Tuesday, August 21, 2012


     From left, Joselito Marcos, Gary Bekker and Roberto Hernandez will meet again in Istanbul, Turkey for different positions in the 2012 World Chess Olympiad. Mr. Bekker will be one of the International Arbiters while Marcos and Hernandez will be Board 1 players of Papua New Guinea and Palau respectively. Fernando Aguilar, right, of Solomon Islands, will miss again this WCO due to financial constraints.
                                                                       (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                    SCHENGEN VISA;

AFTER getting their Turkish visa for their participation in the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, the Manuel couple (Menandro and Elizabeth) applied for Schengen visa so that they can proceed to Italy, France and Germany for 5 days after the Olympiad for a European tour.

                A week before his trip to Manila from Palau, Menandro informed Roberto Hernandez that their Schengen visa was granted and their European tour is finally confirmed.

                On August 24, 2012, Manuel, Hernandez and Bernard Garcia will fly to Manila for their August 26 (Sunday) flight to Istanbul via Singapore Airlines.

                They will arrive in Istanbul at 7:45 am with 12 hours to spare before the Captain’s meeting at 8:00 pm and the Opening Ceremony of the World Chess Olympiad at 8:30 pm.

                Meanwhile, with 2 weeks before the start of 2012 World Chess Olympiad, Garcia commits to Hernandez that he would like to be a member of Palau Chess Team to 2014 Tromso, Norway World Chess Olympiad.

                He’s thinking way ahead to be much prepared so that the team’s chances will be better. Like in chess, he’s thinking 20-move deeper which according to him is too deep.

                He likes also to be in the lower board than the 2012 Olympiad where he is playing at board 3. The tentative line-up for Palau Chess Team to 2014 WCO is: Menandro Manuel at Board 1; Hernandez at Board 2; Tito Cabunagan at 3; Garcia at 4 and Jeff Balbalosa as reserve.

                This is much stronger that the current line-up for Istanbul even if Mohammad Manik Hossain has made it at Board 2 as follows: Hernandez at 1; Elizabeth at 2; Garcia at 3 and Menandro at 4.

                Palau’s team captain Jamie Kenmure agreed to this line-up but he suggested Senator Mlib Tmetuchl be the reserve citing that at least a Palauan player can be fielded.

                But Sen. Mlib has not started to play competitive chess yet and he’s much better to be the Head of Delegation of team captain of women’s team where he will not be allowed to play.

                Team captain and Delegate are allowed to play if they are not a member of their country’s federation and had been to Palau at least once.

                Palau’s Delegate Mr. Jan Berglund has change his email address and is now having a hard time to receive Hernandez’ emails because he don’t like to open the noreply@boxbe.com

                This cause Hernandez’ bunch of emails to be waitlisted including the proxy letter to FIDE, Organizers of the Olympiad and his personal copy that says:

                August 16, 2012     To: Directory FIDE Elista Office

                                                        Organizers, 40th World Chess Olympiad Istanbul, Turker

                Dear Sir/Madame, The Palau Chess Federation is honored to have Mr. Jan Berglund as our Delegate to the 83rd FIDE Congress that coincides with the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

                Mr. Berglund was Palau Chess Federation’s Delegate to the 2008 World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany and to the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

                Mr. Berglund is also allowed to be a substitute player in case one of the members of Palau Chess team didn’t make or if one of them gets sick.

                He is a member of Palau Chess Federation since September 27, 2007 and he is not a member of any chess federation except Palau.

                We hope that by doing so, Palau will be represented again to the 83rd FIDE Congress as I would like to concentrate on Board 1.

                (Signed) Roberto A. Hernandez    Secretary/Treasurer, Palau Chess Federation

                                                                           Permanent Delegate to FIDE, Palau Chess Federation

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
              Tia Belau Newspaper
              Pages 0 & 13
              Volume 21
              Issue 57
              August 20, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

(277) MUSIC & ME (Aug. 16) A Letter from a 6-year-old Jap. Girl)

I promise to the father of this Taiwanese boy that I will feature his son in this column in about 2 weeks. It's more than a month now. So here it is. I asked him to check the Palau Chess Federation website http://palau-chess.blogspot.com because I write about music also at Tia Belau which I am posting also in this site. Sorry that I didn't get your names. (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                  JAPANESE GIRL

WHILE playing piano at Waves Restaurant on Sunday evening, March 20, 2011, a 5-year old Japanese girl is watching me play. After finishing the song, I called her and gave her my card. She was very excited about it and showed the card to her mom and auntie.

There’s also a young Japanese couple with 2 kids (one is maybe one year old and the other is 3 years old). They’ve been regular guests at Waves and Breeze Bar in the last 3 days.

Minutes later, a group of Japanese came and have dinner in the wooden area. Five of them are in a wheelchair. One of them can ‘drive’ it without someone pushing it.

At past 8:00 pm, after finishing their dinner and paying their more than $700.00 bill, the group had surrounded me. The two wheelchairs with an old lady and a guy positioned to my right, one at my back and another 2 to my left. They like my rendition of Japanese songs. I showed them my Japanese song book and they choose and requested songs from that.

The old lady in a wheelchair to my right requested “Ai No Sanka”. She clapped enthusiastically after the I played that song. I gave her and the guy at my back my card. She appreciated it very much and shook my hand in gratitude.

