Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book about Fischer just released

First thing first, please note that it is WFM Shercila Cua and not her younger sister WFM Sherily Cua who is now in Vietnam competing for the Asian Indoor Games as we've previously posted. Thanks to Sherily herself for quickly pointing this one out to us. I guess I owe her sister an apology ;)

The latest book in print about Fischer has just been released. Bobby Fischer: The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion by Karsten Mueller. Don't know what to expect from the book but annotations for all of Fischer’s 736 tournament and match games and lots of unpublished photos are provided in the book. Here's the video presentation from chessvibes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

3rd Asian Indoor Games: with strong typhoon coming, better stay and play indoors.

The 3rd edition of the Asian Indoor Games begins today in Hanoi Vietnam. According to Vietnamese media, if this is not an exaggerated one, they are expecting more than 3 billion audiences in 45 countries. Vietnam by the way is also expecting a strong typhoon after it hits the Philippines Friday evening so I guess staying and playing indoors is truly a wise decision. Focusing on chess, the country will be represented by GM Joey Antonio and GM Mark Paragua while two of the most familiar faces in womens local chess today, WFMs Caterine Pereña and Shercila Cua represents the fairer sex division.

GMs Paragua and Antonio has two separate mission later this year. Paragua, as we all know by now, is aiming to set a new world record for simultaneous chess "1 vs. 600: beat the Mark" while Antonio will be heading for the world cup of chess in an attempt for a "decent" finish.

Strong typhoon is coming and I say stay indoors!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chessbomb needs some tweaking with IE 8 but runs fine on Chrome and Firefox

Yesterday, Chessdom in partnership with Chessbomb, just introduced to the chess community a new impressive feature on their site that will enable the readers to follow a real time, live chess game directly on their browser, automatically and with computer analysis provided by Rybka and Toga while human commentary will of course, be taken care of the Chessdom staffs.

I used three browsers for particular purposes. IE, Firefox and Chrome. I usually used Chrome when watching live chess games since Chrome appears to have solved most of the problems that Javascript and Flash based applications have been encountering with IE and Firefox without bothering for some "add-ons" like Java and Flash. Sites that don't depend on Java and flash like chessbomb, (still in beta) rely solely on the compatibility of the browser. Here's my take. I think chessbomb runs great with Chrome, next is Firefox. I noticed that in IE, when you are following all the featured games and click an application on any of the toolbar, IE tends to wait for the ply to be completed before Rybka or any computer software it is using to analyze the position before responding with your request. Of course this sounds not a very big deal but I noticed that Chrome on the other hand seems to handled this issue more comfortably. Firefox, though not as impressive as Chrome in this matter, fairs better than IE.

Other than that, I experience no problem (by far) with chessbomb. It is easy to use and one great thing is you could follow the games and leave them on separate tabs without totally navigating away from the games and still, you have the games being played live and automatically! Traditional live games viewer can't do that. If you left and just return, you have to refresh the browser.

I noticed that watching an ongoing games on multiple tabs instead of watching 4 or more games on a single tab runs much fine but that is somewhat confusing.

I think Chrome and Firefox will make the most out of this new technology in internet chess. But again, we have our own preferences, of course. You can view them at any browser you like. But for great live chess experience, I suggest using Chrome and Firefox. Haven't taken my shot on Opera, Safari etc. Maybe, later.

In the meantime, you can start singing "...chessbomb, chessbomb, you're my chessbomb."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paragua wins Pangasinan tourney

Mark Paragua, the 25 years old world simul record holder wanna be, just added one more title to show off before his attempt at breaking the world record later this year. Mark captured the Gov. Espino Rapid chess tournament. Mark should win one or two more tournaments to add to his credibility and his competency before the date of the simul. By mid-November, it's wise if he'll skipped from participating in any tournaments for his preparation. Report by NM Marlon Bernardino:


GM Mark Callano Paragua turned back National Master (NM) Haridas Pascua in the seventh and final round to snare the title and the top prize of P10,000 in the inaugural Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. Cup Open Rapid Chess Championships at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan, held over the weekend.

The Tondo, Manila born Paragua, the 2003 Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete prevailed with the white pieces after 40 moves of Reti Opening to finish undefeated in the two-day (October 24 and 25) tournament with a total 6.5 points on account of six wins and a draw, organized by Menard Pulido, the founder/ Vice President, Pangasinan Chess Association; Vice President-NAPCA Northern Luzon, Vice President PACE Northern Luzon and Coordinator of NCFP in Pangasinan.

After winning the first three rounds against the local player here in Pangasinan, Paragua subdued NM Allan Macalla in the fourth, drew with fellow GM Rogelio “Joey”Antonio Jr., in the fifth, then toppled Dick Gicain in the sixth before beating NM Pascua in the seventh round enroute to the championship’s trophy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yahoo! GeoCities, farewell and thanks for the freebies!

GeoCities, a Yahoo! free web hosting which started in 1994 and one of the precursor of the idea of "free" webpage hosting will officially closed today, October 26. For those of us who are a web geek and 30 plus years, Geocities may probably the first free webhosting we have started. There is no denying that Geo is the Facebook/Twitter of its day. Surely, with blogspot, wordpress, etc, one may don't even care. But fact remains that Geocities is the first proof that you could have something really popular, useful and still not make any money on the internet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

GM Mark Paragua to set a new simul world record?

PHOTO shown: from left to right: Albert Rivera, RP and US Master Almario Marlon Bernardino Jr., Robert Racasa, GM Mark Paragua, Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary for Sports and Wellness Ms. Cynthia Carrion and Noli Cruz during a courtesy call of the organizing group Touch of Gold Enterprises on Thursday at the Department of Tourism in T. M. Kalaw, Manila.

