Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 Chess Olympiad r8: Bulgaria vs Philippines

Our regular 8-5 job and those threats imposed of beating deadlines made it close to impossible to update this blog in the past week but we're back on blogging. Though quite inactive from blogging, we still have some time to check in the results of the ongoing chess olympiad happening in Khanty-Manyisks, Russia. Giant chess websites like Chessbase, Chessdom and Chessvibes, each provides and showcase different angle of covering the event is enough to keep everyone informed about the olympiad while other chess blogs gives the Olympiad a fair and balanced observation.

So far, the progress of the RP men's team remains a drag. The level of competition is getting tougher and tougher as years goes by and lower seeded team is pulling off surprises here there. The RP men's team is currently placed 40th and landing in the top 20 seems bleak and is facing the Vaselin Topalov led Bulgarian team in the 8th round. Topalov was shocked by Mark Bluvshtein of Canada in the previous round. The rest of the Canadian team got inspired by the win and pulls off the biggest surprise of the day by holding their ground against the 8th seed Bulgarian team 2:2. The loss by Topalov is the biggest upsets so far in the ongoing olympiad.

The 52nd seeded Philippine women team on the other hand is placed 32 on the standings of the Women's section with Russia, Georgia and India on top of the leader board.

Ukraine, (thanks to amazing Ivanchuk) is on top of the standings, with Russia 1, Hungary and Azerbaijan is very much still there to stop Ukraine.

Important links:

Rank after 7 rounds (Open)

Round 8 team pairings (Open)

Rank after 7 rounds (Women)

Round 8 team pairings (Women)

Live/replays of games through chessdom-chessbomb

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chess Olympiad round 2: Spain vs the Philippines live.

The Philippines vs Spain round 2 match up will be featured live through with computer analyst as reported by Board one battle will pit Wesley So against Alexei Shirov. This will be the second time So and Shirov will face each other. In the last edition of the Olympiad in Dresden, So and Shirov game resulted in a draw. In round 1 the Philippine team swept Korea 4-0 while Spain defeated Algeria 3.5-0.5. An informative live "minute by minute" updates are also being provided by Chessdom.

The official site of the Chess Olympiad is having some problems for accurate reporting so visiting other chess sites first like is a must to get full and correct results of the games.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Philippines vs Korea Sunday Showdown

Our Philippine chess team in Khanty-Manysk Chess Olympiad needs some inspiration. Well, here's some bits of sports update from our other athletes competing abroad this weekend.

The Cecil Mamiit led Philippine team pulls off a big surprise in Korea by beating the hometown players 3-2 in Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I. It was a come from behind win for the team as they were down 0-2 on the first day of the competetion. The Philippines will stay in Group 1 and is well within striking distance of being promoted to the World Group of the Davis Cup.

The Philippine Smart Gilas basketball team however lost by a hair line to South Korea's Seoul Samsung Thunder in the finals of the Asian Club Men’s Basketball Invitational, 83-82. It is still a good result after all as the Philippines earns berth in Olympic qualifying event.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A note from Kirsan Ilyumzhinov?

Well, I'm not sure about this one. But the administrator of FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Facebook page just leave a note here on ChessHeroes blog regarding my previous post Ilyumzhinov's plan of acquisitions of land near "Ground Zero", a mere publicity stunt?.

Dear Des,

You can just ask me directly at my Facebook page. But I'd like to tell you that I believe that this plan can be a true breakthrough for chess and my efforts to make this game not only a sport but also a solution for political and religious conflicts around the world.

Best of luck,

Well, the FIDE boss looks like he means this one.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ilyumzhinov's plan of acquisitions of land near "Ground Zero", a mere publicity stunt?

A Chess Center near Ground Zero? Really? A grand scheme indeed. But Ilyumzhinov's "plan" of buying the site near where the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City used to stand can be another one of those strategical moves to get more public support in Ilyumzhinov's candidacy for re-election as FIDE president. Dylan Loeb McClain of New York Times Chess blog, Gambit, hints that Ilyumzhinov might be only playing a mind setting strategy to the chess community rather than being serious about his intentions of acquiring the place as Ilyumzhinov didn't clearly specify if the financing of the proposal will come from his own purse or from FIDE treasury. Mr McClain wrote:

It is possible that Mr. Ilyumzhinov is hoping that by offering more money he will get the center’s owners to sell. Or, it may just be a publicity stunt to insert himself into the international debate and thereby raise his profile. He is involved in a bitter campaign for re-election to FIDE against Anatoly Karpov, the former world champion.

