Friday, June 2, 2017

Monday, March 9, 2015


(Guests and participants of the 2nd Metrolirot Cup. From left, standing: 
allan.dinglasan, gmlet888, Jayson, me, IM Pau Bersamina, wordfunph, kardopov, Glen Paclar and Dante Lantayona. Kneeling from left: pulsar, 
spawn 2 and ricky). 

The 1st Metrolirot Cup was held on January 22, 2012 at the house 
of Allan Dinglasan at Woodside Village, BiƱan, Laguna. The tourney 
has became a tradition among Barangay Wesley (BW) and GM Eugene
Torre Supporters (GETS) members who are based outside Metro Manila 
or abroad who want to sponsor a tourney in order to touch based with 
fellow members based in Metro Manila. The event is more like a get 
together complete with foods and drinks rather than a serious tourney 
whereby Metro Manila based players welcome their visiting member. I 
was lucky enough to emerged the champion of the 1st edition.

(Participants of the 2012 metrolirot cup, front row from left: spawn2, 
jasper, metrolirot,sheriff, and allan dinglasan. second row/at the 
back:coach vic, ricky, richee,shadowleaf, kardopov, pulsar and 
pinoymaster77. Not in photo was wordfunph who was the photographer) 

After a lull of 3 years, I was lucky to visit Manila again thus the 

staging of the 2nd Metrolirot Cup on February 28, 2015. Once again, 

the event was held at Woodside Village Binan, Laguna, the house of 

Allan Dinglasan. We were lucky enough as the occasion was graced 

by no less than International Master Paulo Bersamina, (spartan1998) 

RP's youngest IM and a member of the 2014 RP chess olympic team 

and his amiable father gmlet888. With me was my 2 friends from Toril, 

Davao City, Glen Paclar and Dante Lantayona.

( me with the huge tarpauline at the house of Allan Dinglasan ) 

After exchanging pleasantries with my fellow chess enthusiasts we 

partake the food that was prepared by the host and those brought by 

my fellow BW members. Ice cold SM light beer was also served and I 

drink 1 bottle before settling down for the start of the tourney.    

( BW/GETS stalwarts, from left: wordfunph, allan dinglasan, me and 
kardopov ). 

Ten players were officially entered in the tourney with a 1 game

knock-out format. I won my 1st round vs. kardopov ushering me

to the semi-final. Pulsar and spawn who both won in the 1st round 

had a play-off to determine who will play in the semi-finals. Pulsar

won and we were paired in the semi-finals.    

1st round (Knockout format) 
wordfunph vs spartan1998 0-1
spawn vs ricky 1-0
pulsar vs alland 1-0
kardopov vs metrolirot 0-1
gmlet vs jayson 0-1 

playoff to determine who enters the semis:
spawn vs pulsar 0-1

( me vs. pulsar )

Pulsar had always been a dangerous opponent for me. I played
against him in the 2012 Metrolirot Cup and I was just lucky 
enough to win our match. I essayed my modern defense against
his e4 opening and emerged with a cramp position in the 
middle game. A few moves later, I was a pawn down and when
I was expecting his kingside attack to crash through, he 
hesitated enabling me to consolidate my position and 
liquidate into a won ending. Again a lucky escape for me. I
am now into the finals vs. IM Pau who won his semi-finals 
game vs. jason.              
pulsar vs metrolirot 0-1
spartan1998 vs jayson 1-0

( The start of the championship match between me and IM Pau )

The championship match was a best of 3 games. I was given odds
in time with 5 minutes for IM Pau and 10 minutes for me. I was 
white in the 1st game but mishandled the opening of a Sicilian
accelerated dragon and soon was a piece down and resigned. I
promised to myself to do better in the 2nd game.        

( The 2nd game of our match ).

Our second game was a King's Indian Saemisch- Panno variation. Again
I misplayed the opening and got a passive position. However due to
some inaccuracies from IM Pau ( probably due to his lower time), I was
given some chances. The game was nip and tuck until I committed a 
blunder that cost me the game.     
(me receiving the 2nd place prize from Allan Dinglasan ) 

Finals (Best of 3)
metrolirot vs spartan1998 0-1
spartan1998 vs metrolirot 1-0

( IM Paulo Bersamina receiving his champion's prize from Allan
Dinglasan and me ). 

