Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aronian wins Nalchik Grand Prix (But look who had the last laugh)

Leko had the last laugh, though

Levon Aronian defeated co-leader of the tournament Peter Leko in the final round to win 2009 Nalchik GP. Going into the 13th round, both players shared the lead with 7.5 points. Leko, on his part need to win his game with Aronian to take home the Nalchik trophy. Hats off nevertheless for Peter. He was notoriously unpopular with fans owing to his high percentage of draws. But in the final game in Nalchik, he goes for it, had his moments to equalized early on but was crushed in the end just the same.

[Event "Nalchik Grand Prix"]
[Date "2009.04.29"]
[Round "13"]
[White "GM Aronian"]
[Black "GM Leko"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E55"]
[White Elo "2754"]
[Black Elo "2751"]

-2009 Nalchik GP official website

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

See you at DepEd tommorow!

This piece of good news (and to some, outrageous) was first brought to our attention by a certain islesev, a kibitzer from Philippine Chess Portal but first published on This is a historical moment for Philippine chess. Every chess supporter in the country, if their time will allow, should be at DepEd Complex tomorrow in Pasig City to show some support. No other than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be gracing the event. Don't forget to bring your camera. See you all there at DepEd!... and oh, for the critics, sorry folks, but it's too late for any grumbling. Learn the basic moves of the pieces first then come back later ;)

This April 30, 2009 (Thursday) will be the MOA signing between the Department of Education and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, as well as the launching of the National Chess Academy. President Arroyo will be present, as well as DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus and NCFP President Prospero Pichay. The venue will be Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. The activity will start at 8:00 A.M. (the original announcement here was 10:30 A.M.).

Chess will now be integrated in the basic education curriculum of Grades 3-6 and High School 1-4. It is to promote the development of higher order thinking skills and values among the students.

Photo opportunities available. For more information or to confirm your attendance, please contact Ella Romblon-Arienda at 633-7206 or Kenneth Tirado at 637-4933.

(via DepEd Communications Unit)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top grandmasters speaking about rapid chess and blitz

The tremendous success of 1st Barley Rapid chess tournament last March in Quezon City proves to be that rapid tournament, is indeed the chess players and chess enthusiast ultimate chess tournament. Haven't I told you that over 600 people (my estimation) came to Gateway Mall each day to see the games? No surprise in that. Fans knew that at the end of each matches, 70% would end in decisive results, I mean with less drawn game. I'm not a big fan of blitz. It's of minor importance. But rapid, with increment, of course, is absolutely wonderful. Imagine seeing three exciting, quality rounds in one day? Oh, such a pleasure to watch. Somebody shake me up. I'm day dreaming again...

Alexander Grischuk: I like rapid chess and blitz very much: it is interesting either to play or to watch. I do not see any problems in creating more championships of this kind. It is a mystery for me why such tournaments are organized less than normal ones.

Pavel Eljanov: Quick chess is interesting due to its dynamics. I think it would be great if there would be organized a rapid chess world championship. It is much more interesting for me to play quick chess. But I think that the blitz is not serious.

Vassily Ivanchuk: Yes, I like blitz tournaments. I also like rapid chess but it does not mean that I don’t like playing classical chess. I welcome both kinds of chess I can’t say that I prefer one specific kind. If a rapid world championship would be organized, I would probably take part in it.

Levon Aronian: Frankly speaking, most of all I like Chess960 (Fischerrandom) chess. I wish there were more 960 tournaments. I think there are enough rapid and blitz tournaments.

Sergey Karjakin: I like quick chess. Opening theory is not of great importance there as it is in classical chess. By the way, I’d like to mention that I consider Vassily Ivanchuk the world blitz champion, because he won the “Tal’s Cup” last year. Almost everyone could be selected for this game, and there is not any sport selection for the so-called world championship. I consider the “Tal’s Cup” the world blitz championship.

Evgeny Alekseev: Classical chess acquired its reputation a long time ago. Blitz and rapid chess are of minor importance, I have to admit.

Peter Leko: It is good that there is a world blitz championship, and it would be much better to have an official world rapid championship too. The three branches should not be mixed; the more time is allowed for the game, the more important the tournament is. But many people are now interested in blitz and in rapid chess.

Boris Gelfand: All the three branches are very interesting and attract the spectators’ attention. And I participate in tournaments of all kinds with great pleasure. It is better to have more tournaments with any kind of control. I think that there should be three fixed branches: rapid, blitz and classical chess. Each of them has its advantages. To mix them is an absolute nonsense and even crime against chess. Classical chess has deeper games, quick chess is more entertaining, and blitz game checks your reaction. And such an outrage as the FIDE time control, when you are given an hour and a half for the whole game, should remain in history and should not be returned to.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov: I like to play both blitz and rapid chess. We, chess players, are always glad to take part in some good contests. Probably, if there were more of such contests, it would be easier to play, because classical games demand not only the game itself but you also have to work hard preparing for and during the tournament. And it is much more relaxed and pleasant when you play rapid chess and blitz.

Players comment from 2009 Nalchik GP website

Monday, April 27, 2009

No Filipino masters at 2009 Dubai Open

The 11th Dubai open ches championship starts today. Top seeded are Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan (2659), Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus (2624), Malakhatko of Belgium (2618), Fedorov of Belarus (2611) The top junior is GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan (2599) and the top woman player IM Anna Zozulia of Belgium (2371).

