Monday, September 15, 2014

Villanueva wins Malaysia chess


by Marlon Bernardino

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia---National Master (NM) Nelson Villanueva reinforced his position as one of the Philippines’ top chess players when he won the POLISAS Classical Open Chess Championship last September 6 to 9 in Polisas, Malaysia.

Villanueva, who hails from La Carlota City, Negros Occidental  defeated Malaysian Mohd Kamal Abdullah in the final round to score 6.5 points in seven outings and captured the coveted title. 

The former Rizal Technological University (RTU) Mandaluyong mainstay prevailed after 33 moves of Caro-Kann defense using the disadvantageous black pieces.

With the victory, Villanueva's performance boosted the nation's morale and he schedule to play in the 24th annual North American Open Chess Champion on December 26 to 29 at the at Bally's Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

National Master (NM) Efren Bagamasbad, on the other hand won the overall second place with a superior tiebreak points in the huge group of 5.5 pointers that includes Fairul Yusoff, Kamalarifin Wahiduddin, Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli, Mohd Khair Wahiduddin and Wan Ali Wan Manan of Malaysia.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Phl women's team beats ICCD in World Chess Olympiad


by Marlon Bernardino

Philippines women's team continued their winning ways as it toppled International Chess Committee of the Deaf (ICCD), 3.5-0.5, in the second round of the 41st World Chess Olympiad late Sunday in Tromso, Norway.

Woman International Master (WIM) Chardine Cheradee Camacho (ELO 2214) outclassed  WIM Tatiana Baklanova (ELO 2229) on Board 1 to power Phl women's team to victory.

In other matches saw, Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Janelle Mae Frayna (ELO 2205) subdued WCM Annegret Mucha (ELO 2008) on Board 2 while Woman National Master (WNM) Jan Jodilyn Fronda (ELO 2098) nipped Natalya Myronenko (ELO 1942) on Board 3. WIM Olga Gerasimova (ELO 2045) halved the point with WIM Catherine Perena (ELO 2165) on Board 4 to saved ICCD in a possible shut-out loss.

The No. 43 Philippines women's team will meet No.8 Poland in Monday's third round. Poland is coming from a 2.5-1.5 win against No.27 Czech Republic.

Against Poland, Camacho will face GM  Monika Socko (ELO 2470), Frayna opposite WGM Jolanta Zawadzka (ELO 2398), Fronda versus WGM Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska (ELO 2380) and Perena goes up against WGM Marta Bartel (ELO 2359).

Meanwhile, Fide Master (FM) Paulo Bersamina (ELO 2363) defeated FM Dejan Marjanovic (ELO 2373) on Board 4 to power No. 52 Phl men's team into a 2-2 stand off against No.42 Bosnia & Herzegovina after his teammates, Grandmasters (GMs) Julio Catalino Sadorra (ELO 2590) and Eugene Torre (ELO 2438), drew with their respective rivals. However, GM John Paul Gomez (ELO 2526) bowed to GM Dalibor Stojanovic (ELO 2503) on Board 2.

Phl men's team will meet No.2 Ukraine in the next round who drew with No.58 Norway 2.

Against Ukraine, Sadorra, Gomez, Torre and Bersamina will face all GMs squad Vassily Ivanchuk (ELO 2744), Ruslan Ponomariov (ELO 2717), Anton Korobov (ELO 2680) and Alexander Moiseenko (ELO 2707), respectively.

Philippine chess team off to a good start


by Marlon Bernardino

The Philippine men's and women's chess teams won their respective matches at the start of 41st World Chess Olympiad late Saturday in Tromso, Norway.

The 52nd seed Philippine men's team blasted No. 138 Afghanistan,3.5-0.5, while the No. 43 Philippines women's team subdued No.110 Palau, 4-0.

