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Campo stories

Mr. Florencio “Campo” Campomanes was the moving spirit behind the participation of the Philippine national team in the 1956 Moscow Olympiad. He did everything -- organized the team, arranged for funding, coordinated with the Russian organizers and a hundred and one other tiny details.

Memories of Campo

Last Friday would have been the 92nd birthday of Hon. Florencio Campomanes, someone who all chess-loving Filipinos should remember. He, together with Ramon Lontoc, Jr., share the distinction of being the first Filipino National Masters (in 1956). He was also the Philippine national champion in 1956 and 1960 and represented the country at five Chess Olympiads: Moscow 1956, Munich 1958, Leipzig 1960, Varna 1962 and Havana 1966.

Another Queen’s Gambit story

Last Tuesday I told you the story of GM Andrei Sokolov and how the Queen’s Gambit Declined Blackburne Variation did him in. He wasn’t the only one whose ship was sunk by that line. There is also Nigel Short.

A Queen’s Gambit story

In the latest New in Chess Yearbook (no. 129), Grandmaster (GM) Peter Lukacs and IM Laszlo Hazai wrote a theoretical update on the Queen’s Gambit Declined Blackburne Variation, which they dubbed “The most complicated line in the QGD.”

Games from Tata Steel Masters

GM Teimour Radjabov (born March 12, 1987 in Baku, Azerbaijan) was a child prodigy he attained the international grandmaster title in 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second youngest grandmaster in history at the time. This record has since been broken multiple times, but is rise to the top was faster than anybody with perhaps the sole exception of Magnus Carlsen.

My pet line

A few columns ago I was writing about the need to vary your chess style when playing under different time controls, i.e., standard, rapid or blitz conditions. Specifically, it is a good idea to have a more aggressive opening repertoire for the faster games. England’s GM Michael Adams, who won a big share of rapid tournaments in the 90s and early 2000s, has always preached that in quickplay your goal is not prophylaxis or solidity -- the correct way is to keep your pieces active at all times. The mistakes are going to come, and to have a chance to finish on top your pieces have to have scope.

The Soltis Principle

This is a continuation of our coverage of the 2019 Gibraltar Masters tournament, won by two 20 year-olds, Vladislav Artemiev at 1st and Karthikeyan Murali at 2nd.

Artemiev wins in Gibraltar

The Gibraltar Masters this year was won by two representatives of the next generation. Twenty-year-old Vladislav Artemiev of Russia finished with an 8.5/10 2941 performance to earn himself £25,000 (roughly P1.7 million) and an extra 27.4 rating points.

Carlsen wins Tata Masters

World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the Tata Steel Masters tournament for the 7th time (this is a record, Viswanathan Anand is the only other player to have won it for five or more times) with a final score of 9/13 composed of five wins and eigth draws.

Wesley So in action

Gibraltar is a British Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula and bordered to the north by Spain. It has an area of 6.7 sq.m. and home to around 32,000 people. Gibraltar’s economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refueling. For chessplayers, we know the place as the site of one of the strongest chess opens in the world, now on its 17th edition.

Best Endgame for 2018

My son Keith Colby is a student at Xavier School. Around two years ago my wife made me promise to spend more time tutoring him with his math lessons. I really tried to do that but it turned out that my son’s lessons were much too advanced for me -- and he was only in high school! In between my high school days and his the information age arrived, and with the fast access speeds to information from anywhere in the world comes greater demands on the students to catch up fast.

2018 Combination of the Year

Early 2018 in the Gibraltar Masters the Bulgarian GM (Grandmaster) Ivan Cheparinov won a brilliancy against Alan Pichot, an Argentinian GM. This game was recently adjudged “Best Combination for 2018” by the top chess website www.chessbase.com. Of added interest is that it came about from the Sicilian Poisoned Pawn Variation, a very popular line here in the Philippines due to the influence of Bobby Fischer.

Best game of 2018

Some of the top chess websites have run surveys on the Best Game from 2018. Chess.com asked its content team to come up with a list of its Top 10 and the following game from the Batumi Olympiad was adjudged number one.

Wesley So in 2018

The World Chess Federation has published its January 2019 rating list. The top 15 players are:

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh

In the year 2018 rapid and blitz chess have become more popular than ever before. Even in the Grand Chess Tour there were two legs out of the five total which feature exclusively the quicker time controls.

Women’s quickplay

The Chinese Grandmaster (GM) Ju Wenjun (born Jan. 31, 1991) was having a great 2018. In Marcb 2018 she challenged GM Tan Zhongyi for the women’s title and won it 5.5-4.5 to become the 17th Women’s World Chess Champion.

