Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GM Anton Filipov wins the 4th Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup (PGMA)

In a tournament that marred by some controversy and played in some of the most harsh of weather condition, the 4th edition of the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup (PGMA) saw a photo finish after the ninth and final round with five players ended up tied for first place with identical 6.5 points. GM Anton Filipov of Uzbekistan, GM Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran and GM Narayan Gopal Geetha of India had to settle the issue via tiebreak points. But it is the third seed Filipov who scored with the most superior tiebreak points that gave him the rights to bag the championship cup. Filipov, however, had to share the top prize of $6,000 equally with the other top four finishers. Filipov finished the tournament undefeated with four wins and five draws.

The nine round Swiss-system tournament which offers a total prize fund of $40,000 is named in honor of the Philippines 14th and current president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The time control of 90 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1 was applied and draws are not allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move unless by the repetition of position rule.The PGMA cup is organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) for 4th straight year.

On the other side of the story. A strong typhoon hits Manila Saturday morning, creating a massive and devastating flash floods in most Metro Manila area and surrounding provinces, prompting the organizers to suspend the tournament for one day. The tournament resumes Monday but six local players, including GM elect Ronald Dableo and International Master Barlo Nadera failed to show up for round 4 and they were declared lost by default. The players lodged an appeal with the organizers but their appeal was turned down. Eventually, either by protest or due to heavy flooding itself, some of the players decided to withdraw from the tournament. Also defending champion and Asia's first ever grandmaster, Eugenio Torre saw his withdrawal from the tournament after seven rounds. After settling for five consecutive draws followed by two straight defeats in the hands of his lower rated opponents, many of them untitled, Torre thought he had enough and begged off from continuing.

Final Standings:

1 GM FILIPPOV Anton UZB 2595 6,5
2 GM NGUYEN Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2589 6,5
3 GM GHAEMMAGHAMI Ehsan IRI 2579 6,5
4 GM GAGUNASHVILI Merab GEO 2564 6,5
5 GM GEETHA Narayan Gopal IND 2598 6,5
6 GM MCHEDLISHVILI Mikhael GEO 2613 6,0
7 GM ANTONIO Rogelio Jr. PHI 2557 6,0
8 IM DIMAKILING Oliver PHI 2434 6,0
9 GM VILLAMAYOR Buenaventura PHI 2426 5,5
10 GM WONG Meng Kong SIN 2403 5,5
11 GM KOTANJIAN Tigran ARM 2553 5,5
12 GM GOMEZ John Paul PHI 2521 5,5
13 IM BITOON Richard PHI 2490 5,5
14 GM ISMAGAMBETOV Anuar KAZ 2528 5,5
15 GM DAS Neelotpal IND 2471 5,5
16 SENADOR Emmanuel PHI 2367 5,5
17 GM GONZALES Jayson PHI 2457 5,5
18 IM DABLEO Ronald PHI 2417 5,0
19 GM LAYLO Darwin PHI 2537 5,0
20 GM KOSTENKO Pyotr KAZ 2491
21 GM DAO Thien Hai VIE 2542 5,0
22 GM LI Shilong CHN 2531 5,0
23 IM NOLTE Rolando PHI 2424 5,0
24 ANDADOR Rolando PHI 2260 4,5
25 OLAY Edgar Reggie PHI 2323 4,5
26 IM GARMA Chito PHI 2331 4,5
27 GM PARAGUA Mark PHI 2501 4,5
28 MACALA Allan PHI 2266 4,5
29 FM CARLOS Leonardo PHI 2334 4,5
30 MORAZO John Ranel PHI 2172 4,5
31 IM TIRTO INA 2407 4,5 2393
32 SEGARRA Randy PHI 2300 4,5
33 SEVILLANO Voltaire PHI 2358 4,5
34 CAUSO Deniel PHI 2334 4,5
35 FM PASCUA Haridas PHI 2310 4,5
36 WGM NADIG Krutika IND 2273 4,0
37 LUMANCAS Lyndon PHI 0 4,0
38 BAGAMASBAD Efren PHI 2311 4,0
39 DELA CRUZ Richard PHI 2155 4,0
40 ELORTA David PHI 2364 3,5
41 ABELGAS Roel PHI 2180 3,5
42 PORTUGALERA Ric PHI 2221 3,5
43 ALISANGCO Nicomedes PHI 0 3,5
44 GARMA Edgardo PHI 2345 3,5
45 LABAY Rainier PHI 2248 3,5
46 JORDA Danilo PHI 0 3,5
47 BRANZUELA Ali PHI 2288 3,0
48 RIVERA Albert PHI 2172 3,0
49 CORDERO Angel PHI 0 3,0
50 POLAO Ben PHI 0 3,0
51 GM TORRE Eugenio PHI 2535 2,5
52 IM NADERA Barlo PHI 2400 2,0
53 LEGASPI Edmundo PHI 2158 1,5
54 YULO Gerardo PHI 0 1,5
55 DIAZ Conrado PHI 2254 1,0
56 GEPIGA Glicel PHI 0 1,0

4th PGMA Cup: with 1 round to play, three foreign players shares top spot

I'm off to Duty Free Mall today for the final round and closing ceremony. Huge body of water still isolates us from the capital city but we have to brave it and get first hand information about the tournament. Perhaps we will force grab some score sheets piling up on the tables and finally have our much crave "PGN" in our hands.

In the meantime, after 8 rounds, we have three co-leaders. Anton Filipov of Ukraine, Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen of Vietnam and Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia- one of these foreign players could be crowned the next 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo chess cup champion. Again, erstwhile leader for the past three rounds, GM Truong Son was caught off guard by settling with two straight quiet draws as his closest rivals are making their moves in the latter rounds. We won't see any Filipinos defending the title this year as the huge pack of Filipinos with 5.0 points like Laylo, Antonio, Buenaventura, Dableo, Bitoon, Dimakiling, Gonzales, and Senador can only hope for tie for second or third place.

The final round will start at 11:00 am at Duty Free Mall in Paranaque and the closing ceremony will follow soon after the final round.

Round 8 results
Rankings after round 8
Round 9 board pairings

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

SPICE Cup 10th and final round: Wesley So's last stand in Texas

GM Wesley So, the second seeded player here in 2009 SPICE Cup group A, is still looking for that elusive first win in this category 16 tournament. Going into the final round, So posted eight draws with one defeat. The loss came in the second round when he bowed to young Norwegian, Jon Ludvig Hammer. So is currently placed last in the group of 6 GMs. Wesley will make his last stand from Lubbock, Texas against the co-leader of the tournament, Dmitry Andreikin. So hopes that he wins his last game against Andreikin and Akobian beats Kusubov, and the Hammer-Mamedov ended in a draw to create a 6 way tie for first! Anyway, a win in the final round is just about fine. Regardless.

Standings after 9 rounds

1. Kusubov 5.0
2. Andreikin 5.0
3. Hammer 4.5
4. Mamedov 4.5
5. Akobian 4.0
6. So 4.0

Live coverage is happening here:

4th PGMA Cup round 7: GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son still leads, Eugene Torre withdraws from the tourney

4th seed and current leader of the tournament GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam settles to a quiet draw against the 2009 Dubai Open titlist, GM Tigran Kotanjian to remain on top of the standings with two more rounds to play. But there are one decisive game of the round though, among the top boards. The round saw 1st seed GM Mikhael Mchedlishvili of Georgia came out victorious over Pyotr Kostenko of Kazakhstan to inch closer with Truong Son, who is now just half point behind Son. The penultimate round of the tournament, the 8th round will start shortly at around 4:00 PM this afternoon. Both Truong Son and Mchedlishvili will eventually meet in round 8. Other important match up will be the game between GM Anton Filipov of Uzbekistan and Filipino IM, Richard Bitoon who is hoping to join IM Ronald Dableo among the newest Filipino to be elected with the grandmaster title. Also in round 7, Dableo defeated GM Li Shilong of China, the 2008 Pichay cup champion.

Defending champion GM Eugenio Torre, after settling for 5 straight draws and two consecutive defeats, GM Torre decided to withdraw from the tournament.

Unfortunately, at this time, the PGN are still not available. We will have them posted here the moment we got some.

For standings after 7 rounds, check them out HERE
For complete results from round 7, they are HERE
For round 8 pairings, check them HERE

More detailed reports from Marlon Bernardino

FILIPINO International Master Richard Bitoon (2490) notch his third straight draws against Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (2579) to remain in contention after seven rounds of the 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship yesterday at the Duty Free Fiestamall in Paranaque City.

