IT'S DOWN to the wire finish between 3 contenders of 2005 Open chess championship after the penultimate round held on Sunday, September 18 at Privilege Family Store in Malakal and sponsored by Bendix N. Lakobong, Leo Lacambra, Jr. and Roswell C. Macapagal of T-Shirt Printing Atbp.
Fourth seed Bong Alipoon, with a 9-1-3 win-loss-draw record, dealt Jose Omega (11-2-1) his 2nd loss of the tournament and could bag his first-ever title if he would win his last 2 remaining games against top seed Roberto Hernandez and Ivan II Chess Computer.
Rapid chess format was used to give Omega a chance to go to work on time. His adjourned game against 2nd seed Cyril Montel, Jr. was not resumed as the latter came in late and Omega has gone to work.
With 3 games remaining against latecomer James dela Cruz, Ivan II Chess Computer and Omega, Montel, Jr. is planning to play dela Cruz at his residence at Airai View Hotel Annex in the late afternoon of any day that they are available.
If time permits, he will play against the machine also. If Montel, Jr. would win all of his remaining games, we will clinch his first-ever title in 9 tournaments. He already won 4 runner-up trophies.
Omega will get his first-ever title if Alipoon would lose both of his last games and if he would win his adjourned game against Montel, Jr. while Hernandez (8-4-1) is assured of the 5th place finish even if he would lose his last 2 games.
There will be another tie for the Most Improved Player award between Gene Pastrana (again!) and Palauan bet Morton Sawaichi if the 2 would win their last games.
Sawaichi (7-7-0) needs to beat Jimmy Valenzuela (7-7-0) while Pastrana (6-5-0) has a task of beating 3rd placer Manuel Nedic (11-3-0) and dela Cruz (6-5-0).
In the 2005 Regular Chess Tournament, Pastrana lost to Dennis Gonzales (1-8-6) in the tiebreak for MIP honor.
Other non-bearing final game features Joel Azana (5-6-3) and dela Cruz. The rest of the players have already completed their games' results through defaults: Tutii Joe Chilton (0-8-6), Mario Ramos (3-8-4) Eric Espartero (4-7-4) and Marcial Rodriguez (2-11-2).
Ivan II Chess Computer (2-7-4) is in 4th place. Had they arrive on the final day, they could have replayed their default losses or draws.
Two-time champ Menandro Manuel bag his 4th blitz chess title of the year by a thinnest of margin (half point) over Nedic. Omega was able to play 10 out of 12 games and still in the running for the title when he left for work. His last 2 un-played games were declared draws.
1. Manuel (7-2-3) 2. Nedic (8-4-0) 3. Omega (7-3-2) 4. Hernandez (6-6-0) 5. Pastrana (4-6-2) 6. Valenzuela (4-8-0) and Lin de Guzman (2-9-1).
Manuel donated $10.00 of his cash prize for the fundraising to pay $476.00 to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) so that Palau chess players can participate in the 2006 World Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy. He also pledged another $40.00
Palauan taxi driver Dennis Salii also pledged cash to support the fundraising while other players are waiting for their salary to start contributing. Pastrana also pledged $50.00 for the campaign.
Solution to last week's puzzle: 1. Kd4 f5 2. Qc1 mate.
Source: Chess Mate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
September 23-30, 2005