If this is really the reason behind the plans, expect a fall out of negotiation to acquire the land anytime soon. But mission accomplished for Ilyumzhinov just the same. Ilyumzhinov has already voiced out his intention to the public that he is dead serious of bringing chess into wide audience, with or without a chess center in New York.

Friday, September 17, 2010

FIDE wants to acquire the "Ground Zero"

To be honest, I don't like the idea of having the land of where the twin towers used to be to be occupied by something that is not co-related with the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City. (Oh yeah, let sentimentality hit me this time real hard!) Since it is a landmark, a memorable, historic ground, chess hasn't something to do with 9-11 terrorist attack. So when first informed us that the land where the twin towers used to stand, I wasn't that much excited even if one day, it becomes a major chess hub.

One thing is for sure though and it just show you how powerful Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is. What the FIDE boss wants, he must get it. And if ever FIDE acquired the land, there is no doubt that it will promote chess around the world to the highest level. But I personally believe that the "Ground Zero" doesn't belong to chess. Build a mosque, a museum, a library or even a park but a chess center is out of this.

FIDE has requested the New York authorities to sell the land of the Twin Towers to create a chess center, announced FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at a press conference on Thursday.

"We turned to the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who is also owner of this land, with a proposal to buy it for $10 million. We are now waiting for an answer and are ready to send our representatives," said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Last week's proposal for "Ground Zero" by Donald Trump is 7,5 million dollars, while earlier a proposal for $100 million dollar Muslim center at 200 meters from the land has also been made. The future name of the FIDE construction is supposed to be "World Chess Center".

Copy of the official letter here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NCFP next move against Antonio maybe too personal

Although we find no wrong on the side of NCFP (National Chess Federation of the Philippines) to implement disciplinary actions to players if they decide to follow against the rules of the federation, no matter what their status are, but the plan of NCFP to drop Antonio from the patronage of PSC or Philippine Sports Commission and consequently, deprive him of monthly allowance of P20,000 and other benefits is eyebrow raiser. A long term ban maybe quite understandable but dropping him from the wings of PSC altogether, it maybe tells a different story.

Perhaps this was NCFP own aggressive response to the threat posed by Antonio to file cases against Pichay and other top officials of the NCFP and the issue is becoming very personal and unprofessional to both party, to say the least. If Antonio is still hard bent to sue Pichay and take him to court caused by his own fault, then he might one day find himself jobless, a thing we wish would not end that way. Antonio was quoted as saying:

“Joey came home to defend himself when he learned that he was banned. He could have opted to stay in the US but he came home. But the NCFP has already closed the door on him,” said Estimo.

The former team captain of the RP team to the Chess Olympiad said Antonio was denied due process, as needed to be followed, when the NCFP leveled the ban without hearing his side.

“I think there’s politics behind this. I feel like I am being singled out. I passed through the proper channels for my US trip. It was Mr. Pichay himself who signed the recommendation to the PSC. Now, why am I being banned for missing the tournaments here,” said Antonio.

Read the full story at

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

With or without GM Antonio, the team moves on and is ready for the Olympiad.

With or without GM Joey Antonio in the line up, the Philippine chess team for the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia is ready for the challenge. As everybody knows by now, GM Antonio was dropped from the team for some disciplinary actions after committing some bad decisions of not playing in two major FIDE sanction tournament in Manila as part of the team's preparation for the Olympiad.

It's a tragic outcome. When all his teammates were here in the country preparing for the Olympiad, he's nowhere to be found and was competing in tournaments in the US where he was mostly the top seed. Not the kind of preparation the team needs. They need him to be around. Discuss things, strategies etc. We felt sorry for GM Antonio's decisions and he owe his teammates, NCFP, and Philippine chess fans an apology. As the saying goes, great power comes great responsibility. And he has some responsibility to be observed.

Still, we wish GM Antonio all the best of luck in his endeavor and a reconciliation with the NCFP should be made sooner than later for the better of chess in the country.

Despite missing the services of one of its most dependable players, the RP chess team remains optimistic about its coming campaign in the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

With RP’s top Grandmaster Wesley So manning Board 1 and the unsinkable Eugene Torre providing leadership and experience, the Filipino chessers are eyeing a Top 20 finish for their modest goal in the Sept. 19 to Oct. 14 biennial event featuring the world’s best players.

