Monday, July 26, 2010

Chess for a Cause, notes and photo impressions.

For everyone who attended last Saturday in Meralco for the double simul by GM Eugene Torre and GM Jayson Gonzales, I say maybe if you suddenly came across with your math teachers way back in grade school at some part where you least expected them to see and then asked you, as a good student, if you still remember what "common denominator" is, chances are you will find yourself in all kinds of trouble on what you are going to say. But setting aside mathematical facts and theories regarding common denominator with those of real life, Farlex Dictionary defines "common denominator" a commonly shared theme or trait, a belief, attribute, etc., held in common by members of a class or group. At the Chess for a Cause organized by Meralco Chess Club, what you have here are two chess grandmasters, chess club presidents, sponsors, foundation board members and some 50 players who converge under one roof for one day of charity works for the benefit of disabled people under the caring of the foundation group called TWH or Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (House With No Steps). I bet your math teacher won't bother you again asking you what common denominator is, should you ever crossed path again.

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).

Some of the players of the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan.

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.

Patiently reminding a girl not to make a move until he circles around and came back on her board.

Asking for divine intervention. Well, actually, just his normal chess stance.

Tony Navarro also sponsored a couple of young promising chess players for this simul that includes ASEAN 8-U Julius Gonzales.

At around 12:30 pm all of GM Gonzales boards were all cleared with just two draws. That quick.

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 Jayson Gonzales and Julius Gonzales. Who's got lucky this time?

1:00 pm. GM Torre still in the thick of the fight with just 9 or 10 casualties out of 25.

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...


Cheszka said...

Nobody wins against aging Torre and average GM that is Gonzales? So sad for our youngsters.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Meralco Chess Club for it's continous 'Chess for A Cause' projects.

Truly, an institution of charity and chess development for the young and 'young once'.

Kudos to Rolly Sol Cruz, its president.

And of course to our never tiring GMs Eugene and Jayson in sharing their time and talent. Our national treasures and an inspiration to everyone.

Good luck to your future plans!

Bong Villamayor

Anonymous said...

Love to see Wesley So conducted a simul for Meralco one day. Hope he'll be available next time.

Anonymous said...

Wesley has played two Simuls at Meralco. First, when he was still a Fide Master, then a year later, when he was an International Master.