Tuesday, June 26, 2007
By Mr. Manny Benitez, 24 June 2007
Wesley wins again!
NO doubt about it: Wesley So is the Champion of Champions! The 13-year-old wunderkind from Bacoor, Cavite has added another feather in his cap—the title of “Champion of Champions”—within a mere six months of getting his first national title, a feat never achieved before by a Filipino player
Already, he wears three national crowns: the 2006-07 Pichay Cup National Open Champion, the 2007-08 National Junior Champion, and now Shell’s “Champion of Champions!”
Just recently, too, he swept off the boards all 18 opponents, kids and grownups alike, in a simultaneous exhibition at the Meralco headquarters on Ortigas Ave., Pasig City.
Wesley won his national open title only six months ago, in mid-December of 2006, and he did it against the strongest players in the country today.
They included all five grandmasters - Joey Antonio, Eugene Torre, Mark Paragua,
Bong Villamayor and Nelson Mariano II—as well as top-rated international masters like two-time national open champion Darwin Laylo, former zonal champion Ronald Dableo and So’s fellow Turin Olympiad veteran Oliver Dimakiling, whom he defeated in. the finals of Shell’s Battle of Champions last Wednesday.
Pilipinas Shell launched this week’s inaugural Battle of Champions to mark the 15th anniversary of the country’s most popular chess series in the grassroots, the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships for juniors (20 years old and younger) and kiddies (14 years old and younger), which kicked off yesterday at SM Manila.
The Battle of Champions drew 21 players, all former Shell champions that included four IMs, two Fide masters and six national masters. With a rating of 2519, IM So himself was the top seed, followed by his fellow finalist, Dimakiling (2491).
Only four former Shell champions could not join the battle royale as they were all abroad: GM Paragua, who is campaigning in the US circuit, GM Mariano, who teaches chess in Singapore, the country’s newest IM, Julio Catalino Sadorra, who is based in Singapore, and IM Roland Salvador, based in Italy.
The former Shell champions who entered the fray were IMs So, Dimakiling, Dableo and the first Shell champion, Idelfonso Datu; FMs Sander Severino and Julius de Ramos; NMs Oliver Barbosa, Rustum Tolentino, Jake de la Cruz, Cedric Magno and Edgar Eggie Olay; and non-masters Kim Steven Yap, Rodel Alsado, Ivan Gil Biag, Deniel Causo, Bryan Jose, Edsel Montoya, Shelder Nebato, Karl Victor Ochoa, and last year’s kiddie king, Jan Emanuel Garcia, at 11 the youngest combatant.
Those eliminated on the first day were Magno, Montoya, Yap and Ochoa.
On the second day 12 were knocked out and the four left to fight it out on the third day were So, Dimakiling, Barbosa and Dableo.
In the end only So and Dimakiling were left, and the two fought it out in a best of two duel, both ending in draws and extending it to a third, sudden-death game where So, playing Black, forced a draw again to claim the win under the rules of engagement.
O. Dimakiling – Wesley So
Rd. 1, Champions final, Megamall 2007
Torre, London and Colle (A46)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 c5 4.e3 cxd4 5.exd4 Be7 6.Bd3 0–0 7.0–0 b6 8.Nbd2 Ba6 9.c4 Nc6 10.Qa4 Bb7 11.Rac1 h6 12.Bh4 Nh5 13.Bg3 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Bf6 15.c5 a6 16.Ne4 b5 17.Nxf6+ Qxf6 18.Qd1 Nb4 19.Bb1 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rfd8 21.a3 Nc6 22.Be4 Rac8 23.d5 exd5 24.Qxd5 Qxb2 25.Rfd1 Ne7 26.Qd3?? Best was 26.Qd6 Nc6 27.Qd5, with equal chances, says Fritz Qf6 26...d5! was best 27.a4 bxa4 28.Qa3 ½–½
RP a poor third in Asean Age-Group contests in Pattaya
THE 27-man Philippine contingent has come back home with 42 medals—a poor third to Vietnam, which gathered 143, and Singapore, which had 52.
These figures were taken from the Vietnamese website because the official Asean website excluded the Blitz contests (see pages 4-6).
What our boys and girls brought home from Pattaya, Thailand:
* Standard - 15 medals, broken down as follows: three individual gold, two silver and two bronze, plus two team silver and six team bronze.
*Blitz - 16 medals, broken down as follows: three individual gold, one individual silver and four individual bronze, plus one team gold, two team silver and five team bronze.
*Rapid - 11 medals, broken down as follows: two individual gold and one individual silver, plus three team silver and five team bronze.