The Medellin, Cebu native Bitoon, protégée of NM Matias “Bombi” Aznar raised his total 5.0 points, the same output of his eight round opponent, Uzbek GM Anton Filippov (2595), top seed Georgian Super GM Mikhael Michedlishvili (2613), Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian (2553), Singaporean GM Wong Meng Kong (2403), Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili (2564) and Indian GM Getha Gopal Nayanan (2598).

“Ok lamang ang draw, hinahabol natin dito ang GM norm,”said Bitoon, who brought downed Michedlishvili in the fourth then halved the point with Wong Meng Kong in the fifth, Kotanjian in the sixth, and Maghami in the seventh.

“ Malakas ang tsansa na makuha ni Bitoon (Richard) ang kanyang 3rd at final GM norm dito sa PGMA chess,” said NM Edmundo Gatus earlier, one of the seven Filipino who passed the FIDE Arbiters Seminar examination last September 25 enroute to Fide arbiter title norm.

2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete Vietnamese Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (2589) still on top after settling with a draw over Kotanjian to hiked his total 5.5 points.

Nguyen claimed the top post after crucial back to back victories over Kazakhs GM GM Anuar Ismagambetov (2528) in the fifth and Wong Meng Kong in the sixth.

Ghaem, Ismagambetov led the huge group of 4.5 pointers that includes Filipino GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., John Paul Gomez, Bong Villamayor, Darwin Laylo, GM-elect Ronald Dableo and IM Oliver Dimakiling.

The nine round Swiss-system tournament offers $6,000 to the champion in this $40,000 total pot event.

Eugene Torre, Asia’s First GM, suffered two consecutive lost against David Elorta and youthful Haridas Pascua forced him to withdraw from the tournament. Torre, last year’s PGMA Cup Chess Champion stuck at 2.5 points on account of his five straight draws in the first five rounds of play.

“ Nag-withdraw na si GM Torre (Eugene) kaya wala na siya sa pairing sa round 8,

October chessfest

We've got a long list of chess tournaments for the month of October. Let's focus on the open and non-master tourneys which is quite a big hit to chess masses these days. Except for MCC or Metropolitan Chess Club who employs a more decent and competitive standard time control (one hour and a half) for their monthly tournaments, most of the tournaments we have here are into rapid and blitz. Surely, many chess enthusiasts in the country would love very much to see more tournaments with longer time controls.

One Manila Non-Master at SM MANILA

THE One Manila Non-Master Chess Tournament dubbed as "Tulak Mo...Sulong Ko.." 7 round Swiss-system affair gets underway on Octtober 18, 2009, 10 am, Sunday at the SM Manila.

According to Christopher Rodriguez, member of the organizing group and the head coach of Adamson University, the champion will be receiving P10,000 plus trophy while 2nd to 5th placers will bring home P7,000, P5,000, P3,000, and P1,000 respectively. P500 each awaits for the 6th o 10th placers.

Category winner for the top lady, top kiddy (12 years old and below), top junior (18 years old and below) and top senior (50 years old and below) will also receiving P1,000 each.

Call o text at 0919 655 1973, 0921 274 0053 and 0915 390 6072 for complete details.


THE Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School Chess Club with the cooperation of the Chess Arbiters Association of the Phils. (CAAP) will hold a 2-in-1 Non-Master Rapid Chess Tournament on October 4, 2009 at Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School, Cubao, Quezon City. The tournament is divided into 2 event : the Rapid Chess with 20 minutes time control and the Chess 960 (Fischer Random Chess) with 10 minutes time control. The two events offer a total combined cash prize of P6,000 to the Champion; P4,000 for 2nd place; P2,500 for 3rd place; P1,500 for 4th place and P1,000 for 5th place. Category winners for Top Senior (50 & above), Top Junior (18 & below), Top Kiddy (14 & below), Top Lady and Top Unrated in the whole event will receive P400 each. Registration fee is P300 while for kiddies and ladies is P200.
For details, please contact the following: Rey Colitoy (0919-5291693) / Ferdie Reyes (0918-4873785) / Raul Cruz (0920-6211717) / Alfredo Chay (0919-4512384) / Gatz Luz (0929-6216890) / Milo Samaniego (713-6811).


GRANDMASTER Mark Paragua leads the cast of participants in the first Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. Cup Open Rapid Chess Championships on October 10 to 11 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Paragua, is coming from a successful stint in the Asian Indoor qualifying events and currently competing in the 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship at the Duty Free Fiestamall in Paranaque City.

Other woodpushers who signified their intentions to play in the two-day event with offers P10,000 plus trophy ot the champion that include GM-elect Ronald Dableo, IMs Rolando Nolte and Chito Garma, WIM Cristine Rose Mariano, NMs EDmundo Gatus, Reggie Olay, Haridas Pascua, Deniel Causo, Allan Macala, Dennis Gutierrez, Efren Bagamasbad, Ric Portagalera, Edgardo Garma, WFM Cherry-Ann Mejia, rising star Richard dela Cruz, Stephen Rome Pangilinan, Rainier Labay, Ritchie Evangelista, Rolando Andador and Samantha Glo Revita.

“All particpants will be given free aircon room accommodations for the early registrants and de luxe rooms for late registrants. Participants will also be given the opportunity to be one of the audience of the Chryropractic massage/healing Seminar to be imparted by its founder PTR. Rey Navalta for free from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Round 1 will be at 1:oo pm” said tournament event director Menardo Edwin A. Pulido, who topped the FIDE Arbiters' Seminar last September 22 to 25 at the Duty Free, Philippines in Paranaque City, venue of the 4th PGMA Chess Cup.

For inquiries, please call or text: 09194782209, 09193085708, 09176123056, 09157241220, 09106397428.


Hello again, world! :)

Marikina City in just three hours turns into small, muddy lake

The photo that says it all!

As everyone may know by now, Manila and its surrounding provinces was hit by a tyhphoon, creating a massive flash flood never seen in recent memory and the city is still in a state of calamity until now. Only those people who experience it first hand can express into words and actions the devastation it brought to hundreds of thousands of people. Even yours truly, for three straight days and nights have to be content with no supply of water and power, was completely cut off from the outside world. But everything's going smoothly now, at least in our area, and we're back in chess blogging. Here's one from Marlon Bernardino for some updates at the ongoing 4th PGMA Cup.

4th Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Individual Standings after round 5: (56 players)

4.5 points--- GM Wong Meng Kong (Singapore)

4.0 points--- IM Richard Bitoon (Philippines), GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam), GM Tigran Kotanjian (Armenia)

3.5 points--- GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (Philippines), GM John Paul Gomez (Philippines), GM Darwin Laylo (Philippines), IM Ronald Dableo (Philippines), GM Anton Filippov (Uzbekistan), GM Mikhael Michedlishvili (Georgia), GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Philippines), GM Merab Gagunashvili (Georgia), GM Getha Gopal Nayanan (India), GM Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam)

3.0 points--- IM Oliver Dimakiling (Philippines), FM Leonardo Carlos (Philippines), FM Randy Segarra (Philippines), NM Edgar Reggie Olay (Philippines), NM Allan Macala (Philippines), GM Pyotr Kostenko (Kazakhstan), GM Annuar Ismagambetov (Kazakhstan),

2.5 points---GM Eugene Torre (Philippines), GM Mark Paragua (Philippines), GM Buenaventura Villamayor (Philippines), GM Jayson Gonzales (Philippines), IM Chito Garma (Philippines), IM Emmanuel Senador (Philippines), FM David Elorta (Philippines), NM Ric Portagalera (Philippines), NM Ali Branzuela (Philippines), John Ranel Morazo (Philippines), GM Li Shilong (China), GM Das Neelotpal (India), WGM Krutika Nadig (India)

FILIPINO International Master Richard Bitoon (2490) halved the point with Singaporean GM Wong Meng Kong (2403) to fortify his GM title bid in the fifth round of 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship Sunday night at the Duty Free Fiestamall in Paranaque City.

The Medellin, Cebu native compiled 4.0 points on 3 wins and 2 draws to shared 2nd to 4th placers that includes Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian, winner over GMs Annuar Ismagambetov and Pyotr Kostenko, both from Kazakhstan, respectively.

“Ok lamang ang draw para maipreserba ko ang lakas ko sa mga susunod na round,” said the former Southwestern University top player Bitoon, who shocked tournament top seed Georgian Super GM Mikhael Mchedlishvili (2613) in the fourth round after 54 moves of Sicilian defense.

