Monday, April 7, 2014

Carlsen-Anand LOL!

So Anand (photo above) has just won the Candidates Tournament. But what does this mean? For me, this simply means that chess fans all around the world are going to see, once again, a battle between two generations: the "new" and the "old". While I don't necessarily imply that the new will ultimately beat the old, being young certainly has its advantages... and of course disadvantages too! Just several months before the epic Anand-Carlsen match of 2013, a lot of Anand's fans were saying things like, "Carlsen doesn't have the experience", "Anand is better in World championship matches", and so on. Yet in their match, the 23-year-old Magnus carlsen proved that having the great-ER experience (which Anand had, by the way) is not always everything. It's not as if Carlsen doesn't have any experience at all, right? I mean, he's been playing among the Top 10 elites for over 5 years by now and has been world's #1 for quite some time. Surely, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Carlsen was the most poised player to become world champion in 2013 last year, right? Not exactly, cause we had Levon Aronian (photo below) buzzing to everyone that he had a shot for the world championship too.. until he went downhill in last year's Candidates :(

So what will be Anand's strategy when he comes face to face with his young nemesis once again this November? Beats me. But when I followed their match last November I observed that Anand didn't try to steer his games towards volatile paths, especially in the first few few rounds. So why am I telling you this? Because that strategy could have been a good idea especially when you take into account that Carlsen prefers to play simple positions. Anand took heed of this idea only when he was already 3 games down in the match. Tsk tsk tsk. Another strategy Anand may try in order to beat Carlsen is by preparing and then playing specific opening variations that may force Carlsen to spend lots of time to think in the early phase of the game. One good example is by playing out an opening where the correct reply for your opponent is a "not so usual-looking" move like in this line of the Scoth Opening: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 where the Black Queen hinders the development of his own Bishop. I know this example might be way too simple but I really intended this so that my point would be easily understood by the readers in general :)

So what about Carlsen? Well Carlsen (photo below, right) has already made a big leap from being a naive and somehow, awkward 13-year-old chess prodigy, to a chess super-star and world champion. He could play a lot of openings with precision and squeeze out victories from "unwinnable" games. He was tutored by the great Kasparov and even before that, drew a game with Kasparov himself in 2004 when he was only 13. According to Kasparov, Carlsen has made a qualitative leap in his skills and is now well advanced and ahead of the rest of the chess elite by 5 years. If this is true, Anand may only have little or no chance at all to regain his title this November. Yet I think we must still refrain from any of our bias as anything can still happen in the playing field :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bayonet Attack: Kramnik's Approach

Sans Riumin

Kramnik's Bayonet Attack
1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. g3 f5 11. Ng5 Nf6 12. Bf3c6 13. Bg2 N

In the Bayonet Attack of the King's Indian defense, a special variation from Kramnik had made a strong impression towards KID players. The variation runs like this: 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. g3 f5 11. Ng5 Nf6 12. Bf3c6 13. Bg2 N. Players from the Black side tried to find new ways to battle it , looking for new alternatives on the previous moves. Here I will discus a sample game played by two strong grandmasters. I shall do my best to provide to you suggestions that may help you get insights and some understanding on this particular line :)

Wojtaszek,Radoslaw (2717) - Morovic Fernandez,Ivan (2575) [E97]
 Istanbul ol (Men) 40th Istanbul (3.1), 30.08.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 The Bayonet Attack, a favorite of V.Kramnik.

9..Nh5 10.g3

10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 For a long time has been Kramnik's main weapon against the KID., but later Black has able to find some fine method of defending the position.

10...f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 :

But if Black players tried not to engage Kramnik's novelty 13.Bg2. For example. 12...fxe4 :


The move relieves the tension. 13.Ncxe4 Nf5 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 Rb8 16.Bb2 Qe7 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.c5 dxc5 19.bxc5 Qxc5 20.Rc1 Qb6 21.Qe2 Rbe8 22.Bd5 Re7 23.Bxe5 c6 24.Bc4 Bxe5 25.Qxe5 Qd4 26.Qe1 Qf6 , with equal play. Nguyen,DH 2492-Paragua,M. 2533, Ho Chi Minh City HD Bank op (3), 2013.;



13.b5 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 Qc8 16.Ba3 Rd8 17.Nd5 Qxe6 18.exf5 gxf5 19.Nxc7 Qxc4 20.Rc1 Qf7 21.Qa4 Nc8 22.Rfd1 e4 23.Be2= Wang,H.2733 -Ding,L. 2660, CHN-chT Beijing(5), 2012.

