Saturday, November 28, 2009


( GM Wesley So vs. GM Kata Kamsky in 3rd round action of the World Cup )

The venue was the Subic International Convention Center. The place was jampacked with pinoy chess fans and kibitzers alike with a sprinkling of a few foreign spectators and members of the foreign media. The event was the last round of the Intercontinental Asian Championships. Playing White is RP's top rated player and youngest grandmaster, 15 years old Wesley So. Playing Black on the other hand, is another child prodigy and Vietnam's top rated player GM Le Quang Liem. The game is live in the internet and at stake is a slot in the World Cup. GM So played 1.e4 and GM Le countered with 1..c5. GM So diverted from the main line and used the Rossolimo variation sidestepping GM Le's pet Sicilian Dragon. He sacked a pawn and pressed his attack from the opening. GM Le defended tenaciously and GM So eventually lost the game. The loss was so heartbreaking that Wesley allegedly cried after the game according to a chess friend who witnessed the action.

The road does not end there. The ASEAN Zonal is still to come offering two slots to the winners. GM So was disconsulate and informed his fans that he will be taking a rest from chess and will not play in the Zonals. I was one of the many fans who was quite disturb with the pronouncement. He was almost there. Surely he had a big chance to grab one of the slots as many top guns in Asia will not be playing. At the last hour, GM So decided to join the tournament. Maybe it was due to the clamor and request of numerous chessfans including NCFP boss Prospero Pichay and also to redeem himself.

Prior to the Asian Intercontinental and immediately after the Aeroflot tournament, GM So informed his BW fans at that he bought some books concerning the d4 opening so as to expand his repertoire but it would take time before he can used it in a tournament. Now is the time to unleashed it.

GM So played solid chess and used 1.d4 exclusively in the Asean Zonals. He was undefeated and claimed one of the slots for the World Cup by virtue of a second place finish next to GM Darwin Laylo who played the tournament of his life by demolishing his opponnets one after the other.

Next was the SPICE CUP in Texas, USA whereby GM So was ranged against 2600+ GM opponents. The result was not spectacular, to say the least and GM So even suffered a single loss in the hands of another prodigy GM Hammer of Norway. GM So achieved winning positions in some of his games but failed to convert it into a win. The result convinced his fans that Wesley should be given a coach/trainer to further develop his immence chess talent.

Nex was the World Juniors in Argentina. I was one of those chess fans who believed that Wesley was ripe for the World Juniors. Now is his time to be the World Junior Champion as he was one of the top favorites. Now came his mother Maam Leny kibitzing at informing his fans that Wesley will not play at the World Junior as he need to concentrate on his study to finished high school. I was somewhat devastated by this pronouncement but I fully understand that it was for GM So's own good.. This incident revived the raging debate in the chess forums whether Wesley should go to college or just dropped out and become a chess professional. In hindsight, his non participation was a blessing in disguise as it enable him to recharge his batteries and deprived his opponents of a glimpse of his chess arsenal. It also enable him to avoid the chess radar thus he arrived at the World Cup in Russia as a relatively " unknown player " to quote the foreign media.

Now focus shifted in the forthcoming World Cup. GM So's tournament preparation as well as that of GM's Antonio and Laylo were not coming smoothly if media report is to be believed. The promised training match that will include GM's Torre, Paragua, and Gomez did not push through. There were also reports about lack of governemnt financial support in going to Russia which was the venue of the World Cup.

Prior to the World Cup, GM So was given a tag heuer watch as a gift by his ever loyal fans of the BW ( Barangay Wesley ) fame. Some members of the group also contributed to augment his financial needs for the World Cup. NCFP boss Propero Pichay and some well meaning people also made their contributions so that the problem for the trip was finally solved . Now the stage is set for Wesley's historic rise at the World Cup.

To be continued.........