The girl, Rin Kita, and the young Japanese couple with 2 kids, are watching those guests around me having a good time. After 3 more requested songs, they left. One of the ladies (not in wheelchair), gave me $5.00 tip and another lady gave me also $5.00 tip. I gave another card to the last guy in a wheelchair on my right.

After they left, Rin Kita approached me and talk to me in Japanese. She specifically said “Ashita”, asking if I’ll be at Waves Restaurant again tomorrow evening. I told her “Shigoto wa rokuji kara, kyuji made desu (koko) to kyuji kara juichiji made desu (Breeze Bar). Sui-yobi wa yasumi. (It means I work from 6-9pm there and 9-11pm at Breeze Bar and Friday is my day off).

Before 9:00, the Japanese guy and his 3-year old daughter approached me and gave me $10.00 tip. He said it’s their last night tonight and they will go back to Japan. I gave the girl my card. Upon reading it, he asked his daughter to say“Thank you, Roberto san.”

Another young Japanese couple farther away also enjoyed my music. Before going home, the lady gave me $2.00 tip and said, “Thank you for the very nice Japanese songs.”

At Breeze Bar, the Japanese couple with 2 kids proceed there and clapped after I played a song, whether Japanese or American songs. When it’s time for them to say goodbye for check out, a lot of waving from me and from them.

The next day, Monday, Rin Kita arrived with her mom and auntie. She gave me a home-made card with a letter written in Katakana and Hirakana. It’s my first time to receive a lovely note from a 5-year old girl. I displayed that note/card at the piano music stand trying to figure out what it is she’s saying in the letter.

A little accident occurred when she accidentally dropped a glass on the floor and a piece of broken glass hit her leg. She was treated with first aid kit by the new F & B Manager Edgie Garcia. When she’s waving goodbye to me while they are going out of Waves, I notice a little limping from her.

I showed the card to our General Manager Isao Takahashi and he translated to me--that the girl plays piano also and she’d like to see me again someday when they come back to Palau.

Source: Music and Me by Roberto Hernandez
             Tia Belau Newspaper
             Pages 8-9
             Volume 21
             Issue 56
             August 16, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012


This is one of the clippings that Roberto Hernandez has compiled since learning chess from 1972-2012.
Tore or Torre means rook in Filipino language.

MALLORCA, SPAIN -- Grandmaster Eugene Torre would sit out the first round of the World Chess Olympiad for the 2nd time since 1970, a decision reached to give national champion Darwin Laylo his baptism of fire in the world's most prestigious chess tournament.

Torre, assigned the top board for the 17th straight time, is giving way to give reserve player Laylo a chance to see action alongside GM Joey Antonio, International Masters Mark Paragua and Jayson Gonzales in the first round.

Follwoing a team meeting presided by captain Sammy Estimo, the following board order was decide: Torre, Antonio, Paragua, Gonzales, Emmanuel Senador and Laylo.

Senador is also sitting out the first round.

The Philippines' first round rival has yet to be ascertained, but based on the team seeding, it could either be Bahrain or Malta. The pairing, however, remains unofficial since 9 more teams are expected to come in late in the day.

A total of 120 teams, led by powerhouse Russia, are taking part in the open section.

The Philippines is also fielding a team in the women's section which has lured 85 teams so far.

Two-time national champion Sheerie Joy Lomibao, Women International Master Beverly Mendoza, rookies Loreshyl Cuison and Aices Salvador make up the board assignments in that order.

With 2 GMs, one GM-elect and one IM in the fold, the Philippines is seeded 41st.

Despite the absence of world no. 1 Garry Kasparov, Russia retains its top seeding with super GMs Alexander Morozevich (2758), Peter Svidler (2735) and Alexander Grischuk (2704) manning the first 3 boards.

Ukraine, with GMs Ruslan Ponomariov (2710) and Vassily Ivanchuk (2705), is ranked 2nd while GM Boris Gelfand (2693) leads the 3rd-ranked Israel.

GM Viswanathan Anand of India, ranked second behind Kasparov with an ELO of 2781, is making his first appearance in the Olympics after a long absence.

His presence elevated India to No. 5 in the team seeding, the highest among Asian countries. Other highly-ranked Indian players in the field are GMs Krishnan Sasikiran (2668) and GM Pentala Harikrishna (2612).

Despite its modest seeding, the Philippines is expected to figure prominently in the race for the Top 10 standings.

"We have a pretty solid lineup. We hope to do well here," said Torre.

Antonio said he is not discounting the possibility of a Top 10 finish.

"We will fight hard to bring honor to the country," said the 42-year-old Antonio, who along with Torre powered the Filipinos to their best finish --7th in the 1988 Thessaloniki Olympiad in Greece.

One thing going for the Filipinos is the presence of Paragua who is coming off his best season in his career with two international victories in Alusha, Ukraine that earned him his GM title.

The 20-year-old former child prodigy is on a roll.

After conquering the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, Paragua won a small international tournament in Torino, Italy, site of the 2006 World Chess Olympiad. He scored 5.5 points in 6 rounds.

Two days before the start of the Olympiad, Paragua also topped a blitz tournament against a cast of GMs and IMs here.

With Torre and Antonio expected to hold their own in the first 2 boards, the Filipinos are expected to strike hard in the lower boards.