13.Bg2 :


This was Kramnik's novelty played in the same year against A.Grischuk in Moscow. 13.Ba3 was played by Kramnik against Giri game (Hoogeveens 2011), the play continued 13...cxd5 14.exd5 e4 15.Be2 Here Black could have played  15...h6 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.dxe6 f4! with strong counterplay.

13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 fxe4

15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 fxe4 17.b5 Rf6 18.Bxe4 Rxe6 19.Qa4 d5 20.Rd1 White's has the initiative for the missing pawn. Kramnik 2801–-Grischuk 2761, Moscow Tal Memorial 7th(2), 2012.

16.b5 d5

16...Re8 would be better, staying away fron the a3-f8 diagonal.

17.Ba3 Re8 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Qb3 Qb6 20.Bxe7 Rxe7 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Qxd5 e3 :


22...Rd8 is the correct attacking play for an equality. 23.Qxe4 Qxe6

22.fxe3 Qxe3+ 24.Kh1 Qb6 25.Rad1 Rae8?

If  25...Qxe6 , then 26.Qxe6+ Rxe6 27.Bd5; So 25...Kh8 , moving away from the in is more logical.


Too many weak spots for Black in the kingside, White should win.

26...g5 27.Bg6 Rf8 28.Rxf8+ Bxf8 29.Bf7+ 1-0

Black resigns, play might continue with 29...Rxf7 [29...Kh8 30.Qxe5+ Kh7 31.Qf6 wins.; 29...Kh7 30.Qe4+ with same outcome as 29...Kh8.] 30.exf7+ Kh8 31.Qxe5+ Kh7 32.Qf5+ Kg7 33.h4. Kramnik's new move proves to be an excellent idea! Only Morovic has the balls to try it but with no avail. Now seems like Black players on the KID tried to avoid it, let's see, time will tell.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cebu's Edilberto Velarde Sr. Tournament

Submitted by Aldwin Daculan
Edited by Guy Chessman

Two weeks ago, I was told that there would be a small tournament at Barangay Pajac in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu. The tournament would be in honor of someone from the Velarde family. The Velarde family is known to be the home of the chess kiddie wonder, Jerish Velarde. But this tournament was not about the kid... it was about the kid's grandfather who just turned 77 last month. Just two days ago, Aldwin Daculan submitted to me a list of the top 10 winners of the small tournament. Though the tournament was small, it included very strong Cebuano masters, with some of them who have already have a good reputation outside Cebu. The Negrense, Edsel Montoya, won this event ahead of tournament favorites Kim Yap and Eden Diano. 
Meanwhile, The blitz sensation NM Merben Roque, "only" managed to place fifth in the overall standings. Still a respectable position though.
The organizer of the tournament was Engr. Edilberto Jr (Jerish Velarde's father) while the arbiters were Rigil Amacna and Peterson Sia. FYI, Peterson Sia is Cebu's most famous "chess bookworm". Hehe.
 Here is the complete list of winners of the said event. 

1st- Montoya

3rd-IM Yap 
5th-NM Roque 
7th-NM Cadiz 

"A Pest in The Budapest?"

Nowadays the 6.Bd2 variation of the Budapest Gambit rarely occurs in tournament at any level. A surprise weapon shall I say, I Black needed a win.

Berkovich (2350) - Peev (2320) [A52]
Pavekeni, 1992
[ IM Dmitry Berkovich]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bd2!?

Not even considered in John Nunn's Chess Openings! Mostly 6. Nc3, 6.b3 and 6.Be2 had been played here, it was played first by the great Cuban Jose Capablanca at London,1919!

6...0–0 would also transposed to our line.

7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.Bc3 Qe7

Black should be careful here, 8...d6 9.b4 Bb6 10.c5; and 8...f6 9.Bxe5 fxe5 10.Qh5+ are bad for Black.

9.Nd2 0–0 10.Be2 a5 11.Qc2 Ra6

with the idea of transfering the rook to the kingside to gain some attack.

12.Nb3 Bb4 13.0–0–0!?

With this move, it neutrtalizes the idea of Black to transfer the rook on the kingside, and now it simply stands bad on a6.


13...a4 14.Nd4 intending to play 15. Nf5 Qc5 16. Rd5.; The simple  13...d6 is possible alternative intending to give Black's last piece into to enter the game, but the rook on a6 looks misplaced.

14.Qxc3 a4 15.Nd4 d6

White gains the initiative in the endgame by this temporary pawn sacrifice. 

16.c5! dxc5!

 If Black declines the offering by 16...Ra8 gives White an unpleasant pressure in the center and in the queenside with 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Qa3 This prevents the possible ...a3 move.

