Monday, November 30, 2009

Mark Paragua fund raising simultaneous match

Last Saturday at MERALCO Ortigas, Pasig City, GM Mark Paragua conducted a 16 board fund raising simultaneous games for the benefit of the RP Paralympic chess team scoring 14 wins and 2 draws courtesy of Alexis Elinon of PARA and Ronnie Dellota of MERALCO. In the opening ceremony, 6 specially made Paete chess sets and 1 standard plastic set were turned-over to the PARA Chess Team. GM Mark with Spawn2 presided in the ceremony.

The proceeds of the GM Mark simul were given to the 5 PARA players as advance Christmas gift according to Meralco Chess Club president Rolly Sol Cruz. The next event is on Dec 12, a team tournament featuring MERALCO, BW, PARA and Binan Chess Club.

PARA's Alexis Elinon has been the most consistent of the players who participated in the three simul games he joined by far, posting an impressive record of 1 Win and 2 Draws. He defeated GM Eugene Torre and level his games with GM Jayson Gonzales and GM Mark Paragua.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chess World Cup, r3: Wesley So wasn't lucky against Kamsky!

"I got lucky all the time, you know...but I guess the more I practice, the more I got lucky." -Filipino pool legend, Efren "Bata" Reyes

I won't be surprise if Vassily Ivanchuk has already been thinking on calling off his earlier announcement of "retiring" from serious chess after suffering a humiliating (and tormenting) loss to a "lower rated" and "unknown" opponent in the name of Wesley So in round 2, even going beyond of saying that his young opponent "played very badly" in that two games they played. Yeah sure. Wesley So even said so. By I say an honest man won't go beyond of discrediting a 16 year old boy who spends 6-8 hours a day of his young life studying chess. Where's the word of encouragement there? But now, seeing his fellow elite grandmaster downed by the same boy in their game 1, round 3 match up, he might be having some second thoughts of giving up chess altogether. Even if Wesley So losses his remaining games to Kamsky, the result would be the same. Wesley shows that he can play in top level competitions and luck won't be much of a part to Wesley's success from thereon. Peter Doggers of ChessVibes wrote after So's game 1 win against Kamsky:

Like against Ivanchuk, So defeated Kamsky using the French Defence. However, this time So wasn’t lucky; he simply played a very good game. He already surprised Kamsky in the opening (15…Qb5 was new) and when the American didn’t go for 22.Nxa4, 23.Ra1 and 24.Rxa7, So got the upper hand. 24…f6! was very strong and 31…d4! killing.

Of course, we're referring to a post game interview with Wesley So who are very direct in saying that he admire Ivanchuk and got "lucky" to win their mini-match up. So said in the interview: "Honestly I was lucky when playing against Ivanchuk, - starts So. – I admire this chess player and I know that he plays much far better than me. In first game he was in time trouble and maybe that is why I was lucky."

Here it again Wesley from our Pinoy pool legend and arguably, the greatest pool player that ever played the game, Efren "Bata" Reyes: "I got lucky, you know...but I guess the more I practice, the more I got lucky."

Amen to that...

Official Website

Friday, November 27, 2009

GM Mark Paragua fund raising simul games at Meralco

GM Mark Paragua, the first Filipino to breached the 2600+ FIDE rating will be holding a fund raising simultaneous exhibition match for the benefit of RP Paralytic chess team on Saturday, November 28 that's tomorrow, Saturday, 9:00 am at MERALCO Lopez basement canteen, Ortigas, Pasig city. The entry fee is P500 including snacks and drinks. For reservation and details, please visit Meralco chess club blog or inquire through email to Mr. Rolly Sol Cruz, president of Meralco chess at Walk in participants are also allowed as long as there are available slots left, of course. This is going to be the fourth of fund raising simul event for the benefit of RP paralytic chess team after the successful staging of simul matches conducted by GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio last August, GM Eugene Torre last September and GM Jayson Gonzales in October.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chess World Cup, round 2: Wesley So lays out Ivanchuk

Many thought that Vassily Ivanchuk will go berserk in the second game of his first round 1 match with Wesley So. Ivanchuk has a lot of pride in him as a chess player but it looks like he plays quite tentatively in game 2. Perhaps nerves got into him again. As a result, Wesley So held on to his lead and win their match up, 1.5 - 0.5, resulting in one of the biggest upset in 2009 Chess World Cup and the biggest single match victory for the 16 year old So by far. Wesley So will have the Chess World Cup defending champion and Rogelio Antonio round 1 tormentor, Gata Kamsky in the third round. Some notes from Susan Polgar about Wesley's win against Ivanchuk.