I was not able to defend my crown in the 2nd Metrolirot 
Cup but losing to RP's youngest Olympian IM Paulo Bersamina

in the finals is already a great honor. Higit sa lahat, hindi 

mababayaran ng pera ang kaligayahan ko sa VIP treatment na 

ipinakita sa akin ng Barangay Wesley (BW) and GETS players 

who were there. Special thanks to the host Allan Dinglasan, 

wordfunph, spawn2, kardopov, pulsar ang mag-amang Bersamina 

at iba pang kasamahan nila at sa mga kasamahan ko from Toril 

( Glen and Dante) for making this event possible. Hopefully there 

will be a 3rd Metrolirot Cup next year. Sa muling pagkikita!!

Below is the 2nd game of my championship match vs. IM Paulo 
Bersamina with some annotations. Hope you enjoy it.. 

[Event "2nd Metrolirot Cup"]
[Site "Woodside Village, Binan, Laguna "]
[Date "2015.2.28"]
[Round "Finals- 2nd game"]
[White "IM Paulo Bersamina"]
[Black "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr."]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "2365"]
[BlackELO "1835"]

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. f3 Nf6 5. e4 O-O 

6. Nge2 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 Rb8 9. Rc1

This line is the latest wrinkle in the Samisch - Panno 
variation. IM David Vigorito in his book " Attacking 
Chess The King's Indian Vol. 1 has this to say, 
" White does not initiate any action just yet, but he 
does prevent 9... b5? because 10. cxb5 axb5 11. nxb5 
Rxb5 12. Rxc6 would win a pawn. Moreover, if Black 
plays too passively, White will slowly develop his 
kingside and look forward to a nice space advantage 
in the middle game,so Black must play with some 

9... Bd7

A good and flexible move according to IM Vigorito. 
also protects the c6- knight which will allow him to play
10... b5.

10. Nd1 e5?!

Thematic but not the best as White is already well 
positioned to make his queenside expansion. 10... b5! 
is more consistent.   

11. d5 Ne7 12. Nf2 Ne8 13. g3 f5 14. Bg2 Nf6 15.O-O Nh5

(15.. Kh8 16.Bh6 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 fxe4 18.fxe4 c5 19.dxc6 

1/2-1/2GM Khenkin, Igor 2602 - GM Fedorov, Alexei, 
Sigeman & Co. 2006)

 16. exf5?!

Best is 16. b4! to commence White's thematic queenside 
attack in the King's Indian Defense as black is hard pressed 
to organized a kingside attack.
 16... Nxf5 17. Bg5 Nf6 18. Ne4 Qe8 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. f4?

Fritz suggest 20. g4 Ne7 21. c5! maintaining the initiative.   

20... Bg7!

Preserving the black bishop which could have been activated 
after the exchange of black's pawn at e5. The position is 
roughly equal.

21.Rce1 Qe7 22. b3 Rbe8 23. Kh1 Bh6 24. Qd3 Qg7?

Black could have activated his queen by 24.. exf4 
25. Nxf4 Qe5

25. fxe5?!

25 g4! and black would be a piece down as his black bishop has 
no escape route due to his queen's occupation of the g7 square.. 

25... Rxe5 26. Nf4 Bxf4?

26.... Re7! according to fritz and the black queen has the black 
diagonal to operate.. 

27. Rxf4 Qh6 28. Ref1 Ree8?

The losing move. 28... g5 is the only move to save the game. 
Then after 29. R4f2 g4 in order to prevent white's next move.      

29. g4! 1-0

Final position..

Black resigns. After 29... Ne7 30.g5! then after the 
black queen moves then 31. Nf6 + follows.. 

You can replay the game below...

Friday, December 26, 2014


General Santos City is a good two and a half hours travel from where I lived
in Toril, Davao City. I and my 2 daughters Caissa Jane and Florence Faith 
thus decided to spent part of the holidays by visiting General Santos City and 
playing in the 1st Manny Pacquiao Cup Active Chess Tournament scheduled 
on Dec.21-23, 2014 at the Robinson's Mall, General Santos City. This was my 
1st out of town tourney after passing the bar and it was long time ago. I was 
enticed to join as there was a Class B category (1900 and below) with a 
champion's prize of P 30,000.00 which I thought I had a chance to win. We left 
Toril on Dec. 21, 2014 at around 6:30 A.M and arrived in GenSan at around 
9 A.M. We took our brekfast in one of the Jollibee outlet in GenSan. With us 
was Cerilo " Bata " Enobio, current president of Metro Toril Chess Association 
(MTCA) who hitched a ride as he was also playing in the Class B category
(1900 and below).    

Me in the thick of the fight in 1900 and below category ).

