Friday, July 30, 2010

WGM Sukandar Irene Kharisma and FM Ramnath Bhuvanesh shares Brunei Invitational IM Tournament

Indonesia's WGM Sukandar Irene Kharisma and FM Ramnath Bhuvanesh of India shared first place in the just held Brunei Invitational International Master tournament with undefeated record of 7 wins with just 2 draws. Not a major tournament, but for the 18 year old and 8th seed Irene, she just showed that she can now mixed it up with the big boys.

First seed Pinoy IM Oliver Barbosa lost his 9th and final round game against the co winner of the tournament, FM Ramnath Bhuvanesh to finished tied 4th-5th place.

For final standings, you can check then out here: You can also download the games here:

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...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bobby Fischer's Bench

An abandoned, lonely bench filled with memories is visual poetry. Einar S. Einarsson, one of the late Bobby Fischer's close confidantes, reveals that Fischer used to spent some quality time during weekends in Einar's house, a "remote and wild area" not far from Reyjavik Iceland where Fischer stays. And in one of this occasion, Fischer used to take some time out after long walks in a particular bench to take some breather. Einarsson very well remember this, ultimately carried away by sentimentality for his departed, famous friend, decided to erect a small monument and plaque to commemorate Fischer, and the bench he used to sat on. Excerpt, photos and captions from New York Times Chess Blog, Gambit:

One day, they went out for a walk. They had not been going for very long when Fischer, who Einarsson said had limited stamina, asked, “Where are all the benches, Einar?”

Einarsson said he gestured toward a large rock covered in moss and suggested that Fischer rest there.

Afterward, they walked down a hill and went swimming. Einarsson said that Fischer later told him that he had a wonderful time, partly because he had been able to escape the crowds.

Rock where Fischer rested on an August day in 2005.

Bench and monument erected by Einarsson.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Biel Chess 2010 R5: It's Caruana vs So

A match that will be a sure blockbuster. Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, two of the most popular chess prodigy at the moment, finally crossed path in the beautiful city of Biel and they will meet on round 5 tonight at around 8 PM Manila time. Wesley So is protecting a half a point lead against three others that include Caruana. You can follow the real time live games through / I do not drink beer while watching live chess games but I won't shun a can or two this time just for the sheer joy of watching a good game of chess. Thank god it's Friday!

Standings after Round 4

1. Wesley So (PHI, 2674) 3.0
2. Evgeny Tomashevsky
(RUS, 2708)

Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 2697) 2.5

Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 2650)
5. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 2723)

Anish Giri (NED, 2672)

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (VIE, 2617)

Maxim Rodshtein (ISR, 2609)
9. David Howell (ENG, 2616)
10. Parimarjan Negi (IND, 2615)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Biel round 3: Wesley So in sole lead. Dortmund round 6: Le Quang in solo second

So impressed am I with Vietnamese 19 year old GM Le Quang Liem performance in Dortmund so far that GM Wesley So's taking over the sole lead after three rounds in Biel Young Grandmasters Tournament seems to be of little importance compare to what the magic Le Quang is weaving in Germany at the present. Nobody is expecting Le Quang to show up like this. Le Quang has already defeated ex world champ Ruslan Ponomariov and ex title contender Peter Leko. Another ex world champ, and a man who needs no further introduction, Vladimir Kramnik tried not once, but twice against Le Quang but failed and just level their one on one match to 1/1. All this and the two draws against one of the greatest player of this generation that is Kramnik says it all. He is holding his class against some of the very best elite in the world. With So holding the lead in Biel is no surprise at all but Le Quang, oh that kid. He's really destined for something great. I'm feeling it. Now we crave for more of So and Le Quang for the rest of the tournaments.

Wesley So by the way swept all his 21 board game exhibition match in downtown Biel, with special mention on the website, being the current under 18 top player and the youngest in the top 60 in the world.

Real time live games of Biel 2010 can be view on via chessbomb live game platform.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vietnamese 19 year old GM Le Quang Liem defeated Ex world champ Ponomariov.