The more games the talented Wesley plays against world class opponents, the better and more confident he gets. After losing to Guisenov in the second game of his first round match, he reeled off 3 straight wins in the rapid playoff to advance to the second round. Then he went on to pull off the biggest upset of the 2009 World Cup so far by beating Ivanchuk 1.5-0.5. Well done Wesley! With proper training, experience, and opportunity, I have no doubt that he will be an elite player for years to come.

The So-Kamsky round 3 duel will be available with live grandmaster commentary courtesy of GM Christian Bauer through Chessdom. We would like to say our thanks to our friends over there at chessdom for continually sending us the information every now and then.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chess World Cup R2: Wesley So upsets Ivanchuk

It's a pity that there's no live coverage with grandmasters commentaries on the Ivanchuk-So match up. Wesley So just defeated one of the biggest name in chess today and the favorites to win the world cup, Vassily Ivanchuk (2739) in a stunner that shook the entire chess community. Highly regarded as the best player never won a championship, Ivanchuk is Wesley's biggest name in chess he has defeated by far, and he did it with black pieces! Peter Doggers of ChessVibes wrote the following in his blog after Wesley So's victory:

...Vassily Ivanchuk, the favourite to win this World Cup according to the ChessVibes visitors, against super-talent Wesley So. It seemed that the Ukrainian was totally outplaying his Pinoy opponent, but when he couldn’t find the knockout blow he should probably have taken the draw. Instead, in terrible timetrouble already, Chuky decided to play on but then lost in the ending.

Surely, big Chucky didn't expect Wesley to be this good. He won't spent much time a-thinking over Wesley's moves if they weren't worth the effort of every neurons in his brain. Wesley opted for the French this time that saw Ivanchuk chose the exchange variations. You can watch the replay of games with computer analysis at chessbomb-chessdom live arena which provides real time live games of the championship. Wesley So just needed a draw in their second game to finally moved on to the next round and look, white pieces he'll be handling. It would be quite interesting what would be the opening push Wesley will employ today. Will he go for the sweep? That is asking to much but who knows ;)

Chess World Cup official website

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wesley So advances into the 2nd round, will face Ivanchuk

Wesley So easily made it through the second round by sweeping (impressive!) his three rapid tie-break matches against Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan, 3-0 of the currently held Chess World Cup in Russia. To some, the sweep wasn't so much of a surprise since Wesley has been excellent in blitz game both in over-the -board and online chess. He was once rank among the top blitz player in ICC.

GM Darwin Laylo however, failed to move on to the next round as GM David Navarra also sweep his last two games after two consecutive drawn games. Nevertheless, the effort of GM Darwin Laylo far exceed my expectation. He lost his game one against Navarra but it was a fighting effort nonetheless as he succumb to severe time trouble which resulted in series of blunder moves in the end. The second game against Navarra, Laylo defeated him in just under 30 moves. Antonio earlier lost to defending chess world cup champ Gata Kamsky, 1.5-05 in round 1.

Moving on to the next round, Wesley So will be facing one of the true elite chess player at the moment, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, considered by many as the best player never to win a world championship. This is going to be the fourth time, if my memory serves me right, that So will be pitied against a 2700+ opponent. So defeated Ni Hua of China in 2008 Dresden Olympiad, his first 2700, drew against Alexei Shirov, also at Dresden and then drew with Sergei Karjakin in an Asian team championship tournament in UAE. If I missed something here, please let us know. At the moment I could hardly content my excitement with the So-Ivanchuk match up. This one should be in a "pay-per-view" live games. But thankfully, there's no such thing as that for chess, at least not in four or six years time.

