Sunday, March 23, 2014


by Marlon Bernardino

Final Standings:

4.0 points---GM Mark Paragua (Philippines), GM Fidel Corales Jimenez (Cuba), GM Benjamin Finegold (USA), GM Manuel Leon Hoyos (Mexico), IM Priyadharshan Kannappan (India)
3.5 points---Ruifeng Li (China), Iskandar Aripov (Uzbekistan), Anthony D Paolercio (Italy)

MANILA, Philippines---GRANDMASTER (GM) Mark Callano Paragua once again at the top of his game after winning the tough 18th Annual Mid-America Open Chess Championships last March 14 to 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.

Paragua who is best to remember by winning the 1998 World Rapid Under-14 Championships in Disneyland, France actually was tied for first place with GM Fidel Corales Jimenez of Cuba, GM Benjamin Finegold of United States, GM Manuel Leon Hoyos of Mexico and IM Priyadharshan Kannappan of India, however after the tie break points was applied the amiable Paragua won the championships' trophy.

Ruifeng Li of China, Iskandar Aripov of Uzbekistan and Anthony D Paolercio of Italy was tied at 6th to 8th placers with 3.5 points each.

Paragua an incoming sports consultant at the office of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte compiled four points in five outings with an impressive wins against David Tianjiang Peng and Tianlu Peng of China, Advait Patel of Israel and Kevin Y Cao of USA. He suffered an upset loses to Zach Kasiurak of Lithuania in the second round.

"It's a big boast for the Philippine Chess." said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/ President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. also member of board of trustees of Philippine Olympic Committee.

"Mark Paragua's perfomance in Missouri Open Chess proved that Filipino can slug it out among the World's best," added  Asian Zone 3.3 FIDE President and Cavite 7th district Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr. also the Secretary-General of the NCFP.

"His (Mark Paragua) big wins in Missouri Open Chess added the impressive showing of his countrymen and fellow GMs Wesley So and Julio Catalino "Ino" Sadorra, both made waves in the US chess circuit." said 1976 Palarong Pambansa Western Visayas Chess Champion Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares also Vice-President of NCFP.

The 18th Annual Mid-America Open Chess Championships organized by the Continental Chess Association headed by husband and wife tandem Bill and Brenda Goichberg.

Paragua, earlier won the Marshall 4 rated games last March 6. He tallied 3.5 points in four outings, the same output of GM Alexander Stripunsky of the USA, whom he beat in tie break points.

Paragua is also schedule to play in the Philadelphia Open on April 16 to 20, Pittsburg Open on May 2 to 4, New York State Open on May 16-18, Chicago Open on May 22 to 26, Northeast Open on June 6 to 8, DC International Open on June 26 to 30 and the prestigious World Open Chess on July 2 to 6.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Pinoy Super Grandmaster: Julio Catalino Sadorra

Reaches Historic Chess Mark after winning US chess tournament

by Marlon Bernardino

Live rating:

2600.9   (Standard)
2531  (Rapid)
2544  (Blitz) 

MANILA, Philippines---United States based Grandmaster Julio Catalino Sadorra of the Philippines recently topped the 2014 Lone Star Open Chess Champion with an unbeaten record of four wins and a draw in five outings last February 21 to 23 at the Marriott North Greenspoint  in Houston, Texas.

Sadorra, a member of the International Churches of Christ (ICOC) in Dallas, Texas, gained three (3) elo rating points in the said chessfest, enough to tally a 2600.9 elo rating.

"Congratulation to Mr. Julio Catalino Sadorra for winning the Lone Star Open Chess Champion last month in Houston, Texas." said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. in an interview by this writer on Tuesday.

" Ino's (Julio Catalino Sadorra) live rating is 2600.9. He is now officially the third player from the Philippines to break the 2600 rating mark."  added Pichay, who is also Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) auditor.

Grandmaster John Paul Gomez of Binan, Laguna, room mate of GM Sadorra in last year's Manny Pacquiao Cup International here in Manila had something to say: " I'm very confident that Ino will break the 2600 elo barrier."

Candidate Master Johnny Teves of Pacita, San Pedro, Laguna who is best known to remember who scoring 8/9 on Board 1 during the last year's Malaysian Open team tournament added: " Another good news for Philippine Sports after our very own GM Julio Catalino Sadorra is the 3rd Filipino Super Grandmaster ." 

Mark Paragua is the first Filipino to break the 2600 elo barrier with 2618 in January 2006. Best elo of Paragua is 2621 on April 2006. Wesley So is the second Filipino to break the 2600 barrier or much known Super Grandmaster. He tallied 2610 on October 2008.