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


IM Oliver Barbosa scored 15 wins 2 draws in a 17 boards simul chess exhibition against the top players of the Metro Toril Chess Association held last Saturday November 14, 2009 at the Toril Chess Plaza, Toril, Davao City. Only Adrian Llanos who is a varsity player of the University of Mindanao and Roy Alfafara, board 6 gold medallist 2008 Ungab Cup, managed to eked-out a draw against the youthful International Master who had a brief but fruitful campaign in the US chess circuit highlighted by his topping of the 2009 New York International Open, among others.

The Toril challenge was headed by MTCA president and two time University of Mindanao champ Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. Also in attendance was 1981 Toril Open and 2002 Davao Executive champ Engr. Jun Atmosfera as well as former Toril champions Atty. Leo Carrillo and Dante dela Cruz. 2005 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( KSA) OFW champ Engr. Oscar Barriga also participated as well as 2009 Shell National active Kiddie 3rd placer Austin Jacob Literatus and former Southwestern University ( SWU) of Cebu varsity player Zaldy Tabanao, among others.

The simul was a huge success according to the event organizer Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. Players and kibitzers alike gathered around the simul venue to watch IM Barbosa in action. All of them were all praises and in awe as IM Barbosa defeated the stars of Toril chess one after the other.

According to Atty. Guevarra, the Toril team could have provided more stiff opposition if only all of its top players played. What happened was that 5 of our top players were not able to play due to various reasons that's why we were able to field only 17 players instead of 20. Nevertheless the result would still be the same given the chess strenght and capability of IM Barbosa. We are really very thankful to IM OLiver Barbosa for being kind enough to accomodate our request for him to do battle against the Toril team. Hopefully he could come to Toril in the near future to do it a 2nd time, Guevarra said.

The event was sponsored by the Chess Excellence Limited Co. and the Guevarra Law Office in coordination with the Metro Toril Chess Association ( MTCA).

Watch out for the annotated game of CAISSA'S FATHER against IM Barbosa in the said simul in my next post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


(GM Chanda Sandipan vs. IM Oliver Barbosa in the 2008 Kolkatta Open, India)

IM Oliver Barbosa will be playing a 20 boards simul chess exhibition against the top players of the Metro Toril Chess Association today November 14, 2009. The venue will be the Guevarra Bldg. located at De Guzman St., Toril, Davao City. The event is sponsored by the Chess Excellence Limited Co. and the Guevarra Law Office in coordination with the Metro Toril Chess Association ( MTCA).

Its good that IM Barbosa is kind enough to play against the Toril players, many of whom will be playing a top Philippine player for the 1st time according to Atty. Jong Guevarra, President of MTCA. It is also a good way to help spread the popularity of chess and also a good treat to chess fans who can watch the chess wizardry of IM Barbosa in person.

IM Oliver Barbosa is fresh from a brief campaign in the US Chess Circuit where he was entered in around 30 tournaments, 25 of which he was either the champion or tied for 1st beating noted GM's Michael Rhode of the USA, Leonid Yudasin of Israel and Jaan Ehlvest of Russia in the process.

Here's a brief excerpt of IM Barbosa's campaign in the US as featured in the US Chess Federation website.

Barbosa and Shankland Lead New York International
By Elizabeth Vicary
June 22, 2009

The upsets continue at the New York International , where 22-year-old Filipino IM Oliver Barbosa and 17-year-old Sam Shankland lead with 5/6. Four players are half a point behind: GM Alex Stripunsky, IM Jacek Stopa, GM Zbyneil Hracek and IM Marc Arnold.

IM Oliver Barbosa was proud of his win over GM Jaan Ehlvest. “The middlegame was very tricky, but we both saw some precise moves. Then I was in a slightly complicated endgame up an exchange, but he had a knight outpost on d3, so it was hard to move my rooks. But I found a sacrifice against the pawn on c4 that was defending the knight, and after that I was doing well."