Breaking. My eyes nearly popped out of it's socket with this one. We just received an email report from NM Marlon Bernardino that GM Mark Paragua will try to set a new world record for simul chess and the event will be dubbed "1 vs 600, Beat the Mark". This is a herculean task. Come on, 600 players in two days? He's facing no patzers here. If park and kanto chess boys will be allowed to participate then this record breaking attempt might turn a different course. Not impossible of course but having some doubts, things we thought we could only imagine. But anyway go ahead and good luck Mark and beat the mark! In the meantime here's Bernardino's full report.


MARK PARAGUA, the first Filipino to reach super grandmaster status, aims to put the Philippines in the world chess map once again as he tries to break the Guinness simultaneous chess world record on December 27 to 28, 2009.

The two-day event will be held at the historic Ninoy Aquino Stadium or San Andres Gymnasium in Manila.

“The ultimate test for mind and body endurance dubbed as “1 vs. 600: Beat the MARK” will pit the young grandmaster against 600 players at the same time. There will also be 400 reserves for a total of 1,000 opposing players present during the event.” Said journalist Noli Sangil Cruz.

The current record is held by Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob, who faced 500 opponents simultaneously last August 13, 2009 at the Engelab Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran.

The Guinness World Record for the largest number of simultaneous games played in a single session was initially set in 1996 Swedish Grandmaster Ulf Anderson, who took on 310 opponents. This record was broken in 2004 by British IM Andrew Martin, author of many of our openings training DVDs. Martin played against 321 opponents, scoring 294 wins, 26 draws and 1 loss for a winning percentage of 95.64%. In August 2005 GM Susan Polgar played against 350 players simultaneously at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Finally, in February this year, Bulgarian GM Kiril Georgiev played a simultaneous exhibition against 360 opponents before broke by Morteza.

Paragua’s second/ trainer will be Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre and World Chess Cup bound GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. in the event organized by Touch of Gold Enterprises in close cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Manila Sports Council (MASCO) Chairman Niño dela Cruz, City of Manila, Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" Tagaysay and Meralco Chess Club.

Wilfredo “Willie” Abalos of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) will head the list of International arbiters (IA) that includes Gene Poliarco, national masters Erwin Carag and Elias Lao along with RP six-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor. For inquiries, you can call or text mobile no. 0919 849 3648 for complete details

Bicentennial 199 chess match up

Just saw this one from Mig Greengard's Daily Dirt Chess blog. 100-year-old Aaron Schwartzman plays an exhibition chess match with 99-year-old Francisco Benkö in Ajedres chess club in Argentina. This two actually combine a total of over 200 years, with months and weeks counting since the day of their birth. It maybe, yes maybe, the unofficial oldest exhibition match up, in terms of participants, in any sport. The game however ended in a very short draw which is quite understandable. You don't want to spend the remaining few years of your life agonizing over a recent defeat from an old rival. I was thinking if Kobe and Shaq can do their own one-on-one bicentennial match up on the basketball court if ever they reach their hundreds many years from now. That is even more interesting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Please allow me to make a bit of a correction. I'm referring to GM elect Ronald Dableo and NOT GM Darwin Laylo, of course, as I stated in my previous post. My apologies. "Darwin" and "Dableo" confuses me, I guess. And thanks to anonymous commenters for quickly pointing this one out. Just some mental lapses on my part :)

Missing in FIDE. What the...

GM elect Ronald Dableo failed to made it among those who awarded the lifelong title of chess grandmaster at the 80th FIDE Congress held last October 11-17 in Halkidiki, Greece and it may have something to do with his current rating that is short of the required 2500 or over. No International Master was awarded for Filipinos as well. But the most alarming (or intriguing) development is that the Philippines and NCFP is not being recognized by FIDE at all! We are supposed to be occupying the no. 30 to 33 spot but we're gone! Even US based GM, Rogelio Barcenilla is listed on "conditional" section. This is grave news. What exactly is happening here? Are we suspended or what? And for what reasons?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chess in building child's self confidence

We know that building self confidence early in a child's life can bring positive results as the child grow up. We all know it. Question is, how? You guessed it right. Teach them to play chess! Why chess? Here's from an article by Frank “Boy” Pestaño for, Building Child's Self Confidence, as republished in his chess blog, Chessmoso. You may have already read countless of times in the past about the benefit of chess to everyone but hey, just one more push! We are all in one here anyway.

Playing chess has many benefits and one is promoting self-confidence. You can learn many techniques and skills that you can apply in daily life.

Every time you win a game, you improve self-esteem and self-confidence.

Chess is a thinking game. It is a fair game in that the player is responsible for the fate of the game and there is no other intervention in the game either in the form of luck or chance.

If children were taught this noble game at a tender age and encouraged to play, they would perform better in academically and outshine others.

If your child has a history of school failure and academic problems, teach him/her to play chess. In due time, you will see great improvements not only in the personality but also in the intellectual capacity of the child

Chess players show intense concentration, abstract thinking, and mental strategies that are extremely difficult to understand and learn.

With more self-confidence, you can face the many difficulties of life. A child develops the attitude that he can do it and that he can achieve his dreams.

Continue reading from Frank Pestano chess blog

Wesley So skips World Junior Chess Championship, 21 October- 4 November

Study first, play later. At 16, Wesley So should be graduating in high school and would start finding a good university, most probably, abroad, (sure there's some offer), to improve his chess, studies and of course, way of living. And for sure, he will be graduating from high school this year, as Wesley decided to skip the the World Junior Chess Championship that will start tomorrow, October 21 till November 4 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. We are not sure either if the World Youth Chess Championship this coming November in Antalya, Turkey is also part of Wesley's schedule. What we know for now is that Wesley will be playing for the World Cup of Chess slated this December in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in December. I think this is also a good time for soul searching for Wesley So, a time spent away from chess as he failed miserably at SPICE Cup 2009.