Aside from Paragua, Gonzales, one of the key members of the team that dominated the Southeast Asian Games, will be a force to reckon with at board 4.

The team could also count on its reserve player in Senador and Laylo.

Senador has played in two Olympiads including the 1996 Yerevan Olympics in Yemen where his acquited himself well.

Laylo, on the other hand, was a former national junior champion who finished 2nd behind Sasikiran in the Asian Junior championships in 1999.

The delegation arrived Thursday afternoon following a 24-hour journey which included a six-hour stop in Zurich, Switzerland.

The team members were met by Paragua who came in a day earlier from Torino, Italy.

Salvador, left behind while the travel documents of her mother is being processed, is expected to rejoin the team in the next few days.

Source: Tempo Newspaper
"World Chess Olympiad -- SACRIFICE ROOK"
By Rey Bancod --Associate Editor
October 16, 2004

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

(275) MILE AND SAY CHESS (Outstanding OFW)

                               SMILE AND SAY CHESS
                                                                          By Roberto Hernandez
(                                                           The International Filipino - August 2012)


THIS IS the latest! Amante C. Caballero, one of the best Filipino chess players in Palau, was chosen as one of the outstanding OFWs in Palau.

Philippine Ambassador to Palau Ramoncito Marino gave Caballero the certificate Outstanding Overseas Filipino Worker Award during a simple ceremony at the Sea Passion Hotel on July 29.

Caballero works as a driver and golf and archery instructor at the Papago International Resort. He qualified as an awardee in the second edition of the OFW award given by the Philippine Embassy because of his long service in Palau.

"I came to Palau in December 28, 1993. Since then, I haven't had a vacation yet," said Caballero. "My former job was bus driver of Airai View Hotel.
I served the public when the old KB bridge collapsed in September 1996. From airport to KB bridge almost 24 hours I've been driving using the Airai View Hotel's bus."

The Filipino Community in Palau hosted a farewell party for the embassy at Sea Passion Hotel on July 29, 2 days before the embassy officially closes as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs' cost cutting program.

Palau will have an Honorary Consul to be appointed for Filipino community in the island. Other countries who have honorary consuls in Palau are France, Spain, Israel, Germany and Italy.

After a very hectic week of chess at the 3rd Palau Invitational International Chess Championship held at Palau Royal Resort's Conference Room from Dec. 14-19, 2011, the invited player Joselito Marcos, his wife Margarita and last-born daughter Jamie-Kirstie asked me what is the best way to unwind after a grueling week of competitive chess.

I suggested first to visit the Palau International Coral Reef Center in the morning of Dec. 20 and then play golf in the afternoon. After 2 hours at PICRC,
lunch, work at Purchasing Office and during break time, we proceed to Papago International Resort for golf and archery lessons from Amante Caballero, the best golf instructor of Palau.

Amante noticed the potential of Jamie to be the next Tigress Woods with her sweet swing and grace.

It's so frustrating that one and a half hours of golf and archery is not enough as I had to work.

The Rock Islands trip with the Marcos family happened on Dec. 22. It's a very wonderful experience for the Marcos family. As Roberto said, "a trip to Palau
without a Rock Island trip is incomplete."

Lito's family visited the Capitol, a smaller version of White House in Washington, during the last 7 hours of their stay in Palau.

Lito has nothing more to say to me except "Thank you very much, my best friend and see you in Istanbul."

Source: Smile and Say Chess
               by Roberto Hernandez
               Superstar Corner
              The International Filipino
               Volume 3
               Number 5
               August 2012
               ISSN 2094-3830

(274) Rapid Chess Tilt Starts With a Bang! (Temaungil elected PCF Chairman)

(Temaungil Elected PCF Chairman)

TWENTY matches were played at the opening round of 2005 Rapid Chess tournament held on Sunday, October 23 at the premises at Jean's Boutique and sponsored by its owner Helena Yoichi and its manager Gene Pastrana.

Four newcomers tested their mettle with fellow newcomers and lowly rated players.

The newcomers are Francis 'Sno' Temaungil, John Pastrana, 29, (oldest son of Gene), Flavin Andres and Felix Lapitan, who is now the surprise leader with 3 straight victories over Temaungil and James dela Cruz (2 games).

Andres managed to get a whole point out of 8 games over the younger Pastrana. He lost 2 games each to Temaungil and Tutii Joe Chilton.

He also bowed to Jimmy Valenzuela, Morton Sawaichi and dela Cruz in the last game of the day.

Comeback kid Gerry Sermeno played only one game and outwitted dela Cruz.

Fifth seed Roberto Hernandez trounced Sawaichi in 50 moves of Dutch Defence and Cyril Montel, Jr. halved the point with Valenzuela in a book-line rook endgame.

Two-time champ Menandro Manuel is in solo 2nd spot after clobbering the older Pastrana and dela Cruz.

Lapitan, who works at Palau Royal Resort, seemed to be the strongest player among the newcomers but Andres is the one willing to learn as many as he could and has a different strategy to the game.

Lapitan was a regular observer of the 2005 Open Chess tourney held at Privelege Store in Malakal where only one game was played in the opening round (Sawaichi vs. Chilton, which eventually became the winner of brilliancy prize).

Two other newcomers have registered. They are Noel Morin and Rogelio Menor, who paid his registration fee of $15.00 but didn't play a single game. He will play at least 3 games next Sunday.