A stereotype I hear frequently in the chess world is that Filipinos are tricky, tactical players. Although I was a little worried that the question would sound rude and/or racist, I asked Oliver if he gave any credence to this idea about a national style. He agreed that the characterization sounded true, and suggested a possible reason: economic conditions in the Philippines mean that most masters don’t have time to study middlegames or endgames in depth, and just play lots of blitz and look at openings. Barbosa contrasted this with the situation of former Soviet players, who have had a far more organized, comprehensive chess education. I asked Oliver if he would describe himself a tactical player, and he hesitated, then disagreed: “When I play I just try to think of every possible move, and I don’t take chances on moves that aren’t required by the position. In a choice between a safe, good move, and a sacrifice, I usually choose the non-sacrifice, although my tactics are ok, I think."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Bob Bula ( 5th from left holding a blue hat ) together with Davao chess players, from left: Engr. Jun Atmosfera, Dante dela Cruz, Bador Borras, Engr. Boy Ramirez, Bob Bula, Henry Fajardo, Jun Sonsona and host Glenn Paclar during get together at GLenn's rest house. Not in picture is Caissa's father and Chris Yap of One Network Bank who arrived after this picture was taken ).

Bob Bula's message as e-mailed to Engr. Jun Atmosfera Re: 1st Bob Bula Inivtational Chess Challenge:

"To all the winners and players and my friends who made the 1st Robert "Bob" Bula chess tournament very successful. Under the auspices of Atty Guevarra's Chess Excellence Co. LTD. and his Law Office, I would like to thank him for being the organizer. To Engr. Jun Atmosfera who was my direct contact and receiving the funds from an international money transfer, Engr. Glenn Paclar for the site of the penultimate and final rounds of the games and the awarding ceremonies. Special mention also goes to James Infiesto, Sammy Yu, Elwin Retanal who were there to grace the affair.

Maraming salamat".

(sgd) Bob

Sunday, November 8, 2009


The 1st Robert " Bob " Bula Invitational Chess Challenge came to an exciting conclusion last Saturday October 31, 2009 with Vincent Umayan emerging as the Champion. The last day of the competition was a whole day and full of exciting affair with three rounds played. Round 11 was played at my rest house in Eden, Bayabas, Toril, Davao City while the last two rounds were played at Glen Paclar's rest house also at Eden, Bayabas.

After thirteen rounds of fast and furious chess action Vincent Umayan emerged as the Champion with 12 points. He suffered his only loss in the 7th round against Adrian Llanos. Umayan who was also the 2008 Kadayawan Open Champion received the cash price of P 5,000.00 + champion's trophy.

( VIncent Umayan receiving the champion's price from CAISSA'S FATHER and Glen Paclar )

First Runner-up honors went to Nofre Reyes who scored 10.5 points. He received P 3,000.00 + trophy.

( Nofre Reyes receiving his prize from CAISSA'S FATHER and Glen Paclar )

Third place went to Austin Jacob Literatus who scored 10 points. he received P 2,000.00 + trophy. Fourth place went to Adrian Llanos with a score of 9 points. He received P 1,000.00 + medal.

After the awarding of prizes dinner followed courtesy of the host Glen Paclar. NM Jonathan Tan also donated a whole lechon while Engr. Jun Atmosfera brought drinks and ice cold beers courtesy of Bob Bula. Incidentally, Engr. Atmosfera celebrated his birthday on the following day thus adding more significance and luster to the occasion. Entertainment followed and was ably provided by accoustic/folk singer Zaldy Tabanao who incidentally was the best performer among the Toril players who played at the 2nd Cong. Ungab Cup Mixed- Masters Challenge.

( Zaldy Tabanao the singer provided live entertainment )

The awarding ceremony was graced by NCFP Regional coordinator James Infiesto, NM's Sammy Yu and NM Elwin Retanal of Malita and noted blitz players Junrie Salubre and Warren Aton. The tournament was indeed a huge success and would not be possible without its generous sponsor Robert " Bob " Bula. The tourney was organized through the auspices of the Chess Excellence Ltd. Co. and suported by the Guevarra Law Office and CAISSA'S FATHER chess blog.

