Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Philippines supports Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

The gap keep closing in for Ilyumzhinov. Just as many had expected, the move to fund the $1 million dollar Florencio Campomanes Memorial Tournaments in South East Asia works just fine in favor of current FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's candidacy to remain at the office. The Philippines, together with Cambodia, South Korea, and lately, on the other side of the Pacific, Peru all throw their support for Ilyumzhinov.

Quite frankly, is Karpov playing down the role of the less influential chess federations in Asia and third/second country to his desire to take over FIDE? Is it going to be a battle of classes (European Chess) and the masses (Asia and South America etc) for the FIDE Presidential seat? I guess funding chess tournaments will works best than having political activist like Kasparov et al for self promotion. The battle tightens and getting more and more exciting.

Chessdom reports:

Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Peru and Philippines join the supporting nations for President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, making the total number 55. Previously two more major waves were announced (to 35 countries and to 50 nations), while the Continental President Jorge Vega announced in an interview that support for Ilyumzhinov will soon reach 100 countries from the 174 national federations members of FIDE.

The Philippines and region support comes as a logical response to the new tournament sponsorship programs arranged by FIDE. The support of Peru comes after a similar move, where OneFIDE team announced that "The first Latin American Cup will be organized in Peru in August. This new FIDE event will have a prize fund of a US $100,000!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wesley So to compete in the Biel Chess Festival "Young Grandmaster Tournament" recently published a comprehensive details of Biel Chess Festival 2010. Wesley So, together with Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son will be participating for the first time in what was dubbed "Young Grandmaster Tournament", a ten player category 17 event that will feature the up and coming and future star in chess. I thought the Chinese also deserved a fair share in the list but sometimes it goes against the schedule of the invitees (I'm pretty sure at least one Chinese have been invited). Wesley So will be seeded fourth and the second youngest in the field. Round 1 will start on the 19th of July.

Biel International Chess Festival 2010 official website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A double edge pledge of $1 Million for Ilyzumzhinov

Dylan Loeb McClain of New York Times Chess Blog also hinted that FIDE president Kirsan Ilyzumzhinov sponsorship of the $1 million Florencio Campomanes memorial tournaments may have been an intention to court the chess federations in Asia that scopes the ten year, ten nation project. This blogger also think so but it could really be a two way motives. One is an honest and sincere desire to honor Campomanes and that's really nice of him. The other, on which most people believe as the real intention behind the pledge, is a move to keep his job as president of FIDE. Nothing could have been more timely indeed, a double edge pledge of $1 million for the president.

The origin of Ilyumzhinov’s personal wealth has always been a bit murky. Though many top chess players have grumbled about his stewardship of the federation — particularly how it has organized the world championship during his tenure — they have been happy to accept his money. That is true even if it has meant traveling to Elista, the capital of Kalmykia — the poor Russian republic that Ilyumzhinov rules — to play. For all but the top players, making a living at chess can be hardscrabble.

Ilyumzhinov’s pledge to finance the 10 tournaments may be born of altruistic motives and a desire to honor Campomanes (his mentor). Why else would he do it? It is hard to imagine that he is becoming richer by being president of the federation, particularly if he is giving away so much money. Still, the timing probably does not hurt his re-election chances...The federation uses a one country, one vote system, so each country’s vote is equally important.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Msnbc video report on Fischer

As we further dig the real Bobby Fischer as a person and as a father, here's a bite size video report done by's Keva Andersen, still about the controversy that surrounds Fisher's remains set to be exhumed.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bobby Fischer, a selfish, self centered father? (Ask any insurance man and they may explain this.)