After breakfast we proceeded directly to Robinson's Mall where we were 
told that the opening and start of the games will be at 2:00 P.M. We paid 
the registration fee of P 500/player and checked-in at Family Country Homes 
Hotel to have a short rest. At around 2:00 P.M  we return to Robinson's just 
in time for the opening ceremonies and start of the game. One of our wishes 
was to have a selfie with Manny Pacquiao but he was not present during the 
( NM Rustum Tolentino and GM Richard Bitoon making the ceremonial move
 during the opening ceremony )   

Two games were played on the 1st day and I had mixed results. I had an
escape win in my first game but committed an illegal move in a won position 
in round 2 when I pushed my pawn to the e1 square without replacing it 
with a queen.  

(My 2nd round game vs. Daniel Salazar where I committed an illegal move 
and lost the game ).

Had a good second day scoring 4 points in 5 rounds. My wife also joined us
and we had a sumptuous lunch at Fiesta Grill and KTV Bar whose tuna kinilaw 
was one of the best I ever tasted. Just to remind you, GenSan is the tuna capital 
of the Philippines. 

( Lunch at Fiesta Grill and KTV Bar besides Robinson's with my wife and kids)  

( One of the best tuna kinilaw that I ever tasted)

On the 3rd and final day, I won a nice attacking game in the 8th round 
but  lost my final game which would have ensured me a tie for 3rd place 
and a share of the prize money. I ended up scoring points in games 
just good enough to tie for 16th-20th place out of 109 players. 

  (My 2 daughters Florence Faith and Caissa Jane also played in the Class 
category and was paired against each other in the 9th and final round. 
Florence Faith scored 3.5 points while her older sister CJ scored 2.0 points).
The Open category was won by IM Oliver Dimakiling who scored 8 points in
the 9 rounds tourney. He was awarded the Manny Pacquiao Cup plus the
cash prize of P 100,000.00.
( My 8th round game vs Talib Tiboron )

My only consolation was that I had a nice attacking game in round 8 which 

left my opponent scratching his head after the heat of battle ended and 
earned me a number of high fives and handshakes from players and
 spectators. You be the judge...

I refer to this game as the " Caveman Smothered Mate ". 

[Site "Robinson's Mall, General Santos City"]
[Date "2014.12.22"]
[Round "8th"]
[White "Talib Tiboron"]
[Black "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr."]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "1835"]
[BlackELO "1882"]

English Opening

(Reversed Grand Prix Attack)

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. d3 Bc5 6. e3 d6 

7. Nge2 O-O 8. a3 a6 9. O-O Qe8 10. Rb1?! 

Too slow. The immediate 10. d4 or 10.Nd5 is better. 

10... f4! 

It's now or never. Black sacrifices a pawn in exchange for an
attack against white's castled king.

11. d4 Ba7 

Black's bishop at a7 would later play a crucial role in a mating attack
against white's king.

12. dxe5 dxe5 13. exf4 Qh5!

Black is now threatening 14... Bh3 followed by Ng4. GM Gawain Jones,
in his book Starting Up: The Grand Prix Attack refers to this attacking
pattern as the Caveman Attack. 

14. fxe5 Ng4!

Threatening mate with 15... Qxh2 and the capture of the f2 pawn.

15. h4 Nxf2 16. Qd5+ Kh8 17. Nf4!

It seems that White has weathered the attack as black's queen is
forced to retreat. However, more precise is 17. c5! locking out
black's bishop at a7.. 

 Ng4+ 18. Kh1 Qe8 19. e6 Nd4 20. Bh3 c6?

The immediate 20.. Bxe6 would give black the advantage. However,
the position is still messy and anything can happen.

21.  Qg5?

It's now the turn of white to err. 21. Qg2 would have retain the 
advantage but white is also on an attack mode and would not want
to retreat his queen.


Indirectly defending his knight at g4. 22. Qxg4 would be a blunder
because of 22... Nxf4! . Black now has the advantage. 

 22. Nxe6 Rxf1+ 23. Bxf1 Bxe6 24. Qf4 Qe7 25. Bd2 Rf8 

All of black's pieces are now directed against white's weakened

26. Qg5 Qd6 27.Bf4 Qd4 28. Bg2 Nf2+ 29. Kh2 h6 30. Qe7 Rxf4!

The succeeding moves are worthy of a chess puzzle..

 31. Qxe6 Rxh4+ 

Sacrificing the rook to open up the diagonal for black's bishop. 

32. gxh4 Bb8+ 

Finally, the black bishop joins the fray and delivers a venomous check.