The presence of Antonio could have readily boosted the Filipinos’ chances, but Pichay said his exclusion in the team was for the best interest of everybody.

Read the full article at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Using Chess for Succes in Web Design.

Here's a great news for chess players and fans who are thinking of starting a chess blog or site of their own. These days, it is very difficult to do almost about everything without having a personal online sites like blogs, social networking etc, as we are dependent on it as a major form of communication, either to meet new friends and followers or by earning some money. Well, fortunately for us who loves chess and know its principles, you can now use this knowledge to your advantage for creating and designing a website. You don't need to be a master in chess, though surely it will help, to established a website and gain a wide audience.

I remember GM Eugene Torre on how he keeps reminding the young kids to use their understanding of chess to enhance and improve their life. Well, this blogger is a believer that chess is just a tool more than an obsession for the game. Chess is more than a sport. Learning to incorporate your knowledge of the game to real life and established yourself into a better person and produced success makes you a grandmaster as well.

Excerpts from Very good article. Two thumbs up. I gave it ten out of ten stars.

The business of building websites is one of constant change, adaptation and strategy. The way designers and developers build websites is often informed by the methods of others and their own trial and error. In light of this, we can draw a number of parallels — some philosophical, to a certain extent — between Web professionals and one of the oldest and most popular board games of all time (counting traditional and digital games). This game is chess.

So many useful lessons can be learned from chess. If you haven’t played it before, visualizing what we’ve gone over might be hard, but the fundamental principles of the game — how the pieces interact and the role of strategy in the big picture — should not be ignored. The game actively promotes logical thinking and strategy — both useful skills.

Always Move Forward

Pawns can only move forward. They can get a quick start; players have the option of moving the pawns up to two spaces on their first move and subsequently moving them one space at a time. When you work on projects in a business environment, the principle of moving forward without back-tracking is an inspirational perspective. If you cease to constantly drive your ideas forward, they can become stagnant; progress is critical to a website’s development.

Here are some tips you can use to adopt this mindset:

* Don’t get stuck using deprecated practices when structuring website code.
* Examine your community to determine needed features for future upgrades.
* Change a website’s interface only if it would benefit the user experience.

Be Willing to Sacrifice

The ideal of giving something up in exchange for a greater good is realized by pawns, which, though limited in function, are plentiful and can protect others. In design, shielding the end user from issues that can damage the usability of the website is a worthwhile sacrifice. Having to let go of something that took time and energy is always unfortunate, but knowing when to say goodbye could mean the difference between success and failure.

Here are some tips for internalizing this attitude:

* Ensure that your Web layouts are flexible enough to meet the needs of various devices.
* Weigh the benefits of features against their pitfalls before eliminating them.
* Content is more valuable than design; never dilute its quality for eye candy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where is GM Bong Villamayor?

Wondering why GM Bong Villamayor suddenly disappeared from local chess scene? Here's why. GM Villamayor is currently based in Singapore (he was previously based there prior to his return to the country) where he joins another Filipino grandmaster, Nelson Mariano III as a trainer/coach of a chess school called ChessKidz. GM Nelson Mariano himself first founded the ChessKidz.

Just recently, GMs Villamayor and Mariano together with their students sally forth from their school to compete in their first ever overseas field trip in Malaysia for the Merdeka Open Team championship where they emerged as the over all champion. Here's the result and video from the ChessKidz school provided to us by GM Bong Villamayor himself.

ChessKidz official website

Final Results of our 1st Chesskidz Overseas Field Trip in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Merdeka Open Team Championships 2010:

Chesskidz Men's Team - Over-All Champion

Bd.1 GM Nelson Mariano II
Bd.2 GM Bong Villamayor
Bd.3 Nelson Mariano III (overseas- Chesskidz Student)
Bd.4 Steve O'Reilly (Chesskidz Student)
Bd.5 Joel Hicap

Chesskidz Under 10 Team: 34th Place Overall /70 Teams Open Category
- Our Chesskidz Under-10 Team finished 34th place out of 70 teams (each team is composed of 5 players: 4 regular and one reserve) with a performance of 4.5/9 match games (4 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses).