Bitoon, protégé of NM Matias “Bombi” Aznar, will face Kotanjian using the black pieces in sixth round late Monday. Bitoon needed his last GM norm here to complete his GM title status.

Wong Meng Kong, on the other hand remained on top with 4.5 points, including his default win against GM-elect Ronald Dableo in the fourth round.

It can be recalled that six players lost their fourth-round matches via defaults. The players—Dableo, IM Barlo Nadera, NMs Deniel Causo and Ali Branzuela, Albert Rivera, and Conrado Diaz—lodged an appeal with the organizers but their appeal was turned down in the nine round Swiss-system event which is offers $6,000 to the champion in the $40,000 total pot prize event.

Nadera, a resident of Malabon City suffered his second straight lost by default after failing to show up in the fifth round against his match to Davao City NM Allan Macala.

Dableo for his part, he held Vietnamese GM Dao Thien Hai into a draw to remain in contention.

Dableo raise his total 3.5 points, in the company of Dao, GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (Philippines), GM John Paul Gomez (Philippines), GM Darwin Laylo (Philippines), IM Ronald Dableo (Philippines), GM Anton Filippov (Uzbekistan), GM Mikhael Michedlishvili (Georgia), GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Philippines), GM Merab Gagunashvili (Georgia), and GM Getha Gopal Nayanan (India).

In other matches, Antonio and Gomez ended their game in a draw, while Filipino GMs Mark Paragua, Bong Villamayor and Jayson Gonzales lost their respective matches against lone super GM entry Mchedlishvili, Gagunashvili and Maghami, in order.

Defending champion and Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre registered his fifth consecutive draw for 2.5 points, this time against FM Leonardo Carlos, head coach of University of the Philippines. MARLON BERNARDINO

Friday, September 25, 2009

4th PGMA Cup round 2-3: GM elect Ronald Dableo leads

Some of the top seeded players who earlier made into the list of participants days before the 4th PGMA Cup started didn't made it to the final cut of the final participants. Names such as GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore but originally from China, was replaced by his countryman, GM Wong Meng Kong (2403). GM Le Quang Liem also did not arrived in Manila along the small Vietnamese contingent here. Though their absence didn't reduce the competitiveness of the tournament, it definitely reduce the vogues of the event. Hey, without Wesley So and other top Chinese and Indian grandmasters, we need some stars here!

But anyway, going back to the tournament. It is GM elect Ronald Dableo who is making quite a noise. Well, the guy remains undefeated with three straight wins, and defeated two GMs in one day. Georgian GM Gagunashvili in the 2nd round and GM John Paul Gomez in the 3th to remain on top of the standings along with GM Wong Meng Kong of Singapore after 3 rounds. A GM wannabe, Dableo needs to raise his rating points to 2500 to be finally considered a full pledge grandmaster.

Your defending champion, GM Eugene Torre settled for his three straight draws against his much lower rated opponents. Torre fans should be worried.

Below are links from

For complete results after 3 rounds, they are HERE.
For standings after 3 rounds, they're HERE
And for round 4 pairings, check them out HERE.

Speed chess ruins the 'purity' of the game

The blitz games just played by two former world champion, the K-K, in their return exhibition match in Valencia have finally got the attention of the chess purist and perhaps deservedly, received its due criticism. I'm just actually waiting for any influential chess personalities to finally throw their bombs at the discipline the K-K return match is employing to get the much needed hype from the chess masses. At last, we found one. Richard Alleyne of quoted GM Malcolm Pein, the Daily Telegraph chess correspondent:

He (Pein) also believes that it could lead to a reduction in the “highest level of the game”...

“It is a little bit like one day cricket gaining pre-eminence over Test cricket,” said Mr Pein, himself a grandmaster.

“As a little bit of a traditionalist I am just a little concerned with losing the purity of the slow game where you get the highest level of chess.

“But of course one has to move with the times and in a sense Kasparov and Karpov would not want to play a long match of what they call classical chess because it is just too exhausting.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Early results and reports from the 4th PGMA Cup

Chess journalist, NM Marlon Bernardino was there at the Duty Free Mall and we've just received some early results and reports for our Filipino players competing here at 4th PGMA Cup. Surprisingly, your defending 2008 PGMA Cup champion, GM Eugene Torre was held to a draw by NM Ali Branzuela. Meanwhile, 17 years old NM Haridas Pascua also did fair enough as he also held Vietnamese GM Dao Thien Hai (2542) to a draw.

Standings and complete results will be followed soon.



GM Mark Paragua and GM-elect Ronald Dableo waylaid their respective foes to jump-start their bids in the 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship Thursday at the Duty Free Fiestamall, Paranaque City.

Paragua, who is fresh from winning the Asian Indoor Games qualifying event two weeks ago blasted journeyman Rainier Labay after 29 moves of King's Indian Defense while Dableo, who clinched his third and final GM norm in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, bested unheralded Angel Cordero after 44 moves of French Defense.

" Mali siguro 'yung Queen side castle ni Rainier (Labay) kaya nakalamang ako ng posisyon, saka malakas ang pagkaposte ng knight ko sa d4," said Paragua, the 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete.

" Pero magaling talaga si Rainer at beteranong player na iyan," added the amiable Paragua.

Labay, on his part, "Tama din si Mark (Paragua), puwede din naman akong hindi mag castle sa Queen side,"

Sharing the limelight is reigning RP artists Albert Rivera, who held GM Jayson Gonzales into a draw after 36 moves of London System Opening. "Mahirap pilitin baka matalo pa, s'yempre iba talaga pag grandmaster ang kalaban mo, at least maganda ang simula natin," said Rivera, a businessman in profession.

IM Chito Garma is the first Filipino casualty against their foreign counterpart. The Tondo, Manila born Garma bowed to Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili after 46 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defense.

After Garma's setback, NM Efren Bagamasbad also yielded to Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian after 34 moves of King's Indian Defense.
Singaporean GM Wong Meng Kong, meanwhile opened his bid in a bright note after beating Fil-Am Danilo Jorda in just 28 moves of Reti Opening.

International Masters Barlo Nadera and Emmanuel Senador also won their respective matches. The Mandaue, Cebu Nadera outpointed Lyndon Lumancas after 26 moves of Gruenfled Defense while the Iloilo native Senador nipped Ben Polao after 29 moves of Sicilian Defense.

Defending champion Eugene Torre, Asia's First GM, drew his first match to PNP player NM Ali Branzuela.

In other results, NM Haridas Pascua split the point with Viet GM Dao Thien Hai, as well Roel Abelgas halved the point with Cebuano IM Richard Bitoon.

Chess and the internet: the Philippines is still among the most passionate about the game

Just recently, Susan Polgar posted in her blog regarding the top countries that are following her blog since the 2009 SPICE Cup started last Sunday in Lubbock, Texas where GM Wesley So is presently competing, his first major tournament in the US. According to her blog, the stats shows that the Philippines has overtaken the USA, the number two internet user in the world, in terms of number that is following the 2009 SPICE Cup. How about that for a nation that is nowhere to be found among the top 20 internet users in the world? This development surprised me a lot and we can argue this for days but fact remains that Filipinos still pretty much in love with their chess my dear.

Top 15 countries (of 127) following Susan Polgar's blog

24.32% Philippines

18.92% United States

12.16% Norway

9.46% Japan

5.41% Netherlands

5.41% Spain

4.05% Canada

4.05% United Kingdom

2.70% Italy

2.70% India

2.70% Israel

1.35% France

1.35% Malaysia

1.35% Australia

1.35% Korea, Republic Of

1.35% Sweden

1.35% Switzerland

The 4th Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup

The 4th edition of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup unveils today, September 24 and will run til the 29th at Duty Free Fiesta Mall in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, the Philippines.

Defending champion and Asia's first ever chess grandmaster, Eugenio Torre (2535), together with top seed Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2613) of Georgia, Zhang Zhong (2606) of Singapore and newly crowned 2009 Kolkata Open champion, Le Quang Liem of Vietnam will spearhead the strong cast that attracted nearly 100 participants from all over Asia and Europe. This week-long event is being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).

GM Wesley So will miss this year's edition of the PGMA Cup as he is currently competing in 2009 SPICE Cup in Lubbock, Texas.

The champion will received the top prize of $6,000 out of the total prize fund of US$ 40,000.

