Parañaque Chess Open '09 — Another Photo Op with the Masters

Went to the Parañaque Chess Open ’09 today, not really to join in the tournament (although I would have loved to), but to take some pictures. Another photo op with the young Grandmaster Wesley So.

I recalled four (4) grandmasters participated in the tournament: Wesley So, Bong Villamayor, Mark Paragua and Darwin Laylo (somebody correct me if I missed some other grandmaster/s who was/were in the tourney). Wasn’t able to get the final results, although I heard Wesley So lost the tournament to the defending champion Darwin Laylo by tie-break (everybody is welcome to post the actual/official results in the comments below). Continue reading

The Curious Case of a Chess Enthusiast

Got a comment in my post, “Wesley So, the Gifted Child“. I prepared a long response that I decided to actually just post a new entry about it instead. And so here goes.

Here’s what my commentator has to say:

I don’t think that Wesley So is a gifted child. In today’s world where computer softwares are readily available to budding chessplayers earning a GM norm or title is not really that hard anymore. And to compare him to the great Bobby Fischer is indeed a blasphemy! Fischer was a true genius never before and shall never be seen again in chess. However, Wesley’s achievements should make the Filipinos proud. But as we all know India is million miles ahead of us in chess considering its long list of Super GMs.

To Mr. Panday, if you think Wesley So is not a gifted child, that’s your opinion. You’re definitely entitled to one. Any software is available to everyone to help him/her in analyzing a game, but it does not conclude anyone can also be a grandmaster. It takes patience and determination on top of the inherent skills in someone who is a grandmaster in order to master the craft of chess. Computer chess softwares are merely a tool in studying and preparing for a game or tournament. They are not there to think for you during the actual game. Continue reading

Wesley So Wins Corus Chess 2009 Group C

Philippines’ pride GM Wesley So emerged as the sole winner in the the Group C category of Corus Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee in Netherlands.

Nothing grand upset, though. He was the top seed in that category to start with. But it is yet a great achievement in such a prestigious event in the world of chess. We may expect So to at least be promoted to Group B in the next year.

Chess As Part of the School Curriculum

Inquirer.net reports that the DepEd in a memo dated January 8 of this year, chess will form part of the curriculum of Elementary and High School students.

“Global studies have shown that chess is a game that improves individual organizational and analytical skills. Children when exposed to this game at an early age achieve academically better or even faster than those who have not been engaged in said game,” Lapus said.

“Likewise, chess is among the activities that help build memory skills, concentration, self-confidence, self-esteem and in making disciplined decisions,” he added.

“Playing chess provides opportunities to practice such values as perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship,” Lapus said.

Continue reading

Anand is Still King – World Chess Championship 2008

In Germany, with Viswanathan Anand leading the match already at 6-to-3 after Game 9, the match was expected to be decided in his favor with three more games to play and needing only a draw in the next game. But Vladimir Kramnik still managed to draw blood at Game 10. Yet in Game 11, Kramnik settled for a draw, letting go of his reach for the crown.

Anand the King

Anand the King

And Anand the King was crowned the world champion.

It was a game of almost unbearable tension. Anand switched to 1.e4, Vladimir Kramnik went for do-or-die complications, Anand obliged, and for a couple of hours nobody knew what would happen. In the end, Vishy Anand prevailed, got a slightly better position and Vladimir Kramnik offered a draw. Anand remains World Champion.

WCC R11: Fighting draw, Anand wins World Championship by 6.5:4.5.

Download all the games of the match.

Anand Draws First Blood in Game 3

Viswanathan Anand, the defending champion, draws the first blood with black on the 3rd game of the World Chess Championship yesterday against the challenger, Vladimir Kramnik. This was after the first two games were agreed two by the two players.

It seems that in this match, players don’t recognize the dangers of the failure to castle. They just seem like to complicate things, to the delightment of the fans!

Continue reading

Chessworld.net, The Rivalry, The Tactical Move

Chessworld.net

Chessworld.net is an email correspondence chess playing website that let’s you play chess over the internet against other players around the world. You don’t have to be in the same timezone as that of your opponent because games are played through email and time limits varies from 1 day to 15 days per move. No downloads are required, just login to the site when it’s your turn to play and make your move. You can also play as many games as you can manage at the same time. Tournaments are available in various formats (no swiss!) if you want to join, or you can create your own to suit your style.

Online chessMost of the features in the site are available only to paying members. That’s $28.50 for one year but the flexibility with which it offers (i.e., you can play at your most convenient time), the community, the tournaments, the number of quality players and the fun are enough reasons to part with the amount.

There are other email correspondence chess in the internet, but so far I particularly found my niche at chessworld.net. If anyone wants to play chess with me, sign-up now at chessworld.net. My handle is Deuts Ambuscade.

Online chess

The Rivalry

It started with the “Primary Battle”, a good-old-friend-and-archrival and I have been playing chess offline and over at chessworld.net. In our offline games (which are not recorded, of course), in as much as I can remember the standing is more or less a draw. In Chessworld.net, we played a total of 9 games (excluding games that timed out), and the official tally is at 4 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw apiece. That’s how close our rivalry was back then.

We took some time off from playing against each other for about two years. But now we decided to renew that rivalry. And we can only expect ferocity from the clash this time around.

Continue reading

World Chess Championship 2008 in Germany

The match will be a best of 12 games. Players score 1 point for a win and half a point for a draw. Time control will be 120 minutes, with 60 minutes added after move 40, 15 minutes added after move 60, and additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. The match will end as soon as any player scores 6.5 points.

If, after 12 games, the score is equal, a tie-break of four rapid games will be played. Time control for these games will be 25 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. In case of equal scores two additional blitz games will be played (5 minutes plus 10 seconds per move). If these games do not decide the winner, a decisive Armageddon game will be played (6 minutes for white, 5 minutes for black, black declared champion in case of a draw). There will be a new drawing of colours before rapid games, as well as before blitz games and an Armageddon game.

World Chess Championship 2008
Official Website

I find a head-to-head match-up like this more exciting than a round-robin (e.g., the World Chess Championship 2007) for a world chess championship. In the former, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the rush of blood as players hammer each other on a round per round mental combat. Get yourself marveled at how each player switch strategy in the middle of the match to accommodate the outpouring pressure. In the latter, oftentimes you’ll just wait and see till the last round who has the nearest reach to the crown.

A round-robin world championship will be just like a boxing match, with eight players inside a ring at the same time. The last man standing will be the world champion. In chess, most likely you’ll just wait and see by the end of the show who will come out victorious. But in boxing, hey, this is pretty exciting!