Unfortunately for our Pinoy OFWs working in the region, they won't be able to see our top Filipino masters as they opted to skip this $45,000 championship to prepare themselves for the equally prestigious event, the Asian Continental Chess Challenge (Asian Individual Open and Women's Championships) slated on May 13-24 at the Subic Freeport Zone in Olongapo City. This tournament will serve as a qualifier to the World Chess Championships in Russia. GM Wesley So, the defending champion of the tourney where he made history last year by becoming the youngest player ever to win the event at 14 years and 6 months also begged off from defending his title.

Filipinos who are expected to see action in Dubai are the following names: Tabada, Jobannie C. (2186), Arellano, Robert (2094), Taopa, Gilbert (2035), Pabalan, Rocky (1938), Castillo Jaydee (1888).

-2009 Dubai open official website

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fish be with You

This humble looking yellow and blue fin tuna from Quezon fish market can actually help you to become a better chess player.

No longer an urban legend. Fish, it really is chess players food.

We know about the claims that eating fish would make you smarter. Now new research HERE says those claims may be right. So what's the good news? The Philippines is an Archipelago folks and one of the biggest exporter of tuna in the world! Freshly caught tuna, in particular is relatively cheap (most are no more than P130 per kilo), tasty and and more importantly, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are the richest source of a type of fat that is vital to normal brain development and is known to keep brain cell membranes healthy and appears to aid communication within brain cells. You couldn't get any better than that. So you can eat well and keep your brain sharp by adding more fatty fish like tuna and sardines which are abound and quite cheap in local market. Of course there are mackerel, salmon, if you can afford them, (which I can't) to add to your eating plan. Fact: World Chess Champions like GMs Vaselin Topalov and Vishwanathan Anand rarely eat meat from pork or beef except fish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Top GMs: I don't want my children to go for chess professionally.

Kasimzhanov, wife Firuza and son Azar.
Photo courtesy of

World's top Grandmasters makes a point. Very few of them would have agree of seeing any of their children to take chess as a profession. One can not question them, though you can argue this. Surprisingly, most of these top GMs are sons of lawyers, bankers, land owners, and other professionals. They are mostly came from middle class to upper class family who has all the means to support their passion for the game. For you parents raising a child prodigy, don't grieve at this. It is just one of those cases that misguided fatherly instinct that this top GMs has to deal with when raising and protecting their children, knowing the hardship they have faced on reaching the top, despite all the financial and moral support they received all through out their career. They can only have to think for those who don't have. Somehow, these guys are good fathers.

Rustam Kasimzhanov
: "My elder child plays chess a little. I am not against it. But I will be against if one of my children decides to become a professional chess player...I’d like them to have normal professions of a lawyer, doctor or banker."

Peter Svidler: "I have two seven-year-old sons. If they ask me to play chess with them, I will play a game or two, but I don`t want them to go for chess professionally."

Shahriyar Mamedyarov: "I am not married yet. But when I get married and have children, they won`t go for chess professionally. Of course I would like them to play chess well, but not professionally. "

Alexander Grischuk: I have a little daughter who can not play chess yet. But if she is eager to go in for chess I won’t be against it, though I am not going to urge her on choosing this way.

Vasily Ivanchuk: "Family is not the thing one should discuss in press. I am married for the second time. I have a child from the first marriage. Unfortunately I seldomly see him. There are a lot of reasons for it. As far as chess is concerned, he is not interested in this game. Now we don’t play chess in the family. We used to, during the first marriage, as my wife was a chess player. My second wife doesn’t play chess."

Full article can be read at 2009 Nalchik official website

Friday, April 24, 2009

More foresight on the inclusion of chess in school curriculum in the RP

Since chess is now included as a school curriculum in the country starting this year, this won't come as a surprise if we see our young chess players think of nothing else but chess competitions instead of their usual and regular academic subjects. Are we going to see rivalry and jealousy among grade school teachers and chess instructors in the coming years? I don't see that happening but take for example of brothers David and Daniel Ro's story from's Williston teen checkmates peers in chess tourney

Pacquiao makes ceremonial pitch for SF Giants

Here's the video of Manny Pacquiao throwing the ceremonial first pitch at San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres at the sold out AT&T Park during the annual celebration of the so called Filipino Heritage Night. So how come that boxing landed on a chess blog like ChessHeroes? It is for the very simple reason that some posts and topics in this blog were also being discussed and well received by our friends over there at forum.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Karjakin, bail out of Ukraine

We had finally learnt that there is no actual offer from the Russian Chess Federation. It is Karjakin's sole decision to transfer to Russia after all, in search of good coaches. Sergei just bail out of Ukraine to save his chess career, so it appears. A hundred years from now people will remember Sergei Karjakin as "A Russian World Chess Champion of Ukranian decent." Excerpt of this interview of Sergei Karjakin is from Peter Doggers chess blog, ChessVibes.

“I am going to play for Russia and I am going to live in Russia, most likely. This decision was made because I didn’t have enough support inside the country, in Ukraine. And I also need to train with good coaches and there are a few good coaches in Russia, for example Yuri Dokhoian, who worked with Garry Kasparov and now in this tournament he is working with me. So it’s mostly because of the coaches.”

OK, I had a little bit support from the private sponsors, but I almost didn’t have any support from the Federation. It’s not like in Russia, where you have very big support from the Federation.”

Vassily Ivanchuk:
“I think this is his personal decision. OK, if he thinks he will have more opportunities in the Russian Chess Federation, why not?” To the question if he was surprised, Ivanchuk answered: “I didn’t think about it, but it’s completely his personal decision.”