Top seeded players

GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2613) Georgia
GM Zhang Zhong (2606) Singapore
GM Le Quang Liem (2602) Vietnam
GM Gopal Nayanan (2598) India
GM Anton Filippov (2595) Uzbekistan
GM Nguyen Ngoc Turong Son (2589) Vietnam
GM Abhijeet Gupta (2584) India
GM Ehsna Ghaemmaghami (2579) Iran
GM Merab Gagunashvili (2564) Georgia
GM Rogelio Antonio (2557) Philippines
GM Dao Thien Hai (2542) Vietnam
GM Darwin Laylo (2537) Philippines
GM Eugenio Torre (2535) Philippines
GM Li Shilong (2531) China
GM Anuar Ismagambetov (2528) Kazakhstan
GM John Paul Gomez (2521) Philippines
GM Oleg Romanishin (2515) Ukraine
GM Mark Paragua (2501) Philippines
GM Bong Villamayor (2426) Philippines

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rogelio Barcenilla and Angelo Young in US Chess League

Two veteran US based chess master are currently participating in the US Chess League. GM elect, Rogelio Barcenilla from Arizona and IM Angelo Young of Chicago. NM Marlon Bernardino reports, "Barcenilla, playing under the banner of Arizona Scorpions team yielded to
GM Hikaru Nakamura of Seattle Sluggers squad after 40 moves of an English Opening while Young powered Chicago Blaze after beating FM Todd Andrews of USCL Tennessee after 47 moves of Reti Opening."

Now to NCAA Chess Championship, also by Marlon Bernardino:

Another game, do or die (Thursday, 1pm)
(Senior division)
San Sebastian College-Recoletos versus Colegio San Juan de Letran

Finals: (Saturday, 1 pm)
(Junior division)
San Sebastian College-Recoletos versus Colegio San Juan de Letran

(Senior Division)
College of St. Benilde -De La Salle versus the winner over the play off matches between
San Sebastian College-Recoletos and Colegio San Juan de Letran

Cross Over Semi-Final round results: (Tuesday)
(Junior division)
San Sebastian College-Recoletos beat University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, 3-1
Colegio San Juan de Letran beat CSB-De La Salle Greenhills, 3.5-0.5
(Senior division)
College of St. Benilde -De La Salle beat Mapua Institute of Technology, 2.5-1.5
San Sebastian College-Recoletos beat Colegio San Juan de Letran, 3-1
Final Team Standings after elimination round: (Sunday)
(Junior division)
55.0 points— San Sebastian College-Recoletos (twice to beat advantage)
54.0 points— Colegio San Juan de Letran (twice to beat advantage)
52.0 points—CSB-De La Salle Greenhills
31.5 points— University of Perpetual Help Dalta System
29.0 points—San Beda College
26.0 points— Emilio Aguinaldo College
18.0 points— Mapua Institute of Technology
12.5 points— Jose Rizal University
4.0 points—Arellano University
(Senior division)
52.5 points— College of St. Benilde -De La Salle (twice to beat advantage)
45.0 points— Colegio San Juan de Letran (twice to beat advantage)
44.0 points— San Sebastian College-Recoletos
39.0 points— Mapua Institute of Technology
33.5 points— Emilio Aguinaldo College
29.5 points— San Beda College
28.0 points— University of Perpetual Help Dalta System
15.5 points— Jose Rizal University
0.0 points—Arellano University
ONE things crowding the minds of San Sebastian College-Recoletos head coach National Master (NM) Homer Cunanan and Colegio San Juan de Letran mentor NM Roland Joseph Perez.
Both coaches, eyeing their team for the last final berth when the Stags and Knights pawnpushers collides each other one more time, a do or die match at 1 pm when the 85th season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Chess Team Championships Senior division resumes on Thursday (Today) at the ground floor Cyberzone area in SM City, Manila.
San Sebastian College-Recoletos turned back Colegio San Juan de Letran, 3-1, last Tuesday in their cross-over semi final round to force a play off match today after the latter’s (Letran) enjoying the “twice to beat advantage”.
“This is still far from over,” said NM Cunanan, who will relying again the service of dynamic duo of Louie Salvador and Jay-R Sumagang, who carried the fight for Stags on Tuesday by beating Letran’s Randolph Pascua and Nino Datu on Board 2 and 4, respectively.
SSC-R’s top gunner Jayson Mercado and board 4 player John Albert Bongon, on the other hand drew their match against Letran’s Chester Guerero and Benjamin Lising, in order.
“I’m proud of my boys, at least nakahirit pa kami ng isa pang game at nasa amin pa ang momentum,” added Cunanan, who honed the skills of former Stags 1-2 punch GM Darwin Laylo and GM-elect Ronald Dableo.
Defending NCAA Senior champion College of St. Benilde -De La Salle edged Mapua Institute of Technology, 2.5-1.5, to earn the first final berth.
“Malaking factor y’ung nakapag-pahinga kami, we hope mahawakan namin ang momentum,” said CSB head coach GM candidate Fernie Donguines, bronze medalist in the 1994 Moscow World Chess Olympiad.
College of St. Benilde -De La Salle (52.5 points) and Colegio San Juan de Letran (45.0 points) finished 1-2 in the grueling preliminary round last Sunday to enjoy the twice to beat advantage in the cross-over semi-final round of the Senior Division.
No.3 San Sebastian College-Recoletos (44.0 points) and No.4 Mapua Institute of Technology (39.0 points) filled up the top four in the preliminary round).
Other teams competing were No.5 Emilio Aguinaldo College (33.5), No.6 San Beda College (29.5 points), No.7 University of Perpetual Help Dalta System (28.0 points), No.8 Jose Rizal University (5.5 points) and No.9 Arellano University (0.0, zero). Arellano University team losing streak 64 games.
In the Junior Division, last year’s runner-up San Sebastian College-Recoletos beat University of Perpetual Help Dalta System, 3-1, while defending champion Colegio San Juan de Letran defeated CSB-De La Salle Greenhills, 3.5-0.5, during their cross-over semi-final round to arrange a titular showdown on Saturday for the coveted crown.

Aldous Roy Coronel, Arvie Jongko and Paulo Cristobal spearheaded the Staglets after thrashing Dalta’s Niko Miso, Tristan Dandan and Marc Manero, on board 1 to 3 in order. Darell Dado won his match to John Mark Dimaliwat on board 4 to prevent a possible shut-out loss for his team. MARLON BERNARDINO.

SPICE Cup round 4: So - Mamedov, who's lucky?

Both So and Mamedov can easily claims that it was not them who was lucky enough to escape with the draw. Psychologically speaking, I was thinking that Mamedov, who initiated the draw by repetition, may have simply lost his nerve in the ending. The attrition imposes to him by Wesley where he came close to losing his rook after Wesley's 37 Bb1, trapping black's rook on a1, which he luckily escapes may easily explain this. But on the one hand, following the commentators from chessdom, they waived So's 39th move, 39. exd5?And Wesley runs directly into the trap! It was necessary to take with the Knight 39. Nxd5 Nxd5 40. exd5, then 40...Qb5, attempting Qf1, breaks against simple 41. Rd3. .

For sure, it's Wesley who may feel bitter after this game. He's got enough resources to pull off a win. But Mamedov is experiencing the joy of contentment, as the result of the repetition which he initiated.

Meanwhile Hammer defeated the struggling Akobian in an excellent end game battle to get back into the leader board.

Round 4 results

Group A

So 1/2 Mamedov

Kuzubov 1/2 Andreikin

Hammer 1-0 Akobian

Group B

Finegold 1/2 Robson

Bhat 1/2 Papp

Ippolito 0-1 Antal

Perelshteyn 1-0 Diamant

Kuljasevic 1/2 Rensch

Standings after 4 rounds

A group

1-3. Hammer, Kuzubov, Andreikin 2.5
4. Mamedov 2.0
5. So 1.5
6. Akobian 1.0

B group

1-3. Antal, Finegold, Perelshteyn 3.0
4-5. Bhat, Papp 2.5
6. Robson 2.0
7-8. Rensch, Kuljasevic 1.5
9. Diamant 1.0
10. Ippolito 0.0

starting at 00:22, standing outside the playing area is Wesley's father, William.

So - Mamedov commentaries by

Round 4 pictures

Replay of all games from SPICE CUP

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LIVE games with commentaries of So-Mamedov and Kasparov-Karpov

The first Live games with commentaries that featured daily at will be the Kasparov - Karpov rapid game 1 which will start at around 12:00 midnight, Manila time. Commentaries for this game will be provided by Jason Juette. Next will be the round 4 game between Mamedov and So which will start at around 2:00 am in the morning and commentaries will be provided by Goran Urosevic and IM Perunovic.