Wesley So has a current live rating of 2740.3.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tambasen, Labay to compete in US chess circuit

by Marlon Bernardino

MANILA, Philippines---Mary Grace Tambasen of Bago City, Negros Occidental and Rainier Labay of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro are vying for the tough 18th Annual Mid-America Open Chess Championship will be held from March 14-16, 2014, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Louis-Clayton, 7750 Carondelet Ave., St. Louis, Missouri in United States.

This will be the first time that Tambasen and Labay will be competing in the prestigious annual tournament which is organized by the Continental Chess Association.

Tambasen, a part of the coaching team of University of Negros Occidental –Recoletos, is fresh from overall third place finish in the Under 1950 below category Gainsfield Grand Prix 2014 Open was held last month at the Milano Restaurant, Pro Club Soi 29 Samakee Road Nonthaburi, Thailand.

"We hope to do well in this event," said Tambasen, whose local and international tournament are supported by Bago City mayor Ramon D. Torres , Sports Coordinator Ignacio Denila, National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) Vice President Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares and University of Negros Occidental –Recoletos.

Labay, a former chess coach of La Salle Greenhills and La Salle Taft, won a local tournament in Batangas City last year.

" We train hard for this event," said Labay.

Tambasen and Labay also will be seeing in action in the 8th Annual Philadelphia Open will be held from April 16-20, 2014, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


by Marlon Bernardino

MANILA, Philippines--- Jelvis Arandela Calvelo reinforced his position as one of the Philippines’ top non-master players when he ruled the Air Tawar Rapid Chess Championship dubbed as Melaka Chess Open last January 25 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Calvelo, a native of Dasmarinas City, Cavite  defeated Indon Sukarman Lukman and Malaysian Erowan Masrin in the last two rounds to topped the six round Swiss-system event.

Calvelo tallied perfect six points. He earlier beat Aman Mohd Airffin, Zulkiple Abdul Muhaimin, Mat Noor Zainal Abidin and Mohd Jamil Mohd Rosdi of Malaysia, respectively.

It was third Malaysian chess title for Calvelo. He also finished a tie for first in the Karnival Catur Sepang 2013-Sepang Rapid Chess Open and KL Open chess last December.

Calvelos' chess campaign in Malaysia is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee and the City Government of Dasmarinas, Cavite.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wesley Barbasa So 28th Place Fide Rating List For January 2014 to compete in Dutch Tata Steel Tournament

by Marlon Bernardino

GM Wesley Barbasa So of the Philippines now climbed up to 28th rank in the January 2014 FIDE world ratings ladder. 

The 20 year-old Webster University sophomore student So, the top player of National Chess Federation of the Philippines  Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and Secretary-General Cavite Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr., tallied 2719 Elo Rating, the country’s highest ever achieved in the sport and likewise the only player so far to surpass the 2700 mark.

His recent tournament victories in 2013 Pan American Inter-Collegiate Championship in Lubbock, Texas , Europe ( Hoogeveens and Reykjavik) and North Americas (US Open and Canada) boosted his ascent at the top of the rankings order.

According to NCFP Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and Secretary-General Cavite Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino Jr., So's next tournament is the upcoming 76th edition of the Dutch tournament Tata Steel on January 10 to 26, 2014.

This year for the first time the grandmasters of the A-group will play one round in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and one round in the High Tech Campus Eindhoven. 

The competition will gather players with a high average coefficient of 2744 Elo points. Other invited players are GM Levon Aronian of Armenia (2803), GM Hikaru Nakamura of the USA (2786), GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy (2782), GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy (2782), GM Boris Gelfand of Israel (2777),GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia (2756), GM Leinier Dominguez of Cuba (2754), GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany (2737), GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands(2737), GM Pentala Harikrishna of India (2708), GM Richard Rapport of Hungrary (2687) and GM Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands (2678).

Last year's edition was won by GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway (2872). The Tata Steel tournament was formerly known by the name of the city that traditionally hosted the event, Wijk aan Zee, then named Corus and finally given its current name.

Meanwhile, the Philippines bested other powerhouse chess countries like Latvia, Sweden, Argentina and Denmark based on per nation’s top ten players. Currently, Philippines is now at  29th place a point after Brazil.

Philippines top ten active players are: GMs Wesley So 2719, Julio Sadorra 2595, Oliver Barbosa 2579, John Paul Gomez 2541, Joseph Sanchez 2525, Rogelio Antonio Jr. 2517, Darwin Laylo 2511, Mark Paragua 2499, Rogelio Barcenilla 2475, Roland Salvador 2462.

Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre slipped to number 11th position with his 2427. Also noted is GM Mark Paragua’s ratings who lost several points and fell behind the 2500 mark.

New addition to the country’s titled list of players is the 19th IM Roderick Nava 2388 whose title was approved by FIDE in last month’s chess congress.