Top seed and defending champion Jose Omega and Manuel Nedic showed up but didn't play because they are busy.

Second seed Bong Alipoon is still on vacation. Dennis Gonzales also didn't show up but he called the Chairman last week about the willingness of the manager of Pinoy Express Remittance (Manny Kimpo) to donate financial contribution for Palau's membership fee of $476.00 to World Chess Federation (FIDE).

In a snap election held during the games, Temaungil was elected as the new Palau Chess Federation Chairman.

Sawaichi will be the Vice Chairman and Hernandez as Secretary/Treasurer.

Chilton refused to be an official as he is busy with other positions. Temaungil seemed to be reluctant about the nomination but when he heard the support of everybody, he gratefully accepted the position.

He is the oldest competitor in the tournament and his election will solidify his inclusion into the 6-man team that will represent Palau in the 2006 World Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy.

Chilton will work on how PCF could become an affiliate of Palau National Olympic Committe.

PCF is a non-profit federation and Knights and Rooks Chess Club will become under the PCF.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Volume XIV
Issue 43
October 28-November 04, 2005


Palau Chess Federation Chairman Tutii Joe Chilton, left, receives his certificate of appreciation from Knights and Rooks Chess Club Chairman Roberto Hernandez. The two are working together to raise funds for Palau's membership payment ($476.00) to FIDE so that Palau chess players can participate in the World Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy next year.                                                                        (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

           MORTON'S REVENGE;

PALAUAN bet Morton Sawaichi has never beaten Ivan II Chess Computer in their 3 previous matches. But on the 14th round of 2005 Open Chess tournament held Sunday, September 04, he demolished the machine in their Sicilian Defence (Dragon Variation) match.

He sacrificed a knight for a pawn on the 20th move and gave the exchange (a knight for a rook) to obtain a ferrocious attack that Ivan had to give up its queen to thwart the mate threat.

Their game could have ended in just 30 moves but Sawaichi 'tortured' Ivan II by gobbling all its pieces except the lone pawn before mating it to his full satisfaction.

Had he annotated the moves, it could have been another qualified game for brilliancy prize of $50.00 courtesy of the sponsors -- Leo Lacambra, Jr., Bendix N. Lakobong and Roswell Macapagal of T-Shirt Printing, Atbp.

Newcomer James dela Cruz likewise defeated Ivan II by using the Four Knights Defence in 38 moves.

Rapid chess format/time control was used to allow dela Cruz to play as many games as he could to catch up.

He lost both to frontrunner Jose Omega in 27 moves of Slav Defence and to Manuel Nedic, who stayed at 3rd spot with a 9-3-0 win-loss-draw card.

Despite the 2 losses, dela Cruz climbed from 14th place to 12th. After the 3 matches, he left the tournament site to coach the Airai basketball team and came back again after 2 hours.

The much-awaited match of co-leaders Omega and Cyril Montel, Jr. finally took place but after one hour and 17 minutes of quality chess match, Omega left for work and their game was adjourned on the 29th move with Omega ahead in the exchange.

Later in the afternoon, Montel, Jr. dealt unbeaten Bong Alipoon his first loss of the tourney with a masterful 23-move victory in their Caro-Kahn Defence game.

Alipoon whipped Gene Pastrana earlier in the afternoon to stay at 4th with 6-1-3 record followed by idle top seed Roberto Hernandez (6-4-1).

Marcial Rodriguez lost by default to Mario Ramos, Dennis Gonzales and Jimmy Valenzuela.
Ramos d. Tutii Joe Chilton and Joel Azana drew with Chilton by default draw.

Another blitz chess fest was held after the completion of all regular games. Seven players participated--1. Menandro Manuel 2. Hernandez 3. Nedic 4. Alipoon 5. Montel, Jr. 6. Lin de Guzman 7. Pastrana.

It's just a single round-robin format to allow Hernandez to go to work at 8:00 pm.

Manuel won his first 5 games but Montel, Jr. also won 5 and lost 1. The last game between Alipoon and Manuel completed the event.

With everybody watching, Alipoon outwitted Manuel and half of the prize was split between Manuel and Montel, Jr., who won his first blitz chess title in more that 10 tries.

Hernandez emailed the Treasurer of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to inquire how much is the financial obligation of Palau.

Mr. David Jarrett's response also noted that after paying $476.00, Palau can then participate in the next World Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy and don't have to be an observer first.

An email from Gary Bekker was also received by Hernandez. Mr. Bekker is offering financial support for Palau and an internet match between Palau chess players and Melbourne, Australia's chess club players.

Hernandez and Chilton emailed him back, thanking him for whatever amount he can give and set up the internet match.

Chilton and Hernandez are planning a fundraising campaign to raise the money for the membership fee to FIDE.

Another plan is to have Hernandez teach chess classes at Palau Community College.

He will collect a dollar from each student and save the money for FIDE payment and to fund the players who will participate in the Chess Olympiad.

Some new chess talents might be discovered to represent Palau in other international events like Oceania Zonal Chess Championship and World Chess Olympiad.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
            Tia Belau Newspaper
            Volume XIV
            Issue 36
            September 09-16, 2005


Manuel Nedic, left, is bound to get his first trophy in his second try. He is currently 3rd in the standings in the ongoing 2005 Open Chess tournament where his opponent, Jose Omega, is the frontrunner with 2 crucial games left for his first title.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)
*Original colored photo submitted at Tia Belau, not returned.