All live games from SPICE CUP 2009 can be follow at
Kasparov-Karpov 2009 Valencia official English website

By the way, did I get it right from the original Spanish caption of the video?

To prepare for his upcoming duel against Kasparov

Davis Cup tennis, RP is back in Group 1!

GM Eugene Torre will surely be pleased with this news. RP tennis is back where it belongs. Tennis, after all, is not yet a thing of history in the Philippines as the country returns to Group 1 of Davis Cup Asia/Oceania after defeating New Zealand, 4-1. The country previously made it to Group I in 2008 but string of losses pull us down again to Group II. The Philippines best Davis Cup performance is the World Group Play-offs in 1991 but lost to powerhouse Sweden. Not more than fifteen to twenty years ago, the Philippines was once rank as one of the top three nation in Asia in the sports of tennis. Just like chess where we were once the no.1 Asian chess nation, hope tennis will start another major changes in our sports program and regain our status as one of Asia's top tennis nation.

Ah, yes, speaking of nostalgia...

Davis Cup results for the Philippines - New Zealand match

Kasparov-Karpov Valencia: This is more than an exhibition match.

"I have almost all types of records in chess history, I won the most number of tournaments, matches [...] and Kasparov is number 2 in this way" said Karpov in a video interview by chessdom.

We Filipinos are hopelessly nostalgic people. We're fond of good memories to the extreme. Unfortunately for some, there is no fond memories existed between Kasparov and Karpov. That is why Filipino chess aficionados might find the Kasparov - Karpov match too vindictive for such an exhibition event. Allow me to make a reminder that these two K's, after all these years, rarely been in speaking terms and that kind of mutual hostilities has no place in melodrama that may evoke into many people's mind regarding the rematch. This will be more than an exhibition games between two of the greatest rivalry in chess. This may turn out to be a grudge match!

SPICE Cup round 3, So - Akobian is a draw

GM Wesley So drew his game with 2007 SPICE Cup co-champ Varuzhan Akobian of USA. Wesley So game is not featured last night at chessdom for the live commentary but we provided a link below where you can view and replay all the games for everyone's convenience. In the main attraction of the round, Kuzubov defeated So's tormentor in the 2nd round to share the lead with Andrekin with 2.0 points each. Commentary for this game is also provided by chessdom.

A Group

Andreikin 1/2 Mamedov

So 1/2 Akobian

Kuzubov 1-0 Hammer

B Group

Finegold 1-0 Kuljasevic

Robson 0-1 Bhat

Papp 1-0 Ippolito

Antal 0-1 Perelshteyn

Diamant 1/2 Rensch

Standings after 3 rounds:

A Group

1-2. Andreikin, Kuzubov 2.0
3-4. Hammer, Mamedov 1.5
5-6. So, Akobian 1.0

B Group

1. Finegold 2.5
2-5. Bhat, Antal, Perelshteyn, Papp 2.0
6. Robson 1.5
7-9. Diamant, Kuljasevic, Rensch 1.0
10. Ippolito 0.0

Replay of all games from

LIVE commentary of the Kuzubov - Hammer game by

Round 3 photos (61 pics):

Varuzhan Akobian employing his favorite French against So in round 3

Monday, September 21, 2009

SPICE Cup round 2, Wesley So defeated, but Susan was charmed by his fans!

It was sorry to see Wesley So being man handled so early in the game in front of his adoring fans at Lubbock, Texas. By the 22nd move, the game was pretty much against his odds. The ensuing moves was a long, torturous one for Wesley. Nevertheless, Susan Polgar was charmed and awed by the supporter of Wesley So as she wrote on her blog:

The Filipino community in this region is absolutely incredible. They on their own raised some money to support their own player. Some even drove 5-6 hours to come to Lubbock to support Wesley So.

I also had a number of conversations with Wesley's Dad and Ray's Dad in the past 2 days. We came up with some very interesting ideas to help some of the most talented kids. As soon as we finalize the details, I will make the official announcement.

Sunday, September 20 / 2pm - Round 2

A group

Mamedov 1/2 Kuzubov
Hammer 1-0 So
Akobian 0-1 Andreikin

Sunday, September 20 / 2pm - Round 2
B group

Kuljasevic 1/2 Diamant
Rensch 0-1 Antal
Perelshteyn 1/2 Papp
Ippolito 0-1 Robson
Bhat 1/2 Finegold

Standings after 2 rounds

Group A

1-2. Andreikin, Hammer 1.5
3-4. Kuzubov, Mamedov 1.0
5-6. So, Akobian 0.5

Group B

1. Antal 2.0
2-3 Robson, Finegold 1.5
4-7. Papp, Bhat, Kuljasevic, Perelshteyn 1.0
8-9. Diamant, Rensch 0.5
10. Ippolito 0.0

Hammer - So game commentary by

Replay of all games from A and B group in round 2 can be viewed at

Round 2 Photos

Jon Ludvig Hammer - Wesley So, looking at the elegant trophies.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

GMs Torre, Villamayor sweeps simul chess at Mall of Asia

In an email to this blogger, Marlon Bernardino reports that GM Eugenio Torre and GM Bong Villamayor sweeps all their games held last friday at SM Mall of Asia dubbed as Buhawi and Hagibis Chess Challenge at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia. The 10 board simultaneous exhibition matches is one of the highlights of Diwa Learning System’s participation in the 30th Manila International Bookfair, slated Sept. 16-20, also at SMX.

Bernardino added that Matthew Luke de Leon, a grade six pupil from La Salle Greehhills was awarded a gold medal by the organizing Diwa Learning System for his impressive showing against Torre, despite the loss. His game with Torre lasted for 40 moves of the Trompovsky opening.

For other local tournament results:



NATIONAL MASTER Allan Macala and unheralded Jesus Vasquez Jr. captured the title in their respective division at the conclusion of 8th leg of the 2009 Philweb Corporation-Human Plus – National Executive Active Chess Championships last Saturday at the Human Resources Development Conference Room of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Elliptical Road, Quezon Memorial Circle Quezon City.

The Davao City native Macala defeated former solo leader Dandel Fernandez using the white pieces after 50 moves of a Queen’s Pawn Game enroute the Group A title via “winner over the other tie-break points”.

Macala and Fernandez, both tallied 4.0 points in five outings to split the combined prize of P6,000 for the top two finishers.

In the Group B division, Vasquez agreed a quick draw over Ricardo Jimenez to finished 4.5 points and received the top prize of P5,000.

SPICE Cup round 1: So - Kuzubov, a draw

Only one decisive game in round 1, and that is in the B group. Sometimes one couldn't help but think that handling the white pieces at the start of a round robin tournament might not be an advantage at all. We've seen it many times in the past. It's just that players want to stay close with the peloton, see if others will make a break away, then, if allowed, catch up with him later. But nevertheless, the game So-Kuzubov (34 moves) is the only game in the A group that can be considered a real attempt to break away from the peloton group. The Akobian - Mamedov games lasted for only 21 moves while the Andreikin - Hammer took just 20 moves.

A group

GM Akobian (2008 SPICE Cup C0-Champ) 1/2 GM Mamedov
GM Andreikin 1/2 GM Hammer
GM So 1/2 GM Kuzubov

B group

GM Bhat 1/2 IM Kuljasevic
IM Finegold 1/2 IM Ippolito
IM Robson 1/2 GM Perelshteyn (2007 SPICE Cup Champ)
IM Papp 1/2 FM Rensch
IM Antal 1-0 GM Diamant

Round 2 Pairings, Group A

Mamedov - Kuzubov

Hammer - So

Akobian - Andreikin

Replay of all games from A and B group can be viewed at

Photos from round 1

Commented games of So-Kusubov at chessdom

Father and son, William and Wesley So before the start of round 1

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SPICE Cup round 1, Live games with commentaries

Just a very quick, short post. If you are suffering from insomnia or better yet, working in a call center agency, grave yard shift, then you are in a perfect position to watch the live game with commentaries between Wesley So and Yuriy Kuzubov, today at chessdom. Commentaries will be provided by GM Dimitrov. Round 1 will start at around 1 am- 2 am, Manila time.

Live games at chessdom

MILO Little Olympics and chess

Suddenly, I realized that it's been nearly 16 years since this amateur chess player turn chess blogger had been a student of MILO Checkmate and it's chess programs. Fritz and Rybka wasn't born yet at that time kids, those were Bruce Pandolfini days, the old fashion way of reading and studying blurred photo copied chess books, if you ask.