One may thought that it came sooner than expected. But chess in the ASEAN region is surging. So when was the last time you've heard a chess player from the South East Asian region beats a former world champion in a classical game? Torre defeated Karpov and Tal decades ago and since then, if my memory serves me correctly, no player from this region ever beaten a current or former world champ in a classical game. Vietnam top grandmaster, 19 year old Liem Quang Le has just finally broke the barrier that boarders young Asian stars to the very elite of chess players. He defeated Ukranian ex FIDE world champion, Ruslan Ponomariov in round 4 of the Dortmund chess challenge that put Vietnam overnight in world chess map. In a report written by Daan Zult for

Until move eleven of a Grünfeld Indian, both players were familiar with the position from the white perspective...With his victory Quang Le bounced back to a 50% score and brought new tension into the tournament standings. He also once again showed that Vietnam is a chess country to reckon with in the future. Kudos to Quang Le.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wesley So simul in Biel

According to Biel International Chess Festival official website, GM Wesley So will be conducting a simul exhibition games today in downtown Biel although it was not clearly specify how many participants will be joining to test So. But I say it's quite an honor for So to be chosen to conduct a simul in the very heart of the city of Biel for the promotion of the event. The Young Grandmaster tournament category will start on Tuesday, July 20 where Wesley So will be the fourth seed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paulo Bersamina 3rd best in 2010 Asian Youth Invitational 12 and under Chess Championships

12 year old Paulo Bersamina has been into strings of success lately but this may have been his most important so far in his young career. Well, at least, the kid now knows how important consistency is in any competition. He became the country's youngest junior champ ever, winning three gold medal in the last edition of 11th Asean Age-Group and now he can be finally called as one of the best 12 and under junior player not only in the country or the ASEAN region but in Asia as well. Paulo finished 3rd over all in 2010 Asian Youth Invitational Chess Championshipsin held in Beijing, an impressive performance for the just 9th seed and defeated 1st seed, We Yi of China, the eventual winner of the category. Excerpt from

The 12-year-old Bersamina, seen as the country’s next Wesley So, made it 4 wins in a row as he toppled 7th seed Murali Karthikeyan of India in the 9th and final round to finish in a 2-way tie for 2nd to 3rd places with Diptayan Ghosh of India.

Top seed Wei Yi of China bagged the title with 7.5 points on 7 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss.

Although he failed to overtake Wei for the top spot, Bersamina turned in the best score in the final 4 rounds and matched Ghosh’s 9-round total of 7 points in the 14-nation tournament hosted by the Chinese Chess Association.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

1 vs 600 Ironmind: 200 more just checked in

Here comes another 200 courtesy of Diliman Preparatory School in Quezon City who wants to test the endurance of GM Jayson Gonzales. We still don't have the exact number of registered participants at this moment (remember that even the registered ones might not show up on the date) but filling up around 200 students, that is more or less 33 percent of the maximum allowed participants of 600 is a huge factor. The question now is, will the organizers make it just in time for July 31 including the reserves?


BY: Marlon Bernardino

THE Diliman Preparatory School will send the biggest number of participants in the country’s attempt to break the world record in simultaneous chess exhibition. Former senator Nikki Coseteng, the school’s president, vouched her support in the event slated on July 31 to August 1 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. “I always believe that Filipinos have sound mind and body,” said Coseteng.

Two Time-Olympian Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales will showcase the fortitude of Filipinos in the ultimate test for mind and body endurance as he face 600 opponents simultaneously.
He is expected to play at least 24 hours and walk around 50 kilometers before finishing all matches. Gonzales needs to notch a minimum of 480 points or equivalent to 80-percent of the possible score.

Around 200 of his opponents will come from DPS, including twins Patricia and Kenneth Go. They are the top two players in their division during inter-school competition in Quezon City according to DPS media head Roberto “Robbie” Pangilinan, co organizer of Mindoro journo Noli Sangil Cruz.

The current record is held by Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob, who played against 500 players last August 13 at the Englab Sports Complex in Tehran, Iran. Marlon Bernardino

Friday, July 9, 2010

1 vs 600 world record simultaneous chess is on!

Click on the image for larger view

Your truly is actually one of the detractor of the so called world record breaking attempt for simultaneous chess games that will be represented by a Filipino chess grandmaster. I thought it's just for the sake of showing off and putting on a show we Pinoy are very fond. Though I still have some doubts that GM Jayson Gonzales will be physically conditioned to accomplish such herculean task, but I say once this event finally put into action, this chess blogger will be Jayson Gonzales avid supporter in his endeavor. You are my boss, as President Noynoy will put it.

Don't get too excited though folks. I noticed that the organizers is after the "number" of participants to make it to the record book rather than the percentage of win needed to put a Filipino grandmaster in chess history.

I'm quite amazed though by the number of sponsors. I'm now convinced that this surely is not just a show off event I previously believe. This is serious stuff, at least in marketing point of view, and I must be part of it. Now what I need is an ID.

Magma man/Robocop mixed in the poster looks cute though.

