Wednesday, January 29, 2014


PARTICIPANTS ARE POSING BEFORE THE START OF 1ST ROUND. Standing from left, back row --Gary Bekker (Australia), Hilton Bennett (New Zealand) and Paul Spiller (New Zealand); Same order (middle row) Gene Pastrana (Palau), Roberto Hernandez (Palau), Almario Marlon Bernardino (Philippines), Jose Omega (Palau) and Cyril Montel, Jr. (Palau). Same order (kneeling) -- Manuel Nedic (Palau), Francis 'Sno' Temaungil (Palau) and Flavin 'Matlab' Andres (Palau).                  (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

Hilton Bennett, left, of New Zealand against Gene Pastrana of Palau in an early round encounter.
                                                          (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


     From left, Palau Chess Federation President Eric Ksau Surangel Whipps, PCF General Secretary/Treasurer Roberto Hernandez, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg and Deputy President of Asian Chess Federation Casto 'Toti' Abundo at Palau Pacific Resort Beach.   (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

                  VISIT PALAU

ASIAN Chess Federation Deputy President Casto 'Toti' Abundo called Roberto Hernandez on Sunday, Jan. 12 inviting him to attend a meeting with FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, Philippines top chess officials and Joselito Marcos, Interim President of Papua New Guinea Chess Federation.

Although it's an all-expense paid trip, Roberto refused due to schedule conflict as he is reserving his annual leave (10 days) for the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway on Aug. 01-14, 2014.

As a second option, they decided to visit Palau and then Geoffrey will proceed to Solomon Islands after the Palau trip.

In an email from Joselito Marcos, he said he and Toti were not together at the time that he said, "Joselito is here".

Geoffrey asked Roberto to book 2 single rooms at Palau Royal Resort for Jan. 21-24, 2014. Rooms Director Shinichi Arakawa agreed to give them the local net rate of $170.00/night including breakfast.

Toti text Roberto that their Manila-Koror flight via United Airlines is delayed by an hour. Eventually, it was cancelled and they have to fly to Seoul, Korea to be in Palau at 3am on Jan. 23.

They also said that they will take a taxi at the Palau airport so not to bother Roberto and Eric in that hour but there's no available taxi at that hour so Eric said he will pick them up. Roberto wants to come so they waited for 15 minutes after the plane has landed.

While in the car, Geoffrey gave Roberto and Eric a preview of how's life in Malta, where he came from.

Even during checking-in, the conversation seems never-ending.

At 11:30, Roberto teach Mr. Kurata till 12:30. He met Geoffrey, Toti and Eric at the lobby of Palau Royal Resort.

Roberto suggested to have lunch at Palau Pacific Resort where Palau top player and Palau first titled player work.    

    After these 2 shots which looks like the same, they have another photo after I ask a staff that I want to talk to Bernard, who leave his position and meet the high-ranking FIDE officials.

    Cyril Montel, Jr., Palau top player, met the visitors while they are about to leave at the parking area.

A very productive meeting with the Headmaster of Seventh Day Adventist school, Mr. Sisior, left, who is the uncle of the Sisior sisters (Angelil, Destiny and Kyarii).

A short interview with Kassi Berg, right, of OTV (Oceania Television) after the meeting with the Headmaster. The interview lasted about 15 minutes and will be broadcast immediately after some graphics and editing works. Kassi's husband, Jeff, shoots the interview as the other staff left home already. Kassi is also a lawyer.                                                                      (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

After this photo, Eric, Toti and Geoffrey dropped Roberto at Palau Royal Resort at 6:30pm as he is working at 7-11pm at the restaurant and bar as musician.               (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

The trio proceeded to Eric's residence where the inaugural Ksau Cup is being held. They said they will proceed to Breeze Bar to have Toti sing karaoke and resume the tournament if there is a need for it at Breeze Bar.

Cyril, left,  and Eugene Labarda, both working at PPR, arrived at Breeze Bar at about 9:30pm. Roberto get 2 chess sets from his car and waited for the others to come.At the middle is another Jeff, the bartender.
                                                            (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

Geoffrey Borg, left, plays a friendly match with Eric Ksau Surangel Whipps with Roberto Hernandez and Casto 'Toti' Abundo watching and lately sing karaoke with live accompaniment.
                                                           (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

 Later, Geoffrey Borg, sitting-left, tested the skills of Palau top player Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. in blitz chess. He easily defeated Cyril and the rest at the background -from left, Jeff Balbalosa, Roberto Hernandez, Eric Ksau Surangel Whipps, Eugene Labarda and Toti Abundo, sitting.
                                            (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

With different crowd this time. From left, Eugene Labarda, Eric Ksau Surangel Whipps, Jeff Daizmo (the bartender) and Jeff Balbalosa, sitting.                               (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)

Jeff Daizmo, the bartender, never plays chess with co-employees but can analyze the game when watching them play. He knows if somebody committed blunder or who has the advantage. Maybe a wasted talent if not nurtured through actual play.                               (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


Eugene Labarda, middle, watch how Geoffrey Borg maintained his one-pawn advantage throughout the game against NM Roberto Hernandez. Toti Abundo, 2nd from right, stops singing because Roberto is playing chess now, not keyboard. FIDE Master Borg defeated the rusty Toti and all present Palau players.

A very fruitful meeting with the Board Members of Palau National Olympic Committee headed by its President Frank Kyota, right - sitting.
   From left, standing, Eric Ksau Surangel Whipps, Temmy Schmull, Geoffrey Borg, Roberto Hernandez, Casto 'Toti' Abundo, Senator Regis
Akitaya. General Secretary Baklai Temengil, beside Frank Kyota and the other 2 ladies board members.                     (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)