Monday, September 7, 2009

Eugene Torre's simul match and the 1st MMLDC chess cup: two days of great chess experience

Haven't posted anything here for quite a while. Anyway, last Saturday, Asia's first ever chess grandmaster Eugenio "Eugene" Torre conducted a 21 board exhibition match in MERALCO base canteen. Of course I was there too.

at around 10:00 am, GM Eugene Torre arrived, he looks exactly the same the last time you saw of him. Sporting his trademark black coat, slacks and leather shoes. Looks like a rock star than a chess player to me. The moment he arrives, he starts engaging everyone in a lively, informal conversation. Before the start of the simultaneous match, Torre deliver a brief but all pack in one speech. He also briefly mentioned about the exhibition matches with Bobby Fischer in 1967 where Fischer visited the Philippines, The Bobby Ficher series. Torre was not among the invitees there.

The simul started at around 10:30 am and for nearly four hours, GM Torre, with no breaks, no snacks, no drinks, no "may I go out", he was all business. At the end of the day, GM Torre posted 17 wins, 2 defeats and 2 draws. Everybody felt a sigh of relief when the last player shook the hand of GM Torre, signaling his resignation, thus ending the grueling and torturous simultaneous exhibition match. Hate to say this but Torre looks totaly worn out. His hair was a bit disheveled. Everyone agree that this kind of event is already too much for the nearly 52 year old Torre.

Now on to Antipolo City, Rizal for the 1st MMLDC Chess Cup (MERALCO Management Leadership Development Center Chess Cup) It was a rewarding trip for this beautiful, green, mountainous city, some 20 km east of Manila. Just less than an hour drive from any point of the capital city, and voila! you are at one of the most beautiful spot around the Metro!

The venue, the Areva Pavilion

View from the inside of the playing area. This kind of environment surely helps ease the tension of the young chess players, parents and organizers alike.

But first thing first, allow me to introduce our guest blogger, under 10 national champion, Daryl Samantila who rushes to my notebook laptop in between rounds!

Not to be outdone- his rivals, joining them is the eventual champion of the tourney, Paulo Bersamina. Hey kids, give me back my laptop, I want it now, I have some typing to do!

Inside the playing venue. The place is well ventilated, though

After 7 rounds and two crossover final matches, there's no doubt who won the event. Reigning RP 12 Under Champion Paulo Bersamina

Yours truly was even honored to present the prizes to the winners.

Final photo session with some young chess fans, moms and the champ himself

Over all, the tournament is properly organized, the venue and environment is excellent. Do we hear some complaints from the young players themselves? Yup there was. Some complains that they are unfairly paired with bigger and taller opponents (as though size does matter in chess!)

My deep appreciation to the following: Rolly Sol Cruz for his hospitality, NM Marlon Bernardino for his insights about chess and everything, to Madam Bersamina and Samantilla for the quality time they shared with us, for Tony (Pinoymaster at CG) and his very game Laguna players who brave the heavy rains despite the distance of the venue, to our hardworking arbiters for the patients they showed with the parents and children and of course to the organizers for this excellent staging of the first ever MMLDC Chess Cup. As the saying goes, if there's first, there should be a second. Till the next event!

Final report from MERALCO Chess Club

Reigning RP 12 Under Champion Paulo Bersamina of MERALCO Chess Club fittingly won the 1st MERALCO Management Leadership Development Center Chess Cup by beating Clifford Cobsilen of Lores Chess Club of Antipolo in the knock-out Finals at MMLDC in Antipolo last Sunday to win the gold medal, P1500 National Book Store gift check, Tita Cory commemorative yellow umbrella, MMLDC Aviary Tour gift check, an overnight stay at the MMLDC and tokens from MERALCO, MERALCO Chess Club and MMLDC. Bersamina also won the St. Teresa of Avila (Patron Saint of chess players) medal and gift check for being the top player with a mother in tow.

Cobsilen won the silver and P1000 gift check and tokens. He also won the St. Charles of Borromeo medal for being the top player with a father in tow.

Renato Cruz, Jr. of Taytay and a prodigy of IM Barbosa won the bronze medal and P500 gift certificate and tokens by closing the doors to Nikka Cerrado who won P500 gift check for making the Final 4, a chess set for being the Top Female Player and the Best Player of Cainta medal and a P300 gift check from Cainta Business Center Head Ed Vargas.

World Youth-bound Karen Enriquez of Marikina Chess Federation won the Best Player from Marikina medal and gift check sponsored by MERALCO Marikina Business Center Head Tere Estrada.

Howard Viernes of DNSMS won the Best Player of Angono medal and gift check sponsored by MERALCO Angono Business Center Head Winston delos Reyes.

Chess sets were won by Felipe Magdalaga of National University for being the Top 12 Under Player, Daryl Samantila of Adamson University/MERALCO Chess Club won the Top 10 Under, and Arvin Serban of Sumulong Elementary School won the Top 8 Under.

Aljohn Serban won the GM Wesley So cash award for being the youngest player at 6 years old with the best score; 2.5 points in 7 games.

The top 4 finishers also won a sponsorship to the coming PSC Kiddies at RMC on Sept 13.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kuya Des,

May I ask your permission to post these pictures to Daryl`s blog. Thank you for looking after the kids while the mother spends time together.

Regards and God Bless,

Dina Samantila

Tony said...

Thanks Des for the article, I just emailed it to Teacher Jeerney Aquino of Caritas Don Bosco School and chess parent Andrew Espiritu.

Des Catolos said...

hi mom Dina, please feel free to use or copy anything that may interest you in this blog.

hi sir Tony, good luck to your noble endeavor and all the best to all Laguna chess players!

Lores chess club said...

Thank you chessheroes for the support you're giving us despite your own schedules. I read your blog regularly. More power to your blog and keep up the good work.

Luis Sintionco
Lores chess club