GM Julio Catalino Sadorra (ELO 2590) defeated FM Mahbuboollah Kooshani (ELO 2036) after 32 moves of Neo-Catalan on Board 1, GM John Paul Gomez crushed FM Zaheeruddeen Asefi (ELO 1996) after 49 moves of Old Benoni defense on Board 2 while Asia's First GM Eugene Torre (ELO 2438) won by default over Hamidullah Sarwary (ELO 1920) on Board 3 after the latter's failed to made his appearance in the opening round. The 62-year-old Torre, dubbed as  the ‘Living Legend’ of Philippine  chess, made a  record 22nd  appearance in the  world’s biggest chess stage.

Little-known Zabiullah Ahmadi (ELO 2031) prevent his team in a possible shut-out loss after forcing FM Paulo Bersamina (ELO 2363) into a fighting draw after 82 moves of Caro-Kann defense on Board 4.

In the distaff side, Woman International Master (WIM) Chardine Cheradee Camacho (ELO 2214) crushed Angelica Parrado (ELO 1628) after 36 moves of french defense, Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Janelle Mae Frayna (ELO 2205) outclassed Baby Edna Mission (ELO 1546) after 13 moves of pirc defense, Woman National Master (WNM) Jan Jodilyn Fronda (ELO 2098) won by default against Gladys Anne Paloma (ELO 1472) and WIM Catherine Perena (ELO 2165 ) routed  Destiny Sisor (ELO 1536) after 28 moves of Queens Gambit Declined, in order.

In late Sunday's second round, Philippine men's team goes up against No.42 Bosnia & Herzegovina while the women's team will meet No.55  International Chess Committee of the Deaf (ICCD).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Salimbagat, Castro shine in US chess


by Marlon Bernardino

New York---Fide Master Rico Salimbagat, who hails from Tanauan, Batangas who is now based in Queens, New York, emerged champion in the recently-concluded 13th Annual Manhattan Open Chess Tournament Under 2300 section last July 25 to 27, 2014 here at at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel.

Salimbagat, who works as a maintenance engineer at the Warwick International Hotel here in New York finished with undefeated five wins in the 5-round Swiss System format competition to pocket the champion's prize of 1,400 USD.

Salimbagat, with an USCF rating 2280, bested Jackson Hueckel, Edgar Cimafranca, Isaac Barayev, James Fu and Fide Master Jon Jacobs, respectively.

Former Olympian International Master Renato Naranja from New Jersey finished with three points, a good for a tie for 13th to 31st place.

Meanwhile, World Chess Federation (FIDE) Developmental Instructor Dari Castro wound up a tie for first place with Brett H Schneider in the Under 1400 section. The duo tallied perfect five points apiece and each received 550 USD for their effort.

Castro who is currently based here in New Jersey from Tondo, Manila and liason officer of the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation defeated Daniel Fridlyand, James E Thierer, Rio Arengo, Max and Simon Gorbaty, in order.

Another Filipino entry Jose dela Cruz of Queens, New York finished 3.5 points in the Under 1700 section. A native of Burauen, Leyte and founder of the newly-formed Philippine Institute for Chess Excellence (PICE), dela cruz received 125 USD for finishing second place in the Under 1550 category.

In the Open section, GM Alexander Stripunsky scored 4.5 points in five outings to went home the first prize of 1,700 USD.

GM Sergei Azarov and GM Sergey Kudrin shared 2nd to 3rd place with four points each for 600 USD.

GM Mark Paragua led the group of 3.5 pointers that includes GM Mikheil Kekelidze, IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, GM Michael A Rohde, IM Jay Richard Bonin
and Jason Shi.

GM Oliver Barbosa, meantime finished overall 10th place with three points. Other 3-pointers are IM Lev Milman, FM Arthur Shen, Matan Prilleltensky
and Janak Awatramani.

United States Chess Federation (USCF) master Jose "Jojo" Aquino Jr., head coach of National University (NU) from Antipolo City finished overall 17th place with 2.5 points.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

PINOY GM MARK PARAGUA IS BACK, TOPS MISSOURI OPEN CHESS


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.