MILO Little Olympics final results for chess:



(Final Results/ Team competition in four divisions)

High School Boys:

Champion: La Immaculada Concepcion School (Pasig)

2nd place: Sta. Elena High School

3rd place: Philippine Christian University (Taft, Manila)

4th place: Marist School

High School Girls:

Champion: La Immaculada Concepcion School (Pasig)

2nd place: Sta. Elena High School

3rd place: St. Scholastic Academy

4th place: The Sisters of Mary

Elementary Girls:

Champion: La Immaculada Concepcion School (Pasig)

2nd place: St, Paul College (Pasig)

3rd place: Woodridge College

4th place: Diosdado P. Macapagal Elementary School

Elementary Boys:

Champion: Dr. Jose P. Rizal Elementary School

2nd place: La Immaculada Concepcion School (Pasig)

3rd place: Ateneo de Manila University

4th place: Statefields School Incorporated

LA Immaculada Concepcion School, Pasig (LICS) went home the top honors in three of the four divisions of Milo Little Olympics Chess Team Championships.

Organized by former Olympian WNM Milagros “Mila” Emperado, the annually Milo Little Olympics Chess Team Championships was held September 5, 6, 12 and 13 at the New Building of Marikina Sports Complex in Marikina City.

Playing under the watchful eye of head coach Expedito L. Bolico, LICS captured the title in the High School Boys, High School Girls and Elementary Girls divisions.

Dr. Jose P. Rizal Elementary School took the Elementary Boys division to prevent LICS in a possible sweep in the four-division competitions.

The champion team in the four-divisions (H.S boys and girls and Elementary boys and girls) will represent the National Capital Region (NCR) in the Grand Finals on October 24 to 25 in Cebu City.

There are 38 schools participated in H.S. Boys, 26 in H.S. Girls, 22 in Elementary Girls and 34 schools in Elementary Boys.

One of the highlight in the competition is the participation of eleven (11) year-old Gem Hannah Callano-Paragua, youngest sister of 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete GM Mark Paragua, who played well in the Elementary Girls division.

The grade six-pupil of Children of Mary Immaculate College, Valenzuela scored perfect 5.0 points in five games of play in the board 1 of elementary girls division.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Addressing some of the most common issues in blitz chess

Here's one of the most common issue in blitz chess (as always, in most blitz matches), the promotion of the pawn. But first thing first, here's the issue raised by one reader from An Arbiter's notebook:

Question: I regularly play in blitz tournaments, but I find that in different regions of the country the arbiters have different approaches in regards to pawn promotion. Here are two scenarios: 1. The pawn reaches the eighth rank, I place the promoted piece, and I press the clock. 2. The pawn is removed from the seventh rank, I place the promoted piece, and I press the clock. (Here the pawn is never played to the square of promotion.) Is the second method considered an illegal move? Thanks for your help. Mauricio Rãos, (Colombia)

I inserted here a good example of blitz game gone wrong (but I'm pretty sure these two know exactly what they're doing). Don't pay any attention to Nakamura's trash talking, ICC style, by the way.

Almost every moves within the dying seconds are "unclear". Pieces falls, and then Akobian/Nakamura correct its place (that's fine in blitz match, in my opinion) while opponents clock is already running, So Nak knocked his piece over, hit his clock, then corrected it on his opponent's time at least 5 times in this video. In regular time controls that's a 10 minute penalty. When Akobian put his pawn on the last rank ( at 1:24) he didn't promote it and push his clock. According to FIDE rules these are both, an illegal move (anyway, Nakamura just grabbed and captured it) Instead, he had to stop his clock and promoted it to a queen (or any other piece to which he wanted to promote his pawn).

But let us read what international arbiter's Geurt Gijssen had to say about this:

Answer Formally, the correct way of promotion is

  1. Play the pawn to the eighth rank
  2. Remove the pawn from the square
  3. Put a new piece on the same square.

When electronic boards were introduced in tournaments, the computer only accepted the promotion when it was done in this way. But this caused so much commotion that removing the pawn from the square on the seventh rank and placing a new piece on the eighth rank was also programmed in. In my opinion, both ways of promotion are acceptable. In your question you refer to Blitz games, but the method of promotion above applies to all kinds of chess.

4th PGMA Cup partial list of foreign and local players

List of confirmed foreign GMs participants who are vying for the 4th PGMA Cup. We have 4th Kolkata Open titlist, Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, current world Junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta (ELO 2584) of India, GMs Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2613) of Georgia, Zhang Zhong of Singapore(2606) GM Anton Fillipov (ELO 2595) of Uzbekistan (ELO 2595), GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (ELO 2589) of Vietnam, GM Abhijeet Gupta (ELO 2584) of India, GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami (ELO 2579) of Iran, GM Merab Gagunashvili (ELO 2564) of Georgia, GM Dao Thien Hai (ELO 2542) of Vietnam, GM Li Shilong (ELO 2531) of China, GM Anuar Ismagambetov (ELO 2528) of Uzbekistan and GM Oleg Romanishin (ELO 2515) of Ukraine.

For our local bets, GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. GM Darwin Laylo, GM Mark Paragua, GM Eugene Torre, GM John Paul Gomez, GM Jayson Gonzales and GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, GM-elect Ronald Dableo and IM Rolando Nolte,IM Richard Bitoon, IM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, IM Emmanuel Senador, IM Chito Garma and IM Ronald Bancod.

GM Wesley So will miss this year's PGMA, Pichay cup due to his upcoming participation in the 2009 SPICE Cup this September and World Junior Championship in October.

This are but partial listings and expect more GMs to register in the coming days

We have this report from Ed Andaya of

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Karpov - Anand Rapid match: But we want Kasparov - Anand rematch!

Many have already predicted a Kasparov domination of Karpov in their upcoming return match this coming September 21-24 in Valencia, Spain owing to Karpov's poor performance lately despite Kasparov's long absence from playing serious chess. But this news from chessdom about Karpov's own rapid match with Anand, the chess world may witness a true "annihilation" in the game of chess never witness in many years. You have Anand, the world's top rapid players for many years facing Karpov who is experiencing some of the worst moments of his long illustrious career, I should say Karpov would be lucky enough to pull off a single victory against Anand.

If this kind of event is possible these days, why not bring on the possible rematch between Kasparov and Anand themselves? It would be bigger than the Kasparov-Karpov. Perhaps even bigger than the Anand - Topalov world championship match. In fact, Anand has been calling on Kasparov for years so why not make it happen?

Official website

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The 4th PGMA Cup and the 5th Prospero Pichay Cup

Before we know it, the 4th PGMA cup will start in one week time. Here's some overview of the 4th Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and 5th Prospero Pichay Cup from NCFP website. We still don't have the list of players who had already registered, though. That will come out in mainstream media anytime soon. We'll try to regularly updated everyone about the tourneys prior to the actual tournament.

The 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championship will push through on September 24, 2009 at the Duty Free Fiestamall, Paranaque City. The Opening Ceremonies will commence at 1:00 pm to be followed by the 1st round.

Meanwhile, the 5th Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. Cup Chess Championship will be held from October 1 - 8, 2009 at the Local Water Utilities Administration Bldg located at Katipunan Road in Diliman, Quezon City.


Games will be played at the Duty Free Festival Mall, Manila, Philippines.


1. The 4th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Tournament will be played over in 9 rounds using the Swiss System.
2. The time control shall be 90 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.
3. The FIDE Laws of Chess shall apply. The tournament will be FIDE rated and the Swiss Manager program shall be used for pairings.
4. Draws are not allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move unless by the repetition of position rule.

Asian Indoor Games qualifying tilt: Paragua wins tourney as Antonio collapses

As GM Joey Antonio collapses in the latter rounds of the tournament by settling with three consecutive draws, GM Mark Paragua on the other hand surged with three straight wins to capture the title for this year's Asian Indoor Games qualifying tournament held at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Employees’ Lounge in Diliman, Quezon City. Catherine Perena wins the women's division of the event. More detailed reports from Positive News Media and Ed Andaya of

Paragua, Antonio, Nolte and Gonzales will represent the country in the Asian Indoor Games scheduled Sept. 30-Oct. 8 in Vietnam.

