: PIZZA TREAT FROM PALAU’S NEWEST WNM
Baby Edna Mission, 2nd from left, Palau’s newest Woman National Master (WNM) treated defending champ Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr., right, Roberto Hernandez, left, and Manuel ‘Jun’ Mahor, Jr. to a 2-flavor pizza during the last day of 2016-2017 Palau National Chess Championship. Allan Alcid is 2nd, Paquito Suringa, Jr. is 3rd, I am 4th and 5 players with 3.5 points each are tied at 5th-9th spots—Mahor, Rustum Cabuso, Jeff Balbalosa, Gonzalo Escapatoria, Jr. and Tito Cabunagan, whose teammate at 2017 Oceania Zonal Angie Parrado-Sisior, took the cellar with 2.5 points—the same points she’s got in OZCC.
(Photo by Roberto Hernandez)
3rd STRAIGHT P.N.C.C. TITLE
Tata Steel Masters Update (Rd. 10)
Tata Steel Masters Update (Rd. 10)
LIKE in the 2014 Palau National Chess Championship, top seed Cyril Tomas Montel, Jr. clinched the title in the final round with a victory over me for a string of 3 consecutive PNCC titles after winning again this time vs. Manuel ‘Jun’ Mahor in the final round of 2016-2017 PNCC at Bethlehem Park on Jan. 22, 2017. A loss or a draw by Cyril is all that 2nd place finisher Allan Alcid is hoping for to finish this event on a high note but when it’s not meant to be, it will not be. His lone defeat from Jun is haunting him as he had a winning position when he blundered away his rook. Had he defeated Jun, he would have been the champion when I had beaten Cyril in Dec. 04, 2016 for his 1st loss.
With the win, Cyril qualifies to the 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia with the top 4 finishers in the 2017 PNCC joining him. For Allan to qualify in that Olympiad, he must participate in that event and hope to finish in the top 4. If Cyril would also be the champ of 2017 PNCC, the 2nd-5th place finishers will compose the Palau Team to Georgia.
After Mahor conceded the final game vs. Cyril, new Woman National Master Baby Edna Mission treated me, Cyril and Jun to a 2-flavor pizza at Rock Island Café. Some chess issues were informally shared by each other. I shared to them that the last time I teach Angel Magno, it is 30 minutes guitar lessons and 30 minutes chess lesson. In that half hour of chess lesson, she learned 2 chess opening – Sicilian Defense (Najdorf Variation) and Sicilian Defense (Dragon Variation). And that in just 30 minutes, she learned 2 openings while Paquito ‘Pax’ Suringa, Jr., who finished 3rd in the just concluded event, is already 10 years playing chess and he don’t know even a single chess opening.
Cyril cited his game vs. Pax in Nov. 13, 2016 as good example of how bad is Pax in the opening that he doesn’t know how to regain the gambit pawn in their Queen Gambit Accepted game. I mentioned to them that when me and Pax are practicing blitz chess, I always told him that this is the by the book sequence of the Sicilian Defense—1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 and after this, the usual and almost automatic is 5. Nc3. But he always plays 5. Bd3 and shows how illiterate he is about openings.
In Jan. 22, 2017 chat with CM Joselito Marcos, he shared to me that Wesley So (FIDE Rating of 2816.6) setup his new amazing record of 50 classical games without losses (+20=30) since July 16, 2016. He is playing in the Tata Steel Masters and after 7 rounds, World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri, 4/7, drew their game after 123 moves; So and Pavel Eljanov also drew with So now with 5 points in 7 games and keeps his half point lead over the other 2 with Wei Yi now joint 2nd as he beat Loek Van Wely. Levon Aronian, 3.5/7, lost to Sergey Karjakin, 4/7, the challenger to Carlsen last year in New York. Adhiban, 3.5, was lucky to win a losing game to Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek.
Round 9 results—So-Aronian first to finish with draw; Carlsen bounced back winning an equal rook + 3 pawns vs. Van Wely; Eljanov and Wei Yi tried hard but just drew with Dmitry Andreikin and Adhiban respectively. Standings: So-6/9, Carlsen, Eljanov and Wei Yi-5.5; Adhiban, Karjakin and Aronian-5; Pentala Harikrishna and Giri-4.5; Wojtaszek and Andreikin-4; Richard Rapport and Ian Nepomniachtchi-3.5 & Van Wely-1.5
“Let us wait and see. So is up against Nepo in the last round but he plays Black. You may recall So beat the same opponent with Black in Baku! Wesley cannot afford to lose any game. He plays Wei Yi with white in the penultimate round 12.”
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 – “Stop press! Wesley So defeated Wojtaszek just now. Aronian beat Rapport in first game to end in round 10. The other 10 players are still locked in their games, all with approximately even game as at this time. Wesley now registers a personal best rating of 2820.1! If he could beat Andreikin with Black tomorrow and at least draw with Wei Yi, he is a shoo-in for the title. Of course I am expecting he gets at least a draw from Nepo in the last round.”
“Carlsen, with Black, was unable to beat Harikrishna, game ended in draw in 37 moves. Both Carlsen and Aronian are tied at 6/10, one point behind Wesley. Whoever wins between Eljanov and Wei Yi, will be sole 2nd just half point behind Wesley. If the game ends in draw, the 2 will tie Carlsen and Aronian in 2nd-5th place.”
“In the final position of So-Wojtaszek game, Black will lose his bishop in exchange for the queening b-pawn, following Nb3-c5. Black to move but cannot save the game. A very good game, there a lot of fireworks-tactical exchanges-and the smoke of the battle was cleared, material was even but White’s b-passer is a winner! Wesley was able to convert a slightly better game into a win. Very impressive! An interesting development is going in the last 3 rounds of Tata Steel Masters. Eljanov and Wei Yi drew their game while Karjakin defeated Andreikin and all 3 joined Carlsen and Aronian in a 5-way tie in 2nd place with 6 points out of 10, one point behind solo leader Wesley So, who has now 53 unbeaten streak vs. elite opposition.”
“Wesley in effect has another rest day as he drew his rd. 10 game vs. Andreikin in less than 30 minutes! He will play White vs. Wei Yi, who won over Karjakin in rd. 11 to come within half point of So’s lead. All games were drawn in Rd. 11, with Adhiban (Black) held Carlsen to a draw.
Solution to last week’s puzzle No. 14 by CM Joselito Marcos: 1. Qg8 f5 2. Qg7 f4 3. Qg6 f3 4. Gxf3 Kh3 5. Qg1 Kh4 6. Qg4# (Published in Weekender, Philippines Dec. 31, 2006)
This week’s puzzle No. 15: White to move and mates in 7 (Solution next issue)
Sources: Chess Mate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
Pages 9 & 11
January 30, 2017
Chess and Music (Perfect Combination)
The Beginning of Chess in Palau
By Roberto Hernandez
Soon to be published as a book
Memoirs of a Chess Amateur
My Memorable Games and Compositions
By CM Joselito Marcos
Music and Me by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
March 15, 2012 -- April 18, 2013
April 25, 2013 -- January 30, 2017