GMs Torre and Gonzales split the 50 players double exhibition simul match in two. Torre draw his game with Paul Benjamin Casiano, Raul Sol Cruz, Jr, Kim Zafra and Sonny dela Rosa. While Gonzales draw with Julius Gonzales and Raymond Dagang. Anyone who score a win and even managed to obtain a draw against the GMs will automatically received a medal. Free snacks and lunch were also served for guest and participants.
10:00 am. GM Jayson Gonzales was the first to deliver an inspirational and encouraging speech. He reiterates his determination to break the record for the largest number of participants and win percentage to get into history book in the Iron Mind 1 vs 600 on September 11-12. Talks briefly about Philchek (Philippine Chess Academy) and it's project which he founded.
GM Eugene Torre as always, in every tournament or exhibition games he attended where he is to give some opening words, keeps reminding that what we learned from playing chess, the strategy, patience and discipline it teaches us, should be applied in real life as well.
Rolly Sol Cruz. Meralco Chess Club president. No he didn't relate to us about his experience on how he survived typhoon Ondoy last year but he did tell us on how the idea came up for Chess for a Cause with Ms Angel Villafuerte, TWH PR/Resource Development Director of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (House With No Steps Foundation).
10:30 am the game begins. I saw one boy munching a piece of cake and his hands is all mess with crumbs. GM Torre shook the boys' hand just the same. Torre posted 21 wins and 4 draws in more than three hours of playing.
GM Jayson Gonzales on the other hand, is all business. He's blitzing board after board. He needs that kind of speed and accuracy, or more for his record breaking attempt against 600. He looks a lot fitter than the last time I saw of him.
GMs Torre and Gonzales both have their own ratio of supplies though, while on the go. Water melons, papayas, bananas and Gatorade for refreshment. Torre never touch a morsel from his fruits nor gulped a drink or two till there's only a couple of hard headed players left on the boards.
Tony Navarro also sponsored a couple of young promising chess players for this simul that includes ASEAN 8-U Julius Gonzales.
The score sheet of 8 year old ASEAN U-8 Silver medalist, Julius Gonzales who salvage a well played 24 move draw against GM Jayson Gonzales. It was actually Julius who offered a draw against the well conditioned grandmaster and GM Gonzales, partly surprise, just looked at the kibitzers around, smile broke unto his face and accept the boys' offer.
GM Eugene is one of the most animated player I've ever seen when conducting a simul games. Another thing. He takes less pride on showing his body motion when he thinks he's in some kind of trouble. I noticed it many times in the past. He blows air out from his mouth, shook his head, scratch his nape and on this occasion, rest his hands on his head as a sign of resignation. And he's in the group of non master players amidst noisy crowd.
This is the game against Kim Zafra, one of the last of the two boards that keeps on fighting. Torre is obviously in mental stress here and spending a lot of time for his next move. A rare sight in simul games. Then somebody joked from among the crowd enough for everyone around to hear. "Napapaisip..." (got himself a-thinking) GM Eugene, cool as he always is, just took a deep breath and calmly replied, "Huh, wala ako ma itira eh." (I can't find a good move to follow.)
Just move aside Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. We're promoting healthy, eating habits here while playing chess.
The final move that ended in a stale mate in favor of Mr. Zafra. A lucky escape for him. He's a piece down. The final game ended at around 2:00 pm.
Father and son. Two survivors with lots of stories to tell. One of typhoon Ondoy and Raul, his son, of GM Eugene Torre.
Small gift of gratitude from Ms Angel in behalf of Tanang Walang Hagdanan Foundation. GM Eugene thanked Ms. Angel for the gift and assure her of his time should in case they need his service again. After GM Eugene left, I myself approach Ms Angel, shook her hands and thanked her for the kind invitation and likewise assure her of my service the next time around.
Now everybody say chess...
Now everybody say chess...