17.Bxa6 cxd4 18.exd4

Not 18.Rxd4 bxa6 19.Re4 f6 20.f4 Bf5

18...Ng4 19.Bd3 Nxf2 20.Rhe1 Nxd1

20...Qh4 is also possible, for example: 21.Re2 Nxd3+ 22.Rxd3 Qxh2 23.d5 with roughly equal play.

21.Rxe7 Nxc3 22.bxc3

White here has a slight edge in the endgame, because White's pieces are more active and Black's queenside pawns are rather shaky, for they can easily be attacked by White's king.

22...c6 23.Kb2 g6 24.Ka3 Kg7

If 24...b5 , then 25.Be4 with a huge advantage for White.

 25.Kxa4 Be6 26.Kb4 Bxa2 27.c4!

 This is more accurate than 27.Rxb7?! Bd5 28.Kc5 Forced. 29... c5 is the threat. 28...Bxg2 29.Rb2 (29.Rc7 h5 30.Ra7 Rd8 31.c4) 29...Bh1 30.Rb1 with equal play.


If 27...b6? 28.Ra7+-]

28.cxb5 cxb5 29.Bxb5

Now the smoke is cleared and White has a cental passed pawn, but with correct play, Black can hold this endgame, but I prefer to play with White here.

29...Rd8 30.Rd7

30.Re2 is also possible here, with the idea to place the rook behind the passed pawn.


This is already a bad idea by Black. Keeping the rook would be difficult for White to exploit his passed pawn. [30...Rc8 was far more better.

31.Bxd7 Kf6 32.Kc5 Ke7 33.Bb5 f5 34.d5 f4 35.d6+ Kd8 36.Bd3

36.Kd4 is better, going to the kingside and attack the pawns the idea.

 36...Bf7 37.Kd4 h6 38.Ke5 g5 39.Be4

39.Bb5 is another alternative.]

 39...Kd7 40.Bf3

40.g3 immediately is more direct.

 40...Bc4 41.Bg4+ Kd8 42.g3 fxg3 43.hxg3


43...Bf7 44.Kf6 Be8 45.Be6 g4 46.Bxg4 h5 47.Be2
This game gives me a good impression of playing 6.Bd2 line against the Budapest, though I must admit that in  this game, Black played excellently in the opening and in the middlegame but a couple of inaccurate moves in the endgame causes his fall.The 6.Bd2 line deserve futher practical test.

Here's the PGN DOWNLOAD if you guys wanna view this game on your Chessbase softwares:

Lapu-Lapu Chess © 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sgt. Olea Mini Tournament and Lapu-Lapu's top 30 players

Report by Aldwin Daculan
Edited by Guy Chessman

A very tiny tournament was held in Lapu-Lapu, 2 weeks ago in Sgt. Amado Olea's neighborhood, in celebration of the baptism of Sgt. Olea's second child. The tournament was comprised of some CEPCA members and some top Lapu-Lapu players as well. They were, Aldwin Daculan, Mark Cimafranca, Jun Kidlat, Alvin Regodon and even Sgt. Olea himself. Former CEPCA presidents, Jun Olis and Jojo Muralla, also participated in the mini tournament. Winners of the said humble event were 1. Cimafranca, 2. Daculan, and 3. Olis (!). A very surprising comeback for the CEPCA player and Lapu-Lapu patron. Hehe.

By the way, Mr. Aldwin Daculan sent me a text comprising a list of the top 30 rated players in Lapu-Lapu. I will share these to you all, my fellow Cebuano players, because It is somehow interesting.

  1. Joel Fernan 2243 NM
  2. Bryle Arellano 2102
  3. Allan Salientes 2093
  4. Allan Pason 2051
  5. Peterson Sia 1977
  6. Mark Cimafranca 1932
  7. Albert Rivera 1911
  8. Henry Infante 1865
  9. Jerish Velarde 1843
  10. Kraig Quinain 1841
  11. Jonathan Canque 1835
  12. Aldwin Daculan 1831
  13. Alvin Regodon 1813
  14. Rigil Amacna 1808
  15. Roxanne Tampus 1808
  16. C. Lim 1796
  17. Rolando Torres 1793
  18. Raffy Bensi 1792
  19. Amay Igot 1788
  20. Josh Gocotano 1787
  21. Adimar Toledo 1787
  22. Ezekiel Limpot1785
  23. Nilo Bonganciso 1774
  24. Ariel Abellana 1770
  25. Ian Pino 1756
  26. Jerele Velarde 1751
  27. Michael Gocotano 1738
  28. Lefa Bensi 1727
  29. Jose Gocotano 1691
  30. Adelyn Bensi 1645
Along with the list, I will give some insight on the top 4 players rated in the list...

