Monday, December 31, 2012


       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

                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.



                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
              Pages 10-11
              Volume 21
              Issue 95
             December 31, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012


The boy in the middle, Kevin Anthony Raquinio, is my only godson in Palau. He graduated high school last year. This photo was taken in Dec. 1999 at Moon Bay Club of Image REstaurant during the staff Christmas party. Left to right (back row) Susan, Gloria Osarch, Romeo Coritico, Margarita Borja Dalton, Roberto Hernandez, Willie Medalla and (?), 2nd row, (L-R) Susan's daughter, (?), Ma. Victoria Coritico, Nilda Raquinio, Flor Hernandez, Alicia Medalla and Hermie ( Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                     MY GODFATHERS

SINCE I was in the elementary grade at school, my mother and I used to visit my godfathers on every Christmas day. We used to visit first my godfather in a barrio of Tampok of Hagonoy, Bulacan where we used to ride on a ‘karitela’ or a vehicle like a carriage being pulled by a horse.

I remember seeing a basket under the ass of the horse so that when the horse poops, it’s not scattered on the road. After a decade, that means of transportation was replaced by tricycles.

Whenever we visit my godfather in Tampok, he is always playing mahjong with friends so his wife, my godmother, is the one always assisting us.

I will not forget one Christmas day when my godmother lets me stay in a room to listen to a phonograph, using the 45 RPM and long playing albums that we call now as disc. While she is talking to my mother, I’m listening to the Simon and Garfunkel long playing recording of songs such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sound of Silence, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound and their other hit songs, which are all in the 1960’s. That was in early 1970’s.

I was amazed by the quality of sound and blending of voice of the duo and keep playing it trying to familiarize with the beautiful melodies of those songs especially the Sound of Silence. At that moment, I was hooked into music and wishes that someday I can sing and play a musical instrument.

After giving me some cash, we say goodbye to them with my godfather still playing mahjong and just wave to us as a sign of goodbye. I’ll give my cash gift to my mother to add for paying our rides.

We will then proceed at 6:00 pm to my next godfather, who is a doctor, this time with my sister and 3 brothers. My father always stays at home when visiting our godfathers but he’s always been with us when we visit our grandparents.

Our favorite food at my doctor godfather was the paella, with lots of seafood cooked with green-colored sticky rice. We stayed there for about an hour and we go there walking because it’s just about a kilometer from our house.

This tradition of paying visits to my godfathers continued until I graduated from high school. When I found a job in Makati City, Philippines, I visit my mahjong playing godfather by myself now. I usually have a long conversation with my god sister, who likes music very much, and her mom.

There’s one day that my mahjong playing godfather helped me to apply as US Navy personnel with him paying our transportation in going there and the ‘placement fee’ to his connection. At that time, in early 1970’s, those people who work in US military uplifted their financial status because of good pay and benefits.

One Christmas that I visited my godfather, there’s a piano now in their house and my god sister learned that I am playing music in Makati and she requested me to play the song “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro. We have a long conversation with her mom and my godfather is still hooked in playing mahjong. I don’t accept cash gift now from my godmother as I have a job now.

Before going to Japan in 1982 and in Bahrain in 1987-1989, I visited my godfather again on Christmas day.


I sat beside my godmother and we talk in very low voice. After a few minutes of sporadic conversation, she asked me, “Who informed you that your godfather has passed away?” When I say, “Nobody, I came here to wish you merry Christmas.”She pressed my hand and cried. THAT’S THE LAST CHRISTMAS WITH THEM THAT I’LL NEVER FORGET.

And I didn’t have the courage to play “Honey” for my god sister.

Music and Me by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Pages 8-9
Volume 21
Issue 94
December 27, 2012:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This controversial game between Jose Celiz, left and CM Bernardo Garcia has been the subject of positive disputes that only strengthen the players' knowledge about the FIDE Laws of Chess. A lot of learning experiences, that will be applied to the next tournaments next year.
                                                                           (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


IT WILL go down in history as the most controversial Palau National Chess Championship—the 2012. The final day was held on Dec. 16 at Palau Royal Resort’s Conference Room. Its target date of conclusion was in Dec. 02, but due to Typhoon Bopha, it has finally concluded on Dec. 16… NOT QUITE!

Candidate Master Bernardo Garcia, Palau’s first titled player, emailed Palau’s Rating Officer and Team Captain of 2010 and 2012 World Chess Olympiads Jamie Kenmure about the result of his game against Jose Celiz on Nov. 17 that sparked a lot of controversies.

