Monday, August 13, 2012


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, for his The Chess Connoisseur website ( 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

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