NM Joel Fernan(photo below), who is now currently rated no.1, now lives in Pagadian, Mindanao, and seldom comes back to Lapu-Lapu occasionally. He has a lot of accollades awarded to him, among them is the Region VII Championships of 2007, wherein, after a draw with the very strong player Jobannie Tabada, Fernan clinched the title. Fernan was also the Non-Master National Champion of 1999.

Rated No.2 is Brylle Arellano. A native of Negros, this relative newcomer to Cebu's chess scene has proven quite a lot in a very short period of time. He is already considered a serious contender for any Cebu tournament he participates. He is already known as a strong and relatively veteran player from his hometown by the way.

Allan Salientes(photo below), rated #3 in the list, is no new face in Cebu chess. He is a veteran player and has already won, or at least placed, on some of the local tournaments here in Cebu. Most of the tournaments he participated, were very strong in Cebu.  His most recent triumph was the Consolacion Open in SM Consolacion, last 2012.

The youngest in the top 4 is the teenage Allan Pason(photo below), who, at the tender age of 16, has proven a lot already in Cebu Chess. Nobody expected that such a tiny, midget young boy would be a "thorn" to Cebu's very best best! When he was still 14, he had already beaten a lot of the "old guards" of Cebu and rising star players as well. he attacks well, defends well, and has an immense talent for "danger". He is a CVIRAA player, Palaro player, Shell grand finalist and Cebu's Junior Champion. He also placed 3rd in one of those very strong E-Mall tournaments in Cebu a few years ago. It is speculated that he will play for the University of San-Jose Recoletos when he finally goes to college. In Cebu, he is considered as the main rival to the 14-year-old positional player, Rhenzi Khyle Sevillano.

So I think that's it! By the way, a FULL report would be coming soon on the VELARDE BIRTHDAY TOURNAMENT last week. Please stay tuned on this site. Hopefully, the full report will be readily available by the end of this week :)

And if you feel this post has been interesting or even helpful to you, please share us on Google+, by clicking th g+1 button at the top right of this page. By clicking the button, you are helping us reach out and inform other Cebuano chess players from around the world about Cebu's chess scene...


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Abellana and Cimafranca: Upcoming Chess Talents from Lapu-Lapu

In his performance at a tournament in Cebu City on November last year, Ariel Joseph (a.k.a. "AJ") Abellana displayed his chess powers when he beat four of Cebu City's Class A players, of whom among them were Joel Pacuribot, Bonn Tibod, and NM Leonardo Alidani. Although Abellana was not able to get any of the prizes, he certainly shocked Cebu's chess community especially when he was in a winning streak from rounds 2 to 5! A few weeks later, he also had a small match with chess wonder Allan Pason and swept the match with a 4-0 score! 

Despite his great performance in the game, Abellana will not be able to play enough tournaments because of his priorities, and that is his studies. Hopefully, Cebu will see more of him this summer when he can divide his time between chess and studies :)

Another Lapu talent, Mark Carl Cimafranca, had a very strong showing recently in the latest PNG Cebu City Qualifyig Leg. Cimafranca drew with top seeds Carlos Moreno III and Felix Shaun Balbona in the penultimate rounds, but his chances were extremely narrow to qualify as he was beaten by Kidd Salazar in the early rounds. In the final round, Cimafranca was in a must-win situation with the Black pieces but was held to a draw by University of San Carlos player, Spencer De Guzman. That draw, sealed Cimafranca's fate for having any chance to qualify in the PNG. Yet this is not the end for Lapu-Lapu's Cimafranca, as he still has hopes to win the VMA tournament this Saturday.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Philippine National Games- Cebu Leg

The Philippine National Games' (PNG) Central Visayas Qualifying leg will kick off next week on February 1 and 2 at the Cebu City Sports Center, Cebu. Registration is only 50php and the top 3 winners will get a chance to go to Manila and play for the PNG finals. Contact FIDE arbiter Felix Poloyapoy for resevations!
Here's his number: 09336642958.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cebuano Chess Prodigy Celebrates Birthday Tommorow

Lapu-Lapu Chess Club's  very own child prodigy Allan Pason will celebrate his birthday tommorow at BRGY. Abono, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu. Allan Pason is best known in Cebu as a "slayer" of local Cebuano masters and has won the Shell Youth Visayas (Kiddies division) twice. Recently, he is Cebu's 18-under Champion (Deep Blue Event November 2013). Some of the club's resident chess players are expected to attend the birthday bash tommorow at 1pm.

Allan Pason of Lapu-Lapu Chess Club, Cebu
@ the Guinness World Chess Record Event on 2011