Complete round 2 pairings is available at the official site in PDF format. Check them out here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chess World Cup day 1: Wesley So delivers, Antonio and Laylo defeated

No wash out for Filipino participants in day one of Chess World Cup. Early morning reports/results shows Wesley's win over Guseinov. The delay of retransmission from So-Guseinov live games leaves many with long, suspenseful and disappointing night. The live transmission suddenly interrupted during the opening salvos, and consequently, broke down after black's 11th move of a Kings Indian opening. By midnight, it's very clear that there is no point of waiting for everything to get back to "normal". In fact, I begun to think by that moment that the So-Gudeinov game is actually a pay-per-view match up! Anyway, chessbomb is still in its beta process and set backs like this is quite darn common. Let us allow them to make some improvement overtime. But I say what a situation for bad luck to come when you have the popular Wesley So playing on board, and he actually won! You can replay the game through the 11th move here. With the win against Gadir Guseinov (2625), Wesley So (2641) scores his first victory over an opponent rated above 2600 since Corus C this year. Things looks good for Wesley. I believe that he just needed a draw in the second game to advance to the next round.

As expected, GMs Rogelio Antonio and Darwin Laylo did not fare well with the favorites. Gata is just to much for Antonio's Caro-kann, Antonio's pet opening for decades. In fact, Antonio could write a book about the Caro Kann but it's just the classy Kamsky who this time shows him a thing or two about the opening to add to his arsenal. The game lasted for 42 moves but the game was pretty much over starting move 31 as he is still way way behind in development. You can watch replay of Kamsky-Antonio game with computer analysis here.

GM Darwin Laylo (2707) performed much better against David Navarra (2552) though, who opted for another Scandinavian but the result is still the same. Defeated by a stronger and world class players. Series of weak moves under time pressure simply cost him the game. The Navarra-Laylo game can be replay here, also with computer analysis.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 1 of Chess World Cup...definitely, maybe

Day one of Chess World Cup begins today in frozen land of Khanty Mansiys, Russia. The Philippines will be sending three players; So, Antonio and Laylo, the third most in Asia behind regions powerhouse China and India. GM Rogelio Antonio, in his round 1 match with ex world championship contender and defending Chess World Cup champ, Gata Kamsky of USA, will be featured in Chessdom in a real time live chess game using the critically acclaim new chess engine for viewing live chess games powered by chessbomb. Getting featured in a real time live chess game with grandmaster commentaries is the first time in Antonio's career.

For GM Joey Antonio, there is no such thing as "nothing to lose" here. As we know, he is scheduled to set a new world record for simultaneous chess in January 22-23 next year dubbed "1 vs. 600: Pinoy Ironman". If he loses badly, certainly the credibility as well will be hurt even in the caliber of player such as Kamsky. If Antonio puts up a decent games against Kamsky, which he really can, or even pull an upset, not impossible but probable, not only the win will make Antonio an instant celebrity, GM Joey's credibility to tackle such an historic event where every physically fit GMs in the world will have no problem about of duplicating and surpassing, anytime, anywhere, would surge considerably and the world record breaking attempt won't be too much of a hype but will consequently turn out as an event that deserves serious attentions from the global chess community. Two defeats in round 1 against Kamsky is somewhat unacceptable. A fighting draw and a loss is about okay. But moving to the next round of CWC is what we're looking forward. The last time these two met was at the 2005 HB Global Challenge in Minneapolis, USA. Antonio somehow managed to eked out a draw against Kamsky.

We have already discussed So and Laylo's chances against their respective opponents in round 1. Please check our previous post here. The consistency of Darwin Laylo will be tested and whether Wesley So is fully recovered after SPICE Cup and his deserving place among the elite will once again be revealed. At his time, it is Antonio who will play more part in Chess World Cup. So how's Antonio's chances of getting pass Kamsky?