Pavel Eljanov:
“I think it’s a very good chance for Sergey to improve his skills, because he’s a very talented player. I think he’s one of the most talented prodigies in the world. I think that with this great support of the Russian Chess Federation he has great chances to become World Champion in the future.”

Two Filipino students wins sudoku championship in Thailand

I myself, rarely grab newspapers or magazines without sudoku puzzle games on it. And it's always great to see that Filipinos too are slowly gaining ground in this ultimate logic game. has this reports that two Pinoy students, John Robert Valcos, 17, of St. Mary’s College in Baliwag, Bulacan and Sarah Jane Cua, 14, a second-year high school student of Pangasinan Universal Institute in Dagupan City, wins major international sudoku competetion in Thailand, besting over 100 participants from six different countries. If you are not aware, a grandmaster title is also being conferred to a master sudoku player such as GM Sarah Jane Cua who is just 14. Hope to see more Filipino sudoku champion and grandmasters in the future.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nalchik GP: when Chucky gets cocky

This is an interesting game and at the same time quite..funny? What the... this is not the first time that we've seen Ivanchuk, with his caliber, lose his concentration because of OTB ego and lost a game in the process in such a cruel fashion. Please take a moment to replay the game below. Ivanchuk, playing the white pieces was so confident, or cocky I should say, that his king was well shield from the ramming threat of black's queen and rook on the f file that he decided instead to retreat his bishop by 22. Bf1? using the rook at d2 to protect f2 instead of the possible 22.f3 or 22.Rf1 the latter he opted not to choose since it will definitely hurt his ego as he had previously played Rf-d1 and don't want to take back his decisions but then he overlooks black's next move 22...d4, and eventually fell to Rustam Kasimzhanov's final (and beautiful) combination, winning a piece. 26.Qd3 by 26…Rxc2 27.Qxc2 Qxf1+! 28. Rxf1 Rxf1 29. Kxf1 Nxe3

Never try this at home or tournaments folks. Swallow your pride!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Civilization IV, one good alternative entertainment for chess players

Ah, aside from and this turn based, empire-building strategy game nearly ruin my life. I must say that I grew up with Sid Meier's Civilization series. I rarely indulge myself with racing, shooting or RPG PC games. I'm strictly into turn based strategy games (sometimes real time). That's part of the discipline when carefully choosing a PC game. I haven't stopped playing Civ series since I got my hands on it when Civ 3 was first released in local market 7 years ago. There's nothing that satisfy me most than to drop powerful nuclear bombs on a small and hapless, but uncooperative nations or exterminating the unruly and defiant citizens of conquered rival nations. Anyways, it's just a game. But you'll be surprise with the similarities of the game with chess that's why I highly suggest Civ IV as an alternative entertainment (in contrast with RPG and shooting, racing etc) for serious chess players since the strategies and decision making are quite relevant with chess in many ways.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One minute video interview of GM Wesley So

I do not actually find this video interview of Wesley So very informative and interesting since the questions had been asked to Wesley no less than a hundred times in the past. The usual money management and advice to young aspiring players no longer held any particular interest to me but since this video were meant for the younger ones (I presume) and it's all about Wesley So himself, this video somehow deserves a place in this blog. Beautiful, comfy looking sofa too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

2009 Nalchik Grand Prix Live games, webcam

Let me remind you folks that you can actually follow the live games and watch the action live through webcams (you need Java) from Nalchik for free and no registration is required. Don't expect high quality, streaming videos though. The camera appears to be taking shots of the playing hall every one or two seconds. All games starts at around 7:00 pm Manila time. Enjoy!

-Live webcam
-Live games

Karjakin to play for Russia?

This isn't possibly a late April Fool's Day joke entry am I right?

This news first brought to our attention through Chessdom but the original post first appeared at Chess Today. Could the youngest GM in history and possibly the next world chess champion is leaving mother Ukraine for good? I would like to hear what Vassily Ivanchuk has to say about the Karjakin's decision. We are well aware of Ivanchuk's extreme nationalism.

Yesterday Yury Vasilyev included in his ChessPro report from Nalchik the unofficial news that Sergey Karjakin will play for Russia in the near future.

Afterwards I spoke with Sergey's father Alexander who confirmed that it is not a secret, and such transfer is their intention. Alexander said that they have nothing against Ukraine, and they are grateful to everyone who helped them in the past...

...Petrov also agreed, however, that it is not possible to hold Karjakin in the Ukrainian federation against Sergey's will. From my side, I must add that it has been known for a long time that most (if not all) leading Ukrainian players have a strong feeling that they do not earn enough money inside the country.

In general, despite all efforts, there is still not enough money in Ukrainian chess for such strong players that we have. I am not sure if a more detailed analysis is of interest to the international readers... If some sixty our leading players move to the Russian, Slovenian federation, etc., then I will obtain a realistic chance to play for the national team and maybe even will read the Olympic Charter in this case.

Again, the nightmare that Filipino chess fans is having after April 1 will surely haunt us again for many years to come.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 Philippine Inter-Cities Chess Team Championship round 8

Somebody dropped me an email last night offering me the PGN and photos of the tournament in exchange for a fee. Much have I wish to have those stuffs in this blog for our readers and friends, I'm afraid I can't pay for anything, at least at these moment. ChessHeroes is entirely a "volunteer" effort and therefore I cannot pay anyone if you provide me with your content. May I reiterate that I'm not earning a single penny from this blog. Thanks anyway for the offer but I'm afraid I have to decline. But I can somehow assure you that this blog is more than willing to pay for your effort than the NCFP website ;). Nonetheless, I hope you will continue on what you are doing for chess in the country. Wish you luck!