33.Kg1 Nh3+ 34. Kh1 Qg1+ 

After the rook, it is now the turn of black's queen to be sacrificed.

35. Rxg1 Nf2# 

In the final position, black has only a bishop and knight but their
team up was enough to deliver checkmate. Such is the beauty of

At this point, my opponent called the arbiter as both of our flags fell 
down. When the arbiter came, I told him, " Mate prevails ", which was
seconded by the other players who watched the game. I was awarded 
the  full point. Sha Mat. The king is dead. Long live the king!   


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playing with the Masters at Chessdom Arena-Part I

Chessdom Chess Arena is a brand new free online chess 
platform which is gaining speed every day. Despite its 
limited functionality, Chess Arena presents multiple 
nice features to the users. One of my favorite aspects 
is the Master Challenge where all players have a chance 
to play against IMs, WGMs, and GMs.

Last July 11, 2013, I had the honor of playing a 13 
games match with IM Spas Kozhuharov of Bulgaria with 
a time limit of 3 min + 1 sec. increment. He is the 
highest rated player at chessdom arena and among its 
resident instructor. I played white in the 1st game 
and he played the Sicilian Defense, running into my 
pet Grand Prix Attack. He was busted right in the 
opening and lost the game. I could not believe my 
luck! However, the succeeding 12 games was another 
story as the IM piled- up wins after another ending 
the match 12-1 in his favor. Winning our 1st game was 
something special to me as the IM has a 2461 FIDE 
rating while I am unrated. 

Below is our 1st game with my annotations.
Event "Blitz match"]
[Site "Chessdom Arena@ "]
[Date "2013.7.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "IM_Kuzhuharov"]
[Black "Metrolirot"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1641"]
[BlackELO "1421"]

Sicilian Defense- Grand Prix Attack  

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 

The moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 are known as the Grand
Prix Attack and are popular among club players today, 
mainly owing to the prospect of launching an attack 
without the need for too much prior preparation.

The opening got its name thanks almost exclusively due 

to FM David Rumens, who used the Grand Prix, the 
Stonewall Dutch and other idiosyncratic weapons to win 
the English-based Cutty Sark Grand Prix on a regular 
basis, back in the 1970's and 80's. Rumens upon 
reaching this position or those like it, used to 
try to crash through with f4-f5, whether sacrificing a 
pawn or not and that is the true GP attack. 
( IM Andrew Martin – Refuting the Grand Prix attack )

Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Bg7 6. d3 e6  7. O-O Nge7 8. f5!?

This is the old main line of the Grand Prix Attack 
which involves a pawn sacrifice. Modern theory now 
considers it as too direct and premature as it gives 
black too many options.  

8... exf5?!

Previously, taking the pawn is considered taboo as 
it gives white a tremendous attack. The position 
was then subjected to a closer scrutiny and it was 
found out that black can survive the attack with
a pawn to boot. However to the uninitiated, one 
misstep could cost the game.   

9. Qe1 O-O?

IM Andrew Martin, in his chess video "Refuting 
the Grand Prix Attack " commented that black 
should not commit the cardinal sin of castling 
in the kingside as it gives white a completely
direct attack. He instead recommends the move 
9...h6!,  as the refutation of this line in the 
Grand Prix. 

10. Qh4!

A leading expert in the Grand Prix GM Gawain Jones,
in his book " Starting Up:The Grand Prix Attack ", 
has this to say:  

After 10 Qh4! Black is already in trouble as white’s 
attack is far too strong; e.g. 10… Qc7 (10… Ne5 
11 Bg5! wins a piece) 11 Bh6 Ne5 12 Ng5 Nxc4 
13 Bxg7 Kxg7 14 Qxh7+ Kf6 15 e5! and mates.

GM Gawain Jones refers to White's idea of Qd1-Qe1, 
Qe1-Qh4, f4-f5,Bc1-Bh6 and Nf3-Ng5 as the 
Caveman Attack.   

10... Be6? 

The losing move. Interestingly, I had the same 
position as white against 2009 Toril blitz champ 
Anthony Mosqueda in our blitz match barely a week 
before this game. In that game I played 11 Ng5? 
and somehow Mosqueda was able to survive my attack. 
I analyzed the position with Fritz and found out 
the correct sequence.   

11. Bxe6! fxe6 12. Ng5! h6 13. Nxe6 Bd4+ 14. Kh1
Qd7 15. Nxf8 Rxf8 16. Bxh6 Rf7

White is now quality and a pawn up. Black resigned 
few moves later. 


Replay the game below..