We all know that the late great Bobby Fisher rarely (or never at all) mentioned about having a child during his lifetime, not even acknowledging that he's having an affair with a young woman during the days of his stay here in the Philippines. It's either he really didn't bore a daughter to Marilyn at all or he just simply deny it for unknown reasons. Now with all the drama coming out after Fisher's death and Marilyn and Jinky has become a subject of of all kinds of unjust accusations etc, it became very clear that Fischer has somewhat exempted from finger pointing and getting away from all the trouble he left behind. Fischer left no will whatsoever. Doesn't it reveals a man who is undeniably running away from his responsibility as a father? One thing is for sure though, if Jinky is indeed, Fischer's daughter, his own flesh and blood, he's making her life a bit more difficult.

Yes. Ask every frustrated insurance man who approached Fischer and they will tell you what creates this trouble.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Related article New York Times Chess Blog, Chessbase

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Iceland Supreme Court orders exhumation of Fischer’s remains

It seems everything is all set for Bobby Fisher's body to dig out of the grave. Bobby Fisher's remain will finally exhumed as the Iceland Supreme Court approved the request of Jinky Youngs lawyer, Samuel Estimo. Fisher's body will undergo a DNA test and consequently matching them with his assumed daughter of seven he bore with Jinky. The move to exhumed Fisher's remain was earlier denied by a local court as it was heavily opposed by Fisher's Japanese "legal" wife and his nephews who are also after Fishers possessions amounting to more or less $3 million.

For more of the Fischer heir saga, you can check our previous post here.

Related article at

THE Supreme Court of Iceland ruled yesterday in favor of exhuming the remains of thelate Bobby Fischer to carry out a biological DNA test whereby the genetic samples from Bobby, his daughter, Jinky Young, and Jinky’s mother, Marilyn, would be matched. Jinky’s lawyer, Samuel Estimo, announced that the said decision reversed an earlier ruling of the Reykjavik District Court denying Jinky’s request for the disinterment which was opposed by Miyoko Watai ,who alleges to be the wife of Fischer, and the 2 nephewsof the chess legend. The dispute over the estate left by Fischer consisting of P140 million, gold deposits and real estate properties in Iceland will finally be settled after the results of the DNA tests will be known. The Iceland Supreme Court will issue shortly the time and procedure of the conduct of the exhumation.

Fischer died of renal failure in Iceland on January 17, 2008. The night before, he was calling Marilyn but the latter failed to receive his call, only to find out the following day that he had already died, and was hastily buried. In December last year, Marilyn, Jinky, lawyer Estimo and GM Eugene Torre went to Iceland and visited the tomb of Bobby.They hired an Icelandic lawyer, Thordur Bogason, and went to the same hospital where Bobby died and where blood samples of Marilyn and Jinky were taken for DNA testing. But there were no DNA specimens preserved atthe hospital, thus the move of Estimo and Bogason for exhumation was filed. Earlier, the Supreme Court of Iceland had ruled that the alleged marriage of Miyoko Watai to Fischer was null and void, thus leaving the battle over the estate to Jinky and the Tang brothers

Marilyn, Jinky, Estimo and Torre, a witness in this probate case, will go to Iceland and look after the exhumation and DNA proceedings. Marlon Bernardino

Sunday, June 13, 2010

FIDE President Sponsors $1 Million Campomanes Memorial Tournament Series

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announces his sponsorship of the $1 million Campomanes Memorial tournament series during the ASEAN Chess Confederation annual meeting in Subic Freeport, Philippines. -Photo and caption from FIDE website.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov recent visit in the country during the ASEAN Chess Confederation (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) annual meeting in Subic Freeport left some promising events that will be held in a series of tournaments all over the ASEAN region for the next ten years in memory of the late FIDE Honorary President, Florencio Campomanes. According to FIDE website recent press release, "Ten $100,000 tournaments are slated over ten years in the 10-member ASEAN nations starting with the Campomanes Memorial tournament this August in Manila, Philippines and then in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei."

