Thursday, August 29, 2013

(565) IDLE WEEK OF PRR RAPID CHESS TILT (TBN-April 04-10, 2008)

NOT A single game was played in this week's rapid chess competition within the Palau Royal Resort's employees at Dormitory 1 as most of participating players are busy or have played already the available players.

Zaldy Ranopa had not played a single game in Class A division and whenever he said that he will play to anyone that's available, nobody believes him anymore as he said it more that ten times.

In the Class B division, the top contenders are still waiting for the final results with chief cook Arnold Rivera leading Romy Cayanan, Morris Apresto and Francis Diesta.

The invited player Chat Miraflor is still busy even on his day off (Wednesday). The  same as the other invited player in Class A division Andres 'Aying' Mestizo II.

I would like to share the story behind the 1991 Berean Bible Baptist Church Chess tournament held from February 24 - March 24, 1991.

It was a 5-round Swiss system tournament participated by 20 chess players around Muntinlupa City in the Philippines.

I lost my first round game to Leandro Valdez but won the next 4 to finish 1st runner-up to eventual champion Angelo Agbuya, who was the National Games (Palarong Pambansa) regional champion.

Valdez is complaining at the time of awarding that he defeated me and he didn't finish in the top 5. The question is: after beating me, how did he perform in his last 4 games?

My last game against Ramon Ragas was a cliffhanger and controversial in my own perspective...

Playing the black pieces, I needed a win to land at least 1st runner-up and can be the champion depending on the outcome of the other crucial match.

I preferred the Dutch Defence, which I have used successfully in other tournaments in Philippines and Palau.

With a few seconds remaining in my clock, I was able to promote the c pawn to have 2 queens and mated Ragas on the 62nd move. 

If my time expires, I will lose that game and I will not finish in the top 5. If I drew that game, I can be no better that 4th place. 

After the game, the arbiter checked how much time I have left in my clock. And it's just a mere 7 seconds that separated me between my first chess trophy!

The controversial part is that the arbiter let our game to be finished before setting the other crucial game between the other 2 contenders.

Now, Agbuya has to win his game against his opponent as a draw will make me the champion. And he did!

I think something is wrong about it. It's also a good feeling that my practice partner Gary Galang finished 4th.

And during the awarding ceremony, the Muntinlupa City Mayor Ignacio Bunye, now the Presidential Speaker of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroya, awarded the trophies and little cash prizes from his own pocket to the winners. 

I was asked to perform a special piano performance during the awarding.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
               Tia Belau Newspaper
               Pages 13 & 15
               Volume 18
               April 04-10, 2008               


(564) MUSIC AND ME (August 22, 2013) MILLION SELLERS

       Roberto Hernandez have been to Bahrain for 2 years and 3 months (Jan.1987-April 1989) as musician. His favorite hobby is fishing. He used to fish at Breeze Bar of Palau Royal Resort since 2007 but it's not allowed now. These 2 Taiwanese guests fish at that bar and caught white snapper which they threw back to water - a sort of sports-fishing. They only want to experience the thrill of catching a fish -big or small.
                                                       (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                    MILLION SELLERS 

WHILE in Bahrain playing Greek music with Cypriot bouzuki player Antonis Sergio, I happened to listen to an FM radio station that plays "Million Sellers" every Friday.

It's the songs (in single recording or 45 RPM) that sold a million copies at least, from 1920's to early 1980's.  It's been broadcasted in alphabetical order and I was able to record it in 54 cassette tapes (90 minutes or 45 minutes each side).

There were Fridays that I have to teach Pakinee Shuler, a former Miss Thailand who is married to an American banker. I asked her that I have to record the "Million Sellers" while teaching her because I don't want to miss any of it. I brought my own blank cassette tapes.



                                 MILLION SELLERS  A-1
                         SIDE A    (Cassette 1)  
3. AFTER THE LOVIN' (1977) Engelbert Humperdinck
4. AFTERNOON DELIGHT (1976) Starland Vocal Band
5. AGAIN (1949) Vic Damone
7. AIN'T IT A SHAME (1955)
10. AIN'T IT A SHAME (1955) Same song but different singer. Both sold million copies.
12. AIR THAT I BREATH (1974) The Hollies
13. ALL BY MYSELF (1955)
14. ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM (1959) Everly Brothers
15. ALL SHOOK UP (1957) Elvis Presley
      Theme from "Sayonara". They broadcast some popular songs/TV themes that didn't made millions but very popular.