Eric Gloria critically ill
IM Eric Gloria is critically ill and is in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a Singapore hospital.
This was told to Weekender contributor Ignacio Dee by GM Joey Antonio, who flew back yesterday from Thailand where he served as head coach of the Philippine contingent to the Asean Age-Group Championships.
Paragua to play in World Open, Antonio calls off trip to US
MARK PARAGUA will be the only Filipino grandmaster to play in the World Open after all.
This was learned last night as No. 1 Filipino GM Joey Antonio revealed that he had called off his trip to the United States because of lack of funding.
Antonio, who coached the boys and girls team that competed in the Eighth Asean Age-Group Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, said the Philippine Sports Commission had disapproved his request for funds for his US trip.
He had planned to compete in the cash-rich World Open, which begins tomorrow in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
GM Paragua is now in the US, where he finished second to American GM Alexandor Ivanov at the 12th Bradly Cup in Windsor, Connecticut last week.
At stake in the World Open, which has several sub-events for different categories of players, are cash prizes amounting to $400,000.
FEU’s Arroyo first, QMC’s Macky 2nd
By Oscar Gonzales and Marlon Bernardino
FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY’S Christian Arroyo slipped past his two scoring peers on tiebreak to top the inaugural Letran-Calamba National Non-Masters Active Chess Championship held last Sunday in the home city of the national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose 146th birth anniversary was celebrated last Tuesday.
Arroyo, Macapagal “Macky” Paguital of the Quezon Memorial Circle Chess Plaza and Allan Cantonjos, who also occasionally plays at the QMC plaza, finished in a tie with 6.5 points each from seven rounds.
Paguital took the second slot and Cantonjos the third under the tiebreaking formula adopted by the organizers, the Laguna Chess Association headed by Dr. Alfred Paez and the Colegio de Letran-Calamba.
Arroyo, a member of the FEU Tamaraws chess team under IM Jayson Gonzales as head coach, is from Cagayan de Oro City, Paguital from Davao City and Catonjos from Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental. They evenly divided the first, second and third prizes totaling P18,000.
Another FEU team member, Ronna Reigner Senora, received the Best Lady player award. She comes from General Santos City.
Ms Senora won the award after edging out Charmaigne Casimina.
Both Arroyo and Senora trained under IM Gonzales, who also was the coach of the Philippine team that won top prizes at last year’s Asean Age-Group Championship in Indonesia, and assistant coach of the women’s team in the 2006 Turin Olympiad that for the first time topped Group C.
Other special-category winners: Rommel Ortillo (Top Letran Male Player), Rochell Espina (Top Letran Female), Austine Philip Redondo (Top Letran High School), Dr. Jenny Mayor (Top Executive), Apolonio Regalado (Top Senior), Ervil Villa (Top Laguna), Vicente Vargas (Top Unrated), Christian Nanola (Top Kiddie), and Jayson Mercado (Top Junior).
Four other players shared the fourth to seventh prizes, according to chief arbiter Joel Hicap, an engineer by profession. He named the four as Ali Branzuela of Parañaque City, Raymond Salcedo of Zamboanga City, Jony Habla of Novaliches, Quezon City, and Roel Abelgas of Cavite.
They each finished just half a point behind the three top prizewinners.
The top 30 players and their scores: 1-3. Christian Arroyo, Macapagal Pguital and Allan Cantonjos, 6.5 each; 4-7. Ali Branzuela, Raymond Salcedo, Jony Habla and Roel Abelgas, 6.0 each; 8-13. Ervil Villa, Jayson Salubre, Harrison Maamo, Jose Nino Ocampo, Vicente Vargas and Jenny Mayor, 5.5 each;
14-30. Rodolfo Panopio, Lyndon Sombilon, Richie Jocson, David Elorta, Christopher Rodriguez, Lourecel Hernandez, Ryan Dunca, Rene de Chaves, Rhoebel Legaspi, Roberto Biron, Clement Valledor, Jayson Mercado, Roland Barbon, Edilberto Labuac, Allen Gandia, Allan Macala and Dindo Panghulan, 5.0 each.
The tournament was held on the third floor of St. Martin de Porres Bldg., Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Brgy. Bucal, Calamba City in Laguna.
Dr. Rizal was born in Calamba and studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros before proceeding to the Ateneo and later to the University of Sto. Tomas.
To treat his mother’s failing eyesight, the young Rizal specialized in ophthalmology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. The cottage where Rizal lived has been declared a shrine to honor and perpetuate the memory of his stay in Heidelberg.
