Chess Piece -- By Bobby Ang

GM Sadorra

Posted on March 28, 2011

Please allow me to congratulate Julio Catalino Sadorra on his third GM norm from the University of Texas-Dallas (UTD) Grandmaster Invitational Tournament.

First, a short backgrounder. The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship is the foremost intercollegiate team chess championship in the Americas. This covers schools in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. For the past 15 years it has been dominated by the two schools University of Maryland Baltimore Country (UMBC) and University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).

UMBC was where our former junior standout Paolo del Mundo studied several years ago -- he was an essential part of their chess campaign and scored many crucial points for the UMBC team.

The man behind UTD chess is Tim Redman, a Professor of Literary Studies with a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Literature from the University of Chicago. He was the one who convinced the school administration to offer scholarships to promising chess players and as a consequence of this they built up a pretty strong team. In fact, in large part because of his success in scholastic chess Tim Redman became president of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) for two terms, 1981-1984 and 2000-2001, the only president to date who has served twice. He is also a FIDE International Arbiter.

I say all these nice things about Mr. Redman with mixed feelings, for he double-crossed us during the 2000 Istanbul Olympiad. The question of which federation to accredit as the official governing body of chess in the Philippines, whether it will remain the Philippine Chess Federation (PCF, this is the Art Borjal/Edgar de Castro group) or the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP, Campo/myself/Eugene Torre etc), was to be taken up in the General Assembly to be held during the Olympiad.

Campo and I had a merienda with Mr. Redman and one of his delegates, Jim Eades (this is the guy who wrote Chess for Dummies, a great instructional book) to campaign for their support. We had very friendly discussions after which Mr. Redman promised that the USCF will support the NCFP. To my great disappointment, however, during the actual General Assembly not only did they vote against us but their delegate (I forget his name but he was a big guy) threatened to walk out if the NCFP won.

Well, the NCFP won. Illustrating his great diplomatic and political skills Campo arranged for a taxi to be brought to the hall to bring the delegate back to his hotel.

But I digress.

Early this month UTD organized a double-round Scheveningen training tournament for their chess team. The Scheveningen system is a method of organizing a chess match between two teams. Each player on one team plays each player on the other team. The team with the highest number of games won is the winner. This system is a popular way to create title norm opportunities.

The UTD top six players (GM Alejandro Ramirez, GM Ioan Cristian Chirila, IMs Julio Sadorra, Salvijus Bercys, Marko Zivanic and Wang Puchen) faced six seasoned veterans (International Grandmasters Alexander Shabalov, Dejan Bojkov, Julio Becerra, Valentin Iotov, Ray Robson and Magesh Panchanathan) with each member of one team playing every member of the opposing team twice. The final results:


1. GM Iotov, Valentin 8.0

2. GM Becerra, Julio 7.5

3. GM Bojkov, Dejan 7.5

4. GM Shabalov, Alexander 7.0

5. GM Robson, Ray 6.5

6. GM Panchanathan, Magesh 6.0


1. IM Sadorra, Julio 7.5

2. GM Ramirez, Alejandro 6.5

3. GM Chirila, Ioan 6.5

4. IM Bercys, Salvijus 4.0

5. IM Zivanic, Marko 3.5

6. IM Wang, Puchen 1.5

Ino Sadorra won four, drew seven and lost one for 7.5/12 and a performance rating of 2642. This is good enough for his third and final GM norm. His sole loss was to GM Robson in the 11th round -- perhaps he could not concentrate on the game because he had attained the norm in the previous round.

The last requirement, which is for him to attain a rating of 2500, will be fulfilled by May 2011, taking into consideration the ELO points gained during this tournament.

Here is the Philippines’ updated honor roll of GMs:

1. Eugene Torre

2. Rosendo Balinas, Jr. +

3. Rogelio Antonio, Jr.

4. Buenaventura Villamayor

5. Nelson Mariano II

6. Mark Paragua

7. Wesley So

8. Darwin Laylo

9. Jayson Gonzales

10. John Paul Gomez

11. Joseph Sanchez

12. Rogelio Barcenilla

13. Roland Salvador

14. Julio Catalino Sadorra

Waiting on the wings is IM Ronald Dableo, who already has all the required norms but still needs to get his rating up to the 2500 level (it is currently 2445).

Here is the GM norm-achieving win for Ino.

Sadorra, Julio Catalino (2475) -- Shabalov,Alexander (2590) [A11]

UT Dallas GM Invitational Richardson USA (10), 18.03.2011

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.0-0 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Nb6 7.a4 a5 8.Na3 Qd5 9.Ne1 Qe6 10.d3 cxd3 11.Nxd3 Nfd5 12.Nf4 Nxf4 13.Bxf4

Obviously, Black has development problems. But equally obviously White must strike while the iron is hot or he will lose all advantage.


I am sure Black wanted to untangle his position by 13...Nd5 but then 14.Bxd5! Qxd5 (14...cxd5? 15.Nb5 wins) 15.Rfd1 Bf5 16.Qc3 Qe4 17.Nc4 Shabalov’s position is unattractive.

14.Qc3 f6 15.Rfd1 Bg7 16.Qd4 Nd7 17.Rac1 Ne5

Black did not castle because of 17...0-0 18.Nb5! Qf7 (18...cxb5?? 19.Bd5) 19.Nc7 e5 20.Qd2 he would be losing the exchange.

18.Bxe5 fxe5

[18...Qxe5 19.Qxe5 fxe5 20.Rxc6!]

19.Qd8+ Kf7 20.Qc7 Rf8 21.Nc4 e4 22.Rd8 Rxd8 23.Qxd8 Be5? <D>

Position after 23...Be5

Overlooking White’s next move. Shabalov should have played 23...Bf6.

24.Bh3! Qxh3 25.Nxe5+ Ke6

[25...Kf6 26.Qh8+ Ke6 27.f4 exf3 28.exf3 it is the same as in the actual game continuation -- Black’s king cannot escape]

26.f4! exf3 27.exf3 1-0

Mate follows:

1) 27...Kxe5 28.Re1+ Kf5 29.Qxe7;

2) 27...exf3 Kf6 28.Qh8+ Ke6 29.Re1 Kd6 30.Qd8+ Ke6 31.Ng4+ Kf5 32.Re5#

A game befitting of the occasion, against a four-time US Champion no less!

Back in December 2000 I organized the Asian Intercontinental Under-16 Championship in Bagac, Bataan. One of the prizes was for the best theoretical novelty. Several people told me that the prize was useless as it is highly improbably that 16 year olds will come up with theoretical novelties (this was 10 years ago, remember. This comment is not valid now). Well, that was proven wrong for Ino Sadorra came up with a good novelty and won the prize. Even then he was a hard worker at the board and really prepared for the event.

Julio Catalino Sadorra is a very worthy addition to the roster of Philippine International Grandmasters.

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