...definitely, maybe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Justice for Jinky

Eight days ago, Chessbase just released a report regarding the battle of Bobby Fisher's two former lover/companion, Japanese Witoko Watai, the lawfully wedded wife to Fischer, and his Filipina live-in partner, Marilyn Young, whom he bore a daughter named Jinky. This is in regards of to whom the estate Fischer left in Iceland after he passed away in January of 2007 should be rightfully awarded. In a letter by Marilyn sent to chessbase, she was quoted of Torre saying: "Bobby will turn in his grave if the inheritance of his daughter Jinky will not be awarded by the Icelandic court," GM Eugene Torre said. "I had seen with my two eyes how Bobby lovingly took care of her daughter Jinky during her infant days in Baguio,". Then they also released some compelling photographs of Fischer with both Marilyn and Jinky and a couple of Fischer's note as well to back the claim.

But we have everything here back home together with all necessary evidence. Frank Pestaño wrote the following in his chessblog, chessmoso about this issue.

I have been following this drama since the very start thru an Icelandic contact, Alfred Gudmundsson, who is married to a Cebuana, Mae, and Samuel Estimo, Jinky’s lawyer.

Unfortunately, Alfred, who was a very good man, passed away.

I immediately sent an e-mail to NM Samuel Estimo, and he informed me that Jinky’s claim is still valid.

Jinky, her mom Marilyn Torre and Sammy will be joining a shoot for a documentary by BBC HBO on the life of Bobby on either Dec. 6 or 7 in London, and then will proceed to Iceland.

Bobby, in an interview, claims that he was never married to Watai (Bobby was in jail in Japan then and the marriage would have set him free). Also Eugene Torre claims that Bobby never wished to marry Watai but only wanted her as a companion.

In Iceland, Jinky is sure to be DNA-tested and Marilyn has agreed as she is sure of Bobby’s paternity. I have a picture of Marilyn and Jinky, together with Bobby.

Jinky is closed in finally getting her justice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So, Antonio, Laylo off to Russia tomorrow

GMs Wesley So, Rogelio Antonio and Darwin Laylo- their baggage are all ready and will be flying tomorrow for Khanty Mansiysk, Russia to compete in the 2009 Chess World Cup. After weeks of tension and suspense that the Philippines might fail again to send a representative to an important international competition, I say everybody can now heave a sigh of relief.

For the chess world cup, what we have here is three different generation of chess players. Antonio, 47, one of the "Old Guard" of Philippine chess, is living up in an old school but still very effective style of playing. Darwin Laylo, 28, who bridges the old school and the tech savvy new generation of chess in the country, is over all, more of an independent type of player. Then Wesley So, 16, a certified computer savvy and is very vocal in admitting that all his secrets to his success is mostly through the guidance of Fritz programs alone, belong to this group of young Filipino chess players who rely on the perfection of the machines. Of the three, and in a personal note, it is okay to say that it is Wesley who has the best chance of making it to the second round. There is no bad news though, if ever So and Antonio will ever meet in the second round should they both get past their opponents. Especially Joey Antonio who is up against Gata Kamsky.

Report by NM Marlon Bernardino

THE Philippine Chess Team is schedule to leave the country today, Thursday, with one mission to perform well in the prestigious 2009 World Chess Cup slated on November 20 to December 15 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia.

Supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., the RP chess team is composed of Grandmasters Wesley So, Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., and Darwin Laylo. Off the three, 15-year-old So, the highest-rated Filipino player with an ELO of 2640, is seeded 59th in the 128-player event is the first time in World Chess Cup, formerly World Chess Championships.

So, will have GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan, 23, is seeded 70th with his ELO of 2625 as his first opponent.

If So, the youngest Filipino GM, succeeds in his first-round match, he will face either GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine or GM Alexei Bezgodov of Russia in the second round.

However, the bad news is that the Bacoor, Cavite kid So is possible to face compatriot Sta.Mesa, Manila born Antonio in the third round if both of them will progress.

“Magkasama kami ni Wesley (So) sa bracket at posible kaming magtapat sa third round kung pareho kami mananalo sa 1st at 2nd round. Pero gaya ng una ko ng nasabi, (may) 30 percent (ang) chance manalo kay Kamsky, pero lalaban tayo,” said Antonio, who is fresh from an impressive outing in the recently concluded Asian Indoor Games blitz chess competition.