8th ASEAN AGE-GROUP CHAMPIONSHIPS
Golden but lean harvest of medals
THE 27-man Philippine contingent came back home this weekend from the eighth Asean Age-Group Championships with only a handful of medals to show and more than a mouthful of complaints about getting a raw deal in Pattaya, Thailand.
Charges that the Filipino boys and girls had been treated unfairly appeared to be confirmed by the results posted on the official website: the three gold medals won in Blitz by under-14 champion Haridas Pascua and under-12 vice champion Vince Angelo Medina, individually and by his team, were not included in the official tally.
Earlier, in the medals tally at the end of the nine-round Standard event but before the Rapid event, it was reported that the Philippine team had garnered four gold medals, two silver and three bronze for a total of nine medals.
But when the tournament ended, the official tally posted on the same website showed that the Philippines had only two gold, three silver and three bronze, or only eight in all despite the addition of two medals from the Rapid event—the gold won by under-18 boys champion Paulo James Florendo and by under-16 girls champion Kimberly Jane Cunanan.
As posted on the official website, only two Filipinos won the gold in the Standard event—under-8 girls’ champion Samantha Glo Revita and under-14 boys’ champion Pascua.
Two silver medals in the Standard event were won by under-12 girls’ champion Brena Mae Membrere and under-12 boys’ vice champion Vince Angelo Medina.
Two bronze medals were also won in Standard—by under-8 girls vice champion Marie Antoinette San Diego and by under-18 girls’ champion Aices Salvador.
No results were posted from the Blitz event, most likely due to the protest lodged by Philippine delegation head Willie Abalos and coach GM Joey Antonio, who both denounced an allegedly illegal ruling made by a Vietnamese arbiter.
The Vietnamese awarded the win to his eight-year-old female compatriot at the expense of San Diego when in fact both girls had run out of time. Under the rules, it should have been declared a draw. As a result Marie Antoinette had to settle for a silver.
In an 11th-hour decision, however, tournament officials awarded San Diego awarded the draw and the gold.
If the Blitz medals had been included, the Philippines should have come back home with five gold, six silver and 11 bronze medals.
The bronze medalists in Blitz were Cunanan, under-14 girls champion Chardine Cheradee Camacho; under-16 boys Emmanuel Eumer Songcuya, Joel Pimentel Jr. and Angelo Joshua Nuestro; under-18 girls Aices Salvador and Susan Grace Neri, and under-12 girls’ Brena Mae Membrere and Ma. Leonora Daylo.
It was just as bad, or even worse, in the reporting of the results of the last event, the Rapid.
The official website said there were only seven rounds and that the only Filipinos to win medals were under-18 boys champion Florendo (silver) and under-16 girls champion Cunanan (bronze).
A report published in the Inquirer, however, said Florendo and Cunanan each won the gold after nine rounds. This was confirmed only when the Philippine contingent flew back on Friday to Manila.
Because the Philippines was credited with only eight medals from Standard and Rapid in the tally as posted on the official website, it landed the third slot, behind Vietnam, which had a whopping total of 51 medals (20 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze), and Singapore with 12 medals (three gold, three silver and six bronze), as posted on the website.
Ironically, most of the coaches and trainers of the Singaporeans are Filipinos.
Behind the Philippines were India (three medals, one in each category), Myanmar (two medals, both silver) and Indonesia (two medals, one silver and one bronze).
One gold medalist who could not go to Thailand was under-12 champ Jan Emmanuel Garcia. Jem won the gold last year in Indonesia.
Garcia, who was last year’s Shell Kiddies active chess king, competed in the “Battle of Champions” organized by the multinational oil company at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City earlier this week.
The most impressive individual performance in Pattaya was that of 13-year-old schoolboy Haridas Pascua of Mangatarem, Pangasinan.
The national under-14 boys’ champion swept through the nine-round Standard event undefeated and conceded only one draw to score 8.5 points, a full two points ahead of his closest rival from Vietnam.
In Blitz, he won the individual gold and in the Rapid (also known as Active) event, he won the silver after struggling through the first four rounds, making up for it only in the last three rounds.
This was not reflected, however, in the official posting.
Thanks to reader John Manahan, the Weekender was able to get some games up to the fourth round of the Standard competition, where in the third round, Haridas, playing Black, bungled his opening and lost a rook early on.
Pretending to have lost interest in his game, he kept wandering around the tournament hall watching other games and returning only to his board to make his reply.
This probably lulled his Singaporean rival to complacency because in mid-game complications, he suddenly unleashed a fierce assault on White’s king, causing his rival to make mistakes and eventually resign in the face of impending checkmate.