THE fundraising is on for the payment of Palau's financial obligation of $476.00 to World Chess Federation (FIDE) so that the local Palau chess players can participate in the World Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy next year.

The last Chess Olympiad was held in Mallorca, Spain from October 14-31, 2004.

Palau Chess Federation Chairman Tutii Joe Chilton and Knights and Rooks Chess Club Chairman Roberto Hernandez each contributed $50.00 for the campaign.

Active players are requested to contribute during the 14th round of the 2005 Open Chess tournament held on Sunday, September 11, 2005.

Frontrunner of the Sunday's event was Jose Omega. He kept the lead after defeating Palau bet Morton Sawaichi in 30 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defence (Rubinstein Variation)

He also won by default over Chilton and his adjourned game against Cyril Montel, Jr. was postponed. Montel, Jr. stayed at the 2nd spot after winning by default over Mario Ramos.

Idle Manuel Nedic is currently in the 3rd place followed by Bong Alipoon, who also collected a dafault win over Ramos.

Hernandez solidified his hold at 5th place with a win over Gene Pastrana in 35 moves of Modern Defence.

And in a marathon of 120-move game between Joel Azana and Ivan II Chess Computer, who is leading on his clock.

Had Azana's time expired, he will lose by time forfeit because Ivan II had enough materials to checkmate him.

All other games were defaults going into the last 2 weeks of the tournament. Default draws were also declared between Eric Espartero and Dennis Gonzales; Ramos vs. Espartero; Ivan II vs. Gonzales; Ivan vs. Ramos and Chilton vs. Espartero.

Latecomer James dela Cruz collected 2 default wins over Marcial Rodriguez and Mario Ramos and Hernandez over Gonzales.

Players are requested to call the Chairman at 587-2784 if they can't make it in the last 2 playing days of the tournament.

The tournament is sponsored by Bendix N. Lakobong, Leo Lacambra, Jr. and Roswell Macapagal of T-Shirt Printing Atbp.

Absent players will lose by default. Special game between Omega and Alipoon was reset this week.

Alipoon is still in the running for a first title in 10 tournaments. Omega and Montel, Jr. are also seeking their first title ever. Omega was a 2-time Class B champion.

Former 2-time champion Menandro Manuel is willing to go to Italy next year to be the Board 1 player if he keeps his rating as the top player after the national championship
next year to select the top six players to represent Palau in the 2006 World Chess Olympiad.

If the fundraising campaign could not produce enough funds for the players airfare, only 4 player will be sent or player(s) who did not make it to the top six but were able to get sponsorship for his own ticket, can still make it with this first participation of Palau in an international event.

A Palauan guy named Brandon W. practiced with Hernandez last Sunday and willing to learn as much as he can. He promised to make it to the top 6 next year.

Hernandez assured him that if he made it to the top 6 next year, he may represent Palau in the Olympiad. If he can't make it, and some players made it to the top 6, then he can't go.

He might take a spot if he can get sponsor for his ticket. Board and lodging are shouldered by the host nations while tickets are the responsibility of the national federations.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Volume XIV
Issue 37
September 16-23, 2005


Morton Sawaichi, right, and venue host Artemio Navarette, posed behind the giant chessboard made by Roberto Hernandez. It is also used to announce the change of venue. (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


THE RAINY and windy 2nd round of the 2005 Regular Chess tournament had a sudden change of venue due to the renovation of Palau Paradise Lions Club headquarters beside Palasia Hotel and Galaxy Video Center.

Only in the last hours that the Chairman was informed about the change and the players were informed through phone calls and notice on the giant chessboard.

Still, half of the participants are at Image Restaurant, the temporary venue, and half are waiting at the Galaxy Video Center where there are 3 matches took place while waiting for the others.

Newcomer Marcial Rodriguez played his first 2 tournament games and lost both to Jose Omega and Gene Pastrana.

Another newcomer, Manuel Nedic, played his first tournament game against Mario Ramos.

Their game is such a cliffhanger that 8 persons are crowding the small table where they are playing to get a glimpse of the position where both players are playing good defence and positional play.

They are in the endgame part when the other players proceed at Image Restaurant where 3 other players are waiting: Tutii Joe Chilton, Dennis Gonzales and Morton Sawaichi.

As the players started their matches, Ramos called the Chairman to inform him that there is a clock violation committed by Nedic as they stop their game and reset it in original position where the violation was made.

Ramos said that Nedic press his clock without moving any of his pieces. Upon consultation with Menandro Manuel, the arbiter-chairman Roberto Hernandez decided to penalize Nedic with 10 minutes off his clock.

They resume the game and after some clever maneuver, Nedic won a drawish game in 68 moves of an Irregular Opening.

Having consumed much of their time in their first game, they don't have time to play a 2nd one as Nedic resides in Ngeremlengui while Ramos and Rodriguez in the very far end of Ngchesar.

Other results of 2nd round and special 3rd and 4th round:
Chilton drubbed Gonzales in 64 moves of Nimzo-Indian Defence where both players thought that the format is rapid and moved fast.

Chilton also dealt Sawaichi his 2nd straight loss in 34 moves of a Bishop Opening.