Now on to Tarlac. More upsets in the tournament. Round 8, GM Mark Paragua of Valenzuela team, rank no. 4 in the country but hmm... fast becoming as the no.1 favorite target of lower rank/rated players this year, suffer another set back at the hands of Rolando Andador of PNP-NHQ. So after eight rounds, two teams share the lead: Quezon City and PNP-NHQ. Other results and details can be read at GMANews.TV

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nalchik Grand Prix, one of the strongest tourney this year starts today!

We won't see Teimour Radjabov and Wang Yue in Nalchik. These two supposedly the favorites to win the Grand Prix having garnered the most points thus far, Radjabov with 363,33 is occupying the first place in the standings and Wang Yue with a total of 353,33 is on the second spot. Nalchik GP is the strongest compare to its past three series and one of the strongest this year, boasting 11 out of 14 players with 2700+ and with an average rating of 2725. The winner of the Grand Prix series will play in 2011 in the Candidate event of the World Championship Cycle.

The Players

1 Akopian Vladimir Armenia 2696, 2 Alekseev Evgeny Russia 2716, 3 Aronian Levon Armenia 2754, 4 Bacrot Etienne France 2728, 5 Eljanov Pavel Ukraine 2693, 6 Gelfand Boris Israel 2733, 7 Grischuk Alexander Russia 2748, 8 Ivanchuk Vassily Ukraine 2746, 9 Kamsky Gata USA 2720, 10 Karjakin Sergey Ukraine 2721, 11 Kasimdzhanov Rustam Uzbekistan 2695, 12 Leko Peter Hungary 2751, 13 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar Azerbaijan 2725, 14 Svidler Peter Russia 2726

Back to the country, Day 3 of Philippine Inter-Cities and Municipalities chess team championship saw four team sharing the top spot with 10 points after six round:
Tagaytay, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, FEU-FERN-QC-Inton, Pasig-Marfori. Alcon John Datu scores the biggest upset thus far in the tournament by beating the 3rd rank player in the country, GM John Paul Gomez.

For complete details of the tournament visit

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Filipino couple left Japan, daughter

Noriko, the 13 year old Japanese girl born to Filipino parents

Undocumented Filipino man and his wife, Arlan and Sarah Calderon left Japan yesterday under a deportation order, leaving their 13-year-old daughter behind Noriko, who was born in Japan and currently attends a junior high school in Warabi. Noriko was allowed to remain but his parents must go. But what moved me most about this incident was on how Arlan's coworkers have rallied around him and more than 19,000 signatures have been collected on a petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to give him special permission to stay in Japan. But to no avail.

The following are excerpts from the Japan Times online

NARITA, Chiba Pref...Earlier Monday, relatives and colleagues of Arlan Calderon, 36, and his 38-year-old wife, Sarah, gathered at the family's home in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, to bid the couple farewell. "We will be waiting for you (to come back)," said construction worker Yasuhisa Nagashima, one of Calderon's colleagues, adding that this is not "goodbye." While expressing sadness, Calderon said: "I want to thank everyone. Not just the people of Warabi, but those across the nation for supporting me and my family's cause. "Noriko (their daughter) is here, so I hope we can return to her side as soon as possible."

The family had long been seeking special permission for residence for the entire family. But while the Justice Ministry granted their daughter special permission to stay, it refused to extend the permission to the parents.

Here's the irony. There are ten of thousands of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and even Koreans live illegally in the Philippines for years. Yet the Philippines remains one of the lowest record of deportation cases against illegal aliens (not to mention the "lagay") in Asia. Truth is I grew up in an area in my hometown where a small Indian community (we called them Bombay and 5-6), resides and most of them stays illegally. Ask any Filipinos on why they think we are allowing these "illegal" immigrants to stay in the country, they would just shrugged off their shoulders and replied that they too have sons, daughters, parents and other relatives living either legally or illegally in other countries so why bother to kick this people out of the Philippines who are also seeking better lives like we do? It's all about the sense of "utang na loob" which other nationality may find it hard to understand.

Azerbaijan vs. the World Chess Challenge

In a recent entry from Chessdom, an interesting chess challenge is about to take place on 7-9 May in Baku, Azerbaijan. Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin and Shirov are expected to represent the world against all the top players from Gary Kasparov's native country, Azerbaijan. Quite strange that no Chinese players were selected for the team world to give the event some oriental flavor. Pity.

Recently during the closing ceremony of Barley Rapid chess tournament last March, it was mentioned by organizers that the proposed "Quezon City, Philippines vs. Asia" is also set to take place sometime this year. Let us see what will happen.

Meanwhile, day 2 of the Philippine Intercities and Municipalities Chess Team Championship, saw Quezon City took over the lead after GM Antonio defeated GM Villanueva, the highlight match of the day, obviously.

For complete details please visit GMANews.TV and

Standings after four rounds:
8 points -- Quezon City
7 -- Tagaytay City, LWUA-QC-F
6 -- Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, FEU-FERN-Inton-QC, PNP-QC, LWUA-QC-B, LWUA- QC-C
5 -- Mandaluyong, Antipolo, LWUA-QC-A
4 -- Makati, Pasig-Marfori, Lingayen, LWUA-QC-D, Calamba, Virac, Tarlac-A, Lanao del Sur, Gerona-A, Nueva Ecija, LQUA-QC-E, Gerona-B.
3 -- Cebu, La Union, Paniqui-Tarlac
2 -- DepEd-Pasig-1, Aparri, Passi, Tarlac-B, NCDA-QC, Tarlac-C
1 -- Calapan, Zambales
0 -- DeepEd-Pasig-2

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 PICM Chess Team Championship, scandal at Barcza

For results and complete details from day 1 of Philippine Inter-Cities and Municipalities Team Championship please visit GMANews.TV. Unfortunately, GMA appears to be the only site that is interested to cover the Wesley So-less tournament.