36th Nelson "Elo" Mariano III, 2318, and 57th Adrian Ros Pacis, 2268, also got their Fide Master title.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chess has a handsome, charismatic new star in world champion Magnus Carlsen

By: Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports

Chess crowned a new superstar Friday, as Magnus Carlsen clinched his first world chess title in a victory many expect to revolutionize the game.
At 22 years old, and with enough mainstream appeal to have secured a modeling contract and various endorsement deals, Carlsen is seen as the poster boy for a new era in chess, which has long been stuck with an image that was anything but dynamic.
The Norwegian secured victory by outlasting reigning champ Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, India, with a draw in game 10 of their scheduled 12-match series, building an unassailable 6.5-3.5 lead and bringing the contest to a close.
View gallery
Magnus Carlsen, right, shakes hands with India's Viswanathan Anand after defeating the reigning world champion. …
Carlsen's win earned him the $1.5 million winner's check, but that figure may be dwarfed by the commercial sponsorships he is able to secure on the back of his triumph.
With the "nerd dollar" one of the most powerful forces in modern marketing, Carlsen's combination of charisma and supreme strategic intelligence looks certain to pocket him some serious cash, as well as lead to a surge in popularity for his game of choice. Having secured the highest rating in chess history, his head-to-head battle with Anand over the past two weeks was all that stood between Carlsen and chess immortality.
However, he has already ventured where no chess player has gone before, with his modeling appearance for clothes brand G-STAR, a spot on Cosmopolitan magazine's sexiest men of 2013 list and a fanbase that includes even those unfamiliar with chess' complicated vagaries.
"The future belongs to him," said former world champion Garry Kasparov, one of chess' all-time greats. "He has the ability to reach an audience that has previously been shut off to chess. That is a wonderful thing for the game, to have this special talent and the character that goes with it."
Carlsen's style of play flies in the face of conventional chess logic and proved too much for Anand, a three-time defending champion.
Constantly throwing his opponent off balance with unorthodox and aggressive maneuvers, Carlsen asserted control in the championship match, which was played in a glass cage in India's sixth-largest city.
After the first four games all ended in draws, as is highly common at the top level of chess, where both players are of extremely high skill, Carlsen snatched away games five and six with ruthless attacking play. Following two more draws, he staved off a barrage of attacking moves from Anand to win game nine, putting him a mere half point from the championship. Players are awarded a full point for each game won, half for a draw.
Anand did not lie down quietly in game 10, despite his virtually impossible plight, forcing the game to 65 moves apiece before the players eventually agreed to a draw.
Carlsen is now expected to be greeted with a hero's welcome when he returns to his native Norway, before embarking on a world tour aimed at maximizing the spoils of his success.
"There is no telling how far his popularity could go," said two-time U.S. women's chess champion Jennifer Shahade. "He is a great looking guy and he has the personality and charisma to appeal to a very broad audience. This is a great time for him – and a great time for chess."
* - Lifted without permission from Yahoo! Sports

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


by Marlon Bernardino

Unheralded Emil Colindres, a businessman from Caloocan City,
topped yesterday's 1st Edition of the King of Sports Chess circuit, held at King of Sports restobar, the latest gaming and entertainment hub at pacific century tower, quezon ave.,
quezon city.

Colindres subdued erstwhile leader Ernesto Absin, a PNP retiree-turned businessman, in a Reti Opening in the final round to clinch the 1st King of Sports tiara. Earlier, he trounced Efren Bagamasbad, a chemical engineer and chess national master, in the second round of a Queen,s Indian and drew with 7-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor and Dandel Fernandez of Manila Water to remain unbeaten in six outings with 4 wins and 2 

Actually, Colindres was tied with architect Franz Barreto with
identical 5 points but the former had a superior tie break quotient.
The two players shared the top two cash prizes of P5,000 and P3,000, respectively, and went home richer with P4,000 each.

Other winners are: Efren Bagamasbad, solo 3rd place ( P2,00); Ernesto Absin, 4th , CPA-lawyer Atty. Philip King Cartagena of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, 5th  and pharmacist Stephen Manzanero, 6th. The three split the combined 4th and 5th prizes of P1,500 and P1,000, respectively.

     In the 5-minute blitz side event, Dandel Fernandez  of Manila Water grabbed the championship, followed by pharmacist Stephen Manzanero and Ernesto Absin. Dr. Jenny Mayor, who is obviously off-form, placed fourth.

     The twin event  was organized by D’ Plaza Chess Association of the Phils., Inc. in close cooperation with Bugsy International Promotions and Kaunlaran Chess Association.  Supporting this maiden project were GM Eugene Torre. Asia”s first grandmaster and D’Plaza adviser,  U.S. based Carmelito Mejia of  CVM Investments, Inc.  and Arcade Sampang of ASM Company.