Earlier, Sawaichi lost to Ivan II Chess Computer in another 34 moves of a Sicilian Defence (Dragon Variation) where he missed the rook capture and giving up the exchange to keep a strong attack.

Gonzales suffered another loss from Manuel, who is now the solo leader after scoring one more win over 13-year old Chris Domingo without a rook on his a1 square.

Omega and Sawaichi defeated defending kiddie champ Em-R de Vera with a knight handicap.

Most Improved Player Lin de Guzman nipped Pastrana but lost to Jimmy Valenzuela, who is now in solo 2nd spot with 2.5 points after losing to Roberto Hernandez in 52 moves of Danish Gambit in the last game of the day.

Valenzuela deviated from 3 previous Danish Gambit variations on the 3rd move and won a knight on the 17th move.

Hernandez clawed back by playing precise endgame tactics. After both players got a new queen, Hernandez is up by a rook and threatens mate in 2 when Valenzuela resigned.

Bong Alipoon came late in the afternoon and didn't play while newcomer Eric Espartero came at the original venue and practiced blitz chess with Omega but unable to come at Image Restaurant for a regular match.

In a special game held at Image Restaurant on Friday, January 21, Chilton lost to Ivan II Chess Computer in 31 moves of Sicilian Defence.

The 9-year-old Israeli boy didn't come also as his parents were off island since January 14.

Israel's top 24 players are all Grandmasters with Boris Gelfand at the top.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Volume 14
January 23-29, 2005

(270) PCF Continues to receive benefits as new FIDE member

PCF continues to receive benefits as
new FIDE member

Horizon News Staff

THE Palau Chess Federation (PCF) continued to receive benefits as one of the newest member of the World's governing body in chess-- Federation Internationale Des Eches (FIDE).

FIDE has just recently sent message to the PCF regarding chess materials it already transported via Philippine Embassy office in Palau.

The message came from FIDE Director Kaarlo Schepel and sent to Knights and Rooks Chess Club Chairman and PCF officer Roberto Hernandez.

Schepel said that as discussed with FIDE's Israel Gelfer, four solid plastic chess sets and 20 DGT 2000 digital chess clocks are on their way to Palau.

These are gifts to the PCF, which is part of the Zone 3.6 or known as Oceania Zone.

Schepel noted that for Customs purposes, the chess supplies are gift from FIDE under the CACDEC program for developing nations.

Schepel noted that the items must not be taxed because these have been pre-paid and are absolutely free of charge.

Palau was officially admitted to the FIDE as full member just last February.

But the PCF has been receiving support from Oceania Zone President Gary Bekker, who will be personally supervising the upcoming international invitational tournament to be slated here sometime next month.

Just last month, former FIDE President Florencio Campomanes came to visit the progress of chess in Palau and gave used chess boards and clocks.

The PCF is looking forward to join the 2008 World Chess Olympiad.

Palau has been invited to compete in the recently concluded Olympics of Chess in Turin, Italy last month but could not afford to send players due to financial constraints.

Meanwhile, the awarding of prizes for the top finishers in the just concluded First Ambassador Marino Cup Rapid Chess tournament is held today at the Philippine Embassy office.

Source: Report of Nazario Rodriguez, Jr.
              "PCF continues to receive benefits as new FIDE member"
              Palau Horizon
              Friday, July 14-17, 2006

Monday, August 13, 2012


Tonet Medilo, middle, have been featured twice in this column but always with a group. This time she is the center of attraction while watching the official game between Ferdinand 'Bong' Gutierrez and George Anzawa in the 2011 Palau National Chess Championship held at Palau Royal Resort Dormitory 1.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                     MANIK IS OUT;

MOHAMMAD Manik Hossain was allowed by his employer to participate in the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey to be held from August 27-September 10, 2012 after their meeting on Thursday, August 09.

Roberto Hernandez and Manik started the completion of necessary documents to process Manik’s Turkish visa within 2 weeks before Palau’s team departure on August 24.

Hernandez gets the opinion of Menandro Manuel if Manik can still make it. His wife Elizabeth was the one who worked to acquire the Turkish visas of 4 members of the team, including hers.

At this late time, she can’t do it because she’s also very busy with her job as Division Chief, TBMD of Philippine Trade Training Center and the time available to send back Manik’s passport is really unrealistic.

With the time frame short, Menandro suggested that Manik has to go to Philippines and work on his Turkish visa by himself. But it is very risky and expensive for a first-time in Manila to acquire it and Manik dislikes this idea.

And with the expensive airfare non-refundable, Manik finally accepted that this trip is not really for him to happen this year.

If he had been firmed to his commitment to be a part of the team more than a month ago, he could have done it. He had planned a 3-month vacation to Bangladesh after the Olympiad but it is too long for his employer to allow and Manik is also hoping that his employer might shoulder at least half of the airfare because he hasn’t have a vacation yet in 7 years.

He was allowed to go finally but he has to shoulder all his expenses on airfare by himself. Even though it’s too much, he’s still willing to go but the shortness of time to get his Turkish visa is the one major obstacle to his dream of playing in an Olympiad.

If things were possible, he’s planned to stay longer in Turkey and to proceed to Greece and Italy for a few days tour to take advantage of the 15-day free full accommodation at the Olympiad, like what Menandro and his wife will do after the Olympiad. They will proceed to Italy, France and Germany for 5 days, back to Istanbul again before going back to Manila.