Final standing:

12.0 points - Vincent Umayan
10.5 " - Nofre Reyes
10.0 " - Austin Jacob Literatus
9.0 " - Adrian Llanos
8.5 " - John Ray Batucan
7.0 " - Henry Fajardo
6.0 " - Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr., Anthony Mosqueda, Alexander Jover
5.0 " - Lito Laput, Neptali Batucan
4.0 " - Engr. Jun Atmosfera
1.0 " - Nestor Ngo, Engr. Oscar Barriga

( A group pose of the winners and players )

( Austin Jacob Literatus vs. CAISSA'S FATHER in last round action )

( Kainan time )

Monday, October 19, 2009


The 1st Robert " Bob " Bula Invitational Chess Challenge fired-off last October 16 and 18, 2009 at the Guevarra Law Office at De Guzman St., Toril, Davao City.

2008 Kadayawan Open champ Vincent Umayan racked-off four consecutive wins to grab the solo lead after 4 rounds of action. Umayan defeated Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. and 2008 ASEAN double gold medallist John Ray Batucan during the 1st day of action and followed it up with victories against Nofre Reyes and Henry Fajardo in the 2nd day of competition.

( Solo leader Vincent Umayan vs. CAISSA'S FATHER )

Umayan is chased by a pack of three pointers headed by the veteran Nofre Reyes. Also with three points are Toril junior upstarts Anthony Mosqueda and Adrian Llanos.

( Engr. Oca Barriga vs. Nofre Reyes )

The 5th and sixth round will be played on October 23 starting at 5:30 p.m at the Guevarra Law Office. The 7th round will be played on the next day on the same time and venue. The tournament is sponsored by Robert" Bob " Bula and supported by the Guevara Law Office, Chess Excellence ltd. Co. and CAISSA'S FATHER chess blog. The chmpion will receive P 5,000.00 + trophy, 2nd placer P 3,000 + trophy, 3rd placer P 2,000.00 + trophy, and 4th placer P 1,000.00 + medal.

Standing after 4 rounds

4.0 points - Vincent Umayan
3.0 " - Nofre reyes, Anthony Mosqueda, Adrian Llanos
2.0 " - Lito Laput, Ali Jover ( both w/ 1 game to play), Atty. Jong
Guevarra Jr. Austin Jacob Literatus, John Ray Batucan
1.0 " - Engr. Jun Atmosfera, Engr. Oscar Barriga, Henry Fajardo
0 " - Nestor Ngo ( w/ 2 games to play ), Neptali Batucan Jr.

( " Think like a Grandmaster " - Engr. Atmosfera pondering his move against Adrian Llanos. Llanos suffered his only loss in this game ).

Monday, October 12, 2009


( Austin Jacob Literatus in action during last year's Shell grandfinals )

(The Philippine Star) Updated October 13, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - John Ranel Morazo turned a big break into a winning moment, stunning the top two seeds to capture the juniors title while Vince Angelo Medina ran away with the kiddies crown in the 2009 Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships at SM Megamall last Sunday.

A substitute for fellow Univ. of Baguio student Leonardo Abalos, Morazo surprised second seed and erstwhile unbeaten Jan Emmanuel Garcia in the sixth round then shocked top seed Bryll Arellano in the eighth before toppling Luffe Magdalaga in the final round to clinch the victory.

Abalos topped the Tuguegarao qualifier but was among those trapped by floods in Baguio and failed to make it to the national finals. Morazo took over Abalos spot as fourth placer in the Northern Luzon leg and made the most of his stint, finishing with seven points and bagging the top prize of P30,000 in the 20-and-under category.

The fifth seeded Medina, who scored 4.5 points in the first five rounds of the 14-and-under division Saturday, sustained his fine form and racked up 3.5 points in the last four rounds, including a crucial upset win over second seed John Tabada in the seventh, to post a two-point victory over No. 1 McDominique Lagula.

The FEU-FERN student wound up with eight points and took home P20,000 plus trophy during the awards rites graced by Pilipinas Shell communications manager Bobby Kanapi and GM Eugene Torre.