Dubov is World Rapid Chess champion

GRANDMASTER (GM) Daniil Dmitrievich Dubov (born April 18, 1996 in Moscow) won the $60,000 first prize (approximately P3.15 million at the World Rapid Chess Championship by posting a score of 11/15 with seven wins, eight draws and no losses.

Perspective by Peter Long

17th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2nd Manny Pacquiao Cup) Open Division Tiara Oriental Hotel, Makati City, Philippines Dec. 10-18, 2018

Wei Yi is Asian champ

The 19-year old GM Wei Yi from Yancheng, Jiangsu, China, won the 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships with a steady performance of four wins and five draws. He actually tied for 1st with Iranian GM Seyyed Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei and the top-ranked GM from Vietnam Le Quang Liem, but having faced much stronger opposition, was awarded the gold medal.

Asian Chess Championship

The 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships started Monday last week in the Tiara Oriental Hotel in Malugay Street, Makati City. This was sort of a rush affair – the hosting of the event was just awarded to the Philippines some time in late October and the organizers had to scramble to put it together, what with it being Christmas with most hotels and function rooms unavailable for a straight 2-week booking.

Unbeaten streak

Last year the “New in Chess Magazine” (issue no. 2 of volume 2017) carried an infographic page entitled “Streaks of Invincibility” which listed down the records for most classical, or slow, games played in competition without a loss.

Two queen sacrifices

The past few months have been chess-packed, what with the Batumi Olympiad (Sept. 23-Oct. 6), European Club Cup (October 13-18), the women’s world championship (Nov. 3-23) and the Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana world championship (Nov. 9-26) following in quick succession.

Game 10 retold

The 2018 London World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2835) and Fabiano Caruana (USA 2832) ended in 12 draws. Magnus Carlsen then won the tiebreak match 3-0 to retain his title.

Magnus Carlsen still champ

The world chess championship match between defending champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2835) and his challenger Fabiano Caruana (USA 2832) ended in a 6.0-6.0 score after 12 straight draws, the first time in the history of the world championships where there was no decisive game in the whole series. Magnus Carlsen then won the rapid tiebreak 3-0 to retain his title for another two years.

Teen star in Khanty-Mansiysk

The 2018 women’s World Chess Championship is over and the Chinese Grandmaster Ju Wenjun remains the chess queen of earth. I’d like to point out the notable performance of IM Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan.

Ju Wenjun is women’s champ

Khanty-Mansiysk is a city in the center of the Khanty-Mansi Okrug (an administrative unit providing autonomy to indigenous peoples of Northern Russia, in this case the Khanty and the Mansi people) located in Western Siberia. The city has around 100,000 inhabitants and its climate extreme -- temperatures as low as -56 degrees and as high as 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tata Steel India

Back in the 1980s there was a big push to promote rapid chess events all over the world and Yasser Seirawan’s “Inside Chess” publication even took it upon itself to administer rapid ratings in the United States. This was in addition to the World Blitz Chess Association (WBCA) of GM Walter Shawn Browne. What is the difference between “Rapid” and “Blitz”? Surprisingly a lot of people do not know the demarcation point at which a game becomes either rapid or blitz. For example, what is the classification of a 15-minute game? Take note that the rules for over-the-board games are not the same as in online chess. We will confine our discussion today to over-the-board.

Asian Seniors Championship

Tagaytay City hosted the Asian Seniors Chess Championship for Over-50 and Over-65 years old at the Tagaytay International Convention Center. There were no separate competitions for the two age groups -- it was held as one round-robin event after which the top Over-50 and Over-65 were awarded their medals.

Windup of Asian Para Games

There is a lot of action going on now. In Tagaytay we have the Asian Seniors Championship where IM Angelo Young (remember him?) won the Active (15 minutes + 10 seconds increment) and IM Chito Garma is closing in on the Standard (90 minutes + 30 second increment) Championship. In Khanty-Mansiysk the 2018 Women’s World Championship KO event is in full swing while in Kolkata there is the super-strong Tata Steel Rapid event where Wesley So, Vishy Anand, Lev Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura are testing the mettle of the local Indian players, and the Indians are doing quite well!

Our magnificent warriors

FIDE Master Sander de Erit Severino was born in June 30, 1985 in Silay, Negros Occidental. At a young age he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Both of his legs are paralyzed due to this condition. Sander started playing competitive chess at seven years of age and became a regional champion at nine and National Kiddies Champion at 11.

Good coaching

The Philippine Olympiad team has had a lot of bad coaches over the years. There was one, for example, who spent the whole day in the casino and only showed up the next morning to announce the line-up for the games in the afternoon. There was another very horrible person who even stole the ball pens furnished by the organizers for the players.

Olympiad wrap-up

Last Tuesday I discussed the good coaching for the Philippine Women’s Olympiad team. For these team events this is very important. You will recall the Bersamina vs Pichot game from the previous Olympiad.