Final standings:


12.5 points -- M. Paragua
11 -- R. Antonio
10.5 – R. Nolte
10 – J. Gonzales, D. Laylo
9.5 – R. Dableo, J. Gomez
8 – B. Vilamayor
7.5 -- J. de Ramos, A. Branzuela, H. Pascua
6.5 – B. Nadera
6 – E. Senador
5.5 – C. Castellano
5 – M. Turqueza, R. Legaspi
4.5 – B. Valencia


9.5 points – C. Perena
9 – Shercila Cua, C. Mariano
7.5 – B. Mendoza
6.5 – Sherily Cua, L. Medina
6 – J., Docena, D. Rivera, B. Galas
4.5 – S. Peque
4 – J. Berago
2.5 – G. Malbog
1 – R. Tunguia

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Modern day sports heroes goes from classy to clown?

Websters dictionary defines egotistical as an "exaggerated sense of self importance."

The latest sports personalities of modern day sports heroes who joins the growing list of people who are crossing the line of freedom of expression is no other than 15 time grand slam champion, Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. Barely two days after Serena Williams made the same fiasco at US Open, Federer duplicate the feat of Williams and lashes out at chair umpire during a changeover in the US Open final. Federer used a profanity in addressing Garner, the umpire: "Don't tell me to be quiet, OK? When I want to talk, I talk. I don't give a (...)."

CBS microphones picked up the exchange during its live broadcast of the match, heard by nearly 12 thousands spectators inside the Louis Armstrong stadium.

Not to be outdone is basketball legend and perhaps the best known international sports personality among Filipinos, Michael Jordan, who spent his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night naming names of people who made his basketball career a bit harder, was described by many as the most unacceptable of all Hall of Fame acceptance speech ever.

You can bet there will be more to follow suit. But put Anand, Pacquiao, Armstrong and Schumacher as some of the exceptions.

Asian Indoor Games qualifying tilt: Paragua cathes Antonio

This is turning out to be a good one. GM Mark Paragua catches up with GM Antonio in the leader board with 3 more rounds to play. GM Jayson Gonzales on the other hand is just half a point behind Antonio and Paragua. There are some major upsets though, in the 14th round, GM Darwin Laylo was defeated by National under 18 champion, Mari Joseph Turqueza. With the loss, Laylo is officially out of contention for the title.

In the women's division, it is the five-time women’s champion Cristine Rose Mariano who are leading by a full point against Catherine Perena. More detailed reports by Ed Andaya of

Standing after 14 rounds:


9.5 points -- R. Antonio, M. Paragua
9 -- J. Gonzales
8.5 -- R. Nolte
8 -- J. Gomez
7.5 -- R. Dableo, A. Branzuela
7 -- D. Laylo, J. De Ramos
6.5 -- B. Villamayor
6 -- C. Castellano
5 -- H, Pascua
4.5 -- B. Nadera, R. Legaspi
4 -- E. Senador, M. Turqueza
3.5 -- B. Valencia


8 points -- C. Mariano
7 -- C. Perena
6 -- Shercila Cua
5.5 -- L.Medina, B. Galas
5 -- B. Mendoza
4.5 -- J. Docena, Sherily Cua
4 -- D. Rivera, S. Peque
3 -- J. Berago
2 -- G. Malbog
1 -- R. Tunguia

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wesley So's simul games at Fresno Chess Club

While eavesdropping randomly at Wesley So's page at, I came upon this piece of info about Wesley So who are now in the US accompanied by his father William, for his forthcoming participation in 2009 SPICE Cup. According to an email sent to Ms Leny So, mother of Wesley So, Wesley had just conducted a 30 board simultaneous exhibition games. The said simul games took place at Fresno Chess Club and attracted 30 participants (surely that's the maximum number of participants allowed), 3 of them are Filipinos and the simul lasted for just two ours. He's undefeated, winning all games. Now, that's pretty quick!

1st Pineda-Santos-Camer Rapid chess tournament results

Here are the results from yesterday's 1st Pineda-Santos-Camer Rapid Chess Tournament held at Ramon Magsaysay Cubao High School (RMCHS) in Quezon City organized by NM Marlon Bernardino. No other than GM Eugenio Torre graced the opening rites. The one day tournament saw the participation of 229 players. The tournament is named after three foreign based chess patron; Sydney-based Angelito “Anji” Camer, Texas- based former two-time Olympian member WNM Cristina Santos and China-based Joel Pineda.

JUDITH PINEDA of Olongapo City, Mc Dominique Lagula of Far Eastern University and Xavier John Verdun of Bacolod City emerged winners in the 1st Pineda-Santos-Camer Rapi Chess Tournament last Sunday at the Ramon Magsaysay Cubao High School (RMCHS) in Quezon City.

The reigning Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Pineda, the pride of g4 chess club, actually finished in four-way tie for first along with Maria Antonette San Diego, Carina Lauren Lumacad and Mary Grace Castro who tote 5.0 points each, however, the former (Pineda) took the championships’ trophy in the women’s division after winning the bucholz tie break points of this seven-round event supported by Sydney-based Angelito “Anji” Camer, Texas- based former two-time Olympian member WNM Cristina Santos and China-based Joel Pineda, in close cooperation with Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/President Hector “Chito” Tagaysay, Dickies Vice President Dody Arcaya, Cebuano sportsman Matias “Bombi” Aznar, Mayor Dental Clinic, Chess Library, Eureka Chess set General Manager Pacito Madrono, Marikina Chess Federation head Johnny “Joel” Gaudia, Meralco Chess Club, Barangay Alabang chairman Victor Ulanday, Dr. Alfred Paez, Dr. Bong Perez, CDC Holdings Inc., Ramon Magsaysay Cubao High School (RMCHS) chess club, g4 chess club, Multivitamins and Billiard Philippines.

Lagula, on the other hand, pocketed P2,000 plus a trophy for topping the kiddies 14-year-old and below class with perfect 7.0 points.

Verdun also won P6,000, trophy plus a new pair of shoes for dominating the non-master division with 6.5 points.

The event, supervised by NM Rudy Ibanez, Raul Cruz, Milo Samaniego and Gatz Luz, attracted 229 participants on account of 112 non-master, 86 kiddies and 31 womens players despite the heavy rain in the Metro Manila and provinces.

One of the highlights of the events is the handling of citations to the this year’s Turkey World Youth age group representative Paulo Bersamina and Jean Karen Enriquez.

Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre, RMCHS batch 68 alumni, Quezon City councilor’s Bayani Hipol, Vincent Belmonte and Edcel Lagman led the opening rites.

Quezon City mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, vice-mayor Herbert “Bistik” Bautista, congresswoman Nanette Castelo-Daza, councilor’s Bernadette Hererra-Dy, Bong Suntay, Babes Malaya and Dante de Guzman failed to attend the opening rites.MARLON BERNARDINO

Asian Indoor Games qualifying tilt: Antonio still leads

After seven rounds in this 17 players, rapid, round robin tournament scheduled for 17 rounds, GM Joey Antonio leads the rest of the pack who are vying for a slot in the upcoming Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam with just half a point. In the women's section, Catherine Perena and Cristine Rose Mariano currently shares the top spot. The 2009 Asian Indoor Games qualifying tournament is being held at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Employees’ Lounge in Diliman, Quezon City

We have this full report from GMANews.TV

Men's division
Standings after 10 rounds:

7 points – R. Antonio
6.5 – M. Paragua, J Gonzales
6 – R. Dableo, R. Nolte, A. Branzuela, C. Castellano
5.5 – J. Gomez, J. de Ramos
4.5 – D. Laylo
4 – H, Pascua
3.5 – B. Villamayor
3 – E. Senador, R. Legaspi
2.5 – B. Nadera, M. Turqueza
2 – B. Valencia

Women's division
Standings after eight rounds:

6 points – C. Mariano, C. Perena
5.5 – B. Galas
4.5 – Sherily Cua, B. Mendoza
4 – Shercila Cua
3.5 – D. Rivera, L. Medina
3 – J. Berago. S. Peque
2.5 – J. Docena
1 – R. Tunguiao, G. Malbog

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fish(cher) Be With You

Yesterday, the world commemorates the victims of the tragic 9-11 terror attack in the US. We don't want to make an exaggeration of Bobby Fischer in such so sensitive an issue. I guess everyone knows what we mean by that. We're referring about the highly controversial live Radio interview of Bobby Fischer conducted by no other than GM Eugene Torre himself last September 11, 2001 in Baguio City, the Philippines, after the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. If you are still curious, that 9-11 radio interview of Fischer is still available in youtube, but I don't think it would be appropriate to post it here. Not this time. But be warn that it's just too graphic.