They also placed tie for 2nd in U-12 category, tie-break 4th overall in U-12.
Shawn Foo snatched the Gold Medal in Board 5 scoring 4/4 - a 100% performance.
Chesskidz U-10 Team

Bd.1 Krystal Soh (Team Captain) (7 years old)
Bd.2 Tommy Tan (9 years old)
Bd.3 Matthew Lau (9 years old)
Bd.4 Sarah Koh-Caleb (9 years old)
Bd.5 Shawn Foo (Gold Medal) (9 years old)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Philippines new chess grandmaster, IM Roland Salvador

Reports has it that the Philippines will have a new chess grandmaster, Italy based IM Roland Salvador. That makes Salvador the 12th grandmaster the country has ever produced by far.

by Marlon Bernardino

Final Standings: (Open Division, 103 players)
7 points---IM Roland Salvador (PHILIPPINES)
7 points---GM Vladimir Epishin (Russia)
7 points---GM Peter Prohaszka (Hungrary)
7 points---GM Viesturs Meijers (Latvia)
7 points---GM Alberto David (
6.5 points---GM Manuel Leo Hoyos (Mexico)
6.5 points---IM Roberto Mogranzini (Italy)
6.5 points---Valerio Raineri (Italy)

MANILA, Philippines---ROLAND SALVADOR is the Philippines newest chess grandmaster.

The San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan ace Salvador, who is currently based in Italy formally earned the elusive GM title during the 11th edition of the International Chess Tournament Fermo-Porto San Giorgio was held August 21 to 29 at the Astoria Hotelin Fermo (5 minutes from Porto San Giorgio on the sea) in Italy.

Salvador, a former top player of Rizal Technological University (RTU) under the wings of it's president Dr. Jose Q. Macaballug and head coach Olympian NM Mauro Yasay in the mid 90's was declared winner on best tiebreak score and he doubled the celebration by fulfilling his third and final GM norm by virtue of the 7/9 FIDE rule.

Salvador, GM Vladimir Epishin of Russia, GM Peter Prohaszka of Hungrary, GM Viesturs Meijers of Latvia and GM Alberto David of
Luxembourg tallied identical 7 points apiece in nine outings but the former (Salvador) enroute the coveted championships trophy with a superior quotient in the event which attracted 103 players.

"Inaalay ko po sa bayan ang pagkapanalo ko dito sa Italy chess at pagkuha ng 3rd at final GM norm. Naging inspirasyon din po natin si President/ Chairman (NCFP) Pichay (Prospero) na patuloy na sumusuporta sa local at international tournament para lalong mapalakas ang chess sa Pilipinas kasama na ang pagdaraos niya (Pichay) ng malalaking torneo sa bansa. Hope sa future event po natin dito sa Europe ay matulungan din tayo ni President/ Chairman Pichay," said Salvador in an exclusive interview of this writer yesterday.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President/ Chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. lauded Salvador latest feat in a seperate interview yesterday.

"He deserves this... I'm really happy for him (Roland Salvador). "This proves once again that the Filipino can be at par with the world's best woodpushers," said Pichay.

The undefeated Salvador, earlier beat Jon Arana Garate, Valerio Raineri, Rubern Bernadi and GM David, respectively. He settled a truce with IM Branir Certic of Serbia in the fifth, toppled IM Paolo Vezzosi of Italy in the sixth and drew his last three remaining games against Epishin, Prohaszka and Meijers, in order.

With his impressive performance here in Fermo-Porto San Giorgio in Italy , Salvador raised his Elo rating points 2498 to 2511, enough ELO rating points for a grandmaster status after breaking the Elo 2500 mark. Salvador achieved his 1st GM norm in 2004 in Bratto, Italy and picked up his 2nd GM norm in 2006 in Genova, Italy.

He will soon join the ranks of RP's elite group of GMs which includes Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez and Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla.

However, Salvador and Barcenilla needed to discussed their full-pledge GM title status in the upcoming FIDE Congress coincide the World Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiyk in Russia on Sept. 21 to Oct. 3.