Some of our other top players also decided to skipped some major tournaments here and abroad to concentrate and give more time to their studies. GM John Paul Gomez is a graduate of Mechanical Engineer at La Salle and is vent to get his license sooner than later. IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, I believe, is in Dallas Texas now for some scholarship program in one of the top college school there. Remember this post?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hula hoop chess anyone?

Just saw this one from ChessBase and I remember Mr. Rosario, the Filipino chess blogger from down under who maintains the The Closet Grandmaster blog recently argue about chess people who "damages" chess with their strange presentation of the game. Lately, we saw videos of strange new sport called chess boxing. Now this chess videos may interest you even more. Hula hoop chess. I say this is one of the best and fun way, not to mention the creativity, to get rid of those excess around our waist while playing chess. For some reasons, I can't post the video in this blog perhaps the Fox video does not compatible with blogspot. Just watch the video on their site.

This chess blogger highly suggest that you do try this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Philweb Human Plus National Executive Grand Prix Active Chess Championships results

Marlon Bernardino, the 32 year old sports journalist and RP, US National Master and constantly updating and contributing to ChessHeroes with chess news and events about the Philippines, well, the guy just finished a decent second in the recently held Philweb Human Plus National Executive Grand Prix Active Chess Championships last Saturday at Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, just half a point behind NM Mirabeau Maga. Here's his complete report:


Final Standings:

4.5 points--- NM Mirabeau Maga

4.0 points--- RP and US Master Almario Marlon Bernardino Jr.

3.0 points--- NM Julius Sinangote, NM Efren Bagamasbad, NM Allan Macalla

2.5 points--- NM Ronald Llavanes

2.0 points--- Fide Master Randy Segarra, NM Ali Branzuela, RP six-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor

1.5 points--- NM Ric Portagalera, NM Allan Sasot, Jerry Areque

NATIONAL MASTER (NM) Mirabeau Maga of Davao City ruled the 9th leg of the 2009 Philweb–Human Plus National Executive Grand Prix Active Chess Championships on Saturday at the Human Resources Conference Room, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Elliptical Road, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

Maga scored 4.5points in the five-round Swiss System event to take the Group A Open Division crown by half a point and pocket the P5,000 champion's purse. RP and US Master Almario Marlon Bernardino Jr., a Bandera/ CDN sportswriter and radio commentator wound up solo second place with 4.0 points to received the runner-up prize of P2,000.

National Masters (NMs) Julius Sinangote of Caloocan City, Efren Bagamasbad of Manila and Allan Macalla of Davao City finished with 3.0 points apiece to end up sharing third places to fifth placers, while Philippine Airforce bet NM Ronald Llavanes of Bicol finished with 2.5 points for solo sixth placers.

Other participants were Fide Master Randy Segarra (2.0 points), NM Ali Branzuela(2.0 points), RP six-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor (2.0 points), NM Ric Portagalera (1.5 points), NM Allan Sasot(1.5 points) and Jerry Areque (1.5 points).

Ric dela Pena, meanwhile captured the Group B crown with 4.5 points while Ritchie Evangelista, Mark Oliver Ingcad, Ricardo Jimenez and Joel Cocjin tallied 4.0 points each to finished second to fifth placers.

Organized by the Philippine Association of Chess Executives (PACE), using the 25-minute time control format and hosted by DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, Director Nelia Manahan of Bureau of Agrarian Reform Information and Education (BARIE), DAR Employees Association president Nanette Pascual, DAR employee Lito Dormitorio and Philweb Corporation headed by lawyer Cliburn Orbe.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is Peruvian Jorge Cori the youngest GM in the world? just released a claim that South America just produced the youngest chess grandmaster in the world, and 9th in the history of chess. And we are talking about the Peruvian chess prodigy, Jorge Cori, age 14 and 12 months old. But with a rating of just 2445, Cori may fell short of the distinction. Even though he has achieved 3 GM norms, he will not be awarded the GM title until he has a rating of 2500 or over because FIDE still requires every aspiring GM who notch their third and final norm to raise, if they haven't done so, their rating to 2500 to be considered a full time grandmaster. Should we say, he's currently a GM elect instead?

But on the other hand, if his recent results not yet counted, say later tournament he participated before the article got published at Living, and subsequently brings him a whopping 55 extra rating points, and it "count" retrospectively from the day he completed his norms, then we may have indeed the newest and the youngest chess grandmaster previously held by Anish Giri.

We haven't heard anything from other giant chess sites such as chessdom, chessbase, chessvibes et al about the news to verify the claim. Let us wait and see.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ECF named Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-85 as the 2009 Chess Book of the Year award

ChessVibes blog just presented to the web the winner of English Chess Federation 2009 Chess Book of the Year award and it goes to Garry Kasparov's latest book in print, Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-85. We are not sure if copies will be available in the Philippines. Not sure either if this book would somewhat delay the inevitable, the slow death of hard copy chess books. Never there has been a good chess related books worth reading since Gary Kasparov's How Chess Imitates Life: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom. Hope this would be as cozy as that one.

The English Chess Federation commented on the book:

“The book can be read on several levels – as a dramatic story, or as providing insights into opening theory, or as great games enhanced by deep analytical annotations. Kasparov succeeds triumphantly in illuminating every aspect of this historic struggle. He is establishing as formidable a reputation as an author, as he did as a player.”

Ivan Sokolov’s Winning Chess Middle Games (New in Chess) was adjudge as the second best.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

AMP mascot conducting a simul match in New York!