Now Manik is looking ahead to the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway like Tito Cabunagan, who also didn’t make it because of job schedule conflict.

Jeff Balbalosa committed first for 2014 World Chess Olympiad and if the current tentative line-up for Palau Chess team to Norway will push through, Manik will be the team captain of the women’s team composed of Angie Parrado, Elizabeth Manuel, Paz Ngiratechekii and probably Adele Anzawa will make it this time to Norway in November 2014.

So the final composition of Palau Chess Team has been submitted by Team Captain Jamie Kenmure and it is as follows: 1. Roberto Hernandez (player) 2. Elizabeth Manuel (player, Head of Delegation) 3. Bernardo Garcia (player) 4. Menandro Manuel (player) 5. Jamie Kenmure (Captain) 6. Jan Berglund (FIDE Delegate).

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
              Tia Belau Newspaper
              Pages 10 & 13
             Volume 21
              Issue 55
             August 13, 2012

(268) Tito Swept Roberto; Rudel, Eli lead Rapid Chess

Look at the charisma of this man! --Joselito Marcos of Papua New Guniea. He'll bring his friendliness to Palau when he comes for the 2011 3rd Palau Invitational International Chess Championship together with his wife and daughter. He befriend a young Russian girl here during the excursion (rest day of 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Russia)
(Photo by Joselito Marcos)

               TITO SWEPT ROBERTO;

IN THE resumption of 2011 Rapid Chess tournament at Palau Royal Resort Dormitory 1, Olympiad co-members Tito Cabunagan and Roberto Hernandez played their 2 games on Sunday, March 20 with Tito sweeping Roberto in both fashion to lead the tournament with 4-2-1 win-loss-draw record.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mohammad Manik Hossain did better when he lost the first game to Tito but won the second game.

Gonzalo 'Jojo' Escapatoria will be having a vacation during the tournament and he had withdrawn.

But the good thing is Tito came with a newly arrived mechanical engineer who will be working with him also at Palau Public Utilities Corporation.

He is Jose Celiz and he will replace Jojo. He practiced first with some players around before playing his first official game vs. Menandro 'Boy' Manuel, which turned out to be a refreshing news as he beats Palau number one player (2005- 2010).

They played their 2nd game with Menandro ahead this time when it's Jose who committed a blunder.

Palau's current number one Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. played his first game of the event against Tito.

In the other tourney where only employees of PRR are allowed to play, Rudel Roxas is still leading with 9.5 points followed by Elizalde Madrinan with 8.5 pts.

Ronel Gutierrez played his first game against Miguel Gancayco and lost even though he won Mig's queen early in the game.

Erick Ventinilla also played his first 4 games this week, winning 3 and losing one to Randy 'Buhawi' Sioson, who scored his first point in 8 games.

Eric dealt Dan Roldan his 8th straight loss after winning his first one over Sioson. Jeffrey Negrillo and Migs have an identical number of points (7) while Ferdinand Gutierrez, brother of Ronel, has 4.5 points in 8 games.

Jomar Alerta has 4 points in 6 games. The only 2 players who haven't played a single game yet are Joel Gabris and Ferdie Altea, who is on vacation. He will play as many games as possible when he comes back on March 29.


This is a welcome idea for Jamie Kenmure, Palau's Team Captain in the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Russia.

He is also one of the invited participants and will stay longer in Palau after the event to promote chess in Palau, form a woman's chess team and have fundraising for Palau Chess Team to the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
            Tia Belau Newspaper
            Pages 12 & 15
            Volume 20
            Issue 12
            March 21, 2011


THE PAST --Chess and Music: Perfect Combination by Roberto Hernandez
THE PRESENT -- Chess and Music Part 2 --Mohammad Manik Hossain and Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr. have combined chess and music which produced good results.
THE FUTURE -- Chess and Music Part 3 -- Ethan Nate Meyar, grandson of Palau President Johnson Toribiong, combining piano, guitar and chess-- the result will be worth watching.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


BERNARD GARCIA, I. T. Manager at Palau Pacific Resort, played his first game of 2011 Palau National Chess Championship against Mohammad Manik Hossain on Saturday, July 30 at Palau Royal Resort Dormitory 1 at 1:00 pm.

It was a good game with Manik ahead in the exchange (a rook for a knight) but Garcia got 2 exra pawns in return and his king is more secure than the exposed king of Manik.

Garcia offered a draw after a 2-move repetition. He informed Manik that if he will make the 3rd repetition of moves, their game will be automatically drawn.

Manik deviated from the 3rd move repetition draw and said to Garcia, " I will beat you" but lost instead in a marathon 73-move of Sicilian Defence.

Top seed Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. came just a few minutes after Manik had resigned.The next game is supposed to be Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr. vs. Garcia but Pax suggested to have Garcia play vs. Cyril and he will play against Angie Parrado who is on her way to the tournament site.

Bernard borrowed all the original score sheets of all games of the current tourney to study the games of the players especially the rated ones.

His game vs. Cyril didn't happen as he left without saying anything.

Last Sunday, July 24, Roberto Hernandez played an official game against venue host Gene Pastrana, who is still very rusty for being inactive for more than a year. He lost in just 24 moves of Caro-Khan Defence.