In the meantime, everyone loves scandal (as long as we are not the ones involved, I mean). But this time money matters get's on the way again. Yup, "no money, no business". Here's from ChessBase:

It was scheduled to go from April 6th to 17th, and players had already arrived in Budapest – some from as far away as India. IMs had to pay a hefty starting fee, 600 Euros, in addition to their flights. Round one was played, but then the hosting hotel shut down the event since no expenses were being paid.

IM Robert Ris was one of the victims of the failed Barcza Memorial tournament. He sent the following letter to all chess news sites and blogs. Unfortunately, the letter landed on my inbox only last night, and it was quite long and too time consuming (and exhausting) to read. But anyway, one of you might want to give it a through read; then kindly give me your insights about this latest fiasco in chess.

Open Letter regarding the Barcza Memorial Scandal

IM Robert Ris

Thursday 9th April 2009

A few months ago I found out that in April 2009, there would be organized in Budapest a 2nd edition of Barcza Memorial (after reading the story you will understand why there is no tournament site of such strong tournament anymore!). I noticed an email address of the organizer, Mr. Pali, and decided to write him if there would be a possibility for me to participate. Unfortunately, I didn't get any reply, until 2 weeks before the tournament was scheduled. His invitation came quite unexpectedly for me, but I was very glad to get the chance to play in a Cat. 13 tournament, although I had to pay a huge entry fee (600 euro) + flight ticket (320 euro) all myself.

I started my trip Sunday 5 april. Due to late booking I couldn't get a direct flight to Budapest, so I had to make a short transfer in Prague. Arriving there, I decided to check my phone, and saw to my big surprise 3 missed calls from GM Ivan Sokolov, one of the players in the tournament. I called him back, and he told me he arrived at the hotel ( also playing venue) and wanted to check-in, but when informing the reception he came here for the chess tournament nobody understood where he was talking about. According to the hotel manager, Mr. Pali started negotiations a few months ago, but they were stopped early without signing any contract.

Mr. Sokolov informed me that it looked highly unlikely that there would be held a tournament, so the best thing I could do, he advised me, was taking a taxi and booking a room 1 night on my own expense.

After off-loading my luggage in Budapest I was surprised that Mr. Pali picked me up. He told me immediately that the first night I couldn't stay in the hotel, since it was overbooked. After the opening ceremony where all players, but Sokolov were, who was even not informed about the location, he therefore decided to drop me and a few other players in another hotel for 1 night and transfer us next morning.

The next day we checked-out and went to the other hotel. The playing conditions looked really excellent. Everything seemed to be ready for a nice and competitive event.

The 1st round went quite smoothly, despite the slight delay at the beginning of the round. It seemed that all small problems were more or less solved, but in fact they just started...

Next day, 5 minutes before the start of 2nd round, Mr. Pali arrived in the hotel and announced to the players that the 2nd round would be delayed for 1 hour, without mentioning any reason. To me all things were quite clear already, since the hotel management even didn't want to open the conference hall, where we were supposed to play. It was obvious that Mr. Pali hadn't paid anything to the hotel yet. Players decided to relax in the lobby while Mr. Pali went to the bank. Coming back (of course nobody cared about the exact delaying time anymore) he showed some papers to the hotel- and sales manager. As I could read from their faces they were absolutely not satisfied what was going on and Mr. Pali left again, this time accompanied by the hotel manager. After a while they returned and Mr. Pali informed a few players that 'today we don't play, maybe tomorrow double round' while the hotel manager wisely added 'maybe tomorrow no games at all'. When hearing this from other participants I decided to have a serious talk with Mr. Pali. I explained him that the situation for me was absolutely unacceptable, paying a huge amount to play this tournament and being treated in such a way. Arguments from his side like that he lost potential sponsors in preparation of the tournament and he suffered from private problems, didn't convince me at all. Losing sponsors in January and inviting me in end of March lacks any logic. He simply didn't fulfill any of his promises we agreed before the tournament and I didn't see anything better than to withdraw myself from the tournament.

About 1 hour later the hotel manager informed all players that the organizer had absolutely no money, and so the tournament had to be cancelled. The hotel gave him a few chances by extending the deadline, but as the manager stated correctly: 'No money, no business.'

Tournament being cancelled is absolutely a pity, but what about the expenses all the players made? For me personally it means that I lost around 1000 euro's for playing only 1 game. Most of the other players only lost their flight ticket and some starting fee. During the first 2 days GMs Almasi and Sokolov asked many times Mr. Pali to pay their starting fee, but every time he found a bad excuse to delay the payment.

I am very interested what was the reason that Mr. Pali did all this to us. As the hotel manager explained Mr. Pali had absolutely no money to transfer. He lost some sponsors during the preparation of the tournament, but still the Hungarian Chess federation sent him some money ( I have been told 2,2 million forint which is about equal as 7300 euro) which he absolutely misused and/or kept for himself.