Other guests were Nat’l Chess Federation of the Phils. president Butch Pichay, Sankie Simbulan, business and corporate communications manager of Pilipinas Shell, and Mich Cruz, government and media relations manager of Pilipinas Shell.

Paulo Bersamina of Padre Zamora Elem. School in Pasig won the Art Borjal award.

It was an inspiring win indeed for Morazo, a grand finalist in the last four years of the annual event, including the kiddies division in 2005, but never figured in the championship until he missed the grand finals for the first time this year.

Garcia suffered back-to-back losses after sweeping his first five games and dropped out of the juniors division lead. But the top Ateneo bet trounced Giovanni Romero in the eighth round and drew with Joseph Turqueza to salvage second place with 6.5 points worth P20,000.


Meanwhile, the pride of Toril, Davao City Austin Jacob Literatus won P10,000 cash for placing third in the kiddies event of the 17th Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships that ended at the SM Megamall Sunday.

Literatus finished with five points in the 9 rounds swiss system competition behind champion Vince Angelo Medina, who tallied eight points, and runner-up McDominique Lagula, who garnered 5.5 points in the 14 and under category.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


picture originally posted at GM So's website

Today October 9, 2009 is the 16th birthday of the future of Philippine chess GM WESLEY B. SO. In his young chess career, Gm So had already brought numerous honors and awards for the Philippines. His uncompromising play and gentleman behavior on and off the chess board has earned him admirations from chess fans not only here in the Philippines but all over the world. Not since the time of GM Eugene Torre's 1982 Toluca, Mexico's triump and qualification to the Candidate's finals had the Pinoy chess fans given the luxury to dream and hope for a Pinoy chess player to once again challenge the world's elite. I myself was one of those greatly inspired by GM So's triumps thus once again awakening the chess bug in me. The inspiration to create this chessblog and the desire to help up and coming young chess players here in Davao, Philippines can be partially attributed to GM So's success in the chessworld.

In behalf of the Barangay Wesley So Chess Club at, Chess Excellence Ltd. Co., Metro Toril Chess Association (MTCA) and my entire familly, A very very Happy 16th Birthday to GM WESLEY B. SO. Hope that this time around, you will win the World Juniors in Argentina. Good luck and God Bless!!!


Here's another post of the result of the 2nd Cong. Ungab Cup Mixed-Masters.

Retanal tops Rep. Ungab chessfest
By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan

(Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 6, 2009 ).

NATIONAL Master (NM) Elwin Retanal of Malita, Davao del Sur earned 6.5 points to clinch the 2nd Rep. Ungab Cup Mixed Masters Chess Tournament held at Don Juan Central Elementary School covered court in Toril, Davao City over the weekend.

Jayson Salubre, who was half-point behind Retanal, placed second while Asean Paralympic gold medalist Henry Roger Lopez and Reynaldo Quinones tied for third and fourth place with identical 5.5 points.

Retanal received a cash prize of P10,000 while Salubre got P6,000 and the two next placers went home with P4,000 and P2,000, respectively.

Retanal, whose stint was backed up by Malita Mayor Benjamin Bautista, former congressman Claude Bautista, Representative Franklin Bautista and Malita Chess Club president Jorge Alcoy, said he was elated with the victory.

"I'm very happy. I just got lucky. I just maintained my consistent performance in every round," Retanal said.

Retanal added that with the championship, he was able to fulfill his promise to Mayor Bautista.

"I told him that I would win the Toril tournament as a gift for his October 7 birthday that also falls on the same date of the Malita fiesta," Retanal said.

The chess tournament was presented by Davao City Rep. Isidro T. Ungab as a venue to help promote the sport to young and adults alike.