Here's another chess video that is hitting the web. But it's all about chess advertising though. A lot of people are guessing who could be that "grandmaster" inside the AMP mascot that is raving havoc at Manhattan Square Park in New York. The AMP can mascot scored 16 wins with just one defeat! Some say it's Joel Benjamin, while others believe it's Victor Korchnoi, but name of Yasser Seirawan also came up, but many insist it's Hikaru Nakamura. But wait, there's an unconfirmed report that our very own Eugene Torre left for the US a couple of weeks ago! Hmm. Now things get a bit more complicated.

Jan Emmanuel Garcia, placed second at Shell Chess

Tony just pointed to us from the article by NM Bernardino that it is Ateneo's Jan Emmanuel Garcia who placed second in the juniors division in the just held 17th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship in Megamall, in Ortigas.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship: Morazo, Medina wins

I’m a stickler for good first impressions. Last Saturday, I had the opportunity of coming over in Megamall after working hours and witness myself the superb coverage and organization of Shell for this event. It was nothing short of being spectacular. I even bought a coke and some pretzels and stays there for nearly two hours. I should say that Shell did fair well enough to edge the 4th PGMA and 5th Pichay cup in terms of comfort, coverage and over all organizational prowess. One of the highlights in the venue is that they provide video cameras and two super size wide screen LCD's, a sight rarely seen in in local tournaments, to feature the live games being played on the top boards so spectators don't have to shoulder their way among the crowd just to follow the games. You couldn't get any better than that. Too bad, yours truly was totally unprepared for this, I'm armed with no laptop and camera to blog about the event. Next time, and I hope they will do it again in the Metro, we will give what is due for this kind of properly organized chess tournament that deserves all the praises and attention from the chess communities.

In the meantime here's the final report by Marlon Bernardino:

JOHN RANEL MORAZO of Tarlac and Vince Angelo Medina of Laguna won the Juniors and Kiddies divisions respectively at the conclusion of 17th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships Grand Finals last Sunday at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Morazo, earned seven points to win P30,000 in the 20-under competition of the juniors divisions. Actually, Morazo, substitute for fellow University of Baguio student Leonardo Abalos who was trapped by floods in Baguio after Typhoon Pepeng hit the said cities.

Ateneo de Manila University's Giovanni Romero scored 6.5 points to settle for P20,000.

Bryll Arellano and Joseph Turqueza wounded up with identical six points but the former had superior tiebreak for third place to claim P15,000. The latter instead got P10,000.

Jayson Mercado, who bested fellow 5.5 scorers Lennon Salgados and Richelieu Salcedo III via tiebreak, occupied the fifth spot and took P7,000.

In the kiddies 14 and under category, Medina, playing under the banner of GM Jayson Gonzales Far Eastern University notch eight points to win the championship trophy plus P 20,000 cash prizes.

Team mate Mc Dominique Lagula also from FEU tallied 5.5 points pocketed P15,000 in the event sponsored by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum and sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) under the leadership of Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.

Davao City's Austin Jacob Literatus won P10,000 cash for placing third while Jeazzier Surposa earned 4.5 points for fourth place and received P7,500. Giovanni Mejia of La Salle Greenhills gained four points for fifth place and went home with P5,000.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Grandmaster" by Kristine Henson

Meralco Chess Club president, Rolly Sol Cruz just notify us with this link about a short video titled "Grandmaster" (in Tagalog), an entry of Kristine Henson, an amateur videographer and a friend of his. This is her entry for an online video competition, the Microcinema festival . The video tells the story of a betting incident in Luneta (Rizal Park) between a chess hustler and a student. Just follow this link to watch the video. And if you find it really amusing and witty, there's an online voting going on and you can help Kristine gets some important vote from chess communities. Yeah, I did vote for it, why should not I!

GM Jayson Gonzales fund raising simultaneous exhibition match at MERALCO

Last Saturday, October 10, the Philippines 9th grandmaster, Jayson Gonzales conducted a 24 board fund raising simultaneous exhibition match at Meralco basement canteen in Ortigas Pasig City. Gonzales posted 20 wins, 3 draws with 1 defeat. Pulsar, an unrated player and avid kibitzer from representing Barangay Wesley chess club scores that lone victory. The simul raised a total donation of P10,000. Donations proceeds to RP PARA chess team in their need to have new chess sets and also part of the donations goes to chess players of Meralco who fell victim to typhoon Ondoy like RP kiddies 12 under champ, Karen Enriquez, and Darryl Samantila, 9 and under champ. Also Albert of MCC and Wordfun of BW will received portions from the donations.

Last August, GM Joey Antonio first conducted a simul for the funding of the Malaysian bound RP PARA team which he coached, and GM Eugenio Torre follow through last September also for the same cause.

The fund raising event is being organized by the Meralco Chess Club. Rolly Sol Cruz, president of MCC and Lilet Bersamina, father of Paulo Bersamina.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Philweb-Human Plus Executive Chess tournament resumes

The typhoon and flooding is over in the Metro Manila area and chess events is back in the groove. The first that brought to our notice is Philweb-Human Plus Executive Chess tournament.


BUSY private and public executives and professional will have the chance to relax and showcase their chess talent and skill this coming weekend.

The 9th leg of the 2009 Philweb–Human Plus National Executive Grand Prix Active Chess Championships opens at 1 p.m. on October 17 at the Human Resources Conference Room, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Elliptical Road, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

Organized by the Philippine Association of Chess Executives (PACE), the 25-minute time control, one-day event will be hosted by DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, Director Nelia Manahan of Bureau of Agrarian Reform Information and Education (BARIE), DAR Employees Association president Nanette Pascual, DAR employee Lito Dormitorio and Philweb Corporation.