Simply put, this announcement will surely gave Ilyumzhinov some extra points he needed before the FIDE election begins. Though $1 million doesn't amount that much (it may also nailed the coffin that there won't be a regular, possibly much bigger, annual memorial tournament dedicated to Campo anywhere else!) and the ASEAN chess federations are not as influential compare to federations from Europe who one by one is turning against him, the Campo memorial tournaments will endear the ASEAN Chess Federation members and mark that the ASEAN more particularly the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore still remain some of the fast emerging chess market in the globe. And just a few hundreds of miles north of ASEAN is well, you have China. You need more men, put up camps and gather resources and off you go for a battle. Nice move! Got a clear picture now what Ilyumzhinov is up to? He won't be a FIDE president, president of Republic of Kalmykia and a multi-millionaire businessman for nothing!

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 Asean age-group chess championships, Vietnamese leading

RPs Junior champion Paulo Bersamina is currently sharing the lead with Vietnamese Nguyen Van Toan Thanh in the boys’ 12-and-under category with one more round to play. The Asian is basically a Filipino-Vietnamese championship, to say the least. There are massive age categories, open section and different discipline being played here so don't be confused that it is a junior or youth championship then suddenly hearing that there's an open section for seniors and team competition as well.

For the very latest and updated result please visit chess-results site

National junior champion Paulo Bersamina rebounded with a victory over Daryl Samantila in the eighth round Thursday to share top spot with Vietnamese Nguyen Van Toan Thanh in the boys’ 12-and-under category in the 2010 Asian age-group chess championships at the Traveler’s Hotel here.

The win enabled Bersamina, an incoming high school freshman at Far Eastern University, to rise to 6.5 points and keep pace with his seventh-round conqueror Nguyen in the nine-round tournament.

Nguyen matched Bersamina’s output by downing Nelson Busa Jr.

Final-round pairings pit Bersamina against Tran Ming Hoang of Vietnam and Nguyen against Carlo Caranyagan.

Other Filipinos in title-contention are unheralded John Ray Batucan and Davao City sensation Austin Jacob Literatus in the boys’ 14-under; Richeliu Salcedo in the boys’ 20-under, Julius Gonzales in the boys’ 8-under and Shanie Mae Mendoza in the girls’ 12-under.

Read the full article at

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Isulong Mo" (Your Move) A Musical video presentation by Willy San Juan on Gathering of Knights and Kings, December 2009

Singer, composer, recording artist and chess enthusiast Willy San Juan just posted a musical video on youtube about the 3rd Gathering of Knights and Kings, the Old Vanguard of Philippine Chess held last December 27 2009 in Quezon City. The song titled "Isulong mo" (Your Move), a song he composed and performed himself. GMs Eugene Torre, Joey Antonio, Darwin Laylo among other chess personalities were also featured in this musical video. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Willy San Juan serenades everyone on that night.

Your truly, who was also at the venue to cover the event is happy enough that we are "na ekstra" in the background (starting at 2:19 holding a DSLR), seen having a chit chat with Wesley So father, William.

For starters, you can view our previous post about the 3rd Gatherings of Knights and Kings HERE. And more photos HERE.

Yup, that's him in the center. The singer/composer. Video in the making. I took this photo sensing that he's up to something really interesting. And he really was!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mark Paragua's 11th straight US title

More goodies keeps pouring in for GM Mark Paragua. Barely a day before we were informed about Paragua's 10th consecutive tournament win in the US, we just have received another one that he's closing in for his dozen title. His eleventh came in Marshall Chess Club also in New York City. Paragua has been a regular of Marshall Chess Club for some years now, winning many tournaments (mostly the top seed) in the process, punished every IMs and NMs that gets on his way and I'm pretty sure that Mark Paragua is already a household name among the club members and looked up at him with awe and wonder.