“Sana ipagdasal n’yo po kami,” added the pride of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro Antonio, who is also aiming to break the current Guinness simultaneous chess world record held by Iran’s GM Morteza Mahjoob on January 22 and 23,2010 at the historic Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila as dubbed 1 vs. 600: Pinoy Ironman.

The 12-time national open champion Antonio, sergeant from HSSG in Philippine Army under the baton of Commanding Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, toting an ELO of 2574, will be the underdog against defending champion GM Gata Kamsky of the United States who topped the 2007 edition at the expense of Spanish GM Alexei Shirov.

The former Russia stalwart Kamsky who defected in the United States in 1989 reached a peak rating of 2746 and is the top board player for the United States with an ELO of 2695.

Antonio first met Kamsky in the 2005 HB Global Challenge in Minneapolis, USA. The game, where Antonio employed his pet line caro-kann defense, ended in a draw.

Should Antonio pull an upset this time against Kamsky, he will face the winner between GM Emil Sutovsky of Israel and GM Zhou Weiqi of China in the second round.

Laylo, meanwhile, will test the mettle of GM David Navara of Czech Republic. “[May] 25 percent naman ang chance natin kay Navara,” said Laylo in a recent interview.

It shall be recalled that Antonio first seeing in action in the World Chess Championships in1999 losing to eventual runner-up Armenian GM Vladimir Akopian in their second round matches was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA while the Marikina City native Laylo also bowed in the second round against French GM Etienne Bacrot in the last edition.

Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chief, said he is confident that the three Pinoy pawn pushers will give a good performance.

“Umabot lamang sa fourth round magandang achievement na po ito,” said Pichay.

Top seed GM Boris Gelfand of Israel opens his bid against International Master Andrei Obodchuk of Russia in the knockout matches organized by the World Chess Federation.

The players, most of whom advanced through worldwide qualifiers, will play two games each on Nov. 20 and 21 with the winner gaining the second round on Nov. 24. Tie-breaks, if necessary, will be played on Nov. 23.

The total prize fund is USD $1,600,000

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kramnik wins Tal Memorial, Carlsen is the new number one

He's definitely back. Fans of Vladimir Kramnik should savor this one since Kramnik rarely played serious rated tournaments lately and nothing could be more sweeter than winning the strongest tournament of the year, the 2009 Tal Memorial. His game against Morozevich is a must see and the video of Ivanchuk (video below) wearing a mouth cap in his match against Carlsen is a must watch. Precaution is the best medicine, right? Kramnik was undefeated with three wins and six draws but it seems many are more interested with Carlsen having officially rank no.1 in the world in live rating chart with 2805,5 surpasing Vaselin Topalov just by a hairline with 2805,1. Wondering how far this 18 year old Norwegian phenom could climb in the ratings. 2850? 2860?

After Tal Memorial, all the players who saw action in the event will stay in Moscow for a couple more days to compete in the World Blitz Chess Championship that will take place from November 16-18. Live games with analysis are also available at chessdom

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Manny Pacquiao makes boxing history

Are you experiencing a guilty pleasure like I do? The Philippines may have been unfortunate for having boxing as the country's most revered sport today, but have all the fortune and was blessed for having Manny Pacquiao as it's ambassador of the sport. I always think that if it weren't for Manny's easy going and humble disposition, the sport may in fact do more harm than good to the country. I say Manny's lovable personality just makes up for the violence of the sport this country now represents.

And so there you go Manny Pacquiao, one, if not the all time great; the first boxer in history to win seven division title in seven different weight classes, just defeated the larger and stronger Puerto Rican, Miguel Cotto in one of the most brutal beating ever inflicted by a fighter to his opponent I've seen in years. By the end of the fight, Cotto's face was unrecognizable. If you rarely watched the sport, I doubt if you can stomach it. But it's boxing. It's a different dimension from chess or golf. Nevertheless, by going through hell for 30 minutes, Cotto will take home no more or less than $ 10 million for the fight. And Pacquiao, oh...the guy just earned well, around $20 million and of course the glories and marbles to back it.