                                       MILLION SELLERS A-2

                    SIDE B - (Cassette 1)

1. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (1967) Beatles
3. ALLEY CAT (1962)
4. ALLEY HOOP (1960)
5. ALONE AGAIN NATURALLY (1972) Gilbert O'Sullivan
    Main Theme from "Sea Hunt"
7. AMAPOLA (1941)
10. AMONG MY SOUVENIRS (1959) Connie Francis
11. A MISMOISES (1971)
13. ANGIE (1973) Rolling Stones
14. ANGIE BABY (1974) Helen Reddy

                                                             MILLION SELLERS  A-3

                      SIDE A   (Cassette 2)

1. ANNA (1953) Beatles
2. ANNIE'S SONG (1974) John Denver
3. ANNIE HAD A BABY (1964)
6. ANYTIME (1951)
7. APRIL MOON (1957)
8. APRIL SHOWER (1946)
9. AQUARIUS (1969) From the movie "Hair"
11. ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT (1960) Elvis Presley
12. ARIZONA (1970) 
13. AT THE HOP (1957)
14. A TIS KIT (1938)
16. AUTUMN LEAVES (1955) Roger Williams

Source: Chess and Music (Perfect Combination)
            by Roberto Hernandez
            To be published as a book in the future  




(563) CAN DIESTA MAKE IT TO TOP 4? (TBN-March 28-April 03, 2008)

FRANCIS Diesta has 2 more remaining games in the Class B division of Palau Royal Resort Rapid Chess Tournament against invited player Chat Miraflor, who has played only 2 games in more than a month.

Diesta showed good quality games and a potential master candidate if he will concentrate more on positional play, tactics and practical play. 

If Diesta can sweep Miraflor, he is still in contention for the top 4 spot. It will also depend on the performance of top three Arnold Rivera, Romy Cayanan and Morris Apresto.

No game was played within this week in the Class B division as most players enjoy the payday week in other activities.

But in Class A, Elizalde Madrinan finally scored half point after a string of losses and did it via 3-move repetition.

He sacrificed a rook to obtain a draw position and would not like to take chances with 3 pawns against a rook endgame against Paul Garcia.

That game was already recorded last week as a victory for Garcia, but according to them, it's just a practice game and not official. 

Garcia suffered his 4th loss when Arnel Pama, the elected Chairman of King Royal Chess Club of PRR, combined tactics and patient play to subdue the improved offensive and defensive plays of Garcia.

As the 2008 National Chess Championship is tentatively set on April 27, 2008, the Group A against Group B team match-up will be postponed.

Jan Berglund, the International Arbiter and trainer will be coming on April 24 via Continental Airlines from Manila. 

He will be joining the National Chess Championship to get the potential team players' strengths and weaknesses.

As group training is not possible, he will do the individual training of possible Palau team players to participate in the World Chess Olympiad to be held in Dresden, Germany on November 12-25, 2008.

PRR top players Roberto Hernandez, Jaime Guevarra, Dennis Lara, Pama and Eli are all interested to join the National Chess Championship to get World Chess Federation (FIDE) international rankings as Mr. Berglund already notified FIDE that the said event will be rated. 

He is also working on a possibility of having Palau be a CACDEC chess playing country to have the benefits of not paying tournament fees, world competition fees and other benefits such as chess sets, clocks and equipments.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
             Tia Belau Newspaper
             Pages 13 & 15
             Volume 18
             March 28-April 03, 2008


FOUR players in the Class B division of Palau Royal Resort Rapid Chess tournament are in a tight battle for supremacy in the resumption of play where Morris Apresto made the contest interesting after dealing erswhile leader Jess David his 3rd and 4th losses. 

Apresto showed signs of brilliant attacking prowess in defeating David in their first game when he refused an exchange advantage and sustained his mating attack. He did the same in their 2nd game and in a shorter time.

Chief cook Arnold Rivera now holds the least loss record and can clinch the title if he will defeat Morris, David and the other contender Romy Cayanan, who is not far behind in the standings.

Rivera ousted top seed Randy 'Buhawi' Sioson of contention after sweeping him the 2 games. 

They played 2 games earlier but it is declared unofficial as only two of them were around when they played it and Rivera lost both games.

Cayanan's hectic schedule didn't allow him to play a single game. 

In the Class A division, 4th seed Paul Garcia kept his chances intact for the title with a two-game sweep of Eli Madrinan, who haven't won a game since moving to Class A.