Daniel Chan Yi Ren – Haridas Pascua
Rd. 3, Standard
Sicilian Pelikan and Sveshnikov (B33)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Ne7 9.c3 Ng6 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Qb4 Bf5 12.Qc4 Rc8 13.Qa4! Qd7? Better but still awkward was 13...Bd7 14.Qxa7 Rb8 14.Nxd6+! Bxd6 15.Bb5 Rc6 16.dxc6 Qc7 17.cxb7+ Ke7 18.Bc6 Bc2 19.Qa6 19.Qb5 was more precise: 19...Bd3 20.Qxd3 Qxc6 Bc5 20.0–0 20.Bd5! seems even better, says Fritz: 20...Rb8 21.Qc4 Bb6 22.Qxc7+! Rd8 21.Qb5 Qb6 22.Qxb6 Bxb6 23.b3 Kd6 24.Bb5 Kc7 25.Ba6 Rd6 26.Ba3 Rf6 27.Rac1 Be4 28.c4?? Bd4! 29.Bb4? Nf4 30.c5?? Rg6 31.Rfe1 Rxg2+ 32.Kf1 Bf3 Missing the mating line: 32...Rxf2+! 33.Kg1 Nh3#! 33.Rc3??
A blunder. Black could now mate the king via 33…Rxf2+! 34.Kg1 Nh3#!; if 34.Ke1 Ng2#! 0–1
Rd. 2, Standard
Queen’s Pawn Opening, Torre Attack (D03)
1.d4 c5 2.c3 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 d5 5.e3 Bd6 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.0–0 0–0 8.Nbd2 Qc7 9.Qc2 c4 10.Be2 b5 11.Bh4 Rb8 12.Bg3 Bxg3 13.hxg3 Bb7 14.Nh4 g5 14...Ne4 may be tried 15.Nhf3 h6 16.Nh2 Ne4 17.g4 Ndf6 18.f3 Ng3 19.Rf2 Kg7 20.Nhf1 Bc6 21.Nxg3 Qxg3 22.b4 Rh8 23.Nf1 23.e4 dxe4 24.fxe4 Nxg4 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 should keep the balance Qc7 24.Nd2? Best was 24.g3, says Fritz h5! 25.e4?dxe4?? Allows White back into the game: 25...hxg4 should win, e.g., 26.e5 g3 27.exf6+ Kxf6 26.fxe4 Nxg4 27.Bxg4 hxg4 28.e5 g3 29.Rf6 Rh2 30.Nf1 Rxg2+ 31.Qxg2 Bxg2 32.Kxg2 Qc6+ 33.Kxg3 Qh1 34.Rd1 Qh4+! 0–1
Haridas Pascua – Nguyen Van Hai
Rd. 4, Standard
Queen’s Indian (E15)
Haridas demonstrated his mastery of the game again in Blitz, winning the individual gold.
Inspired by his example, Vincent Medina also played magnificently, winning the individual gold and helping his teammates win it collectively—the only Filipino team to do so.
Unfortunately, however, there was no record of the games and the results were not even officially acknowledged by the official webmaster.
As in any other competition, there were disappointments from those expected to turn in better results but failed to come up to expectations.
Marie Antoinette, Aices mate their rivals
Strangely enough, it was the youngest girls, playing for the first time away from home in an international event in a strange land, who delivered the goods.
On the whole, they performed much better than the better-trained, more experienced female champions.
National under-8 girls’ champion Samantha Go Revita and her vice champion, Maria Antoinette San Diego, both won the gold in in the Standard version of the game.
San Diego got the gold just before she and her compatriots left Pattaya for Manila.
Little Marie Antoinette created the biggest sensation in the first few days when she mated three of her foreign rivals—one after the other in a row!
The only other female player who managed to mate her opponent was national under-18 champion Aices Salvador who, like Marie Antoinette, won the bronze in her age group. But Aices was able to deliver checkmate only once.