There are two divisions: Group A: Those with 2000 & above latest National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP)Active Rating (Swiss System) and executive National Masters (NMs) and FIDE Masters.

Group B: Those with 1999 & below latest NCFP Active Rating (Swiss System 5, 6, or 7 rounds depending on the number of participants).

In the Grand Prix standings, RP six-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor, a dentist, leads in Group A while lawyer Cliburn Orbe tows the pack in Group B.

Prizes up for grabs are: Group A & Group B: 6 or 7 Rounds Swiss System champion: P5,000 plus trophy & 20 Grand Prix points;

Second placer: P2,000 plus trophy & 19 Grand Prix points; P1,000 plus medal & 17 Grand Prix points; fourth: P500 plus medal & 17 Grand Prix points; fifth: 16 Grand Prix points; sixth: 15 Grand prix points; seventh: 14 Grand Prix points; and so on up to 20th place.

Registration fee:Group A: P1,000, Group B: P700

Big Prizes await the 16 Grand Finalists in December, with free lunch and snacks served during the tournament.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship

Today's (October 10) fund raising simul match of GM Jayson Gonzales for the benefit of RP-PARA chess team at Meralco in Ortigas also coincides with Shell National Youth Active Chess Championship at Megamall, also in Ortigas. There are over forty talented youthful players from every corners of the country are expected to compete here that will run till Sunday, October 11. The Shell Chess has been one of the premier chess tournaments for young Filipino chess players and names such as GMs Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez and Wesley So bloomed at this event. So if you want to see our future chess heroes in action, do dropped by Megamall and support the program for the chess development in the country.

There is more to life than playing chess

Ever wonder why Vladimir Kramnik and Ruslan Ponomariov, two former world chess champion has been into a lot of criticism for the past years for not playing more regular, rated tournaments after becoming a world champion? For starters, Kramnik and Ponomariov plays an average of no more than 5 rated tournaments per year! Somehow you can't blame them. Kramnik, for instance, considers chess less as a sport and more as the art of carrying out a long-term plan. While Ponomariov obtain two degrees of higher education six years after he became a world champion.What is clear is that Vladimir Kramnik, Ruslan Ponomariov, among great personalities of chess is not solely fixated on chess. Simply put, their areas of interests are too diverse. You may also notice that many of your favorite players plays less and less tournaments lately.

This article by Frank Pestano from may greatly explain this. They too have "other" works to look and take after to earn a decent living.

Mikhael Botvinnik was a three-time world champion who was an electrical engineer. His famous pupils include world champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.

Max Euwe was not only a world champion but was also a past president of Fide. He was a professor and had a doctorate in mathematics.

Paul Morphy was considered by Bobby Fischer to have been the greatest player of all time and an unofficial world champion. He was a lawyer by profession and was known to have memorized the complete Louisiana book of code and laws.

Miguel Najdorf was a Polish-born Argentine chess grandmaster of Jewish origin, famous for his Najdorf Variation. He was an insurance underwriter and once played communist revolutionary Che Guevara to a draw.

John Nunn is one of England’s strongest players and once belonged to the world’s top 10. He is also a college instructor in mathematics.

Reuben Fine was one of the strongest chess players in the world from the mid- 1930s through the 1940s and is a psychoanalyst.

The full article from SunStar, 'Occupations of Famous Chess Players' is re-posted at Pestano's chess blog, Chessmoso

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey, what are we doing when we were a teenager? Wesley So just turns 16 today!

At 13 years of age, the hero child chess prodigy who literally carry the sport alone on his fragile little shoulders and brought Philippine chess back into international chess scene just turned 16 today, October 9. Very few young people in the country today had yet to achieved what Wesley had accomplished by far. Countless winning tournaments, recognitions, awards and to established a horde of fanatic followers around the world is an achievement itself we could only be proud that he is one of us. Where and what are we doing when we were just 16? Some of us may probably glued in front of our TV screen still watching a fox in its endless and futile chase of a large bird that can run very fast!

GM Wesley So's next major tournament will be the World Junior Chess Championship that will be held from October 21 to November 4 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

In the meantime we would like to wish GM Wesley So a happy birthday and wish him more success and birthdays to come.

Just stay away from the girls at the moment Wes ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

GM Joseph Sanchez placed second at International Championship of French Speaking Countries

France based Filipino grandmaster, Joseph Sanchez recently finished second over all behind Canadian IM Jean Hebert at the International Championship of French Speaking countries held at Arvier, Aosta Valley, Italy from 27th of September to 4th October. Sanchez, the 11th grandmaster of the Philippines and former coach of GM Mark Paragua, represents Cannes Echecs here, actually tallied a similar 6.5 points with Hebert and third placer IM Anthony Wirig from France but superior tie break points goes to the Canadian and the championship. Official website is in French.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili wins the 5th Prospero Pichay Cup:

Prior to the ninth and final round, both GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia and Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami shared the top spot with 6.0 points. Not taking anything for granted, both co-leaders defeated their respective opponents in the final round. Mchedlishvili beats current world junior champion, Abhijeet Gupta of India and Gaemmaghami beats defending champion, Li Shilong of China. But at the end of the day, it was the Georgian grandmaster who emerges victorious by piling up with the most superior tie break points over his Iranian rival, giving him the rights to claim the 5th Prospero Pichay International Chess Cup held from October 2 - 7 in Quezon City, the Philippines. The Pichay Cup, named after the current president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Congressman Prospero Pichay Jr, is the twin tournament of the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Chess Cup, an annual two weeks chess festival organized by NCFP.

