Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GM Buenaventura Villamayor exhibition simul games

Last Saturday, January 23 2010, GM Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor conducted a 28 board, exhibition simultaneous games held at Meralco basement canteen in Ortigas, Pasig City. The simul was composed with the participation of mostly elementary and highschool casual and varsity students and some of the top players from RP Paralympic team. After nearly four hours of playing and showing no sign of exhaustion from the previous night he had of commenting the game of Wesley So at, GM Buenaventura ended the exhibition games in quite a fashion by sweeping all his 28 boards clean.

The said event performed by GM Buenaventura was the fifth wave in a series of charity related simul games done by Filipino GMs organized by Meralco Chess Club and its current president, Rolly Sol Cruz. GM Rogelio Antonio, GM Eugenio Torre, GM Mark Paragua and GM Jayson Gonzales also conducted their own charity simul games last year for the funding of RP Paralympic teams participation in international competitions as well as purchasing new materials like pre-made chess pieces and boards designed specifically for blind chess players.

The late lunch we shared with GM Buenaventura after the simul was one of the most informative and engaging conversation I had about the general status of chess in the Philippines and the possible future of GM Wesley So in his chess career as a professional. One can easily notice that GM Bong is a gifted conversationalist as well.

Armed only with a bottle of energy drink

GM Bong against Rudy Sarmiento, one of the blind player gold medalist from RP Paralympic team

One by one they are resigning with their parents closely following every move of their children

I played against a grandmaster and put up a good fight!

Signing autographs and sharing contact information with chess clubs officials after the games.


rjsolcruz said...

the para player in photo is rudy sarmiento. he is totally blind and uses the special chess set. but i saw him play ala blindfold before; no special set to touch to. great talent.

Des Catolos said...

oh tanks! pls remind/correct us about something we might/have missed.

Anonymous said...

Villamayor has always been overrated. It's like Mayweather taking on all mismatched opponents.
Wesley is good but so over-hyped courtesy of a lot of his blind followers. He's no Pacquiao and he'll never be.
Joey and Mark are still the best !

Tony said...


I was surprised at chessbomb when a fan asked the question on the arrangements with chessdom and GM Bong adviced its purely voluntary on his part, as part of his contribution to Philippine chess community.

That certainly deserves a kudos!!
And recognition!

rjsolcruz said...

re: over-rated

gm bong villamayor obliged to do this simul, the first in more than a decade, for the benefit of the blind players of the paralympics team and the young players from public school. i am sure that he just want to share his chess talent to these less fortunate group. and so as gm joey when he started this series of fund-raising simul last aug and gm mark who did the nov and dec episode.

there is no competition at stake here and nobody is claiming to be the best. this was done in a pure spirit of brotherhood, of lending a helping hand, of being your brother's keeper, of being a follower of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Villamayor is indeed overrated.
I think he came to that point after he became GM in 2000. He pursued a different track to the detriment of his play.
He has been since 2004 after he left the Philippines for Singapore.
As far as I am concerned, you don't measure a chess player's achievements by his games or his victories.
It is in one's contribution to the chess world as a whole that is more redeeming.
How one interacts in the development of this discipline makes more of value than just playing and getting results.

It's just too bad the Philippines is plagued by too much politics, bureaucracy and a national federation that has no sound developmental program.
Its current shining star, Wesley So, can only glitter for a while. And it will take a long while before it finds another like him.