A handful of youth woodpushers saw action in the two-day tournament organized by the Metro Toril Chess Association headed by lawyer Jong Guevarra. (MLSA)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


( Cong. Ungab doing the ceremonial moves together with 2009 ASEAN age-group double gold medalist Austin Jacob Literatus. Caissa's father is the one wearing the BW T-shirt. )

( NM Elwin Retanal receiving his champion's prize fromCaissa's Father. Also in photo is NCFP Regional coordinator James Infiesto and chess patron Glen Paclar. )

( Candidate Master Jimmy Dano vs. Caissa's Father in 2nd round action. The game ended in a draw. )

( Players and kibitzers alike milling around the unfinished game of US Master Peter Tidoy and Gerald Cavan of Panabo City ).

NM Erwin Retanal of Malita, Davao del Sur racked-up 6 consecutive wins then halved the point with Reynaldo " Bembem " Quinonez in the last round to score 6.5 pts and emerged as the Champion after 7 rounds of slambang competition in the 2nd Cong. Ungab Cup " King of 64 squares Mixed-Masters Active Chess Tournament " held from October 3 and 4, 2009 at the Don Juan dela Cruz Central Elem. School, Toril, Davao City. NM Retanal received P 10,000 and the Cong. Ungab Cup.

Jayson Salubre on the other hand, beat Toril's pride and the reigning 2009 Shell Mindanao leg Kiddie champ Austin Jacob Literatus to score 6 pts. and grab 2nd place worth P 6,000.00 + trophy. Henry Lopez also won his 7th round game against Eric Fernandez to score 5.5 pts. together with Reynaldo Quinonez. The two divided the combined prize of P 6,000.00 ( P 3,000.00 each )but Henry was awarded the 3rd prize trophy due to better tie-break. Four players tied for 5th place scoring 5 pts. each namely Jerwel Andoy, NM Alex Lupian, Gerald Cavan and Zaldy Tabanao and divided the 5th place prize of P 1,000.00 among themselves. Zaldy Tabanao also emerged as the best performer for the Calinan and Toril players and was awarded a special prize of P 1,500.00 + magnetic trophy.

The tournament was a huge success with 50 topnotch chess players all over Southern Mindanao participating. Notable perfomance was also shown by 12 years old Austin Jacob Literatus who defeated seasoned veterans US Master Peter Tidoy and Candidate Masters Jimmy Dano and Ferdinand Leysa. Also note to mention was lone woman entry Mary Israel Palero of Calinan who scored 3 consecutive wins to grab the lead in the early rounds beating the likes of 2nd placer Bembem Quinonez, NM Cedric Magno and Lito Laput. The 16 years old lady is a former Shell Region XI KIddie champ and presently the board 2 player of the Holy Cross of Davao College women's varsity team.

The tournament was sponsored by Cong. Isidro Roy Ungab of the 3rd District of Davao City and ably supported by Chess Excellence Ltd. Co., Metro Toril Chess Association, Guevarra Law Office and Caissa's Father chess blog and chess supporters Glen Paclar, Engr. Oscar Barriga, Christopher Yap and Engr. Jun Amosfera. Chief Arbiter of the tourney was NM Prospero Cruz ably assisted by pairings expert Alfred Moulic.

Final Ranking:

Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts BH.