Everyone is invited to participate. Just contact this people for reservations. Noli Cruz of Touch of Gold Enterprises at 0929-835-7770 or email address: and Roberto “Robbie” Pangilinan, Diliman Preparatory School media head at 0290-953-4559 or for complete details.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Body of chess legend Fischer exhumed in Iceland

After months of legal battle over the dispute of Fischer's estate, Iceland finally exhumed the remains of Fischer on Monday to have his DNA tested and resolved once and for all if Jinky Young, the nine year old girl from this country is indeed, a daughter of the late Fischer and has the sole rights to Fischer's inheritance that amounted to $2 million (roughly P90 million) of properties. This is just one of the skirmishes over Fischer's inheritance. Even if proven that Fischer's DNA matches those of Jinky, Jinky has to battle the US government who is also after Fischer's worldly possessions claiming that Fischer owe the US government some amount of unpaid taxes. We just hope that the effort of Marilyn, his lawyer and GM Eugene Torre won't end up to nothing. They've already gone this far.

"I can confirm that Bobby Fischer's body was exhumed this morning," Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the sheriff in the southern Icelandic town of Selfoss where Fischer had been buried, told AFP.

"The procedure was conducted in a highly professional and dignified manner," he said, adding that "it was a priority with everybody present to show respect to the deceased."

A doctor and a priest were present when the body was exhumed, Kjartansson said, adding that it was the first time as a sheriff that he had been asked to carry out such a task.

More related articles.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Torre, Gonzales on promoting chess in TESDA

TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) employee at Taguig is in for a threat tomorrow, July 5 as two renown chess grandmasters in the country, Eugene Torre and Jayson Gonzales will be conducting a simultaneous exhibition match and seminar. I hope it won't end there. Just seminar and everything will be forgotten by and by. Hope TESDA head coordinators will take what GMs Torre and Gonzales is putting up for them. The program must be continuous. Your truly is also once involved in co-coordinating TESDA courses in my community and we're very familiar on how the planning and management skill plays a vital role to every TESDA employee and instructors.

GMs Eugene Torre and Jayson Gonzales will hold a chess simultaneous exhibition tomorrow, Monday, July 5 at the Main Lobby of Tesda Building, Service Road South Superhighway, Taguig.

According to kay Julford Abasolo, Event Coordinator of Tesda and NAPCA head Boyet Tardecilla, the two chess wizards will challenge the Tesda employee's problem solving abilities, critical and strategic thinking. After the chess simultaneous exhibition, Torre, Gonzales along with IM Yves Ranola will conduct chess seminar among employee's of Tesda led by team captain Carlos Villanueva. Deputy Director General Milagros Hernandez and Executive Director Milagros Hernandez are invited to do the ceremonial moves.

Meanwhile, Mindoro journo and tournament organizer Noli Sangil Cruz annouced the staging of 1 vs. 600: Pinoy Ironmind, Guinness World Record with Gonzales, two-time olympian member will attempt to break the world record's of Iranian GM Majoob Morteza set on July 10 to 11.

However, Cruz said in the press release he sent to this writer that the possible venue is the San Andres Gymnasium after the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila charge the organizer Cruz and Roberto "Robbie" Pangilinan, media head of Diliman Preparatory School.

" Naniningil ang PSC ng P3,000 kada oras para sa airconditioning system ng Ninoy Aquino Stadium bukod pa sa karagdagang sahod sa 10 maintenance crews na itatalaga nila sa event," Cruz said in a press statement.

Gonzales needed to score at least 480 points to break the world's record of Morteza.MARLON BERNARDINO.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meralco Chess Club and Tahanang Walang Hagdan presents "Chess for a Cause"

We were notified that the Meralco Chess Club, one of the most stable chess club in the country has joint hand with the charity works of Tahanan Walang Hagdan (TWH), a self help organization focused on helping the less fortunate individual with physical disabilities in the country by staging a chess exhibition matches dubbed "Chess for a Cause" and will spear headed by MCC president, Rolly Sol Cruz. The exhibition games will be similar to those past simultaneous exhibition matches took place in Meralco Head Office in Pasig City that saw the participation of the country's top Grandmasters like Torre, Antonio, Paragua, Gonzales and Villamayor. The Chess for a Cause will take place this 24th of July also in Meralco. GM Wesley So is also listed as one of the participants together with Torre, Antonio and Gonzales. For more details, below is the formal invitation extended to us by Ms Angel Villafuerte, PR/Resource Development Director and also the poster of the said event. The Chess for a Cause is open to all chess enthusiast, first come first serve so you'd better register as early as possible.

If you are interested, please email Ms Angel Villafuerte at and Rolly Sol Cruz at

Please click on the image for larger view