During the last dying seconds of that game, Celiz lost by time forfeit but complained about the increment that didn’t work. Menandro Manuel, Roberto Hernandez, Paquito Suringa, Jr., Baby Edna Mission and Jon Manuel Reyes were watching the game and confirmed that the 30 seconds increment of the clock is really not working.

After a few days of researches of FIDE Laws of Chess, Hernandez, who is also the chief arbiter of the event, declared that game a draw. The tournament goes smoothly with some additions and replacements like—Freddie Gloria replaced Ma. Florida Hernandez; Nilo de Jesus became active again after 7 years of being inactive and off island. He replaced lawyer Scott Hess, who couldn’t play 14 games in 6 weeks.

Manuel‘Jun’ Mahor’s confirmation to participate makes the Class B (1650 rating and below) increased its field to 18 players. More players would like to join so Hernandez convinced Ferdinand Gutierrez to join even though he’s leaving Palau for good in just a few weeks.

This action opens the room for Geoff Martin, Mary Frances Lopez and Baby Edna Mission to complete the 21-player Class B division. Mission replaced Lenge Gibbons and when Gloria withdrew, Miguel Hilario, Jr. is lucky enough to fill the slot in the last 4 weeks of the event.

The tournament is to be finished in 8 weeks. Celiz played only 4 games in 6 weeks and played 6 games on the 7th week, which is very unfair to players who come every weekend, like Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr., the top seed. When Garcia suffered setbacks after setbacks, his quest for his first national title is on the line and he somehow came up with a proposal to thwart his suspicion of game fixing especially to players of the same company.

Tito Cabunagan and Celiz both work at PPUC and live at the same place. And they are both in contention for a slot in the top 4 position. Garcia proposed to have a playoff among the top 4 finishers like a semifinal with the top 2 advancing to the finals.

Garcia’s insistence of having a playoff became more intense when he found a law in FIDE Laws of Chess that players of the same company/federation should play in the first 3 rounds and not in the last 3 rounds.

When Tito and Jose played their 2 games, the result was a win and a draw for Tito, which Bernard accused as ‘fixed’ as there are no witness when they played it. When Tito and Jose replayed their games on Dec. 02 during the lashing of Typhoon Bopha, the result is the same with Hernandez and Montel, Jr. as witnesses.

Garcia emailed everybody that he is taking a break from chess for the rest of the year and that he is giving his slot to the next player in case there is a playoff. His un-played game against Gonzalo Escapatoria will be recorded as (+) to Escapatoria and (–) to him. This is being done to all FIDE-rated events.

Nine players have a meeting after the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 boxing bout on Dec. 09 to tackle the issues of game fixing, playoff and finishing the event as the original format. After 2 hours of meeting, it was decided that the tourney will proceed as its original format. No playoff and last games will be played on Dec. 15 and 16. Absent players will lose by default to present players in the Class B while the un-played games in Class A with be recorded as (+) to the present player and (-) to the absent player.

The last crucial 4 games of Class A are: Montel vs. Escapatoria (2 games); Suringa vs. Montel; and Celiz vs. Suringa. Montel arrived first on Sat. Dec. 15 but Suringa is very busy cooking the food for PRR Christmas party to be held at Sea Passion Hotel. Montel is also attending the PPR Christmas party at Ngarchmayong.

On Dec. 16, Montel and Escapatoria drew their 1st game and Montel won the 2nd game. His next game vs. Suringa didn’t happen as well as Celiz vs. Suringa. In the Class B division, only few games were played and the present players all won by default that resulted in the 8th place finish of 8-year-old Destiny Sisior.

Final standings of Class B: 1. Dennis Gonzales (Champion) 2. Jeff Balbalosa 3. Angie Parrado 4. Miguel Hilario, Jr. 5. Baby Edna Mission 6. Nilo de Jesus 7. Jon Manuel Reyes 8. Destiny Sisior 9. Luciano Sibayan 10. Jaime dela Cruz 11. Mohammad Manik Hossain 12. Ferdinand Gutierrez 13. Angelil Sisior 14. Ksau Anthony Whipps 15. Dan Roldan 16. Zachary Techall Whipps 17. Geoff Martin 18. Elpidio Manaligod 19. Mary Frances Lopez 20. Manuel Mahor, Jr. 21. Paz Ngiratechekii.

Cabunagan was the champion of Class A and after computing the placing of Hernandez (8 points), Celiz (8 pts.), Montel, Jr. (7.5) and Garcia (7.5), the same order was the result. Hernandez won over Celiz by using the Sonnenborn Berger system and Montel over Garcia in direct encounter or winner over the other tiebreak.

