Saturday, February 27, 2010

Far Eastern University Tamaraw does it again.

The streak continues and it goes on and on and on. It is now becoming a tradition. For our part, it is one of those things that one can make up for the lack of skills from playing serious chess but still pretty much involved in the game. Thanks to them. Now I can tell the world that I was once a Tamaraw too and wore green and gold shirts.


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION (NCR) represented by Far Eastern University (FEU) swept the two gold medals at stakes in the chess competitions for men’s and women’s at the conclusion of Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-National Finals chess team tournament yesterday at the Rizal Technological University (RTU) in Mandaluyong City.

The Tamaraw playing under the banner of FEU head coach two-time Olympian GM Jayson Gonzales and assisted by NM Alex Milagrosa, tallied a total 24.5 points to run-away chess title in the men’s competitions.

“I’m proud of my team,” said FEU head coach two-time Olympian GM Jayson Gonzales. “Winning of this tough and prestigious tournament had something to cheer about, but I knew from the very start that we had good chance of taking the championship with the kind of heart and skill the boys have shown in the entire tournament.”

After beating Region 11, 3-1, in the crucial fifth round in Thursday’s afternoon session then subdued Region 4-A, 4-0, in the sixth and penultimate round then nipped Region 9, 3.5-0.5, in the seventh and final round yesterday.

The Tamaraws, who is fresh from a historic four-peat title in the 72nd season UAAP chess team tournament were composed of Lyndon Sombilon, Sheider Nebato, Luffe Magdalaga, Antonio Chavez Jr. and Kevin Mirano.

In the distaff side, the Lady Tamaraws collected a total 21.5 points to secure the coveted title. The Morayta-based school comprises by 2006 Doha Asian games representative WNM Jedara Docena, Rulp Ylem Jose, Jenny Rose Palomo, Ronna Reigner Senora and Lovelyn Medina.

They beat Region 7, 4-0, Region 6, 3-1, and lost to Region 11, 1.5-2.5, in the last three round of the seven round Swiss-system tournament, supervised by tournament director is Limneo Cordero assisted by arbiters Ronnie Tabudlong, Kim Dumdum, Raul Cruz, national masters Erwin Carag and Mauro Yasay.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


ALL IN SPORTS EXPO 2010 is all set to begin tomorrow, February 25-28 in celebration of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) 20th anniversary. According to Global Link MP events, organizers of ALL IN ONE SPORTS, the rapid chess event will be participated, if the players in the list below have already sent their confirmation, by many of the top players in the country which also includes GMs Wesley So,Rogelio Antonio, Bong Villmayor, Darwin Laylo, Mark Paragua, Jayson Gonzales and John Paul Gomez. The rapid chess tournament is a two day competition, starting February 27 to 28, Saturday and Sunday. Please see the complete information below.

After the sports exposition, you may want to go directly to PICC in Roxas Blvd to watch the 2010 World Pyro Olympic. Sunday will showcase the spectacular firework displays from France and Japan. It should be a wonderful experience.

Our deepest appreciation to Ms. Regine Aragon, Marketing Communications Officers of Global-Link MP Events International, Inc. for the kind invitation she extended to us to feature the chess event in ChesHeroes.


There’s a new sport and fitness expo that you would not want to miss. ALL IN SPORTS EXPO 2010 will feature anything and everything in sports. Organized in celebration of the Philippine Sports Commission’s 20th year anniversary, this show is a first of its kind and will be held this February 25-28, 2010 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

“It is indeed a wonderful way to celebrate two decades of being an agency committed to promote and develop amateur sports in the country by having a worthy event which will put together the sports and fitness industry in one special sports exhibition,” said Ambassador Harry Angping, Chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and the brains behind this momentous event in sports history.

Expected to be one action-packed weekend, ALL IN SPORTS EXPO 2010 will be held coinciding the CHED-PRISAA-SCUAA National Games – the biggest sports competition among private and state colleges and universities in the country. The games will showcase young athletes from 17 regions across the Philippine battle it out to become achieve high honors in their respective sports, including judo, badminton, tennis, swimming, athletics, and baseball.

