Palau finally sent a complete team in 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey with (R-L) Roberto Hernandez, Menandro Manuel, Bernardo Garcia and Elizabeth Manuel (who's taking this photo). They were able to ask USA top player and world's no. 7 Hikaru Nakamura for a souvenir photo at the opening ceremony.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)
10 YEARS OF CHESSMATE;
57 YEARS OF ROBERTO
HOW time flies! It’s already 10 years since the first issue of CHESSMATE in Dec. 29, 2002. A lot has been achieved in as long as chess development in Palau is concerned. There have been at least 3 major chess tourneys every year since 2003 and 3 invitational chess championships where foreign players were invited.
The first 6 major tournaments in Palau have 6 different champions – Eddie Grefiel, Consul General Julius Torres, Menandro Manuel, Edgardo Enarsao, Roberto Hernandez and Jess Toldoya.
With the help of Almario Marlon Bernardino, GM Eugene Torre, Gary Bekker, Toti Abundo and the late Lifetime Honorary FIDE President Florencio Campomanes, Palau was accepted as member of FIDE (World Chess Federation) in 2005.
A year later, Mr. Bekker and Hernandez collaborated to have the inaugural 2006 Palau Invitational Chess Championship where 4 foreign players were invited and 6 Palau local players gained their initial international ranking-- Manuel, Cyril Montel, Jr., Jose Omega, Gene Pastrana, Hernandez and Manny Nedic.
In 2009, Palau was represented for the first time in Oceania Zonal Chess Championship in Australia. Thanks again to Mr. Bekker for buying the airfare of Hernandez so that Palau will be represented for the first time in overseas competition.
In Australia, Roberto met Jamie Kenmure, who later became the team captain of Palau in 2010 and 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Russia and Istanbul, Turkey respectively. Roberto also met the Lapitan family where the whiz boy Daniel became Australia’s junior champion in the 12 years and under category.
Also in Australia that Roberto met Joselito Marcos of Papua New Guinea. They became best of friends, renewed their friendship in 2010 WCO in Russia and in the 3rd Palau Invitational Chess Championship held at Palau Royal Resort from Dec. 14-19, 2011. Joselito and Manuel were co-champions of that event.
Joselito came with his wife Nanette and daughter Jamie and they experienced the beauty of Palau firsthand after a week of competitive chess. They have a trip to Rock Island, the Capitol, Palau Aquarium, golf and archery at Papago International Resort and the warm hospitality of Palauan people.
On March 15, 2011, a new opportunity was offered to Hernandez to write/contribute on Thursday issue of Tia Belau, who will publish twice a week for the first time after 21 years of publishing once a week.
This time it’s about music. Chess on Monday and Music on Thursday were all posted at Palau Chess Federation website http://palau-chess.blogspot.com
Thanks a lot to Joselito Marcos who initiated the move to make Palau more popular through this website that started in Dec. 26, 2011. In its first month, the page views were only 30 and after a year, it’s now more than 30,000! At present, it has 381 posts with a lot more to be posted especially the older issues of CHESSMATE since 2003.
In the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, only 2 players made it there – Hernandez and Tito Cabunagan. They were not allowed to play because of a ruling that started in 2008 WCO in Dresden, Germany that a country must have at least 3 players to be allowed to play.
They didn’t allow Kenmure to join the Palau players because he is listed under Australia. The only hope now is on their Delegate Jan Berglund of Sweden, who was Palau’s Delegate in Dresden. He is not listed under USA (he’s got a green card) and Sweden. But, there is no stamp on his passport that confirmed that he’s been to Palau at least once to be allowed to play. His unused ticket (Sweden-Hawaii-Guam-Palau) was not honored.
Palau finally was able to send a whole team to 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. Cabunagan didn’t make it due to job requirement while Mohammad Manik Hossain was allowed by his employer to go in the last 2 weeks and missed the once in a lifetime chance to play in an Olympiad.
But Board 1 Roberto Hernandez, Board 2 Elizabeth Manuel, Board 3 Bernardo Garcia and Board 4 Menandro Manuel is good enough to complete a team even without reserve. They played all 11 rounds and were swept by Qatar, Iraq and Maldives in the first 3 rounds respectively.
Garcia achieved a Candidate Master title when he scored half point in round 4 and 3 consecutive wins in round 5, 6 and 7 for a 50% performance in his first 7 games for a CM title, Palau’s first. It’s already a major achievement that sparks the interest of many local players to join the next World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway in August 01-14, 2014.
The committed players in the Open (men’s) team are Board 1 Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr., Board 2 Menandro Manuel, Board 3 CM Bernardo Garcia, Board 4 Tito Cabunagan and reserve Roberto Hernandez (so that he can attend the arbiters/trainers seminars that coincide with every Olympiad. Jeff Balbalosa will captain the women’s team while Paquito Suringa, Jr. will replace any of the 6 that will not make it.
The women’s team is composed of Board 1 Angie Parrado, Board 2 Baby Edna Mission, Board 3 Mary Frances Lopez, Board 4 Elizabeth Manuel and reserve Joy Flores Whipps. Paz Ngiratechekii will replace any of the 5 players that will not make it if she can start saving now for airfare.
The Open team’s captain is still Jamie Kenmure and the Delegate for the 3rd consecutive Olympiad is still Mr. Jan Berglund. The Head of Delegation is reserved for Senator Mlib Tmechtul. If he is not available on that date, it will be offered to Eric Ksau Whipps, who is the choice of all members and officers of Palau Chess Federation to run as President of PCF during the Annual General Meeting to be held on Feb. 10, 2013 at Palau Royal Resort.
The officers and members of Palau Chess Federation (with 234 members now) are in gratitude to Mr. Eric Ksau Whipps for paying the arrears of PCF. The new international ratings of 21 participants of 2012 Palau National Chess Championship will now be published on Feb. 01, 2013.
Solution to last week’s puzzle: 1. Qg6!! fxg6 2. Ne7++ Kh8 3. Nxg6 mate.
SPECIAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY PUZZLE: HERNANDEZ WILL GIVE $10.00 EACH TO THE FIRST 3 PERSONS WHO WILL SOLVE THIS PUZZLE. THERE WILL BE AN ADDITIONAL $5.00 EACH FOR THE SECOND SOLUTION TO THE PUZZLE.
WHITE TO PLAY AND MATE IN 2
This position allegedly occurred during a tournament in the old USSR. White looks to have no hope but suddenly finds a move that leaves Black staring at an unstoppable mate.
A couple of clues: Firstly the board is the right way around etc. Secondly, the mating idea would not be allowed these days (since 1988 at least) but may have worked at the time the tournament was supposed to be held.
Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
December 31, 2012