Cabunagan and Celiz disputed the (+) and (-) computation but when Hernandez explained to them that they experienced this computation during the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, they are going to abide by this FIDE rule. AND THAT ENDS THE 2012 PNCC… NOT QUITE!

In his email to Kenmure, Garcia specified that Celiz clock fell down and he didn’t lodge a protest before his time expires. This is a legitimate claim by Garcia according to FIDE rules. It happened also to former world champion Gary Kasparov in his game against Hungarian whiz Judith Polgar in Linares, Spain in 1994.

But there is a technical problem in the increment that’s why Celiz lost on time. If the increment is working, there’s no way that Garcia will win with Celiz ahead by 2 connected pawns. And besides, Garcia found out about that ruling 3 weeks after the incident which was already been declared a draw by the arbiter.

That half point is crucial for Garcia to improve his rating as he would be 1strunner-up instead of 5th place. That will make Hernandez 3rd, Montel at 4th and Celiz at 5th.


Requesting all players who haven't paid their registration fees yet--please pay as soon as possible so that the arrears of Palau Chess Federation will be paid before Dec. 31, 2012 the sum of 387 euros. 1. Jose Celiz ($20.00), 2. Mohammad Manik Hossain ($20), 3. Paquito Suringa, Jr. ($10), 4. Jon Manuel Reyes ($10), 5. Luciano Sibayan ($10), 6. Jaime dela Cruz ($10), 7. Elpidio Manaligod ($10), 8. Mary /Frances Lopez ($10), 9. Paz Ngiratechekii ($10), 10. Adele Anzawa ($20), 11. Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. ($10) and Gene Pastrana ($297.00).
I'll take your advise for a special 10th year anniversary issuev of Chessmate on December 31. I'll be giving 3 prizes of $10.00 for each person who will solve the puzzle of the 10th anniversary issie of Chessmate. The first issue was on Dec. 29, 2002.
Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Pages 8-9
Volume 21
Issue 93
December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

(360) MUSIC AND ME (Dec. 20) Learning Guitar The Practical Way

The 5 contestants of the 2nd Chinese Songs Singing Contest held at Sea Passion Hotel on November 28, 2012 -- from left, Bow Umed (Champion), Howard Charles, Jr. (2nd), Jemty Peter, Jr. (Special prize), Latooya Ngirmetrang (Special prize) and Eaghan 'Owen Ngirudelsang (3rd).                                                                   (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


Tia Belau’s graphics designer Christian Bolivar once asked me some practical ways to learn guitar, especially the G chord.

For serious students, I always emphasize to my students to learn playing the key of G using all fingers. There’s a ‘shortcut’ to learn G using only 3 fingers but in the long run, it will only hamper the potential rapid progress of a student.

The main point in learning to play the key of G the hard way is because it’s easier to play the G minor (Gm) by just lifting the middle finger; the G7 by lifting the small finger and the G minor 7 (Gm7) by lifting both the middle and small fingers.

When playing the C minor (Cm), you’ll just bring down your 3 fingers (middle, ring and small). To make it Cm7, lift the small finger.

When the time is ripe for a student to learn to play the keys B flat (Bb), B, C, C sharp (C#), D, Eb and E by using only 2 fingers (the forefinger and the ring finger), it’s the best that can be achieved for rapid progress.

Playing G the right way makes it easier also to play F# by just moving one fret to the left and one fret to the right to make a G# chord.

I recommend also to beginners to lower the pitch tune of the 6 strings of the guitar especially if they are using guitar with steel strings. Nylon strings are also recommended for lesser fingers pain.



1979                                   B A B E (Styx)                                                                                                     R 149

                                            BABY BLUE (Hawaiian Song)                                                                          DBI 45

1982                                   BABY COME TO ME (Patti Austin)                                                                 B 306

1976                                   BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY (Peter Frampton) (Big Mountain)*1994           R 148

1971                                   BABY I’M-A WANT YOU (Bread)                                                                  DB212

                                            BABY IT’S YOU (Beatles)                                                                                R 190

1969                                 BAD MOON RISING (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

                         BAHAY KUBO (Filipino Song)                                                                       OPM125

                                          BAHAY KUBO (Pineda, dela Cruz, Hernandez) (Fil. Song)                         OPM 5

                                            B A K I T (Filipino Song)                                                                               OPM210

                                             BAKIT BA (Siakol) (Filipino Song)                                                             OPM189

                                             BAKIT BA (Jessa Zaragosa) (Filipino Song)                                             OPM204

1982                                   BAKIT BA GANYAN (Dina Bonnevie) (Filipino Song)                             OPM 52