With the win, the 30 year old Mikheil Mchedlishvili and rank no.4 in his native Georgia became the first European player to capture the tournament usually dominated by Asians. Mchedlishvili was very consistent all through out the tournament, always on top of the leader board from the first till the final round. Seven of his eight opponents he faced were all grandmasters and was undefeated with five wins and four draws with performance rating of 2752. GM Mchedlishvili recently won the Ravana chess challenge held in Sri Lanka where many grandmasters who saw action in that event also joins the 4th PGMA and Pichay Cup.

The same rule and system as the 4th PGMA Cup was also applied at the Pichay Cup. A nine roound Swiss system and the time control of 90 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1. And to prevent an early draws, players are not allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move unless by the repetition of position rule. Pichay Cup offers a total prize of $30,000 and $5,000 goes to the winner.

Final Standings after 9 Rounds

1 GM MCHEDLISHVILI Mikheil GEO 2613 7,0
2 GM GHAEMMAGHAMI Ehsan IRI 2579 7,0
3 GM ANTONIO Rogelio Jr PHI 2557 6,5
4 GM NGUYEN Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2589 6,5
5 GM ZHANG Zhong SIN 2606 6,5
6 GM LAYLO Darwin PHI 2537 6,0
7 GM DAO Thien Hai VIE 2542 6,0
8 GM DAS Neelotpal IND 2471 6,0
9 GM KOTANJIAN Tigran ARM 2553 5,5
10 GM GUPTA Abhijeet IND 2584 5,5
11 GM PARAGUA Mark PHI 2501 5,5
12 GM FILIPPOV Anton UZB 2595 5,5
13 GM GAGUNASHVILI Merab GEO 2564 5,5
14 GM LI Shilong CHN 2531 5,5
15 GM TORRE Eugenio PHI 2535 5,5
16 IM DABLEO Ronald PHI 2417 5,5
17 GM ISMAGAMBETOV Anuar KAZ 2528 5,5
18 IM NOLTE Rolando PHI 2424 5,5
19 GM KOSTENKO Pyotr KAZ 2491 5,5
20 IM DIMAKILING Oliver PHI 2434 5,5
21 FM DONGUINES Fernie PHI 2373 5,5
22 TIRTO INA 2407 5,0
23 ANDADOR Rolando PHI 2260 5,0
24 IM GARMA Chito PHI 2331 5,0
25 IM SENADOR Emmanuel PHI 2367 5,0
26 LUMANCAS Lyndon PHI 0 5,0
27 GM VILLAMAYOR Buenaventura PHI 2426 5,0
28 FM PASCUA Haridas PHI 2310 4,5
29 GM GOMEZ John Paul PHI 2521 4,5
30 MAGA Mirabeau PHI 2230 4,5
31 ELORTA David PHI 2326 4,5
32 BITOON Richard PHI 2490 4,5
33 ROQUE Merben PHI 2209 4,5
35 DATU Alcon John PHI 2188 4,0
36 MARIANO Nelson III PHI 2095 4,0
37 MACALA Allan PHI 2266 4,0
38 BRANZUELA Ali PHI 2288 4,0
39 LEGASPI Rhobel PHI 2325 4,0
40 MORAZO John Ranel PHI 2172 4,0
41 SEGARRA Randy PHI 2300 4,0
42 OLAY Edgar Reggie PHI 2325 4,0
43 WGM NADIG Krutika IND 2273 4,0
44 MILAGROSA Alexander PHI 2254 4,0
46 LAO Elias PHI 2233 4,0
47 FM CARLOS Leonardo PHI 2334 3,5
48 RICANA Leodegario PHI 2082 3,5
49 CAUSO Deniel PHI 2334 3,0
50 RIVERA Albert PHI 2172 3,0
51 POLAO Ben PHI 0 3,0
52 BAGAMASBAD Efren PHI 2311 3,0
53 BERNALES Christy Lamiel PHI 2056 3,0
54 PORTUGALERA Ric PHI 2221 3,0
55 LEE Elgin MAS 1810 3,0
56 CAUMBAN Jose Piff PHI 0 3,0
57 BAUTISTA Paolo Lorenzo PHI 0 2,5
58 BAGAYNA Magellan PHI 0 2,0
59 LEE William MAS 0 2,0
60 PINERO Arnel PHI 0 0,0

GM Jayson Gonzales fund raising simultaneous exhibition match at MERALCO

The Philippines 9th chess grandmaster, Jayson Gonzales will hold a fund raising simultaneous exhibition match for the benefit of chess players who fell victim from heavy flooding caused by typhoon Ondoy. The simul will be held on Saturday, October 10 2009, 11:00 am at the MERALCO basement canteen in Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Last August, GM Joey Antonio first conducted a simul for the funding of the Malaysian bound RP PARA team, and GM Eugenio Torre follow through last September also for the same cause.

Registration fee is P 500. Walk in participants at the time of the simul are also welcome.

For details pls visit MERALCO Chess Club blog, or email MCC president Rolly Sol Cruz at

PGN 4th PGMA Cup, 5th Pichay Cup

Would you believe it? PGN files from the 4th PGMA Cup and Pichay Cup are now available for downloads! Check and go visit the NCFP website.

PGN 4th PGMA Cup
PGN 5th Prospero Pichay Cup

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

5th Pichay Cup round 7-8: Mikheil Mchedlishvili, Ehsan Ghaemmaghami leads with 1 round to play

If my memory serves me correctly, no European player ever won this tournament. If Georgian GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili win this thing, he will be the first to do so. With one round to play, he's thinly holding the top spot with Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami, the man who won the 2nd Subic international chess championship and accountable for Wesley So's final GM norm two years ago at the 3rd Pichay Cup in DutyFree Mall in Paranaque via short draw in the final round. Both Mchedlishvili and Ghaemmaghami posted similar score of 6.0 after eight rounds. Chasing them going into the final round, literally breathing behind their necks are nine players with 5.5 points, Laylo, Antonio, Truong Son, Zhang, Gupta, Gagunashvili, Li, Torre, and Ismagambetov. So there's still a lot of if and what if here. Naturally, the two leaders won't face each other on the final round so everything is not yet settled here and just like the recently held 4th PGMA Cup, expect another photo finish dash at the finishing line. Their differences on the board may once again be decided on tie break points. That's how balanced the competition of the PGMA and Pichay Cup this year. Mchedlishvili will have world junior champ, Abhijeet Gupta in the final round while Ghaemmaghami will face last year champ, Li Shilong of China.