Various National Sports Associations will also unite for this event by holding a series of activities that will promote Philippine sports in a whole new level. Some of the event highlights are an inter-school competition to launch Arnis as a truly authentic national sport; the Metro Manila Open Taekwondo Championships; a chess tournament that will gather the grandmasters of the country; a bodybuilding exhibition; an international dance competition; and a tennis exhibition match to feature the top-ranking players in the sport today.

ALL IN SPORTS EXPO 2010 is bringing the Filipino youth – and the entire nation – back to sports. Be there as all these and more happen. ENTRANCE IS ABSOLUTELY FREE! For more information, contact our Event Partner, Global-Link MP Events International, Inc., at Tel No: 750-8588, Fax No: 750-8585, or email

Aside from that, a national sports exhibition for wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers will give you access to the best and coolest in sports apparel, equipment, gears, accessories, products, services, and more! Avail of huge discounts of up to 70% off on on-site purchases on selected brands including Reebok, Umbro, Vans, and more.


Held under the banner of:



Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Manila

Date: February 27 – 28, 2010



CHAMPION – Php 30,000.00 +Trophy

2nd place – Php 20,000.00 +Trophy

3rd place – Php 10,000.00 +Trophy

4th place – Php 8,000.00 + Medal

5th place – Php 6,000.00 + Medal

6th place – Php 4,000.00 + Medal

7th place – Php 3,000.00 + Medal

8th place – Php 2,000.00 + Medal

9th place – Php 1,500.00 + Medal

10th place – Php 1,000.00 + Medal

Top Non-Master – Php 1,000.00 + Medal

Top Ladies – Php 1,000.00 + Medal

Top Kiddies – Php 1,000.00 + Medal

Top Senior – Php 1,000.00 + Medal






NCFP Office - 381-7224

WILLIE ABALOS - 0929-2390644 / 0929-2266210

ILANN PEREZ - 0905-3269576

PATRICK LEE - 0927-7209260

















Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2010 Chess Olympiad mania begins in Chessdom

2010 Chess Olympiad extravaganza starts early in Chessdom! Still seven months before the start of Khanty Mansiysk Olympiad this coming September 19 and will run till October 4, Chessdom has given us some early updates about the event and promised to feature more news and current development about the Olympiad in a weekly basis.

I believe that there will be major changes in the selection of Philippine team this year. One might still remember that the selection of players to 2008 Dresden Olympiad creates some controversies. Below is excerpts from

The story of the 2010 Chess Olympiad

There were six bidders to host the 2010 Chess Olympiad. Among them were Poznan (bidding for August 2010 in Poland), Riga (14 to 30 May in Latvia), Tallinn (September in Estonia), Budva (October in Serbia and Montenegro), Buenos Aires (November in Argentina), and Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Region-Yugra (September 2010).

The final decision was made at the FIDE general assembly in Turin. Khanty Mansiysk emerged as favourite in the FIDE voting where representatives of 135 countries gathered to decide the host nation for 2010 Olympiad, the biggest team championship in the world.

Here is how the voting proceeded:

Round 1: Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS) – 45 votes, Buenos Aires (ARG) – 39 votes, Budva (SCG) – 36 votes, Riga (LAT) - 13 votes, Poznan (POL) – 12 votes.

Round 2: Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS) – 53 votes, Buenos Aires (ARG ) – 38 votes, Budva (SCG) – 46 votes.

Round 3: Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS) – 71 votes, Budva (SCG) – 64 votes.

Russia has organized the Chess Olympiad three times so far: 1956 (Soviet Union), 1994 and 1998.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Florencio Campomanes on February 15, 1984 termination match

In this video interview, FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes talks about his decisions on the controversial termination of 1984 Garry Kasparov-Anatoly Karpov FIDE World Chess Championship. Campomanes cited the health of both players particularly Karpov who was advised by his doctors not to continue playing as Karpov had already lost 23 pounds and was being hospitalized several times during the course of their match. As we know, the match was abandoned without a result.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chess wizards puts JK Rowling to a billion-dollar lawsuit case.

I guess that never in JK Rowling wildest dreams that a casual chess scenario where wizards playing chess games on trains she depicted in her book Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would lead to a billion-dollar plagiarism lawsuit case. According to the accusers, the plagiarism allegation concerned the story plot rather than the words which was "stolen" from a British author's book called The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Rowling denied the allegation saying she never heard of the book or the author. I always believe that there are two kinds of plagiarism. The intentional and the unintentional. But the intentional is most abound, of course. I don't know in which case JK Rowling is in.

"These were Pullman-like trains made of see-through platinum, and inside the trains were chess rooms. Willie was handicapped 18. There were Wizard Chess Masters who were virtually unbeatable. Willie had made a daring move. He didn’t want to watch his opponent’s response and his mind wandered at the moment that Angel Sandy had tapped violently on the train window."

Detailed stories from

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jennifer Shahade winter chess game

USCF chess blogger, Jennifer Shahade is looking for a Snow Chess opponent in the ongoing chess winter games. If you are up to the challenge, you know where you can contact her.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Remembering Paulino Alcantara of FC Barcelona: First Asian to play for a European football club.

February 13 2010 we honor his 46 death anniversary. Photo from wikipedia

Being a non football country, this may come as a big surprise to many. The first Asian player to play for a European football club was not a Japanese, not a Korean nor a Chinese. He's Paulino Alcantara from Iloilo City and he's a Pinoy. And marked this one out too. He's not just your casual player who had a short stint there and sent immediately back home. He's a dominant player and even ended up as a football club director and coach in Spain after his retirement from playing. February 13, 2010 marks the 46th death anniversary of this great Filipino athlete and his name deserves a place in thinly occupied pantheon of Filipino sports heroes. Below is an excerpt from wikipedia. A must read for all Filipino sports fans.

He made his debut at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 18 days old on February 25, 1912 against Catalá SC in the Campionat de Catalunya (Catalan football championship) and FC Barcelona won 9-0 and Alcántara scored the first three goals of the game. He was nicknamed "el rompe redes" (the net breaker) due to his scoring ability. Among his team mates during his time at the club were Francisco Bru Sanz, Jack Greenwell and Romà Forns. He went on to help the club win a Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) and Campionat de Catalunya in 1913 and a Campionat de Catalunya in 1916.

In 1916 Alcántara return to the Philippines and played for the Bohemian Sporting Club. He was selected by the Philippine national football team in 1917 and represented his country at the Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo, helping them defeat Japan 15-2, which became the Philippines' highest win in international football. Meanwhile, FC Barcelona had failed to win a championship title in his absence.

After returning to FC Barcelona, his former team mate and coach, Jack Greenwell experimented with Alcántara as a defender, but failed to achieve success on that position, which saw him return to the forward line and in 1919, he helped the club win another Campionat de Catalunya. The club also reached the Copa del Rey final but lost 5-2 to Arenas Club de Getxo. In 1920 the club won another Copa del Rey and the Campionat de Catalunya with Alcántara scoring in the 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa final. The FC Barcelona team included Sagibarba, who formed a partnership with Alcántara as well as Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier and Félix Sesúmaga. This marked the beginning of the club’s first golden era and saw them dominate both the Campionat de Catalunya and Copa del Rey tournament. Alcántara scored twice in the 1922 Copa final where FC Barcelona defeated Real Unión 5-1 and scored the winning goal in the 3-2 win over Atlético Madrid in the 1926 final.

In 1915 Alcántara made his debut with Catalonia and in 1924 he played at least 6 games and scored at least 4 goals for the team, as well as representing the Philippines and Spain in international level. In 1920 Alcántara, along with Zamora, Samitier and Sesúmaga, was selected to represent Spain at the Olympic Games. However, Alcántara chose to stay at home to take his final medical exams. He eventually made his debut for Spain on October 7, 1921 at the age of 25 against Belgium and scored both goals in a 2-0 win. He made 5 appearances and scored 6 goals for Spain between 1921 and 1923.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aeroflot 2010 round 5: Twin Celebration

Better start preparing your fire crackers and roses tonight (and those freebies that comes with it) you loyal Wesley So fans as we celebrate the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day on this very same day. Not only you have to celebrate Wesley's round 5 victory in Aeroflot against Armenian grandmaster, Hrant Melkumyam, his first back to back wins in the tournament and putting him just half a point behind the leaders, the news that appeared on various chess sites and blogs that So is also set to participate in this years edition of Rising Star vs. Experience sometime in August is also another one reason to celebrate. That makes two celebration!

We saw two Vietnamese co-leaders paired in round 5 but are just too friendly with each other to lock their horns. It's very obvious that these two will not ruin their momentum by giving each other a defeat and a bitter taste in their mouth for many days to come. A quick and uneventful 14 move draw is quite expected. And for Wesley So not to sense this and not to take advantage of this puts So directly in the list of prodigy who is in desperate need for a coach. Fortunately for So, he's smart enough not to pass this opportunity to get back into contention and scores a very convincing victory against the confused Melkumyan.
So is now tied from 5th to 11th place with 4 more rounds to play. So will ba facing another Armenian in round 6. GM Arman Pashikian (2647). Though still a junior, So has the experience to surprise everyone. As mentioned, Aeroflot was notable for the balance of participants competing here. This is one of the super tournament that anybody has a good chance of winning. Aeroflot is highly unpredictable which makes this event a truly special. Forget the six man Linares at this moment. We have Aeroflot at hand.

From your's truly, a prosperous Chinese New Year and happy, intelligent Valentines Day to everyone!

For complete details, standings, results, games, PGN, pairings, please visit Aeroflot 2010 official website.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Aeroflot 2010 round 4: Wesley So struck back with a win; Laylo stops the bleeding with a draw

When So lost to Truoc Son in round 3, many thought he would dash into his computer, log in to his Facebook account and whine at everyone wishing the tournament is over, a thing he did after loosing to Anish Giri in round 10 0f Corus B. But no. Not this time. Wesley So stops from being a boy who accidentally dropped a cornetto ice cream and struck back (striking my palm here with my fist for greater effect) immediately with round 4 win against Alexandr Rachmanov of Russia. The early part of the middle game look's fine for Wesley but not so comfortable but just as good as he is, found a quick way to open up the board on his way to victory. The win puts So with 2.5 points, just a full point behind the two astounding Vietnamese players, Quang Liem and Truong Son, two surprise leaders who has 3.5/4.0. So is currently tied from 9th-33rd place. Got to keep an eye with these two. They're knocking out the favorites of the tournament one by one.

GM Darwin Laylo somehow managed to find a safe place to dressed his wounds and that was courtesy of IM Alexander Danin of Russia whom he settled for a draw. It would be quite interesting to follow on how Laylo could pull himself out of this as he's still being pressed downwards in the ranking board at no. 79 out of 80 participants.

For complete details, standings, results, games, PGN and pairings, please visit Aeroflot 2010 official website.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aeroflot 2010 round 2: Wesley So delivers

After sharing the point with Iranian GM Ghaem Maghami in the first round with a quiet 25 move draw, GM Wesley So employs some tricks in his round two game against GM Dimitry Bocharov of Russia to gain a victory. After the mistake committed by Bocharov in his 29th move, one has to admit that the ensuing moves discovered by So to win a piece produced an element of surprise to his opponent. Things like you're expecting your enemy in the front door, grinning, when suddenly he just came tumbling down the roof. Just think So's lost to Giri in Corus.

GM Darwin Laylo on the other hand is struggling real bad. Laylo suffered his two consecutive defeats and we know how highly affecting a bad start in such a big event. Laylo could only hope a fair finished at this point.

So's round 3 opponenet is no other than another South East Asian rival, GM Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.

Aeroflot 2010 official website

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5th Backdoor Venture Art and Music Festival

One of the most important Art and Musical event in the Metro just happened last February 5-7 at SM Megamall, 5th floor, Mega B. The 5th Backdoor Venture Art and Music Festivals. Workshops, demo, costume play and of course lots of musical and dance presentation.

I somehow managed to take some pictures as a breather. Kind of missing the life outside chess lately. Ah yes, I say there is more to life than chess blogging :)

Don't fly away. Stay with me.

"Let's fly north then." "No, let's go south"




Probably, the last thing you want to find yourself is sitting just a few feet away in front of a fat, old woman, grinding to the sound of traditional tune. But hey, I say, I got the best seat in the house!

Nobody, nobody but you...

It takes two to tango? Not necessarily.

Magic light ball

Monday, February 8, 2010

With DepEd out of the picture for 2010, CHEd takes over (hurray!)

If my memory serves me right, (if there's any in the past, please do remind us) there's really no record that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) staged a project for the development and promotion of chess in both public and private schools in the country. Hurray! to that. They're finally getting involved in chess. With the 2010 election just around the corner, the Department of Education (DepEd) is most probably will be out of the picture for the rest of the year. In fact, DepEd has not been too keen lately to undertake the project of the NCFP has been putting on the table. So who else NCFP should turn to for help? No other than CHEd. Can the Commission on Higher Education take over the responsibility the DepEd left out and emerges as the unlikely savior? We'll see. But one thing we know for sure is that CHEd is somehow, someway, a much better educational sector than DepEd since it also covers both the public and the private sectors. And oh, by the way, for starters. Here's a brief background in case you're not familiar with CHEd, who is just established 15 years ago:

Pursuant to RA 7722, the CHED is mandated to undertake the following tasks:

  • Promote quality education
  • Take appropriate steps to ensure that education shall be accessible to all
  • Ensure and protect academic freedom for the continuing intellectual growth, the advancement of learning and research, the development of responsible and effective leadership, the education of high level professionals, and the enrichment of historical and cultural heritage.

Organizational Structure
The Commission en banc acts as a collegial body in formulating plans, policies and strategies relating to higher education and the operation of the CHED. It is composed of five full-time members, the chairman and four commissioners, each having a term of office of four years.

Below is from the report of Marlon Bernardino:


THE Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) National Capital Region (NCR) chess tournament gets underway today, Tuesday with National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/ chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. and Asia’s First Grandmaster Eugene Torre gracing the opening ceremonies at the Manila Business College in Alvarez St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Torre and Pichay, also the chairman of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), will give their inspirational message to the participants of the two-day affair which ends on Wednesday.

“This is the first time that the Private Schools Athletic Association, State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association and Local Universities and Colleges join hands to hold this big sports event,” said CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles.

Champion from different collegiate school will eyeing for the slot to represent the National Capital Region in the finals set this year.

Among the invited teams are Far Eastern University (UAAP), Colegio San Juan de Letran (NCAA), Rizal Technological University (SCUAA-NCR), New Era University (LCAA) and Asia Pacific College (LCAA). MARLON BERNARDINO.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Classic video of Mikhail Tal blindfold chess

Lately, I'm browsing youtube for any chess related videos of interest and worth sharing with everyone when suddenly, I came upon with this classic video of a blindfold simul done by former world champion Mikhail Tal against ten opponents. The audio is in Russian, I presume but the ever so cocky that was Tal is so evident in this one. Puffing cigarettes, leaning sideways on his chair, and the way he speaks during the interview, all speaks for itself the super ego of this man possessed. Nevertheless, after the games, he warmly acknowledged everyone's applause and shook the hands of his opponents with a genuine smile and a nod. We weren't so sure though on what's the result of the simul but it looks like it's a sweep.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anish Giri And Mikahil Botvinnik

This time, let us give way and give special attention to Dutch chess writers. They deserve it anyway. Chess world just found a new star, and he is a Dutch. Wesley So fans among other chess prodigy loyal followers may call the "comparison" (because I'm pretty sure this will mislead many) a bit too early and a bit premature. But not long time ago, didn't many too made a comparison (the real one) between Wesley So and Bobby Fischer? But I guess, the Dutch people also deserves to make a "comparison" of their own too. How bout hearing that the newly crowned Corus B champ, Anish Giri, is now being "compared" (again the misleading notion that will surely arise) to no other than the great Mikhail Botvinik himself? But in fairness to Hans Ree, he has a point. Giri could be the next Botvinnik of his generation. Wesley So the next Bobby Fischer? Sounds remote but not impossible though. But sounds cute to me just the same :)

But we relish the success of our fifteen year-old Dutch champion Anish Giri in Group B. We cannot call him a product of the Dutch school of chess, as he was born in St. Petersburg and has lived only a few years in the Netherlands, but at least we can say that he has flourished on Dutch soil.

One of the positions studied by Botvinnik when he prepared for the match of 1958, is the one that occurred after Black's tenth move in the game Harikrishna-Giri. As we can see in his notebook, Botvinnik's intention had been to play 11.e3 followed by 12.e4. These are good moves, but what Giri did against Harikrishna, the immediate 11.e4, was much stronger.

When I saw that game I thought that Giri's opening preparation had been better than Botvinnik's, of course not because he was the better player, but because he could use the engines.

But I was wrong. Later Giri said that he had never prepared for this sideline of the Slav and that he had seen at the board that 11.e4 was winning. So it had not been Fritz or Rybka that had been superior to Botvinnik's preparation, but just some minutes of thinking at the board by Giri.

Had the position occurred in Botvinnik's match, I would like to think that he would also have improved on his preparation. A Dutch writer once said that five minutes typing would provide more ideas than hours of thinking, and so it is with chess. At the board we are in a pressure cooker, much more alert than during our preparations.

Continue reading from columnist Hans Ree "Dutch Treat"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Corus Chess 2010: Anish Giri wins B Group, So settles tie for 4th-5th, heading for Moscow

GM Wesley So settled for a draw in the 13th and final round of Corus Chess 2010 B Group against WGM Anna Muzychuk to finished the tournament tied for 4th-5th place with Dutch GM l'Ami with over all score of 7 1/2 points out of possible thirteen. Wesley So posted a total of three wins, nine draws and a loss. 15 year old GM Anish Giri who provides So's lone defeat in the tournament run away with the title by garnering a total of 9/13 points to win his first ever major tournament, a category 16 group. By virtue of his victory in the B Group, GM Anish Giri gets an outright promotion to A Group next year. The Corus Chess in an "invite" only tournament so the chances of Wesley So, because of the huge followers that he has, might get invited in the A Group next year, providing that he further improve his over all performance this year, of course.

After Corus, GM Wesley So is expected to participate in the 2010 Aeroflot Open in Moscow set February 9 and according to source, GM Rogelio Antonio and Gm Darwin Laylo are also set to join So in Moscow. One may still remember that So was the top junior performer there at A1 group.

The A group, as everyone know by now, was secured by no other than the oh, so young but oh, so much have accomplished, Norwegian phenom, Magnus Carlsen, half a point ahead of seasoned veterans, Vladimir Kramnik and Alexei Shirov. Not many 19 year old kid, perhaps in the history of chess have achieve what Carlsen have accomplished.

The C group, considered to be the minor league of the event, once again, fell to the hands of an Asian. Li Chao, the 2008 Prospero Pichay Cup champ dominates the group. He garnered a total of 10/13 with eight wins, four draws, with just one defeat.

Regular Wesley So live commentator for Chessdom, GM Bong Villamayor wasn't able to make it on time to do the live commentary of So-Muzychuk game for some valid reasons. Nevertheless, the Corus B is truly a wonderful experience for many Wesley So followers everywhere especially with Filipino chess fans as for the first time, they had the experience and rare opportunities to interact, discussed and exchange of ideas in real time with a chess grandmaster and masters in incognitos at live chatter box provided by Chessbomb.

We'll see you all in Moscow!

Replay the game So-Muzychuk with IM with Miodrag Perunovic commentaries.

For complete details, results, final standings, photos and videos, please visit Corus Chess 2010 official website.