needs always to be objective, no matter who plays.

GM Wesley So had just won the 2009 Corus Group C where he is the top seed by virtue of higher rating than the rest. Are you surprised that So won the tournament despite competing in his first ever major tournament in Europe and a completely different chess environment compare to Asia?

If a top-seeded player wins a tournament, this is never a surprise. Moreover, as far as I know GM So did at least one of his GM norms in Europe (I believe his first one), in Germany. I know that because a friend of mine drew against him in the final round and told me about the talented fellow long before the others knew him.

Now, about GM Wesley So's blunder in round 8 against Holzke where he got overly excited and gave up a piece in his 34th move that cost him the match, his only defeat in the tournament. What is your thoughts about this?

If you follow my live annotations, you will see that just before committing the mistake I am saying that he must not follow this line. The forced line in which he gets is giving a lot of counter play for his opponent, and he is no longer winning that easy. Obviously the young GM blundered something else before, and then the piece blunder came. As the old GMs say: "Mistakes never come in solitary". I think that he became a victim of his opponent's time trouble, and hurried to wrap up the game. However, the side that is in time-trouble always has advantage when taking rapid decisions.

After the loss to Holzke, So surges to his fourth straight victories which virtually sealed off the C Group for him with a round to spare. How do you assesses Wesley's comeback in the crucial latter rounds of the tourney?

The young star showed character. This is important if he wants to have the bright future that many expect. There was no great player who did not have strong character.

Your final thoughts and impressions about GM Wesley So.

First place with a spare round-his performance speaks for itself. I saw that he is working, and trying to widen his opening repertoire, which is a must for the nowadays top GMs. He also needs to include the semi-open games in his arsenal. He is young, talented, and has strong will to win. However, this is not yet enough- he must continue to work with fast temps. It is only up to him now till which level of the world he might climb.

I wish him good luck!

- GM Dejan Bojkov chess blog
- Photo courtesy of EICC 2008 website

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wesley So - Eugene Torre match up is off

It was the talk of the town. Everyone is excited about the "Dream Match" between two of the most influential and revered chess heroes of the Philippines. Asia's first ever Grandmaster vs. history's seventh youngest Grandmaster. The past and the future of Philippine chess. Couldn't there be any better? Nothing. But the proposed one million pesos So-Torre showdown that is scheduled to take place this month in various major cities in the country is not going to happen. But first thing first, you can read my previous post regarding the So-Torre match up over HERE. And the link to the full article from the can be read HERE. As everyone must be well aware by now, Wesley So is set to compete in 2009 Aeroflot which begins February 16 in Moscow, Russia so there will be a conflict in schedule. What we do not know as of now is whether the proposed match up will be move to a latter date or it will not take place at all, at least this year considering Wesley's hectic tournament schedules. I deem it wise not to comment any further at this moment, let's just wait for any development in the coming weeks. More later...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So picks up 20 points from Corus

Wesley So's victory at Corus allows him to pick up additional 20 Elo rating points. Wesley now has an unofficial live rating of 2647 and that propels him among the top 100 players in the world. Although I'm still very skeptical about Wesley's chances of breaking the 2700 barrier before the year's end, it is very much possible that he could become one of the youngest, if not the youngest player in history to breach that mark. Of course, everything is based in pure theoretical calculation, but that's what chess is all about right? Yes, it is possible that he might get it before he turn seventeen (October 9) next year. It is possible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wesley So, Karjakin, Caruana video interview

I rarely watch chess video interviews, the players thoughts are all too predictable. They are more or less says the same thing. But Wesley is in this video. Got to hear your 2009 Corus Group C winner. Boy, he's gaining confidence facing the international media day by day, quite fluent too. No Wesley you are not lucky, you really played good just exactly what you said and we hear you!

A record week for ChessHeroes

This is a surprise for ChessHeroes. Traffic is up for CH. People from anywhere else on the planet who are are following the progress of GM Wesley So's campaign in Corus usually find their way in this blog. It is good to see that ChessHeroes is well indexed by Google (forget Yahoo) especially for the key words "Wesley So Corus" or anything about Wesley in Corus,. Readership in this blog for the past two weeks had rocketed dramatically even surpassed our "unofficial" coverage of 3rd PGMA Cup where we are actually rank no 1. in Google search. Thanks everyone, anyway. We all had a tremendous weeks I know and as for me, I'm feeling quite spent from blogging, indeed blogging kills :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Corus 2009 round 12: Wesley So, virtual winner of C group

I seldom praise Wesley So, because I believe that it is a bit too premature especially when many are going beyond of even comparing him to some of the greatest players of our time. For instance, with all due respect, I totally disagree with GM Eugene Torre's comparisons of young Wesley to young Fischer although I'm hoping that I would be proven wrong. In fact I rarely used the anagram "So young, So good, So etc." that has been the favorite phrases by kibitzers and journalist alike. But seeing him breezes his way to his fourth consecutive wins in the later and crucial rounds of the tournament, which is quite a feat already, and now just fifteen years of age, a virtual winner of his group where he is the top seed, I say Wesley should really be that so and now he has all my praises in the world. Wesley played almost flawlessly last night against group rival Tiger Hilarp Persson, who was obviously intimidated with his younger opponent's three straight wins going into their match. Wesley needs only a draw against Englishman David Howell tonight, to clinch outright victory. David is 0-2 against Wesley in their previous two game encounter so I predict a short, uneventful draw between these two. No need to risk everything for both players since I too, really think that the C group has been decided already. Of course there is Anish Giri, now the youngest grandmaster, in second place but tie breaks would still favor So. Meanwhile Steve Giddins reports at chessbase that Wesley So is of Indonesian nationality. Please check out the photo of So at the site and you will see. Now calm down Wesley So Pinoy fans. That's no big deal. Everyone knows where he came from right?

Round 12 results:

Corus A

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

Corus B

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

Corus C

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

Standings with one round to go:

Corus A

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

Corus B

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

Corus C

1. W. So 9
2. A. Giri 8
3. T. Hillarp Persson 7½
4. D. Howell 7
5. A. Gupta 6½
6. F. Holzke 6
7. F. Nijboer, D. Harika, M. Bosboom, R. Pruijssers 5½
11. M. Leon Hoyos 5
12. E. Iturrizaga, A. Bitalzadeh 4½
14. O. Romanishin 4

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