Final round will start tomorrow at 9:00 am at the same venue at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Bldg. in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City. Awarding ceremony will begin soon after round 9.

Round 8 results
Standings after 8 rounds
Final round pairings

Monday, October 5, 2009

5th Prospero Pichay Cup round 4 and 5: seven leads, Torre is catching up.

Don't look back now. But the 57 year old GM who pulled out from the 4th PGMA Cup to save his reputation suddenly finds himself among the leaders after 5 rounds of the Pichay Cup. Don't know how he did it since there's still no available PGNs, I believe, from the tournament at this moment but we know that Torre scored three straight wins in the 3rd, 4th and 5th round. And the 4th and 5th rounds were played in one day. GM elect Ronald Dableo in the 4th and current world junior champ, Abhijeet Gupta of India in the 5th round. Closing in from being dramatic, huh? Torre currently shares the top spot with six others. No notable upsets in round 4 and 5 at the top boards. GM Filippov, who is hoping to become the first player to sweep the twin tournament settled for his third straight draws, half a point behind the leaders. He has faced five straight Filipino in as many rounds.

Tournament resumes today at 4:00 PM for round six at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Bldg. in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City.

Round 5 results
Standings after 5 rounds
Round 6 pairings

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chessfest reset due to tyhphoon Ondoy and Pepeng

As expected, some chess tournaments were moved in a later date due to typhoons but also to accommodate more participants who are affected by the calamity. If you have already registered for the said tournaments below or seriously thinking of joining, we highly suggest that you regularly contact the organizers for any updates or changes. Contact info are provided through this article by Marlon Bernardino.

THE one-day non-master chess tournament offers P10,000 plus trophy to the champion supposed to be held on October 18 at the SM Manila has been reset to October 25 in the same venue.

The chess tournament was reset in order to accommodate more participants who suffered from the devastation of two typhoon who hits the country (Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng), according to Adamson University head coach Christopher Rodriguez, member of the organizing group of One Manila Non-Master Chess Tournament dubbed as "Tulak Mo...Sulong Ko”,Seven round Swiss-system event.

“Nagdesisyon ang organizing group sa panibagong petsa ng chess tournament sa SM Manila para mabigyan ng pagkakataon na makalahok an gating mga kababayan na chess player. Karamihan kasi sa mga kababayan natin na chess player ay talagang naapektuhan din ng bagyong Ondoy at Pepeng” Rodriguez added.

Two more local chess event has been postponed because of the Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng.

They are the 1st Alex S. Belena Non-Master Rapid Chess Tournament scheduled on Saturday at the PAG-ASA Sport Complex, San Jose City Nueva Ecija and 2-in-1 Non-Master Rapid Chess Tournament scheduled yesterday (Sunday) at the Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School, Cubao, Quezon City.

For inquiry, call or text 0919 655 1973, 0910 444 8444 or 0920 904 5187, for complete details.

News by Marlon Bernardino

PGN for sale anyone?

I think it was early this year, at the Battle of Grandmaster held in Dapitan when we first received an email, offering us a couple of recorded games from the event in exchange of a fee. Unfortunately, I had to respectfully decline. ChessHeroes blog, being a pure volunteerism on our part, couldn't do much to spend a couple of money for such an offer, much as we love to have them. In fact, as far as I know, PGN shouldn't be made for sale. Since the PGMA Cup started more than a week ago, our friends were asking where we could find, if we can't post anything here, the PGN or replays of games, causing some unnecessary stress to everyone. But like them, believe me, yours truly is also in the same plight as everyone else on where we could find one. Unfortunately, the NCFP site doesn't have an official media partner to do task of uploading PGNs, taking photos or conduct an interview with players. We have to cope with that.

The moment somebody notifies us where we can get the PGNs of the games, we will link it to this blog. For now, let us just enjoy whatever little resources available for us.

5th Pichay Cup standings after 3 rounds

Round 3 results
Round 4 pairings

Saturday, October 3, 2009

5th Prospero Pichay Cup round 2: 9 players stays unbeaten

Results from Round 2 is already out. Check them out HERE. 9 players remains unbeaten with local untitled players Deniel Causo as the surprise leader. Pairings for Round 3 is HERE and rankings after 2 rounds is HERE.

Round 3 resumes later this day at 4:00 pm.