After all what happened, it was decided to put up a list with all expenses the players made and forced Mr. Pali to sign himself. As he couldn't escape he signed of course and promised me he would pay me in the morning at the airport. At 7.45 am I met him together with GMs Gopal and Rozentalis. Mr. Pali told me he transferred the money to my account, which was absolutely impossible, since the banks are closed until 8 am. I asked him to pay me cash, so we went to the local currency office. His willingness to pay me cash is already enough proof that he did not sent the money to my bank account! Coming there he explained us that he didn't have his card with him, so he couldn't pay me cash. Similar problems occurred with Gopal and Rozentalis who also didn't get anything. Coming back home I was really surprised to hear that Mr. Pali informed Mr. Sokolov that he partly paid me back! Absolutely a lie!

At last I would really like to thank family Ignacz, who showed great hospitality inviting me to stay with them, after being kicked out of the hotel. Family Ignacz did an excellent job by taking care about more chess players and helped putting up the list with expenses.

I would kindly ask FIDE and Hungarian Chess Federation to take appropriate measures against Mr. Pali so that he will be unable to organize any chess events in the future.

Kind regards,
Robert Ris
robert_ris (at)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Sunday Everyone!

Holy Week was over and yours truly is back from summer vacation which I truly deserved. In my view, I do not consider that the Holy Week is more of a religious commemoration other than cultural tradition for the majority of Filipinos who observed the week. Anyways, since I'm officially back at home, it's time for this blog to hit the road once again.

Of course the biggest news for this week is the start of the 2009 Philippine Inter-Cities and Municipalities Team Championship which will kick off today at Tarlac City. I haven't clarify at this moment if Wesley So will be competing in the tournament but with or without Wesley, I'm pretty sure that the tourney will received the same amount of attention as other tourney Wesley participated with in the country.

For complete details of the tournament, please visit GMANews.TV

But there's a tradition such as Easter Sunday Fool's day joke?

CH wishes everyone a happy and blessed Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

IM Enrico Sevillano set to defend the 2009 U.S. Open

American based Filipino International Master Enrico Sevillano (2520), the co-champ from last year edition of the US Chess Championship is set to defend the title he won with three others, GM Alexander Shabalov and IMs Rade Milovanovi. The Championship will take place in Saint Louis, May 7-17, 2009. But with the participation of some of the biggest names in American chess today which includes GMs Gata Kamsky (2720), Hikaru Nakamura (2701), Alexander Onischuk (2684), Yuri Shulman (2632), Varuzhan Akobian (2612), Jaan Ehlvest (2606) the odds are obviously stacked against the Filipino-American. Sevillano became the second Philippine born players to win the annual tournament after another US based Filipino, FM Paulo del Mundo also wins the tournament with six others two years ago. The following are excerpt from last year interview after winning the tourney:

EV: You are Phillipino originally, right? Where are you living now?

ES: I moved to this country in ’95. I was in Vegas for a while, but moved to the mountains in California, about an hour and a half north of LA...

ES:...I play bullet on ICC a couple hours a day (laughs). When I was in the Phillipines I was on the national team, and we all used to study together very seriously: 25 of us including GM Eugenio Torre. I studied with them every day for two years.