1979                                    BAKIT LABIS KITANG MAHAL (Boyfriends) (Filipino Song)                  OPM205

                                             BAKIT NGAYON KA LANG (Ogie Alcasid) (Filipino Song)                      OPM153

                                             BAKYA MO NENENG (Filipino Song)                                                        OPM 82

                                             BALATKAYO (Anthony Castelo) (Filipino Song)                                      OPM 33

                                             B A L E L E N G (Filipino Song)

                            BALLADE POUR ADELINE (Richard Clayderman)

1974                                   BAND ON THE RUN (Paul McCartney & Wings)                                       R 158

                           BARONG TAGALOG (Filipino Song)                                                             OPM2

                            BASANG-BASA SA ULAN (Aegis) (Filipino Song)                                    OPM57

                                            BASTA’T MAHAL KITA (Filipino Song)

                            BATANG-BATA KA PA (Apo Hiking Society) (Filipino Song)                    OPM 72

1976                                  BATO SA BUHANGIN (Cinderella) (Filipino Song)                                    OPM 73

                           BAWAL NA GAMOT (Willie Garte) (Filipino Song)                                 OPM194

                           BAYAN KO (Freddie Aguilar) (Filipino Song)                                            OPM 89

Music and Me by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Pages 10-11
Volume 21
Issue 92
December 20, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

(359) CABUNAGAN IS THE SOLO 2012 PNCC CHAMP (TBN-Dec. 17, 2012)

     Nilo de Jesus, left, and Dennis Gonzales are fighting it out for the Class B Championship of 2012 PNCC. Jeff Balbalosa has an outside chance for at least a tie. De Jesus has 10 games left to play while Dennis had 5. The players need to be present on the final day to win by default over their opponents. If both of them didn't show up, it will be declared default draw.   (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

            2012 PNCC CHAMPION

After the fruitful meeting at Tito Cabunagan’s residence on Dec. 09, it was decided that no playoff will be held and the 2012 Palau National Championship will proceed with its original format. Menandro Manuel (7-7-0 win-loss-draw record), Roberto Hernandez (8-6-0) and Cabunagan (9-4-1) have played all of their 14 games, with Tito emerging as champion. The other 4 contenders can’t catch up with his final score.

                Jose Celiz (7-4-2) had one game left (against Paquito Suringa, Jr.), Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr.(6-5-0) have 3 more un-played games (2 against Gonzalo Escapatoria (1-10-0) and 1 against Suringa, Jr. (4-8-0).

                Candidate Master Bernardo Garcia (7-5-1) had decided to take the remaining days of 2012 a chess break and his un-played game against Escapatoria will be recorded as (+) to the latter and (–) to him according to FIDE rules. This will make Hernandez, Montel, Jr. and Celiz contesting the 2nd, 3rd and 4th slot finishes.

                The last 2 days of the 2012 PNCC will be held on Dec. 15 and 16 at Palau Royal Resort Conference Room. The December 01 and 02 final days was postponed due to typhoon Bopha. Even with strong winds on Dec. 02 (Sunday) starting to lash Palau, Roberto and Jose were still able to play their 2nd game with Jose winning this time in 37 moves of Pirc Defence.

                The 2 games of Tito and Jose were also replayed that day with the same result as the protested first 2 matches in which Garcia is claiming to be fixed after he found out a ruling in the FIDE Laws of Chess that players of the same company/federation must play their games in the first 3 rounds and not in the last 3 rounds.

                Tito won the 1st game in 38 moves of Ruy Lopez and drew the other game in 27 moves of Queen’s Gambit Declined. The 2nd game of Tito and Suringa, Jr. is also being protested by Garcia because there is no arbiter around when they played it.