Let us set aside chess for a moment. Right now, you are the man Manny!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Filipino kids are some of the luckiest in Asia

Speaking of Filipino youth...

We, the grown up people may still nursing the embarrassment we suffered by failing to send any delegation to the World Youth Chess Championship. But our kids, who are supposed to be in Turkey right now and representing the country at WYCC may not be as devastated as we might think. Here's some interesting result. A recent survey released by Cartoon Network revealed that Filipino youth are one of the luckiest kids in Asia. Lucky for what? Here's an excerpt from Yahoo! Philippines' Rich, middle-class Pinoy kids are 'recession-proof' - survey. Read on...

"Filipino kids are the luckiest in terms of the proportion that receive pocket money...there are no signs of the economic downturn affecting Filipino kids in terms of what's in their pocket.

...Filipino children are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and "recession-proof"...Turner Asia's Research team estimates that 3.7 million Filipino children in the areas surveyed have a grand total income of P12,000 a year each (from pocket and gift money), amounting to a collective amount of P42 billion.


The survey found that Filipino children living in urban areas have more access to technology - especially at home - than in previous years.

Notably, internet usage has grown significantly since 2007, according to Morris.

The survey showed that 6 out of 10 (63%) of children in areas surveyed have used the internet in the past month, with 32% of children having internet access at home. This is a 37% growth in internet usage since 2007.

Further, 47% of children surveyed said they own computers, compared to 42% in previous years. Of the children that use the internet, 76% visit cyberspace at least weekly, while 26% go online daily.

The survey also showed 84% of children have access to mobile phones at home, whether or not they own the unit.

Now that leaves us grown up people to figure out for ourselves how it is to be lucky and happy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Paragua has backed out from simul world record attempt. GM Antonio was recall

As early as yesterday, it is already announced that GM Mark Paragua has just backed out from his attempt of setting a new world simul record this coming December. With good reasons. Mark has been struggling with serious chess lately. The organizers then issued that they need to make another recall from the "Old Guard". Eventually, it is GM Rogelio Antonio who heed the call. Although Paragua, 25, is a lot younger than Antonio who is 47, GM Joey is still one, if not the fittest and physically conditioned chess players the Philippines has up to this day. The said simul record will now be dubbed "1 vs. 600 Pinoy Ironman" (Pinoy is a slang for Filipino) and will take place next year, January 22-23, 2010. The last time I saw GM Joey was at PGMA and Pichay Cup and quickly, you have this impression that the man is indeed is in top physical shape to take up this huge challenge. Flat bellied with well rounded arms to show off. He's in the army, for starters, and makes jogging a regular habit and a certified gym buff. On a personal note, I think Antonio has a better chance of performing better than Mark.

Expect for more updates soon.

Marlon Bernardino reports

...GM Mark Paragua is initially considered to try and break the current Guinness simultaneous chess world record held by Iran’s GM Morteza Mahjoob. But a spate of poor performances in big tournaments from the first Filipino to breach the 2600 mark doubts many if he’s really up to the task.

“We’re no longer talking of personal glory here,” Paragua said in Filipino. “GM Joey will have a better shot to break the record.” Antonio readily accepted the challenge. “My game has been pretty sharp recently. I hope I’ll be up to the task and make our country proud,” said the Sta, Mesa, Manila born Antonio, the pride of Calapan, Oriental, Mindoro.

The twelve time national open champion Antonio mowed a strong field in the blitz team competition of the 3rd Asian Indoor Games last week in Hanoi, Vietnam, posting 8.5 points in nine games while Paragua only came up with a measly 4.0 points.
The former University of Manila standout is also the best Filipino finisher in last month’s PGMA Cup and Pichay Cup.

Antonio, the country’s second ranked player behind GM Wesley So, is the first of three Filipinos to qualify in the World Cup 2009 (FIDE World Chess Championships) slated on Nov. 20 to Dec. 15 in Khanty, Mansiyk, Russia. The other Filipinos to qualify are So and GM Darwin Laylo.