Read the full interview at US Chess Federation Website

US Open Winners

No. Year Location Champions
1 1900 Excelsior, Minnesota Louis Uedemann
2 1901 Excelsior, Minnesota Nicholas Menalaus MacLeod
3 1902 Excelsior, Minnesota Louis Uedemann
4 1903 Chicago, Illinois Max Judd
5 1904 St. Louis, Missouri Stasch Mlotkowski
6 1905 Excelsior, Minnesota Edward F. Schrader
7 1906 Chicago, Illinois George H. Wolbrecht
8 1907 Excelsior, Minnesota Einar Michelsen
9 1908 Excelsior, Minnesota Edward P. Elliot
10 1909 Excelsior, Minnesota Oscar Chajes
11 1910 Chicago, Illinois George. H. Wolbrecht
12 1911 Excelsior, Minnesota Charles Blacke
13 1912 Excelsior, Minnesota Edward P. Elliot
14 1913 Chicago, Illinois Bradford B. Jefferson
15 1914 Memphis, Tennessee Bradford B. Jefferson
16 1915 Excelsior, Minnesota Jackson Showalter
17 1916 Chicago, Illinois Edward Lasker
18 1917 Lexington, Kentucky Edward Lasker
19 1918 Chicago, Illinois Bora Kostic
20 1919 Cincinnati, Ohio Edward Lasker
21 1920 Memphis, Tennessee Edward Lasker
22 1921 Cleveland, Ohio Edward Lasker
23 1922 Louisville, Kentucky Samuel Factor
24 1923 San Francisco, California Stasch Mlotkowski, Norman Whitaker
25 1924 Detroit, Michigan Carlos Torre
26 1925 Cedar Point, Ohio Abraham Kupchik
27 1926 Chicago, Illinois Leon Stolzenberg
28 1927 Kalamazoo, Michigan Albert Charles Margolis
29 1928 South Bend, Indiana Leon Stolzenberg
30 1929 St. Louis, Missouri Herman H. Hahlbohm
31 1930 Chicago, Illinois Samuel Factor, Norman Whitaker
32 1931 Tulsa, Oklahoma Samuel Reshevsky
33 1932 Minneapolis, Minnesota Reuben Fine
34 1933 Detroit, Michigan Reuben Fine
35 1934 Chicago, Illinois Reuben Fine, Samuel Reshevsky
36 1935 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Reuben Fine
37 1936 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Israel A. Horowitz
38 1937 Chicago, Illinois David Polland
39 1938 Boston, Massachusetts Israel A. Horowitz, Isaac Kashdan
40 1939 New York, New York Reuben Fine
41 1940 Dallas, Texas Reuben Fine
42 1941 St. Louis, Missouri Reuben Fine
43 1942 Dallas, Texas Herman Steiner, Daniel Yanofsky
44 1943 Syracuse, New York Israel A. Horowitz
45 1944 Boston, Massachusetts Samuel Reshevsky
46 1945 Peoria, Illinois Anthony Santasiere
47 1946 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Herman Steiner
48 1947 Corpus Christi, Texas Isaac Kashdan
49 1948 Baltimore, Maryland Weaver W. Adams
50 1949 Omaha, Nebraska Albert Sandrin Jr.
51 1950 Detroit, Michigan Arthur Bisguier
52 1951 Fort Worth, Texas Larry Evans
53 1952 Tampa, Florida Larry Evans
54 1953 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Donald Byrne
55 1954 New Orleans, Louisiana Larry Evans
56 1955 Long Beach, California Nicolas Rossolimo
57 1956 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Arthur Bisguier
58 1957 Cleveland, Ohio Bobby Fischer
59 1958 Rochester, Minnesota E. Cobo Arteaga
60 1959 Omaha, Nebraska Arthur Bisguier
61 1960 St. Louis, Missouri Robert Byrne
62 1961 San Francisco, California Pal Benko
63 1962 San Antonio, Texas Antonio Medina Garcia
64 1963 Chicago, Illinois William Lombardy
65 1964 Boston, Massachusetts Pal Benko
66 1965 Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico Pal Benko, William Lombardy
67 1966 Seattle, Washington Pal Benko, Robert Byrne
68 1967 Atlanta, Georgia Pal Benko
69 1968 Aspen, Colorado Bent Larsen
70 1969 Lincoln, Nebraska Pal Benko, Arthur Bisguier, Milan Vukcevich
71 1970 Boston, Massachusetts Bent Larsen
72 1971 Ventura, California Walter Browne, Larry Evans
73 1972 Atlantic City, New Jersey Walter Browne
74 1973 Chicago, Illinois Norman Weinstein
75 1974 New York, New York Pal Benko, Vlastimil Hort
76 1975 Lincoln, Nebraska Pal Benko, William Lombardy
77 1976 Fairfax, Virginia Anatoly Lein, Leonid Shamkovich
78 1977 Columbus, Ohio Leonid Shamkovich, Andy Soltis, Timothy Taylor
79 1978 Phoenix, Arizona Joseph Bradford
80 1979 Chicago, Illinois Florin Gheorghiu
81 1980 Atlanta, Georgia John Fedorowicz, Florin Gheorghiu
82 1981 Palo Alto, California Florin Gheorghiu, Larry Christiansen, Jeremy Silman,
Nick de Firmian, John Meyer
83 1982 St. Paul, Minnesota Andrew Soltis, William Martz
84 1983 Pasadena, California Larry Christiansen, Viktor Korchnoi
85 1984 Ft. Worth, Texas Roman Dzindzichashvili, Sergey Kudrin
86 1985 Hollywood, Florida Yasser Seirawan, Boris Spassky, Joel Benjamin
87 1986 Somerset, New Jersey Larry Christiansen
88 1987 Portland, Oregon Lev Alburt
89 1988 Boston, Massachusetts Dmitry Gurevich
90 1989 Chicago, Illinois Lev Alburt
91 1990 Jacksonville, Florida Yasser Seirawan
92 1991 Los Angeles, California Michael Rohde, Vladimir Akopian
93 1992 Dearborn, Michigan Gregory Kaidanov
94 1993 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Alexander Shabalov
95 1994 Chicago, Illinois Georgi Orlov, Dmitry Gurevich, Ben Finegold,
Smbat Lputian, Leo Kaushansky, Albert Chow
96 1995 Concord, California Alex Yermolinsky
97 1996 Alexandria, Virginia Gabriel Schwartzman
98 1997 Orlando, Florida Alex Yermolinsky
99 1998 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Judit Polgar, Boris Gulko
100 1999 Reno, Nevada Alex Yermolinsky, Alexander Goldin, Eduardas Rozentalis,
Alexander Shabalov, Gabriel Schwartzman, Michael Mulyar
101 2000 St. Paul, Minnesota Alex Yermolinsky
102 2001 Framingham, Massachusetts Aleksander Wojtkiewicz, Joel Benjamin,
Alexander Stripunsky, Fabian Doettling
103 2002 Cherry Hill, New Jersey Gennady Zaitchik, Evgeniy Najer
104 2003 Los Angeles, California Alexander Shabalov
105 2004 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Alexander Onischuk, Rodrigo Vasquez, Aleksander Wojtkiewicz,
Ildar Ibragimov, Andranik Matikozyan, Renier Gonzalez, Marcel Martinez
106 2005 Phoenix, Arizona Vadim Milov, Joel Benjamin
107 2006 Oak Brook, Illinois Yury Shulman
108 2007 Cherry Hill, New Jersey Boris Gulko, Sergey Kudrin, Benjamin Finegold, Alexander Shabalov,
Michael A. Rohde, Michael A. Mulyar, Anton P. Del Mundo
109 2008 Dallas, Texas Alexander Shabalov, Rade Milovanovic, Enrico Sevillano

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dapitan City to host Battle of GMs for the second time

The third edition of the Battle of Grandmaster will take place again next year at Dapitan City following the announcement of the winners at Dapitan City offical website

"The Battle of GMs and the Regional Elimination for the Asian Indoor Games of Region IX, which championship will be held later this year in Vietnam, are sponsored by Phoenix Petroleum and the City of Dapitan...