Philippines versus Spain

In the Batumi Olympiad our women’s team had a great victory over Spain, the 15th seed, in round 6. As can be seen from the table below we were out rated on every board and yet came away with a 3.0-1.0 victory.

The Philippine Women’s Team

China won the Women’s Chess Olympiad on tie-breaks over Ukraine. They showed up in Batumi without the highest rated woman chess player in the world, Hou Yifan, and also the former Women’s World Champion Tan Zhongyi, but anyway still got the job done. Current women’s world champion GM Ju Wenjun won the individual gold for board 1 while board 3 WGM Huang Qian and board 4 GM Lei Tingjie got the silver medals.

No guts no glory

During the 2018 Batumi Chess Olympiad there was a Brilliancy Prize awarded every round chosen by a special judging committee led by GM Susan Polgar. After all 11 rounds have been played the committee will then choose the “Overall Brilliant Game”. The winner was GM Tiger Hillarp Persson for his marvelous “the King is an attacking piece” demonstration.

Kramnik story

For those BW readers who were able to witness the 1992 Manila Olympiad, I am sure you will recall that Vladimir Kramnik was the big story. He was plucked out of obscurity, a mere FIDE Master, to join Garry Kasparov, Alexander Khalifman, Sergei Dolmatov, Alexei Dreev and Alexei Vyzmanavin to represent Russia in the first post-USSR Olympiad.

Brilliancy Prize winners

43rd Chess Olympiad (Open Division) Batumi, Georgia Sept. 23 -- Oct. 6, 2018 Final Standings (Open) Country Points TB1 TB2 1. China 18/22 372.5 28.5 2. USA 18/22 360.5 29.0 3....

Games from Batumi

Total of 185 teams from 183 countries. Georgia as the host country was allowed to field 3 teams.

China is double champion

Back in 1975 we had the Philippines vs China Friendship Matches where a 10-man Filipino squad (Grandmaster [GM] Eugene Torre, International Master [IM] Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, IM Renato Naranja, IM Rosendo Balinas Jr, Glenn Bordonada, Rico Mascariñas, Roger Abella, Rafaelito Maninang, Cesar Caturla, and Phil Junior Champion Frederic Tumanon) met the best player of China, ostensibly to test the playing level of China in preparation for their first participation in the Chess Olympiad. Anyway, there were six matches of 10 games each, held in various cities around China and the Philippines won 35.0-25.0.

New B3 weapon

Scoring is on Match Points System (two points for team win, one point for draw, 0 for loss). First Tiebreak is on Olympiad Sonneborn-Berger System and Second Tiebreak is on Game Points (total points scored by each of their players).

43rd Chess Olympiad: Halfway point

The Azeri team features an in-form Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2820 (3/4), Teimour Radjabov 2751 (3/4), Arkadij Naiditsch 2721 (3.5/5), Rauf Mamedov 2699 (4.5/5) and Eltaj Safarli 2676 (2/2). As you know both Armenia and Azerbaijan, two countries still technically at war, have a deeply-ingrained chess culture and any match between the two is always a tense affair. In Batumi it was Azerbaijan which won 2.5-1.5, and the game between the two teams’ leaders was worthy of the occasion.

The 2018 Chess Olympiad starts

The 43rd Chess Olympiad kicked off last Sunday, Sept. 23, in a lavish opening ceremony held at the Black Sea Arena in Shekvetili. Round 1 started the next day at the newly built Batumi Sport Palace. This event is a great feather in the cap of GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, a former European Chess Champion and now the Director of the Organizing Committee for the event.

Junior action

During the World Junior Chess Championship the Iranian school of chess showed itself in a good light with the success of its representatives Maghsoodloo, Tabatabaei and Firouzja.

World Junior Championship

The Iranians are really on a roll. Last August their national team of GMs Parham Maghsoodloo, Pouya Idani, M. Amin Tabatabaei, Alireza Firouzja and Masoud Mosadeghpour won the Asian Nations Cup ahead of the all-GM powerhouses from India (Baskaran Adhiban, SP Sethuraman, Krishnan Sasikiran, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Abhijeet Gupta) and China (Lu Shanglei, Wen Yang, Zhou Jianchao, Bai Jinshi, Xu Xiangyu).

Games from Satka

The two Dmitry’s tied for first in the Russian Superfinals; there was a play-off the Grand Master (GM) Andreikin won the title of Russian Champion and a new car which went with it, a Renault Kaptur -- roughly, it looks like the new Toyota Rush. This is his second time -- in 2012 Andreikin figured in a gigantic six-way tie for first in the SuperFinals with Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, Jakovenko, Evgeny Alekseev and Vladimir Potkin and he won the subsequent play-off. This was the beginning of Andreikin’s reputation of “nerves of steel.”