FILIPINO GRANDMASTER MARK CALLANO PARAGUA continued his winning streak in the US as he emerged over-all champion in the recently held New York June Action at the Chess Center of famous Marshall Chess Club in New York, USA on Saturday (Friday night in US time).
Paragua, the 1998 Disneyland, France World Rapid Under 14-champion bested American International Master (IM) Jay Bonin in the fourth round then proceed to a draw with Russian International Master (IM) Ildar Salakhutdinov in the fifth and final round to secure the over-all win.
The 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete Paragua, who beat Isaac Barayev, Vladimir Polyakin and Leif Pressman in the first three rounds finished with unbeaten 4.5 points on account of four wins and a draw in five outings.

Paragua,whose stint here is being supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/ chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" O. Tagaysay and New York Immigration lawyer Geronimo "Gerry' Albano is currently preparing for the 38th Annual World Open Chess Championships slated on June 29 to July 5 at the Valley Forge Convention Plaza, Scanticon and Radisson Hotels in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA, which offers projected prize fund of $250,000 with $175,000 minimum guaranteed purse in the week-long event organized by Continental Chess Association (CCA) husband and wife tandem Mr. and Mrs.Bill and Brenda Goichberg.
Another Filipino entry (here in Marshall Chess Club) International Master (IM) Renato Naranja wound up into a tie for 14th to 25th placers in the huge group of 2.5 pointers in the 38 player's field.

The New Jersey-based Naranja, the 1958 Philippine Junior Champion, the 1965 Philippine Adult Champion and 1969 Singapore Asian Zonal Champion lost to American Michael Hehir in the final round here in Marshall Chess Club.

It was Mark Paragua's eleventh straight title in the United States following his triumphs in the 10 Grand Prix Points Tonight (June 3), New York May Open (May 29 to 30), Original 4 rated Games Tonight (May 27 ), Prove Your Point (May 22), May Marshall Masters (May 18), Marshall Sunday Action (May 9), Marshall Chess Challenge , Saturday Game 60 ( May 5), Marshall Chess Challenge April Grand Prix (April 24 to 25), Original 4 rated Games Tonight ( April 15) and Original 4 rated Games Tonight (April8).

It was Mark Paragua's first US tournament this year was the tough and prestigious Philadelphia Open Chess Championships last March 31 to April 4 which topped by former World Championships candidate American GM and Russian-born Gata Kamsky.Kamsky finished with 7 points, the same output of Grandmasters (GMs) Alexander Stripunsky, Ray Robson and Sergey Kudrin.

Paragua finished with 6.5 points in the company of GMs Jaan Ehlvest, Alexander Shabalov, Alexander Ivanov, Amon Solomon Simotuwe and IM Robert Andrew Hungaski.
Manila frequent-visitor American GM Varuzhan Akobian wound up into a tie for 11th to 20th placers along with Chicago-based Pinoy IM Angelo Young with 6 points each.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mark Paragua's 10th title in the US

GM Mark Paragua is currently collecting some goodies in the US by winning tournaments after tournaments there, the latest is the 10 Grand Prix Points Tonight in Marshall Chess Club New York, US. This finally confirmed why Paragua skipped the recently held Battle of Grandmasters in Tagaytay City. It is reported that Paragua just won his tenth straight trophy. Details by Marlon Bernardino:

Official website

Final standings

FILIPINO GRANDMASTER MARK CALLANO PARAGUA's winning streak continued last June 3 with his victory at the 10 Grand Prix Points Tonight in New York, US, according to the official website yesterday.

The 2003 Vietnam Southeast Asian Games most bemedalled athlete settled a draw with French International Master (IM) Gabriel Battaglini in the fourth and final round to finished with unbeaten record 3.5 points on three wins and a draw in the four-round event, the same output of Battaglini and Russian International Master (IM) Ildar Salakhutdinov.
Paragua, whose stint here is being supported by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/ chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" O. Tagaysay and New York Immigration lawyer Geronimo "Gerry' Albano was named as champion after the tiebreak. Paragua, earlier beat Max Yarmolinsky, Teddy Coleman and Adam Samuel Maltese, respectively.

His wife Mary Christine Joyce Dacayo-Paragua was at the tail-end in 31st to 32nd place with no score (zero) in a field of 32 players along with Angelo Gigante.