His record breaking attempt will be held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Jan. 22-23, 2010. The event will be dubbed 1 vs. 600: Pinoy Ironman.

Supporting the event organized by Touch of Gold Enterprises is Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), Manila Sports Council (MASCO) Chairman Niño dela Cruz, City of Manila, Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" Tagaysay, g4 chess club and Meralco Chess Club.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

World Youth Chess Championship begins today

One of the most important chess tournament for the youth begins today in Kemer-Antalya, Turkey. The championship will run from November 11 till the 23rd. Chessdom just released the participants to World Youth Chess Championship. This year's WYCC will boast of more than 1500 players from 89 countries. All in all, over 2600 people are expected to arrived in Kemer-Antalya.

As everyone maybe well aware by now, we failed to send any delegation here. Please check our previous post. A discussion is taking place there and feel free to vent all your feelings here. Bear in mind that last year, at the World Youth Chess Olympiad, also in Turkey, the Philippines finished 3rd overall behind perennial powerhouse India and's just so frustrating.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chess Federation of Canada website was hacked!

If you think that all official chess organization website is safe for visiting, better think again. In a recent security advisory by google safebrowsing, the "official" website of Chess Federation of Canada, ( has been reported as an attack site and was officially banned by Google due to safety reasons. The site is no longer available for public viewing on the popular browser. Hackers could possibly be behind this, or not. Not sure. But according to google safebrowsing page, the website has this security problems:

What is the current listing status for

Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.

Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 411 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 24 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-11-07, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-10-28.

Web indeed is such an eerie place to horse around. Browse smart and stay safe everyone.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Video of Mikhail Tal's last days

The strongest chess tournament of the year, the 2009 Tal Memorial is currently being held in Moscow, Russia in honor of former world champion, Mikhail Tal. For starters, GM Eugenio Torre scores a couple of wins against Tal way back in the 70's and 80's. But ever wonder what the great Tal looks like in his latter days? Here's a rare video of him playing blitz game against the youthful Gary Kasparov.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where's our youth?

With financial difficulties that is plaguing the NCFP recently, a non profit organization, and the devastation caused by successive typhoons that crippled the economy, this may probably explain everything why the Philippines won't be sending a delegation for this years World Youth Chess Championship in Turkey that will begin this November 11. But for those who knew well the chess in the country, they know that there must be a deeper reason. There was this commotion between the NCFP and the players who are yet to received their prize fund after the PGMA and Pichay Cup, and then the strange momentarily disappearance or not inclusion of the Philippines in FIDE database (not for technical reasons) and according to an insider, the Philippines supposedly be sending 8, not 4 players in Asian Indoor Games but PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) can only spare 4 tickets to Vietnam. GM Jayson Gonzales and IM Rolando Nolte were originally assigned to look after our Turkey bound youth players but decided to back out to make themselves available for the Asian Indoor Games. They didn't made it, as we know.

So there you have folks. Wesley So skipped the World Junior last October and now we're skipping the most important chess tournament for the youth. I guess we're back on the drawing board again after a minor surge...

I would like to send my deepest appreciation to our readers for notifying us with this development every now and then. Please continue sending us information we may or might have missed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 and Meebo shows off their new feature on their site and that is by adding a live instant messaging program courtesy of Meebo. Meebo also host to many popular online communities like YM, MySpace, AIM and last year, Facebook. As we all know, it is impossible to moderate a live chatter room/box. Hopefully, this live chatter box, which intends to bring friends and people together in the first place won't end up as another quick and easy tool to badmouth and trash talk their opponents during an actual game as we've already experience in many online chess communities.