                In the Class B division, the following is the standings, their win-loss-draw record, total points and their remaining number of games: 1. Jeff Balbalosa (13-1-3) 14.5 points –3 games remaining; 2. Angie Parrado (13-3-2) 14 pts. – 2 gms; 3. Dennis Gonzales (12-1-2) 13 pts. – 5 gms; 4. Mohammad Manik Hossain (4-3-11) 9.5 pts. –2 gms; 5. Nilo de Jesus (9-1-0) 9 pts. – 10 gms; 6. Baby Edna Mission (6-5-6) 9 pts. –3 gms; 7. Jaime dela Cruz (6-1-5) 8.5 pts. –8 gms; 8. Luciano Sibayan (8-5-2) 9 pts. –5 gms; 9. Ferdinand Gutierrez (3-6-11) 8.5 pts. – 0 gm; 10. Miguel Hilario (4-5-5) 6.5 pts. –6 gms; 11. Manuel Mahor, Jr. (1-8-11) 6.5 pts. – 0 gm; 12. Ksau Anthony Whipps (3-7-6) 6 pts. – 4 gms; 13. Elpidio Manaligod (1-1-9) 5.5 pts. – 9 gms; 14. Zachary Techall Whipps (3-6-5) 5.5 pts. –6 gms; 15. Mary Frances Lopez (4-11-2) 5 pts. –3 gms; 16. Dan Roldan (4-6-2) 5 pts. –8 gms; 17. Geoff Martin (3-4-4) –9 gms; 18. Angelil Sisior (4-9-1) 4.5 pts. –6 gms; 19. Destiny Sisior (3-6-3) 4.5 pts. – 8 gms; 20. Jon Manuel Reyes (3-6-2) – 9 gms; 21. Paz Ngiratechekii (1-12-6) 4pts. – 1 gms.

Source:  Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
              Tia Belau Newspaper
              Pages 8-9
              Volume 21
              Issue 91
              December 17, 2012


Jose Celiz, left, played only 4 games in the first 6 weeks of 2012 PNCC. He played 3 games on Nov. 24 and 3 more games on the next day. It became a subject for having a playoff. CM Bernardo Garcia, right, initiated the proposal.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

*This article should have been the December 10 issue of Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez but because Roberto was late in submitting this article, no Chessmate article was published.


THERE will be a meeting of all players concerned to resolve the issue of having a playoff for the 2012 Palau National Chess Championship to be held at the residence of Jose Celiz.

The meeting will be held after the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez boxing bout. Earlier this week, CM Bernardo Garcia, who had initiated the proposal of having a playoff, had taken a rest for the remainder of the year. This will make the 4-man playoff between Tito Cabunagan, Roberto Hernandez, Celiz and Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. The following is the email of CM Garcia:


I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Palau Chess Federation, members and especially to Robert and Istanbul Olympiad Team Palau (Robert, Boy, Jamie, Beth, Jan & Sir J).

2012 has been very good for PCF and I was so blessed to be part of it. After getting CM title, gets good wins in 2012 PNCC and was able to contribute to improve PCF tournament format, I feel I already have so many blessings this year with my Chess and decided to take the rest of the year off. If I will be able to get a slot in the playoff, I will give the slot to the next player based on ranking.

All my email about improvements in PCF are all suggestions, it is normal if you may or may not agree with it.

Based on some feedbacks, I believed some intend to finish their elimination games. Since we already have 2 days left, I suggest finishing the elimination in 1st day and 2nd day will be the playoffs.

In finishing the elimination round in day 1, players may consider to decrease their time control provided that both parties agree. The suggestion will come from players and not arbiter. Robert will explain to the players that decreasing the time control is an advantage to the higher rated player. It will be harder for lower rated player to equalize against strong player if the time control is reduced. Please make sure that the players understand that so they will have fair fight.

Category B will continue their games as normal for the 2 remaining days.

I already forward my request to Robert to review 2011 results and just waiting for the timetable. I also already forward the playoffs format to Robert for review.

I will be on duty on Sunday and will not be able to attend the meeting.

Again, I extend my deepest gratitude to all. I would have not done those things without your support and love to Chess. More power to Palau Chess Federation. – Bernard

Another email from Palau’s Rating Officer and Team Captain in 2 Chess Olympiad Jamie Kenmure stated his preference about having a playoff:

To all players of the PCF,

It has come to my attention there are some players who want a playoff and some players do not. I would just like to point out a couple of things to everyone:

  1. Playoffs - a lot of Federations have playoffs or super finals to make it so that the best performed players go through and it also motivates everyone to do their best for a spot in the playoff to be crowned National Champion.
  2. Professionalism - If we want to be considered a professional organization, to be able to get funding from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Government, we need to show we have only the best athletes playing in the playoffs in our National Championship and thus I am in full support of a playoff.
  3. FIDE - We must all remember that as players, we are under the auspices (body of chess) of FIDE. We must show FIDE that we are trying to develop chess here in Palau, showing that there is a process to become National Champion, and to show we are serious about chess, even if we are a small island nation.

These three (3) is why I am in favor of having a playoff. If we want to make Palau one of the strongest islands in the world, these steps is what needs to be taken into account and to show we are serious about chess.

If everyone could respond to me with their thoughts and please send it as a separate email to me, that would be greatly appreciated or you can send your thoughts to this email but make sure that you say everything you want in one email and then I will respond to everyone at the end.


Jamie Kenmure