Meantime, it was Mark's tenth straight title in the United States following his triumphs in the
New York May Open (May 29 to 30), Original 4 rated Games Tonight (May 27 ), Prove Your Point (May 22), May Marshall Masters (May 18), Marshall Sunday Action (May 9), Marshall Chess Challenge , Saturday Game 60 ( May 5), Marshall Chess Challenge April Grand Prix (April 24 to 25), Original 4 rated Games Tonight ( April 15) and Original 4 rated Games Tonight (April 8).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Battle of Grandmasters III: Grand Slam victory for So

As expected, there's not much of a challenge. Top seed Wesley So just won the third edition of Battle of Grandmasters for third straight year. So tallied a final score of 8.5/11 and posted 7 wins, 3 draws and 1 no contest. So has performance rating of 2713, gaining 8.5 points in the process. GM John Paul Gomez took solo second spot with 7.5 points.

Let us wait for the mainstream media's final report to come out later in the day.

Important links:

Round by round results

Final standings after 11 rounds

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

GM Eugene Torre placed second at 3rd Calgary International Chess Classic

So GM Eugene Torre is not altogether semi retire from playing serious chess tournaments. Torre missed this years edition of the Battle of Grandmasters as he is currently in Canada and participated in a tournament there. We're not sure though if it is the main reason why he begged off from Battle of GMs III but it's good to know that he's still have what it takes to compete in tournaments though not as tough as the 3rd Calgary International Chess Classic

by Marlon Bernardino

Final Standings: (9 round Swiss-System, 18 player's field)
7 points---GM Victor Mikhalevski (Israel)
6 points---GM Eugene Torre (Philippines), IM Renier Castellanos (Spain), IM Edward Proper (Canada)
5.5 points---GM Nick de Firmian (USA), FM Eric Hansen (Canada), IM Leon Piasetski (Canada)
5 points---GM John Fedorowicz (USA)
4.5 points---FM Dale Haessel (Canada), Robert Gardner (Canada)
4 points---IM Rana Panjwani (Canada),Richard Wang (Canada)
3.5 points---Richard Wang (Canada)
3 points---IM Lawrence Day (Canada)
2.5 points---Kevin Me (Canada)
2 points---Knut Neven (Canada), Alex Yam (Canada)
1.5 points---IM Marc Esserman (Canada)
FILIPINO Grandmaster Eugene Torre flashed his old deadly form when he beat local International Master (IM) Raja Panjwani in the ninth and final round to settled into a tie for 2nd to 4th placers at the conclusion of the 3rd Calgary International Chess Classic last May 20 to 24 at the Calgary Chess Club in Alberta, Canada.

The Philippine Chess Icon Torre, Asia's First GM, playing under the banner of National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/ chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. finished with 6 points on account of four wins, four draws and lost in nine outings, the same output of IM Renier Castellanos of Spain and IM Edward Proper of Canada.

Top seed Israeli GM Victor Mikhalevski (2614) ran away with the title with 7.0 points plus champions' purse of $1,500 after a quick draw with the disadvantageous black pieces in the last round allowed his opponent, local Fide Master Eric Hansen, to make his final IM norm on his 18th birthday.

The nine round Swiss-System applied a time control of 40 moves in 90 minutes, then game in 30 minutes with a 30 second increment for each move from move 1.

Torre opened his bid in a bright note after beating FM Dale Haessel of Canada then notch four straight draws against FM Hansen, GM John Fedorowicz and GM Nick de Firmian of the USA and Proper then nipped Castellanos in the sixth round.

However, in the crucial seventh round, Torre lost to GM Mikhalevski that dimmed his bid for the coveted chess title.

He scored back-to-back victories against Richard Wang and IM Panjwani of Canada in the last two round but not good enough to captured the title and settle for 2nd to 4th placers with Castellanos and Proper. Marlon Bernardino