Sunday, August 12, 2012


Morton Sawaichi, left, a bouncer at Island Bar beside the tournament site, won a game over Tutii Joe Chilton that is qualified for brilliancy prize. Former champion Jess Toldoya looks from afar while Gene Pastrana is analyzing a game by himself. (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


A BASKETBALL player and a solid positional chess player, Eric Espartero gained momentum from a long drought of win to notch three straight and climbed from 11th spot to 7th in the 9th round of the 2005 Open Chess tournament held on Sunday, July 24 at Privilege Family Store in Malakal, sponsored by Bendix N. Lakobong, Leo Lacambra, Jr. and Roswell C. Macapagal of T-Shirt Printing, Atbp.

After nipping Joel Azana last week, Espartero clobbered Marcial Rodrugiuez in 39 moves of Irregular Opening.

Later in the afternoon, he survived a mental block and outlasted Gene Pastrana in more than 70 moves of Sicilian Defence.

On the 26th move, he thought that his king is already checkmated but the Chairman-Arbiter (Roberto Hernandez) noticed that he still has one square to hide his king (h1) and resumed playing a passive position.

Pastrana still had 50 minutes on his clock and decided to stop writing his moves. They are moving so fast in the minor piece endgame and Pastrana missed a pawn sacrifice that would have won him Espartero's knight and the game but lost it when he blundered away his bishop and was unable to stop 2 passed pawns.

Second seed Cyril Montel, Jr. ended Espartero's streak with a victory and dislodged Pastrana in 4th place.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, scored his 2nd win in 5 games to move one step higher in the standings.

Top seed Roberto Hernandez made short work on Morton Sawaichi to prevail in 39 moves of Pirc Defence.

Pastrana employed the Four Knights Defence to outplay Ivan II Chess Computer and mated the machine in 32 moves with the black pieces.

And in the last game of the day, Jimmy Valenzuela suffered another loss by bowing to Bong Alipoon, who played only 3 games so far and one of the 2 remaining undefeated player.

Jose Omega kept the lead by winning over Ivan II in 48 moves of Sicilian Defence (Alapin Variation) in a special game held on Tuesday, July 19 at Chairman's residence.

Omega took advantage of Ivan's slight error when it castled in the queenside with lots of weaknesses.

The game evolved into magnificent beauty when on the 17th move, the combinative Omega sacrificed a whole knight without any material consideration except to maintain his initiative in mounting a bewildering attack.

He unified his forces into perfect harmony so that when his heavy artillery ignited the first salvo, the belligerent forces were in frenzy dodging the spitfire.

Pandemonium broke loose as the continuous shelling ravage Ivan's territory as Omega even offered his queen on the 23rd move and got Ivan's queen instead and finally realized that Ivan had no choice but to desist from resistance.

The ensuing game is qualified for brilliancy prize of $50.00.

After the completion of all regular games, 7 players participated in another one-day blitz chess tourney. The same format was used like the other blitz contests.

Hernandez already suffered 4 losses when he left the tournament site. The players that are leading the standings when Hernandez left are Valenzuela, 2-time champ Menandro Manuel and Most Improved Player honoree Lin de Guzman.

Montel, Jr., Pastrana and Alipoon completed the rest of the contestants. Hernandez' remaining unfinished games were declared draws. Full results will be published next week.

Hernandez received 2 emails from Calvin Prasad, the Treasurer of Fiji Chess Federation and from Gary Bekker, FIDE Oceania 3.2b Zone President. The emails read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hernandez,
I have noticed your application for registration with FIDE, to be tabled at the FIDE Congress in Germany in August.
Please extend the full support of the Fiji Chess Federation in this matter, and we are excited about the prospect of having another South Pacific nation FIDE-affiliated.
This would increase the chance of chess being included in the Pacific Games in Samoa, in 2007.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.
Calvin Prasad, Treasurer -- Fiji Chess Federation


Dear Roberto,
Firstly, let me say how delighted I am to hear that Palau will be joining the international chess community during the coming months. This is undoubtedly an exciting moment for the development of the international chess scene within the Oceania Zone.
I would like to offer my full support and endorsement for Palau's application to become a member federation of FIDE, and I am happy to provide any assistance I can to encourage regular chess competition within your federation.
I have already arranged for the shipment of a selection of chess books, sets and other material to your postal address.
I am excited by the prospect that Palau may, in the near future, be able to send representatives to international tournaments such as the Oceania Zonal Chess Championships or the World Chess Olympiad.
I am also keenly interested to support any proposals for Palau to host a small international tournament. Ideally, such a tournament would be limited to Palau's six best players, together with 4 FIDE-rated players invited from overseas, with the view that the leading Palau players would gain international rankings from the event. I am willing to provide limited sponsorship for such an event and look forward to discussing this idea with you in the future.
The Oceania Chess Zone was formed by separating from the South East Asia in 1998 and, with the addition of PNG several years later, now comprises Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and PNG. Negotiations for New Caledonia, Nauru and the Solomon Islands to join FIDE have been encouraging, but have so far failed to bear fruit.
Information about FIDE rated tournaments, within the Oceania region is currently available from my website which includes links to the websites of the other Oceania chess federations.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Warmest regards,

Gary Bekker
FIDE Oceania 3.2b Zone President

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
             Tia Belau Newspaper
             Volume XIV
             Issue 30
             July 29-August 05, 2005

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