Wesley So met his fans

A small gatherings between a young icon and avid supporters just happened at Burgoo Restaurant Mall of Asia where fans of GM Wesley So finally got their chance to talk, sign autographs and took pictures of the beloved youthful grandmaster. So received a late birthday gifts from his fans and even conducted a friendly games! The gathering was supposed to take place last Saturday but due to strong typhoon that hits Manila Friday evening, it was moved to a latter date. Fellow chess blogger aka Rusticbull of Chess Window, formerly the Malibay Chess Club has the story and piles of photos as well from the said reunion with Wesley's adoring fans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Filipinos at World Cup and the World Youth Chess Championship

As previously announced by various chess site around the web, the pairings for the 1st round of the World Cup 2009 shows many interesting, promising and even scary match up. But let us focus first on the three Filipino players who qualified for the world cup, the third most in Asia behind India and China. GM Joey Antonio will be facing defending world cup champ and former World Championship contender, GM Gata Kamsky of the USA. One may still remember that it is Gata Kamsky who defeated GM Alexei Shirov in the finals of the world cup two years ago, giving him the right to face GM Vaselin Topalov in a qualifying match to determine who will challenge Anand for the world championship. Topalov of course, as we know now, defeated Kamsky.

GM Darwin Laylo on the other hand will be up against one of the most likable personalities among the top GM in the world today and this chess blogger personal favorite player, GM David Navara of Czech Republic.

GM Wesley So, on his part will have Azerbaijan GM Gadir Guseinov (2667), a player that is still unknown to us. With so many good players coming from Azerbaijan, it is easy to get lost among the crowd even if you have a rating of over 2660. One thing is for sure, though. GM Guseinov is stronger than his rating indicates as he came from a region where chess is a culture and no doubt, will be one, if not the toughest player Wesley will ever face since Corus C.

For the upcoming 2009 WYCC this coming November 11 in Turkey, there will be a rare live blogging on Chessdom and live games also at the same site through chessbomb, will also be provided for selected games. Below is the list of young Filipino contingent being handled by GM Bong Villamayor.

DOCENA JEDARA 1987 U-18 Girls
DATU ALCON JOHN 2188 U-16 Open

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mind Museum soon to rise in 2011!

Photo from the Mind Museum site

Set your mind on this. The futuristic Bonifacio Global City in Taguig will be the site of the first world-class science museum in the Philippines named The Mind Museum, a P1 billion project that will begin its construction this month and is expected to be opened to the public on the 3rd quarter of 2011. This is the first of its kind in the country and I say this may perhaps the most important and wonderful knowledge/art related infrastructure in the Philippines since the construction of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in mid 1970's and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) late in 1960's.

Finally, we will have a true home for science in the city. Can't wait for 2011!

Check out the official site for more details at

Watch this video and see how it all begun and what we can expect from the museum.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wesley So is out of the top 100; The Philippines is (still) rank no. 32

Believe it or not, as competition gets tougher and tougher here and abroad, GM Wesley So is experiencing a minor recession recently. For the first time in nearly a year, Wesley So who just turns 16 last month now finds himself out of the elite top 100 chess players in the world based on FIDE rankings. After reaching his highest peak of 2646 last July, Wesley shed just 6 points but that is enough to topple him out of the top 100, ranking him at no. 102 (active) in the world. To add some consolation, So is still the "youngest" player among the top 102 players and remains the top under 16 in the world today. So still holds in the top 20 junior players, at no.8 from his previous spot at no.7

And yes. The Philippines is no longer invisible and is back in the FIDE list. Despite improving in our individual rankings, the country is still placidly rank no 32 based on the average rating of the top ten players of 2525. Norway, who used to be the Philippines major rivals in the fight for the first to barge in the top 30 spot along other ex-soviet nations like Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Slovenia etc has finally entered the top 30 at no 29. Probably for the first time. Blame it on Magnus Calsen who is now officially the youngest player ever in history to break the 2800 mark.

Behind Wesley So, it is GM Joey Antonio, one of the best performer at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, Team Blitz preliminary event with 8 wins and a draw is the Philippines second best with 2574, followed by GM Darwin Laylo (2552), GM elect Rogelio Barcenilla (2518), GM John Paul Gomez (2507), GM Eugenio Torre (2506), GM Mark Paragua (2497), GM Roland Salvador (2491), GM Joseph Sanchez (2487) and IM Julio Catalino Sadorra (2478), completing Pinoys top 10.

November 2009 (active players)

Top 100 Philippine players
Top countries
Top 100 Players (statistics)
Top 100 Women (statistics)
Top 20 Juniors (statistics)
Top 20 Girls (statistics)