Friday, September 3, 2010

1st Campomnes memorial Cup: Jun Zhao takes the cup, photo presentations

When everybody is talking about Le Quang Liem, Wesley So, and Anton Filipov as the favorites to win the first ever staging of the Campo memorial, another unheralded young Chinese player in the name of Jun Zhao suddenly emerged out of nowhere to win the biggest tournament to be held in the country in years. The just 11th seed Zhao actually piled up similar output of 6.5 points as that of Vietnamese grandmaster and top seed Le Quang Liem who pulls off a dramatic 9th and final round win against Chinese Jianchou Zhou, the co-leader of the tournament prior to the final round. But superior tie break points enable Zhao to take the Campo cup. Zhao was undefeated with five wins and four draws. He produced an impressive 2800 performance rating and at one time, was performing at 2990. Zhao and Liem will split the $19,000 first prize. Wesley So and Darwin Laylo finished the tournament with 5.5 points good for 7 and 8 place respectively.

In the Women section, WGM Yang Shen emerged as the sole winner with dominating performance. Shen tallied 7.5 points scoring 6 wins with just 3 draws. Jenny Rose Palomo and WFM Shercila Cua emerged as the best Filipina competitors, finishing in 7 and 8th place respectively.

Emmanuel Emperado captured the Challengers Cup with 8.0 points out of possible 9.

The 2nd stage of the Campo memorial will be held in Vietnam next year.

Final Rankings after 9 rounds
Round 9 results

Important Note: ChessHeroes is a free, non profit blogsite. All the photos here are not intended for commercial purposes neither do I sell any of them. However, if you wish to re-post them, please feel free to use the photos providing that we follow responsible publishing ethics as Campomanes cup is a major and memorial tournament.

1st Campo Cup winner. GM Jun Zhao. He was nearly caught by Liem at the end.

The ice cool top Vietnamese grandmaster, Le Quam Liem. He doesn't show much facial and body expression. In fact it is nearly impossible to read his mind to get a hint if he's confident or dissatisfied the way things is going. He just sat right there. Very little movement unless he makes his move or write them down.

Sorry third placer, GM Jianchou Zhou. A draw with Le Quam Liem in the final round would probably assure him of co-first place finisher but Liem has different things in mind.

NCFP President Prospero Pichay Jr. He too has some ideal pose in mind to face the photographers.

Scrambling to see the pairing list. The arbiter kept yelling to the players in a authoritarian tone to hurry to their respective boards as the game was about to begin but how could you expect to have them properly organize if you provide them with just one small white board for all the parings list of the open, women and challengers section? There are more or less 200 of them squeezing to see the pairing list, not to mention the curious onlookers, journalist etc.

Top seed, GM Le Quang Liem and an unfamiliar Indian woman player. They never seemed to mind the disorder and just happy to have their pictures taken :)

Such is the shock and awe of having to face a super grandmaster in the first round!

Kazakhstan's number one. GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev.

Top seed WGM Xue, Zhao (2462). She placed solo second behind Shen.

GM Merab Gagunashvili (2596), from Georgia

India's no 5. GM Chanda Sandipan (2637). Produced a result below everyone's expectation, finished 23rd over all.

GM Tamaz Gelashvili (2605) also from Georgia.

The stare. Winner of the 4th PGMA Cup last year and the 6th Prospero Pichay Cup. Another great tournament for him. Finishing a decent six place over all.

A new Humpy Koneru in the making. 16 year old Indian girl prodigy, WIM Rout Padmini upset Asia's first ever grandmaster, Eugene Torre in round one. Padmini actually was a bit tense before the start of the game as she is facing a chess legend of Asia. she finished 21st over all.

GM Eugene Torre. Still fighting it despite being inactive in major chess tournament.

GM Sharavdorj. One of only two Mongolian grandmaster.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1st Campomanes Memorial R6: Chinese players leading the Open and Women Section

GM Jun Zhao (2586)

Chinese grandmaster and tournament 11th seed Jun Zhao, is currently leading the 1st Campomanes Memorial after 6 rounds with 5.5 points, a full point ahead of the chasing pack of 9 players with 4.5 points. Zhao will be facing Wesley So (4.5) in the seventh round.

WGM Shen Yang (2435)

On the women section, 2nd seed WGM Shen Yang has 5.0 total point and is enjoying a half a point lead over Vietnamese WIM Thi Nu Y Hoang. WFM Catherine Pereña and WIM Cristine Rose Mariano are the best performer so far among Filipina participants with 3.5. The former, just celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday August 31 with a draw against Hoang.

Important links to the tournament:

Standings after 6 rounds

Round 6 results
Round 7 pairings
Replay of all games from round 1 (Open)
Replays of all games from round 2 (Open)