Ferdinand Gutierrez, who replaced Jenalyn Ortiz, played his first 3 games and lost all to Jeff Balbalosa, Jeffrey Negrillo and Pax.

He missed 2 strong moves against Negrillo and suffered a humiliating defeat that usually occurs to neophyte players.

Manik came to PRR on Wed. July 27, for a match with Edwin Acuyan but a sudden change of schedule prevented Edwin to play his first game.

Manik played one official game instead against Negrillo and scored his 2nd win. Negrillo is behind by a mere pawn in a difficult rook and pawns endgame.

He blundered away his pawn and rook and resigned immediately after realizing his mistake.

Pax overlooked a faster win over Angie Parrado on the 31st move but still managed to squeeze a whole point after an extra 19 moves of their Giocco Piano clash.

Pax is now at 4th place with a 4-2-1 win-loss-draw record. Menandro 'Boy' Manuel is on a 3-week vacation and still leading the field with 7-1-1 slate followed by Tito Cabunagan (5-1-1), Cyril (4-0-2), Pax, and followed by the surprising trio of Balbalosa at 4-6-0 card, Jose Celiz at 3-1-1 and Rudel Roxas (3-3-1).

Hernandez is at 50% after that win over Pastrana at 3-3-0.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
             Tia Belau Newspaper
             Pages 12 & 15
             Volume 20
             Issue 31
             August 01, 2011


All but 2 in this photo will participate in the Edgar Cayanan Cup Rapid Chess tourney at Palau Royal Resort. Standing from right to left, Pax Cup Class B champ Migs Gancayco, Jaime Guevarra, Roberto Hernandez and Randy Sioson. Sitting (R-L) Joel Gabris, Ronel Gutierrez, Rey Alenain, Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr. and his Indonesian 'girlfriend'.
INSET: Boris Gelfand -- 1st time World Cup Champion and Ruslan Ponomariov -- 2nd time World Cup Runner.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


THIRD SEED and venue host Gene Pastrana converted a losing position
to a drawn game when Elpidio Manaligod missed 3 consecutive winning lines in the resumption of 2009 Palau National Chess Champioship held on Sunday, December 13 at D. J. Cruz General Merchandise premises.

Instead of cramping Gene's position, Elpi captured on the 22nd move to force the exchange of a pair of rooks and allowed Gene to get away from a nasty bishop pin.

A positional endgame ensued and after 47 moves, a draw was agreed in their Giocco Piano encounter.

Craig Dittrich got his first half point of the tourney with a draw against Romeo Caballes in 64 moves of Reti Opening.

In the consolation round (Class B), Mario Ramos is catching up with unbeaten Tito Cabunagan in a miniature game win over Flavin 'Matlab' Andres in just 14 moves of another Reti Opening.

An unusual knight retreat on the 2nd move, a blunder on the 10th and an illegal move on the 14th shortens their game and solidified Ramos' chances of getting a runner-up plum (a trophy) with Jimboy de Jesus just a point behind him.

All the participants of the Edgar Cayanan Cup Rapid Chess tournament at Palau Royal Resort agreed to accept Masum Billah as the only invited player.

Billah asked 4th seed Roberto Hernandez last Sunday if he can participate in the Cup.

After consulting all the players, he was allowed to participate in the Class A with top seed Nino Flores, Jaime Guevarra, Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr., Eli Madrinan, Rey Alenain and Ivan II Chess Computer (in Averange level or strength).

Class B is composed of Jerome Ratunil, Joel and George Gabris, Morris Apresto, Randy Sioson, Ronel Gutierrez, Jomar Alerta and Ivan II Chess Computer in Easy Level.

Inaugural Paquito Suringa Cup champion Ferdie Altea took a break and will act as moderator of the event, which will be a double round-robin affair with all the players be allowed to use the 56 BY THE BOOK CHESS OPENINGS prepared by Hernandez to familiarize the participants to the openings being used by chess masters around the world.

This column would like to thank Joselito Marcos, pngchamp@gmail.com for his The Chess Connoisseur website (http://chessconnoisseur.blogspot.com) updates of the latest top rated chess events around the world with the latest one:

Israel's Boris Gelfand became the 2009 World Cup Champion by beating Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the playoff games on Monday, Dec. 12.

The first 4 games of the playoff were rapid games. They drew to force another playoff, this time a series of twin-blitz chess (5 minutes per player per game).

Gelfand trapped Ponomariov's queen and won the first game but Ponomariov rallied again, winning the 2nd game.

In the second pair of blitz games, Ponomariov finally run out of reserves in the 4th blitz skirmish, losing the game and the match, 7 points to 5.

Gelfand was the top seed in the 128-player event. At 41, he was also the oldest, but that did not deter him in the long tournament.

Afterward, in an interview published on the tournament's website, Gelfand pointed out that he had come to the World Cup after competing in the Tal Memorial and the World Blitz Championship that followed it.

Altogether, he said he had played more than a month of top-level chess, but he added, "Now I will relax, make up for the lost sleep, walk with my daughter. So I will be back to 'normal' life."

This was the 2nd time that Ponomariov, 26, was runner-up in the World Cup. He lost in the final in 2005 to Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Still, he came in as the 7th seed, so he performed above his pre-tournament rank.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Pages 13 & 15
Volume 18
Issue 51
December 21-27, 2009