In the lighter side, in a recent article by Frank Pestano for last thursday, he wrote that Fischer love eating Balut, a popular Filipino street food that many foreigners find quite disgusting:

"The six-foot Bobby Fischer used to consume large servings of Filipino food and adored sinigang when he lived in the Philippines for almost two years, said Marilyn Torre, wife of Eugene Torre. She said Fischer used to consume five balut in one sitting every day. Fischer asked Marilyn to bring him 50 such eggs when she went to Yugoslavia with her husband for Fischer’s rematch with Spassky. GM Eugene Torre served as Fischer’s second in the match.

“Bonggoy,” that is how Eugene Torre calls his friend Bobby Fischer."

As if this were not all enough about Fischer, Chessdom has been digging the archives as well, lately they published From Fish to Fischer

Ah, yes, in a time like this, Fish(cher) Be With You.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bobby Fischer's video of his first visit to the Philippines

Last week, we posted here the video of Bobby Fischer's second visit to the Philippines in 1973. This video is a much earlier one, from his first visit to the country in 1967. A handsome young man of just 24. The sponsor of the tournament, the MERALCO, gave this collection of photo of Bobby Fischer as a gift to commemorate his trip. Amazing thing is, Bobby Fischer has yet to become a world champion when he visits the Philippines but look at the kind of reception he receives.

This one is a must see for all Filipino chess aficionados.


Friday, September 11, 2009

18 years old Vietnamese wins super tournament, the 4th Kolkata Open

Not even the 2008 Dubai Open or the Wijk Aan Zee Corus group C, two of Wesley So's greatest triumph to date can match what the 18 year old Vietnamese grandmaster, Le Quang Liem had just accomplished. He just won the super strong tournament, the 4th Kolkata Open. By ruling Kolkata, Le Quang Liem asserted himself as one of the best junior player in all of South East Asia. Just seeded 14 with a rating of 2602, he emerges ahead of legitimate super grandmasters in the tourney like the top seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2721), second seed Nigel Short (2706), and other of his more celebrated prodigies like the newly crown DATMO Malaysian Open champion, Parimarjan Negi and reigning world junior champion, Abhijeet Gupta, both of host India.

Le finished the tournament undefeated, scoring 8 points out of possible 10, defeating top seed Mamedyarov in the 4th round and reigning Asian continental champion and second to world champion Vishwanathan Anand, Surya Shekhar Ganguly (2634) in the 7th round. Le has an impressive performance rating of 2777. The tournament saw the participation of 116 players, with 34 GMs, 3 WGMs and a whole bunch of IMs and FMs.

Le will be back to Hanoi $6,000 richer.

Top 20 finishers


NameFEDRtgPts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1VIEGMLe Quang LiemVIE26028,064,059,054,0
2AZEGMMamedyarov ShakhriyarAZE27217,559,055,050,0
3UZBGMFilippov AntonUZB25957,556,053,048,5
4INDGMSandipan ChandaIND26117,066,060,555,0
5ENGGMShort Nigel DENG27067,061,557,552,0
6CZEGMLaznicka ViktorCZE26347,060,556,552,0
7INDIMSatyapragyan SwayangsuIND24397,060,556,051,0
8INDGMGanguly Surya ShekharIND26347,060,556,050,5
9BLRGMAleksandrov AleksejBLR26397,054,550,546,0
10AZEGMSafarli EltajAZE25876,560,556,051,0
11BANGMRahman ZiaurBAN25546,556,552,548,0
12AZEGMMamedov RaufAZE26266,554,550,545,5
13ISRGMPostny EvgenyISR26516,554,050,046,0
14INDGMNegi ParimarjanIND26156,554,050,045,5
15INDGMGupta AbhijeetIND25846,553,048,543,5
16INDGMGeetha Narayanan GopalIND25986,551,548,044,0
17SWEGMHillarp Persson TigerSWE25776,547,543,539,5
18INDGMPanchanathan Magesh ChandranIND25326,061,556,551,5
19KAZGMKhusnutdinov RustamKAZ25066,060,556,051,0
20GEOGMGagunashvili MerabGEO25646,059,555,050,0

Tournament official website

IM Oliver Barbosa begged off from SPICE CUP group B

IM Oliver Barbosa who earlier accepted the invitation of Susan Polgar to participate in the B group of the upcoming 2009 SPICE CUP in Texas Tech University slated September 19-29 has officially called off his participation, as announced in Susan Polgar's blog. He will be replace by IM Dean Ippolito. Oliver Barbosa currently holds 20 title in the US. GM Wesley So nevertheless will still compete in Group A and set to leave for the US in a few days time.

Eugenio Torre, Bong Villamayor simul exhibition matches at Mall of Asia

After a fund raising simultaneous exhibition match held last Septmber 5 in MERALCO, GM Eugene agreed once again to hold another simultaneous match at SM Mall of Asia, this time it would be for the benefit of our young chess players actively involved in various chess programs in their respective schools. Torre will be accompanied by another Filipino veteran GM, Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor as announced by and yesterday.

GMs Eugene Torre and Bong Villamayor will hold a chess simul to challenge students’ problem solving abilities, critical and strategic thinking in the “Buhawi and Hagibis Chess Challenge” on Sept. 18 starting at 10 a.m. at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia.

The event is one of the highlights of Diwa Learning System’s participation in the 30th Manila International Bookfair, slated Sept. 16-20, also at SMX.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education issued a memorandum for the inclusion of chess in the curricula on Grades 3 to 6 and high school students in the subject “Edukasyon sa Pagpapalakas ng Katawan” or Physical Education.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Asian Indoor Games qualifying tilt: Antonio, Ramos shares lead

Finally we have some updates from the mainstream media.
Full report can be found at GMANews.TV

Asian Indoor Games elims

Men's division
Standings after three rounds:

2.5 points – R. Antonio, J. de Ramos
2.0 – J. Gomez, M. Paragua, J. Gonzales, A. Branzuela
1.5 – R. Dableo, C. Castellano
1.0 – D. Laylo, B. Nadera, R. Nolte, M. Turqueza, R. Legaspi, H. Pascua, B. Valencia
0.5 – B. Villamayor, E. Senador

Women's division
Standings after two rounds:

2.0 points – C. Mariano, B. Mendoza, B. Galas
1.0 – Sherily Cua, C. Perena, L.Medina, J. Berago, R. Tunguia
0.5 – D. Rivera, Shercila Cua
0 – J. Docena, S. Peque, G. Malbog

Speaking of tournaments for kiddies: GM Joel Benjamin on the Young & Talented

Tournaments for kiddies are very active lately. This article couldn't be more timed. Parents will surely find this particularly interesting.

Diana: My son is 8-year-old with a rating of 1600...Here is my question: how can we help him to improve quickly with planning and openings. Should he memorize some opening variations at this level? And I heard stories like the top kids in the country spend more than five hours per day studying chess and they play three tournaments per week...And how much time and effort should he put into chess in order to keep himself in the top of his age group while remain healthy and also have time for other activities?

GM Joel. The younger and more talented a player is, the greater is the burden felt by the parents....I think that understanding the ideas behind the opening moves comes first, and gradually learning particular opening variations can be worked in. I hate the term “memorizing’ openings because they should always be learned. Memorizing moves can only help if your opponent does exactly what he’s supposed to do, and won’t help for the future when they don’t...I have seen a lot of kids succumb to the burden of too much work and too high expectations...It seems to me that any child who puts five hours a day into chess during the school year would have little time for any other kind of life. Choose a regimen that seems right to you and your son. Have him play frequently but not too much (two or three tournaments a month should be enough). More time spent on chess can produce results, but it is only part of the story. What really counts in the ability to process what you learn and apply it to your games. As long as your son works diligently in the hours that he does devote to chess, he will have every opportunity to compete successfully with other children his age.

This is but excerpts from USCF website. Please continue reading the entire article there.

1992 Manila Olympiad veteran grandmaster lost in just 15 moves!

During the simultaneous exhibition of Eugenio Torre last Saturday at MERALCO, a friend just told me about this incident regarding a leading French grandmaster of Russian origin who showed up dead drunk in a tournament in India, but couldn't find a more comprehensive news on the web but here it is, we've got the whole story. According to report by TimesOnline, Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev arrived for Thursday's match against India's Praveen Kumar in such an inebriated state that he could hardly sit in his chair and soon dozed off after just 11 moves, losing the round on technical grounds after failing to complete the moves in the allotted time of one hour and thirty minutes. He's currently rank no. 58 in the world.

Tidbits: Vladislav Tkachiev represented Kazakhstan at the 1992 Chess Olympiad in Manila.