During practices with Class A players, he showed his toughness especially in defense that is why he is called "Petrosian" by friends. A name derived from the former Soviet world chess champion in 1960 Tigran Petrosian, the master of defense.

Top seed Roberto Hernandez lend Eli a book, "Tigran Petrosian, His Life And Games".

Arnel Pama, the elected Chairman of King Royal Chess Club of PRR played rapidly against Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr. and lost a piece in the middle game.

He sustained his attack with accuracy but missed the chance to regain the piece and lost after Pax simplified the game. 

Pama, who is a Reti Opening advocate, bounced back from defeat and took the measure of Suringa in their 2nd game. He uses "Pamareti" alias at

Suringa squeezed another victory over Laurence Abuton in their 2nd round match to gain a respectable 5-4-0 win-loss-draw card. He lost to Abuton in their first game.

Other Class A players Hernandez, Jaime Guevarra, Dennis Lara, Darwin Nisperos, Zaldy Ranopa and Andres 'Aying' Mestizo II didn't see action last week.

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
               Tia Belau Newspaper
               Pages 13 & 15
               Volume 18 
               March 21-27, 2008 



(561) JESS DAVID IS A CONTENDER IN CLASS C (TBN-March 07-13, 2008)

NEOPHYTE chess player Jess David is currently having the best record in the ongoing Palau Royal Resort Rapid Chess Tournament with a 4-1-0 win-loss-draw record after nipping another newcomer Armand Lelis last week. 

Mark Apresto is still leading their division despite a setback from the surging Francis Diesta, who scored another victory from erstwhile leader Edgar Cayanan.

David used to watch Class A players practicing and learned his lessons from their styles, strengths and weaknesses.

Class C top seed Randy 'Buhawi' Sioson swept Cayanan in their 3-game series. He won the 1st game.With  the 2nd game headed for a draw, they decided to disregard the draw and play for win.

With the loss, Cayanan scored only half point in 5 games after winning his first four. 

The same thing happened to Jaime Guevarra in last year's rating chess tourney of PRR where he scored 3 straight and didn't score a whole point in his last 4 games.

Diesta showed his top form as he dealt Mark his 3rd loss of the event. Other Class C players Morris Apresto, Romy Cayanan, Arnold Rivera and invited player Chat Miraflor didn't play a single game last week despite Miraflor's day off on Wednesday. 

With Mark Apresto leaving on March 12, he needs to play all his remaining games to avoid default losses.

He is still in contention for the title and it will depend on the performance of David, Diesta, the two Cayanans and his brother Morris.

Only one game was played in the Class B division. It is the first game of Darwin Nisperos against Paquito Pax' Suringa, Jr., who has yet to win a game after 3 tries. 

With his cautious play, Nisperos build a bewildering attack in the king side but blundered badly in the endgame that lead to his downfall with his 4-pawn advantage against a bishop.

Class B top seed Abrahan 'Abe' Francisco withdraw from the tournament and concentrate more against 14 opponents at

There is a plan to include players of Class B to Class A as most players in that class have the talents higher than that of Class B. 

Class A top seed Roberto Hernandez outwitted 5th seed Paul Garcia in less than 30 moves of Pirc Defence where Garcia lost a minor piece in the middle game. 

By the time that he recovered the piece, Hernandez already weaved a mating net to force his resignation facing a mate in two. 

Garcia bounced back from defeat and dealt Hernandez his 2nd loss with a masterful handling of a pair of bishop. 

Even during practice, Garcia showed much improvement as he also defeated blitz chess specialist Tony Villa three weeks ago. 

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
               Tia Belau Newspaper
               Pages 13 & 15
               Volume 18
               March 07-13, 2008            



(560) STANDINGS AFTER 3 ROUNDS (TBN-Aug. 26, 2013)

     Mohammad Manik Hossain, middle, played his 2nd special game against Fernan John Velarde, a new employee of Palau Royal Resort, on Saturday, August 17 at Bethlehem Park. Another special game was set against Jaime dela Cruz on Sat. Aug. 24 either at Manik or James' residence. Paquito 'Pax' Suringa, Jr. will play his 2nd special game against Rustum Cabuso on Thursday, August 29.
                                                         (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)