Dharsha Raja Jawahar – Marie Antoinette San Diego
Rd. 2, Under-8 Girls, Pattaya 2007
Sicilian Defense (B50)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4 e6 5.d3 Be7 6.0–0 0–0 7.Bf4 Nc6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.Re1 Re8 11.d4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 e5 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bg3 Rb8 15.b3 Bf8 16.Qf3 Qa5 17.Re3 d5! 18.Na4 18.Bh4 Re6 19.Rd3 should keep the balance Nxe4! 19.Re2 Nxg3 20.hxg3 g6 21.Qf6 Bg7 21...Qc7 was best 22.Qxc6 Rec8 23.Qd6 e4 24.Rd1 Rd8 25.Qc5 Qa6 26.Red2 d4! 27.c3 d3 28.Qc4? 28.Qe3 should be played, e.g., 28…Qc6 29.Qxa7! Qxc4! 29.bxc4 Rdc8 30.c5 Rc6 31.Nb2 31.f3 Ra6 32.fxe4 Rxa4 33.Rxd3 Be5 favors Black Rxc5 Fritz says 31...Bxc3!? seems even better: 32.Nxd3 Bxd2 33.Rxd2 exd3 34.Rxd3 Rb1+ 35.Kh2 Rxc5! 32.f3 Bxc3 33.Na4 Bd4+ 34.Kh2 Rh5#! 0–1
Marie Antoinette San Diego – Hoang Minh Thu
Rd, 3, Under-8 Girls, Pattaya 2007
Ruy Lopez (C80)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Nxe4 6.Re1 Nf6 6...Nc5 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 should equalize 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.Rxe5+ 8.d4! was best Be7 Equalizing 9.Nc3 0–0 10.Re1 b5 11.Bb3 d6 11...d5 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Qxd5 14.Rxe7 keeps the balance 12.h3 Qd7 13.d3 b4 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd5 c6 16.Bf3 Re8 17.Bd2 a5 18.Bg4 Qc7 19.Bg5 Bxg4 20.Qxg4 Bxg5 21.Qxg5 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Qd8 22...d5 23.Qe7 Qxe7 24.Rxe7 equalizes 23.Qxd8+ Rxd8 24.c3 24.Re7 was better bxc3 25.bxc3 h6 26.Rb1 Re8 27.Rb6 Re1+ 28.Kh2 Re2 29.Rxc6 Rxa2 If 29...Rxf2 30.a4! 30.Rxd6 a4 30...Rxf2 31.Kg3 Rd2 32.d4 restores the balance 31.c4 a3? 31...Rxf2! may be tried, e.g., 32.Kg3 Rd2, with equal chances 32.Ra6 Ra1 33.d4 33.Ra8+ was better a2 34.c5 Kf8 35.d5 Ke8 36.d6 Kd7 37.Ra7+ 37.g4 should be tried Kc8?? Missing the chance to equalize by 37...Kc6 38.c6! Kb8 39.Ra5 39.Rb7+ was most decisive: 39...Ka8 40.d7 Rh1+ 41.Kg3, with tremendous advantage Kc8 39...Rc1 offered a slim chance to avoid mate: 40.d7 Rd1 41.Rxa2 Kc7 40.Ra8#! 1–0
Marie,Antoinette San Diego - Huynh,Thu Truc [B75]
Rd. 4, U-8 Girls, Pattaya 2007
Sicilian Dragon, Yugoslav Attack (B75)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 d6 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bb3 Bd7 10.Qd2 a6 11.0–0–0 0–0–0? 12.Qf2 12.Bxf7 may be tried, e.g., 12…Rdf8 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.Bxe6+ Kb8 15.Kb1!, and White surges ahead Rde8? 13.Nde2?? 13.Bxf7 was strongest, e.g., 13...Ne5 14.Bxe8 Rxe8 15.Bg5! e6 14.Kb1 Kb8? Best was 14...h6 15.Bb6! Qc8 16.Rxd6 Ne5 17.Ba7+ Ka8 18.Qb6? g5 Missing 18...Nc6! 19.e5 Nxe5! 19.Rhd1 h5 20.a3 g4 21.f4 Nc4?? Black falls apart, says Fritz, suggesting instead 21...Nc6 22.e5 Bf8 23.Rxc6 Bxc6 24.exf6 Bh6 22.Bxc4 Qxc4 23.e5 Nd5 24.Nxd5 25.Nc7#! 1–0
Aices,Salvador - Tran,Le Tu Uyen [B08]
Rd. 1, Under-18 Girls, Pattaya 2007
Classical Pirc Defense (B08)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Qd7 8.e5 Ng8 9.0–0 d5 10.Bd3 Ne7 11.Re1 0–0 12.Bf6 a6 13.Qd2 Nbc6 14.Ne2 Kh7 15.g4 Ng8 16.g5 Bxf6 17.gxf6 Qd8 18.Kh1 Nxf6 19.exf6 Qxf6 20.Qf4 Kg7 21.Qg3 Nb4 22.Nf4 Kh7 23.Ne5 Nxd3 24.Nfxd3 b6 25.Re3 Qg7 26.Rg1 Bb7 26...g5 gives White greater advantage 27.Nf4 Rg8 28.Rf3 Raf8 29.Qh3 Qh8 30.Nxe6! fxe6 31.Qxh6+!! Startling but accurate Kxh6 32.Rh3+ Kg7 33.Rxg6#! 1–0