The city will still host next year’s Battle of GMs to be held at Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Tagilon village."

There would be an ample of time to prepare and established its own official website. Hoping also to see an official logo for the tournament.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

GM Eugene Torre sings with the Chessmen Band

As everyone are still amaze (and surprise) with the fact that GM Eugene Torre remains the second best player in the country after Wesley So, this video will surely amaze you even more! It was taken during the celebration of Torre's 57th birth day (one month advance) and victory party after winning the 3rd PGMA Cup last year. But please do not ask me what's the title of the song GM Eugene was singing. At 1:25 GM Torre was heard quoted this line : "let us smile, not only outside but especially inside."



Chess and Insomnia do not mix

I could not think of a more torturous situation for an athlete of any kind than playing a standard (with increment, to make things even worse) or classical chess games if you are hardly getting enough sleep for days. This is one of those time that short draws plays important role on one's strategy. I personally believe that if you have scheduled games the following day and your opponent is rated more or less the same as you do, he or she has already won half the game. No amount of caffeine and energy drink can help you to bring back your energy and concentration. A good night sleep is a must for everyone who want to become a master of the game.

Not long ago I knew only too well the misery of insomnia. For a long time I simply couldn't get to sleep at night and would lie in bed wide-awake wishing in vain for sleep to come. More often than not I'd get up again after an hour or more and potter around the house for a while before returning to bed. Eventually of course I would manage to sleep, but what little sleep I did get didn't seem to be doing me much good. I've been doing constant research for years on how to cure this problem. I listed below some insomnia techniques which I'm sure you've probably tried but are still worth trying again.

-Imagine it's time to get up -You know how delicious that feeling is in the morning when it's time to get up but you're so tired and your eyes are very heavy and you shouldn't do it but you just want to fall right back to sleep for a few minutes more?

-visualize something boriiiing -The beauty of it is you can turn a negative into a positive

-stomach rub -This soothes down the digestive system and helps to bring about a deeper relaxation.

-Toe wiggling -According to the science of Reflexology -- which has been around in other cultures for thousands of years -- your feet are a kind of master control panel for the rest of your body.

-Sleep with your head facing north -This aligns your body with the magnetic field of the planet, bringing your own energies into harmony with those of the Earth

Good luck! Have a pleasant sleep!

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 Philippine Inter-Cities Chess Team Championship

One week from today in Tarlac City, 100 kms Northwest of Manila, the National Inter-cities and Municipalities chess team championship will take place. Most players who participated at the recently concluded Battle of GMs are expected to join their respective teams in Luisita, Tarlac City from April 11-15. Although there are reports in local media that Wesley So is also expected to join the tourney, it is the one thing that remains to be seen since Wesley is in deep preparation for the Asian Continental/Individual Championship slated to begin on May 12-24 at Subic, Olongapo City. In fact Wesley opt not to defend the 2009 Dubai Chess Open championship he won last year just to make sure he is ready for AIC where the top ten finishers will qualify for the World Cup Tournament. There's about fifty to sixty percent chances that Wesley will see action. If ever Wesley will be joining the tournament, he could be a last minute replacement for a certain team in this five days tourney.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No recession for Eugene Torre

What recession?

Since tomfoolery is officially over, now it's time to get serious again. Though people choice of topic these days is about the meteoric rise of Wesley So who now barge into top 100 players in the world (he is in 89th place) one interesting note is the steady, though rather slow rise of the pioneer of Philippine and Asian chess, GM Eugenio Torre. Do not blink, but Torre remains the second highest rated player in the country with an Elo rating points of 2561, his highest rating in more than 10 years and listed No. 349 among active players in the world! Mind you, the man is 57 years old but still able to hold his ground against the challenges of our young, computer savvy players. As for GM Eugene Torre, chess begins at 50.

Philippines top 20 players

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Breaking News: Wesley So will play for Singapore!

Breaking news: This is bad stuff for Wesley So's devotees. According to Singapore Chess Federation website, GM Wesley So and his father William So, will be moving to Singapore just after Wesley returns from competing at the 2009 Dubai Open that will be held from April 25 to March 5 where he is the defending champion. Reports said that after nearly half a year of "secret negotiation", Singaporean Chess Federation had finally struck a deal with Wesley's father, William So and convinced Wesley to play under the Singaporean flag in international competition from thereon. The following are excerpts from the SCF website:

"We're very happy that we finally come to an agreement." said Ignatius Leong, President of SCF, "I think it's a pretty fair deal and it will hugely benefit both Singapore chess and GM So. GM So will be well funded by SCF in his international campaigns specially in Europe. GM So is also secured full scholarship at one of the most prestigious university in this country and we're also planning to hire some top level GMs to be his coaches. Currently we're negotiating with former world champion Anatoly Karpov and IM Vasik Rajlich, the creator of the most powerful computer chess engine, Rybka." Leong even added that, "Singapore is very determined to make Wesley So the first Singaporean World Chess Champion and make the country the next chess power house of Asia."

Many Filipino chess master decided to move to Singapore in the past, some of the most notable names were GM Nelson Mariano II, IM Enrique Pacencia, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra even GM Bong Villamayor had a short stint in Singapore before Gov. Prospero Pichay convinced him to return to the country. Singapore top GM Zhang Zhong (2656) is originally from mainland China. For complete details visit SCF website

ChessHeroes wish GM Wesley So the best of luck...

and ChessHeroes also wish everyone a happy but wacky April Fool's Day. We all had a stressful week and I think it is proper to bring the smile back on everyone's faces, I mean in a harmless way, on this very day :)