Rank after Round 2 (Top 20)

1 CAUSO Deniel PHI 2334 2,0
2 gm MCHEDLISHVILI Mikhael GEO 2613 2,0
3 gm FILIPPOV Anton UZB 2595 2,0
4 gm LAYLO Darwin PHI 2537 2,0
5 gm DAO Thien Hai VIE 2542 2,0
6 gm LI Shilong CHN 2531 2,0
7 gm PARAGUA Mark PHI 2501 2,0
8 gm GOMEZ John Paul PHI 2521 2,0
9 BITOON Richard PHI 2490 2,0
10 im NOLTE Rolando PHI 2424 1,5
11 gm VILLAMAYOR Buenaventura PHI 2426 1,5
12 TIRTO INA 2407 1,5
13 im DABLEO Ronald PHI 2417 1,5
14 gm GUPTA Abhijeet IND 2584 1,5
15 gm NGUYEN Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2589 1,5
16 gm KOTANJIAN Tigran ARM 2553 1,5
17 gm ANTONIO Rogelio Jr PHI 2557 1,5
18 gm GHAEMMAGHAMI Ehsan IRI 2579 1,5
19 gm GAGUNASHVILI Merab GEO 2564 1,5
im DIMAKILING Oliver PHI 2434 1,5

Friday, October 2, 2009

5th Prospero Pichay Cup round 1: two upsets

Two major upsets from the top boards. First was by 47th seed, Alcon John Datu (2188) who upsets Pyotr Kostenko (2491) of Kazakhstan. And second was by 31st seed David Elorts (2326) who surprised Singapore's no.1 and 2nd seed, GM Zhang Zhong (2606). Another player to watch from the tournament is current world junior champion, Abhijeet Gupta (2584) who also won his first game of the tournament against 34th seed Efren Bagamasbad (2311). GM Eugenio Torre (2535), who pulled out in round 7 of the PGMA cup due to bad showing, was held to a draw, perhaps not a surprise anymore, by Rolando Andador (2260).

Round 1 results
Round 2 pairings
Starting rank list

By the way, over there at Nanjing. Carlsen had just defeated Radjabov in just 25 moves! the Norwegian wunderkind tallied 4.5 out of 5.5 and is performing at 3128!

5th Prospero Pichay Cup: PGMA titlist Anton Filippov leads foreign cast

As of today, Friday, where the 5th Pospero Pichay Cup begins at 1:00 pm at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) building in Quezon City, names such as Singapore GM Zhang Zhong and GM Abhijit Gupta of India emerges as among the new top rated players expected to compete and challenge GM Filippov's ambition to become the first ever player to sweep the twin tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP). Positive News Media and had just confirmed this. These two grandmasters did not made it to the final cut of participants at the just concluded 4th PGMA cup where they're earlier listed as among the participants. The other foreign players who saw action at the last PGMA cup and expected to stay for one more week here in Manila for the Pichay cup are GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia, GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran, GM Tigran Kotanjian of Armenia, GMs Anuar Ismagambetov and Pyotr Kostenko of Kazakhstan, GMs Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam, GM Li Shilong of China, IM Tirto of Indonesia and WGM Krutika Nadig of India.

GM Eugenio Torre who experience one of the worst tournament performance in many years at the PGMA cup is also reported to have confirmed his participation and give another shot to redeem his reputation. Other Filipino grandmasters who competed at the 4th PGMA Cup are also set to compete.

The same rule and system as the 4th PGMA Cup will also be applied at the Pichay Cup. A nine roound Swiss system and the time control of 90 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1. And to prevent an early draws, players are not allowed before the completion of Black’s 30th move unless by the repetition of position rule. Pichay Cup offers a total prize of $30,000 and $5,000 goes to the winner(s).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Fischer - Benko Slapping Incident

Actually, you're wrong. No, it was not Bobby Fischer who initiated the physical violence this time but Pal Benko, a Hungarian immigrant who technically acts as one of Fischer's second during the 1962 Candidates Tournament in Curacao the Netherlands. Yup, he got slapped! And it was Fischer himself who proves that he was physically harassed by one of his seconds. From, we came upon this very interesting lines: "After the fifth round of the first cycle, (it was a grueling quadruple round-robin) both Fischer and Benko had adjourned games. (This was the era when adjournments were the norm.) Fischer demanded that Bisguier assist him. Benko, who had started the tournament much better than Fischer, wanted help with his adjourned game against Petrosian. There was a shouting match, and Benko apparently lost his cool."

The following day, Fischer wrote the following letter as a protest about the "slapping" incident...

This is an official protest of the behavior [sic] of Pal Benko. On the night of May 9, a little before midnight, Benko entered by room without my permission; he had followed Bisguier in. I immediately asked him to leave and he refused. I repeatedly asked to leave and he refused each time. He became angry when I refused to allow my second, Arthur Bisguier, to help him (Benko) analyze his adjournment with Petrosian. He insulted me and when I answered him he struck me while I was seated in a chair. I did not strike him back. Then he finally left the room.

I suggest that Benko be fined and/or expelled from the tournament.

The above episode was witnessed by Arthur Bisguier.

/s/ Robert Fischer

Question is, was the 19 years old Bobby Fischer being bullied? It looks like he was.

Full article at's From the Archives

More comforting words for Wesley So and his fans from Susan Polgar

As everyone may know by now, Wesley So failed to made a statement in his first major US tournament debut, in 2009 SPICE Cup where Wesley finished at the bottom of the standings in group A. So finished the event without a single win with eight draws and a loss. Susan Polgar, SPICE Cup organizer was nonetheless, has all the kind words and praises reserved not only for Wesley, but to all Filipino chess enthusiasts as well everywhere in the world. Here's what she had to say:

It's an absolute pleasure to have Wesley and William here at the SPICE Cup in Lubbock and Texas Tech. They are wonderful people.

Playing in an open tournament and playing in a round robin/double round robin tournament is very different. It requires different approach, preparation, psychology, and training, etc. This is an important learning process for Wesley. Next time he will improve.

Wesley certainly got the respect from the big guys. No one will offer you a draw if they think they can beat you :)

I am sure this is not the last time we will hear about Wesley at the SPICE Cup.

One thing I hardly see from any other player is the support Wesley got from the Filipino community in the Philippines, in the US, in Texas, and around the world. There were people who drove I believe 5-6 hours to come and support Wesley and William. Stick with this kid, he has a bright future.

I will continue to update news about Filipinos players and Wesley on my blog and please feel free to send me any article that I may have missed.

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar