Monday, May 31, 2010

Battle of Grandmasters III R6: So wins by default against Antonio!

There's something fishy going on here. This is exactly what we're talking about regarding our previous post about the Angpin Chess Cup. GM Antonio, after winning the Angpin Cup in Pasig City (more or less two hours drive to Tagaytay where the Battle of GMs is taking place) just forfeited his game against Wesley So and losses by default in round 6.

Antonio, according to a report by Roy Luarca for, apparently asked his game against So to be postponed because on what Antonio claim that he is feeling tired after winning the Angpin Cup.

Though Antonio appeared at the venue, he requested that his game with So be postponed as he wasn’t feeling well after ruling the two-day Philippine Sports Commission Chair Harry Angping Cup that ended Sunday.

Tournament director Willie Abalos, however, did not accede to Antonio’s request and declared him loser by forfeiture, citing a ruling that a player must appear on the board at the time of the match.

With the forfeiture, the second-seeded Antonio got stuck at 4.0 points and must score on each of the remaining five rounds to stay on track of repeating his runner-up finish to So in last year’s edition held in Dapitan City.

We understand GM Antonio's reasoning that he's tired but everyone is tired as well. Again, we're questioning the insertion of the Angpin Cup that coincides with the schedule of the Battle of GMs III. We're not against this tournament in honor of honorable PSC Chairman Harry Angpin but why interrupt the Battle of GMs just to sneak in the Angpin Cup? Can't they just do this right after the Battle of GMs instead? Now we see the complication it's creating.

Important links:

Round 6 and round 7 results

Standings after 7 rounds

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Angpin Chess Cup: Antonio, Medina, Camacho victorious

Many maybe wondering why the ongoing Battle of Grandmasters III is suddenly put to a halt for a couple of days. Well, this finally explain everything. To give way to the the Angpin Chess Cup that was held last Friday and Saturday in Pasig City. It's quite an odd thing that an ongoing major tournament like the Battle of GMs should be temporarily step aside to sneak in another tournament and allow the players that is currently competing in the Battle of GMs to jump across the street to participate in the Angpin Cup. I'm not saying it's not good (the Angpin Cup is actually good!) but it just not quite ordinary because it lessen the importance of the Battle of GMs by interrupting it. One thing more, you see GM John Paul Gomez is currently leading the Battle of GMs but finished the Angpin cup tied at 10th place in the standings with 6 other players. Odd really.

Our condolence by the way goes to the family of GM Jayson Gonzales. Jayson Gonzales elder brother, Ruben Gonzales just passed away on Thursday at age 47 due to cardiac arrest. GM Jayson Gonzales just pull out from participating in the Battle of GMs for obvious reasons.

Report by Marlon Bernardino

Final Standings:
(Open, 150 player's field)
8 points---GM Rogelio Antonio Jr.
7.5 points---GM Wesley So, IM Rolando Nolte, NM Alex Milagrosa
7 points---FM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, IM Emmanuel Senador, FM Haridas Pascua, FM David Elorta, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra
6.5 points---GM John Paul Gomez, GM Darwin Laylo, NM Alcon John Datu, FM Jony Habla, IM Oliver Dimakiling, Narquingden Reyes, Rhobel Legaspi
(Kiddies, 78 player's field)
8 points---Vince Angelo Medina
7 points---Melwyn Kenneth Baltazar, Felipe Magdalaga, Paulo Bersamina
6.5 points---Giovanni Mejia, Carlo Caranyagan, Christian Nanola, Dante Leonardo Verano
(Women, 49 player's field)
7.5 points---WNM Chardine Cheradee Camacho
7 points---WNM Aices Salvador
6.5 points---WFM Shercila Cua, WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, WNM Christy Lamiel Bernales

GRANDMASTER (GM) Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Vince Angelo Medina and WNM Chardine Cheradee Camacho emerged winners in Saturday’s first PSC chairman Harry Angping Cup rapid chess championships at the Philsports Arena (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.

The twelve-time RP Open champion Antonio, a sergeant at the HSSG of the Philippine Army under Commanding General Lieutenant General Reynaldo Mapagu, defeated US-based IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, to captured the Open division title and the top purse of P50,000 in the two-day event (Friday and Saturday) hosted by PSC chairman Harry Angping and organized by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. "

And I'm sure we can discover more Wesley So in the near future in this kind of event," said Pichay.

NCFP executive/events director Willie Abalos acts as the Project Director. A total of 277 woodpushers seeing in action in three division event, 150 players in the Open section, 78 players in the kiddies section and 49 players in the Womens section.

The Former University of Manila (UM) standout Antonio, the reigning ASEAN blitz champion , toppled Nhatz Loyaga, Samson Lim Jr., Christian Arroyo, Conrado Diaz, FM David Elorta, FM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, respectively.

He settled for a truce with top seed GM Wesley So in the seventh and GM John Paul Gomez in the eight round before beating Sadorra in the ninth and final round to finish 8 points in nine games of play.

So, meantime defeated FM Garcia in the final round to finish second to fourth placers that includes IM Rolando Nolte and NM Alex Milagrosa after tallying 7.5 points apiece. Garcia was stuck at 7 points and dropped into a tie for 5th to 9th placers in the company of IM Emmanuel Senador, Pascua, Elorta and Sadorra.

Meanwhile, Vince Angelo Medina took the kiddies title after settling a draw with Felipe Magdalaga. Medina, member of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Chess Team scored 8 points, full point ahead over Melwyn Kenneth Baltazar, Magdalaga and newly-installed youngest RP junior boys champion Paulo Bersamina who tote 7 points each.
The young Baltazar, son of national arbiter Ernie Baltazar dealt Christian Nanola while Bersamina trounced Vincent Fuerte.

WNM Chardine Cheradee Camacho , on the other hand, ruled the Women's division. She beat WFM Shercila Cua in the final canto for her 7.5 points.
Aices Salvador, who is fresh from winning the RP junior girls crown, bested fellow WNM Jedara Docena to wound up solo second place with 7 points.

High-level Conspiracy, why did they do it?

In a recent article from Dutch Treat, Hans Ree amplify the past news regarding the people who "voluntarily" offer their help to assist Anand in his preparation against Topalov. We're not talking about the composition of his team and seconds but those of former and current rival in chess who allies themselves to Team Anand for one common goal. Make sure that Topalov will never be a world champion. Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen. Two former world champion and a possible future world champ. Each has his own contribution (and bad intention?) and had Anand lose the match to Topalov, it would be a great shame really. Most interesting is the communication between Kasparov and Anand through Skype and yes, Vishy reveals in a interview by Chessbase that he and Garry were exchanging emoticons too!

So why did they do it? Isn't the chess world being too hard against Topalov and Danailov? Hans Ree has these takes:

One can well imagine Kramnik being so angry at Topalov and his manager Danailov that he gladly offered his services to Anand. But Kasparov and Carlsen, why did they get involved? One can only speculate that they feared a reign of terror of the Topalov-Danailov tandem with more toiletgates or other tricks if Topalov became world champion.

With such an over-kill of high-class manpower in the fight against Topalov, one would almost pity him.

Topalov could very well understand Kramnik's assistance but it's a real blow seeing Kasparov and Carlsen siding with Anand who expects nothing in return. And yes, that really hurts!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Battle of Grandmasters III R3: So, Gomez shares lead

Never mind that the Battle of GMs III is not as star studded as the previous editions without the participation of other Filipino veteran GMs like GM Bong Villamayor who returned to Singapore, GM Mark Paragua is currently campaigning in the US and GM Eugene Torre who appears to be already semi retire from playing serious chess and has engaged with other commitments outside chess. Wesley So is competing and as long as he is winning, local chess fans is still on it.

So after three rounds, it's three for tree for So and is currently sharing the top spot with GM John Paul Gomez. In the first round, So defeated the come backing IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, FM Haridas Pascua in the second round and FM Jan Emmanuel Garcia in the third. GM John Paul Gomez defeated IM Oliver Dimakiling in the first round and downed GM elect Ronald Dableo in the second.

By the way there's also a Women's section at the Battle of GMs. But the moment we got enough information from our friends, we will update them here. Mikee Suede is currently leading the section.

Important links:

Round 3 results

Rankings after 3 rounds

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paulo Bersamina became the youngest ever junior chess champ of the Philippines

Current Philippine under 12 champ Paulo Bersamina re-established his status as one of the best junior player in the country by winning the 2010 Shell National Juniors Chess Championship at the Gaisano Grand Citimall in Davao City on Monday. Adding to the victory, the 12 year old Bersamina, a product of Meralco Chess Club also became the youngest junior champ in the history of Philippine chess.

I always have a good personal relationship with Paulo and his very supportive parents and I'm happy for them. Again, congratulation to the Bersamina!

Thanks to NM Marlon Bernardino for the info and the list of the final rankings.

Final Standings/ Rankings:
(Boys, 80 player's field)
7 points---Paulo Bersamina, Joey Albert Florendo
6.5 points---Richilieu Salcedo, Nelson Mariano III, Patrick Erle Florendo,Michael Joseph Pagaran,Jay Bulicatin, Mc Dominique Lagula
6 points---Jerwell Andoy, Yves Christian Fiel, Franz Robert Grafil, John Ray Batucan, Neptali Batucan III

Friday, May 21, 2010

1st Florencio Campomanes Memorial Tournament

Now how about this one? It may not be a major tournament to get the full attention of the whole chess community but it looks like the Turks just got ahead of us Filipinos to posthumously honoring the late FIDE Honorary president Florencio Campomanes. I hope someday we can also duplicate such an event by adding a major annual international tournament like the Pichay Cup or Philippine Open in memory of the most influential chess personality in the history of Philippine chess? I don't like the idea of changing the Pichay Cup or the Philippine Open to Campo's memorial actually. Let them be. Or perhaps, it is already in the work but in secrecy just for the sake of element of surprise? It's a shame if such thing won't happen in Campo's own home land. Our friends over there at chessdom first brought this event to our attention and has some details of the ongoing tournament:

The first Florencio Campomanes memorial is currently taking place in Turkey.

Originally named Angora Chess Tournament, the event changed its name upon learning about the passing away of the Honorary FIDE President Florencio Campomanes.

The event is taking place May 17th - May 22nd. Top seeded in the main section is GM Azer Mirzoev, who is joined by IM Ivan Marinkovic, GM Petar Genov, WGM Zoya Schleining, and WIM Lyubka Genova.

The female group consists of FM Ali Marandi Cemil Can, WIM Kubra Ozturk, Demre Kerigan, Engin Topak, and Batuhan Dastan.

After 8 rounds GM Petar Genov is leading with 6,5/8. In the female section first is Topak Engin with 4,5/8.

More information on the official website

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chess and Pornography anyone?

You may never heard or aware about it but there's actually a chess video game that associate with, well, sex! The Closet Grandmaster blog first brought this info to our attention as he recently shared this post link regarding the release of the latest version of Lovechess from Artmunk Games.

I'm not recommending the games and the site for viewing with the minors of course as the site contains highly (and brutally) sexually explicit graphics. I'm not going to post link the site here either but if you are craving for more and already aroused, you can peep through the keyhole door at Mr Rosarios chess blog and follow the link he provided.

I was thinking that if there's going to be a an exhibition rapid games between a mature 2500+ GM (using Lovechess) and a mere 2000+ child prodigy (using traditional chess board), I will bet for the kid to beat the GM.


The game takes place in a post-war environment where the remaining humans try to survive in clans, these clans are gender based and the only way to have sex is to have a good fighting first! Modern weaponry is absent, so the clans took up the “martial arts” to defend themselves.

Besides the visual side of things we also implemented a new "sex" system, this time you can guide your "pieces" while they have sex and let them reach an orgasm if you play correctly. A good fight should have a proper reward after all!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Battle of Asian Grandmasters 2010

An announcement was made yesterday signaling the start of many tournaments scheduled for the months of May and June. If everything goes smoothly as planned and no last minute cancellation took place as what happens with the Battle of GMs last March, we will see two major and interesting chess event before June ends. First stop, we will have the local version of "Linares" chess tournament, the Battle of Grandmasters, 25 May - 2 June in Tagaytay City. And the first ever of it's kind to be staged in the country, the Battle of Asian Grandmasters in San Pablo, Zambales where P1 million is at stake. The Battle of Grandmasters was originally scheduled last March 23 in Ermita, Manila but problem with venue consequently put off the event. There is no immediate report on who will be the foreign participant in the Battle of Asian Grandmasters but let the hype begin. Full report from and

Culminating the five-prong program, accordring to NCFP executive director Willie Abalos, is the P1 million Asian Battle of Grandmasters that will feature the 12 finest woodpushers from China, India, Iran, Vietnam Uzbekistan Kazakhstan and the Philippines.

Abalos announced during yesterday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura that Chess Olympiad-bound Grandmasters Wesley So, Joey Antonio, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre have been seeded to represent the country in the series to be held June 20-30 at the Punta de Uiyan Resort in San Antonio, Zambales.
Two more local GMs will join Torre and company in the Asian Battle of GMs , which Abalos added, will be part of the RP team’s preparedness program for the Chess Olympiad later this year in Austria.

Preceding this prestigious series is the Battle of Filipino GMs set May 25 to June 2 in Tagaytay City where all world-rated local chess players will see action.

...All these tournaments will be dedicated to the memory of lifetime FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes,” Abalos said in reference to the four-time Filipino International Chess Federation president, who joined his Creator two weeks ago in Baguio City.

“Campo, you see, told us members of the NCFP board shortly before his death to continue our program of developing more Filipino GMs to sustain what he had started while still the head of the former National Chess Federation and FIDE,” Abalos said.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anand, a true chess hero

He came, he saw, he conquered. Anand is simply a true conquering sports hero of our time. Not even the volcanic ash from Iceland and the 40 hour drive could shaken the hearts of Anand and his team. He leads them to the front and conquer Topalov in his own home turf. No one can question that it was a double effort for Anand to beat Topalov. He's just that great.

India is hungry for sports heroes. There's not much great sportsman coming from India lately, a billion over strong population but doing poorly in international athletic meets. In a country hungry for sports hero, it won't came a surprise at all if Anand is the most popular sports figure in India at the moment. The first lady of chess, Aruna Anand in an interview for, retells some of the "misadventures" they've gone through all the way to Sofia. Chessbase has some good collection of article and crisp quality video to start with.

One of the things Anand is always criticised about is the lack of mental toughness and I think he has given a fitting reply. Playing in your opponent's home turf against everyone's advice, embarking on a 40 hour road journey which I think no world champion would have ever done in recent times and most importantly holding onto his nerves and game in the 12th game.

He played a wonderful game and hats off to him! Up to the first half the dynamics were loaded in favour of Anand and then they switched to Topalov but Anand rose to every kind of challenge, kept his nerves in check and kept fighting at all levels.

Volcano worry
The volcano (Volcanic Ash from Iceland) did shake our entire schedule, so unusual and felt so helpless. Bringing Anand and all the boys by bus was a tough challenge. It was difficult to talk over the phone through the entire 40 hours as every conversation could be listened by everyone. And after reaching Sofia, even a little bit of empathy from the organisers would have made us feel better but we had to fight even for a postponement. At every stage I was feeling that the dice was heavily loaded against us. We however kept Anand out of everything and saw to it the atmosphere was conducive for him to play good chess.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anand Topalov WCC 12th round

12th and final round of the classical games. Just as predicted by many that this championship could go down the stretch, we may even see a tie break match here although it is Topalov who will be handling the white pieces. Going into the last round, both scored 5.5 - 5.5, with two wins for both players. Anand's team would be more than happy if Anand hold on to a draw as the tiebreak matches, which they believe, would be favorable for the current champ. According to

The tiebreaker consists of four rapid games of 25 minutes each and if that set is also drawn, a blitz game will decide the match. In both cases Anand would be the favourite not only based on his reputation but his head-to-head record against Topalov in these formats.

Topalov will certainly press for a win, like Anand did in the penultimate game on Sunday. However, the last two games would have given Anand's confidence a boost because with black in Game 10, he played doggedly, throwing the once-bitten Grunfeld back at Topalov...Topalov would like to close the match in regular play because he wouldn't want his opponent to call the shots in the rapid tie-breaker.

So do we expect an all out assault from Topalov? We will see tonight.

Chessdom will have a special live guest commentary for the final round and it will be no other than current Women's World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Frank Pestaño tribute to Campomanes

More tribute for the late FIDE honorary president Florencio Campomanes. From Frank Pestaño blog, Chessmoso but originally published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 7, 2010. I wasn't aware that Campo was good in playing poker as well and loves pizza. That's a revelation.

Very few of the young players today are aware of his contributions to chess but he helped place the Philippines in the world chess map.

He liked the pizza there and said that you could not find that concoction anywhere in the world. That meant a lot as he has probably visited more than 100 countries during his lifetime.

He never gave me any hint that he was suffering from cancer. After a few chess games, we broke up and discussed the possibility of playing poker. We played before and I can say that he was a good poker player and even a finer chess player despite his age.

Once, he joined a Cepca monthly tournament several years ago and was able to hold his ground against the good players of our club. I remember that he was strict in implementing the rules of tournament chess.

Election 2010

One last time. Please vote wisely everyone. God bless the Philippines.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Meralco Junior Chess Championship

The first edition of MERALCO Junior Chess Championship is set to take place tomorrow, May 8 2010 at Meralco, Lopez building basement canteen, Pasig city. Games will start at nine in the morning and will end at five in the afternoon. According to Rolly Sol Cruz, president of Meralco Chess Club, they are expecting no less than 100 junior participants from different schools such as UE, San Beda, NU, La Salle, Arellano, Don Bosco, Rizal HS, FEU, Legaspi Elem, among others.

Your truly was cordially invited by Mr Cruz to dropped by the venue and witness the event. It should be another great day with chess kids.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The posthumous book of Florencio Campomanes?

Some few months before Florencio Campomanes death last May 3, he has an ongoing work that's now left unfinished. In a video interview last February, he talks about a book he's currently working on that is supposed to be publish sometime next year. The book, according to Campomanes was part autobiography and part documentary. The said book is over 800 pages. Let us see if it is going to be publish posthumously.

As a leader, it is always very hard to please and accommodate everyone. But I guess no matter what people might think of him, negatively, it was Campo who breach the borders that separates nations of different cultures, specially countries from Asia, making it possible to have GM Eugene Torre and GM Vishwanathan Anand.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Florencio Campomanes. Fortunately I had always very correct and friendly relationship with Florencio. I think that in the period of political opposition between West and East he saved the chess world from splitting. He showed his outstanding diplomatic talent – Baguio 1978 – and his further presidentship was evidence of that.

Boris Spassky
Tenth World Champion

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do Bulgarians dislike Danailov?

It's so unfortunate that some people can quickly associate a person's trashed personality to his nationality. Topalov and his unpopular manager, Silvio Danailov has been controversial in their own rights, I should say, and not necessarily reflects those of the nationality they represents. I do think that Danailov gives up moral and national pride just for the benefit of his client (that is Topalov) and himself, even if his own reputation and that of his client and his nationality gets tarnished. He doesn't seem to care about them anyway and Bulgarians should denounced that attitude. But anyway, Aussie GM Ian Rogers humor got the better of it and it is a clear cut article in the first place. It's very hard to argue with Rogers this time around. He may have hit the point, and I can be a good audience. But I was thinking, do many Bulgarians dislike Danailov?

Excerpt from Crickey, World Championship Chess: Spy versus spy in Sofia as Topalov trails

In the 1970s and 80s Bulgarian chess was notorious for corruption; not just prearranging draws — a sin that has permeated the upper echelons of the chess world for decades — but also the organisation of complete tournaments designed to favour a particular player; for example a foreigner who had paid a fee to secure an International Master or Grandmaster result.

...A new generation of “clean hands” Bulgarian players has emerged over the past two decades, with Topalov leading the charge.

...However Danailov, the self-proclaimed “best manager in the chess world” was less universally admired.

Danailov had had an extended stay in Melbourne in the early 1990s but perhaps too much of it was spent hanging around the seedy Red Triangle snooker parlour, where chess players, snooker players and Underbelly-style characters mixed seamlessly. (On occasion this writer also visited the Red Triangle, where a future Grandmaster pulled your cappuccinos during the Friday night “blitz” tournament.