JEFF Balbalosa played in all first 3 rounds of the 2013 Palau National Chess Championship being held every Sunday at Bethlehem Park. He won over slightly lower rated Nilo de Jesus in the 1st round but showed his toughness in the preceding 2 rounds when he drew a seemingly lost game vs. Palau’s first titled player CM Bernard Garcia and drew again to Palau’s no. 4 Jose Celiz in 51 moves last Sunday, August 18 for a total of 2 points.
                Top seed National Master Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. subdued Rafael Paloma in just 12 moves of Queen’s Gambit Declined. He defeated fellow NM Tito Cabunagan in the 2nd week to gain a total of 2 points to lead the Top 12 Division.
                NM, National Arbiter and Secretary/Treasurer of Palau Chess Federation Roberto Hernandez tied Cyril in the standings after clobbering 6th seed Paquito Suringa, Jr. on Friday, Aug. 16 and outsmarted NA Dennis Gonzales last Sunday, Aug. 18 in 46 moves of Budapest Defence.
                NM Tito Cabunagan had a 1-1 win-loss slate after touting CM Garcia in 42 moves of English Opening. CM Garcia wrongfully set the chess clock using no. 26 instead of no. 22 and when it didn’t add another 30 minutes after 40 moves, Roberto set it correctly while it’s his turn to move against his game with Dennis. It took him more than 15 minutes to make his 20th move Nxf6 where 20. Ng5 is stronger as it will win him a pawn and the exchange (a knight for a rook).
                Manuel ‘Jun’ Mahor, Jr. didn’t play a tournament since the 2009 PNCC because he is busy with his job. This time, he has time and he replaced Elpidio Manaligod in the Reserve Division.
                He played against Eugene Labarda early in the afternoon of Aug. 18 and prevailed after 44 moves of Pirc Defence. He now leads his division when he drubbed Glen Navarosa in 42 moves of King’s Pawn Opening.
                No games were played in the women and junior division. Palauan lady Rowena Ngiralmau confirmed her participation to Roberto last Aug. 11 but she didn’t show up on Aug. 18.
During the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Russia and 2012 Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, the Head of Delegation of the Philippines, Congressman Prospero ‘Butch’ Pichay came only to the site during the last day of the Olympiad.
                It means that the Head of Delegation position is really ‘relaxed’ and it will be a perfect European vacation for Senator Mlib Tmetchul, his wife Dixie and their kids. That’s the same thing to Women’s Team Captain Eric Ksau Whipps. Because the Men’s (Open) Team Captain Jamie Kenmure can do the job also of Women’s Team Captain. Eric, Joy Flores Whipps and their kids can have also a very nice and inexpensive European vacation.
                The Head of Delegation is also given a VIP I.D. and can roam around the tournament site, press room and other places not accessible to ordinary players or even Grandmasters.
                The Women’s Division might have 12 players instead of 9 in the current roster. This was learned by Roberto when Mr. Jan Berglund, Palau’s Delegate to 3 consecutive World Chess Olympiads, explained to him the following:    Dear Mr. Hernandez,       Here’s the 6.3 of FIDE Handbook:
                                         6.3   In a round-robin tournament, at least one third of the players must be rated.
                                                 6.31   If the tournament has LESS than 10 players, at least 4 must be rated.
                                                 6.32   In a double round-robin tournament with unrated players, there must
                                                            be at least 6 players, 4 of whom must be rated.
                                                 6.33   NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS played as round-robins shall be rated if at
                                                            least 3 players (or 2 women in competitions exclusively for women)
                                                            had official FIDE Ratings before the start of the tournament.          
                That is, as it is the National Championship we are talking about, it is 6.33 that is in effect for this tournament.
           If it had NOT been a National Championship, you do not save the situation by cutting down from 10 to 9 players.
          What you are talking about is 6.3 which is the general rule, which is always in effect in round-robin tournaments with x number of participants, IF none of the 3 exceptions 6.31-6.33 is applicable.
          Best wishes,   Jan
                With this very enlightening piece of information from Mr. Berglund, the Women’s Division now will have 12 players with the addition of Mr. Berglund’s Filipina wife Visitacion Rave and Board 2 player of Palau in Istanbul Olympiad Elizabeth Manuel. They will play the other women contestants through Skype. Jeff Balbalosa suggested to use 1. 
                                                         2. for the online chess player because the Skype connection in Palau is very slow.
Solution to last week’s puzzle: 1. Rh8+! Nxh8 2. Qh7+ Kf8 3. Qxh8 mate.
This week’s puzzle: White to move and mates in 3 (Solution next issue)

Source: Chessmate by Roberto Hernandez
             Tia Belau Newspaper
             Pages 9, 10 & 11
             Volume 22
             Issue 68
             August 26, 2013