1 2 NM RETANAL Elwin 2198 AUT 6½ 31½
2 7 SALUBRE Jayson 2099 AUT 6 28½
3 5 LOPEZ Henry 2144 AUT 5½ 29½
4 8 QUINONEZ Reynaldo 2086 AUT 5½ 27½
5 15 ANDOY Jerwell 1992 AUT 5 30½
6 1 NM LUPIAN Alexander 2276 AUT 5 25½
7 17 CAVAN Gerald 1984 AUT 5 25
8 22 TABANAO Zaldy 1870 AUT 5 24½
9 9 FERNANDEZ Eric 2085 AUT 4½ 30½
10 30 LITERATUS Austin Jacob 1735 AUT 4½ 29½
11 14 REYES Nofre 2013 AUT 4½ 25½
12 10 NM MAGNO Cedric 2060 AUT 4½ 22½
13 19 QUINONEZ Arace 1954 Phi 4 32
14 13 BAYRON Perkins 2015 AUT 4 29
15 18 SACAR Mohammad 1962 Phi 4 27½
16 6 DANO Jimmy 2131 AUT 4 27½
17 4 TIDOY Peter 2156 AUT 4 26½
18 11 LAPUT Lito 2054 AUT 4 25½
19 44 MOSQUEDA Anthony 0 AUT 4 24½
20 12 YU Sammy"the Dragon 2040 AUT 4 24
21 29 DIMAKILING Adrian 1739 AUT 4 20½
22 42 LLANOS Adrian Alain 0 AUT 3½ 27½
23 3 LEYSA Ferdinand 2167 AUT 3½ 27
24 24 YAP Christopher 1824 AUT 3½ 25½
25 21 BATUCAN John Ray 1925 AUT 3½ 25
26 36 AMAR Denzel John 0 AUT 3½ 25
27 20 FAJARDO Henry 1951 AUT 3½ 24½
28 31 BATUCAN Neptali Iii 1711 AUT 3½ 22½
29 16 GEMPERO Reynaldo 1991 AUT 3½ 21
30 33 PALERO Mary Israel 1661 AUT 3 34
31 37 ATMOSFERA Jun Engr. 0 AUT 3 25
32 23 GUEVARRA Dioniosio Atty. 1835 AUT 3 24
33 39 BARRIGA Oscar Engr. 0 Phi 3 22½
34 47 SALIMBAGAT Steve 0 AUT 3 22
35 48 VALLE Raul 0 AUT 3 21½
36 25 SINAGULA Jumong 1800 AUT 3 20½
37 50 YPAWAGUIWE Jose 0 AUT 3 20½
38 41 JOVER Ali 0 AUT 2½ 25½
39 32 TUBOG Erwin Jr. 1692 Phi 2½ 20½
40 27 CONTE Reynaldo 1794 AUT 2 23
41 35 ACAS Cecilio 0 AUT 2 21
42 43 LUCERO Jong2x 0 AUT 2 20
43 28 IBA Peter 1763 AUT 1½ 23½
44 49 VELARDE Carlos 0 AUT 1 22½
45 26 AMABLE Rey 1796 AUT 1 22½
46 34 ACAS Alvin 0 AUT 1 20½
47 38 Bo. SNo. Name Pts Res. Pts Name

7th round result

1 2 NM RETANAL Elwin 6 ½ - ½ 5 QUINONEZ Reynaldo 8
2 7 SALUBRE Jayson 5 1 - 0 4½ LITERATUS Austin Jacob 30
3 9 FERNANDEZ Eric 4½ 0 - 1 4½ LOPEZ Henry 5
4 1 NM LUPIAN Alexander 4 1 - 0 4 SACAR Mohammad 18
5 17 CAVAN Gerald 4 1 - 0 4 YU Sammy"the Dragon 12
6 15 ANDOY Jerwell 4 1 - 0 4 QUINONEZ Arace 19
7 3 LEYSA Ferdinand 3½ 0 - 1 4 TABANAO Zaldy 22
8 13 BAYRON Perkins 3½ ½ - ½ 3½ DANO Jimmy 6
9 10 NM MAGNO Cedric 3½ 1 - 0 3½ YAP Christopher 24
10 31 BATUCAN Neptali Iii 3½ 0 - 1 3½ REYES Nofre 14
11 4 TIDOY Peter 3 1 - 0 3 PALERO Mary Israel 33
12 37 ATMOSFERA Jun Engr. 3 0 - 1 3 LAPUT Lito 11
13 42 LLANOS Adrian Alain 3 ½ - ½ 3 FAJARDO Henry 20
14 36 AMAR Denzel John 3 ½ - ½ 3 BATUCAN John Ray 21
15 25 SINAGULA Jumong 3 0 - 1 3 MOSQUEDA Anthony 44
16 29 DIMAKILING Adrian 3 1 - 0 3 VALLE Raul 48
17 23 GUEVARRA Dioniosio Atty. 2½ ½ - ½ 2½ BARRIGA Oscar Engr. 39
18 16 GEMPERO Reynaldo 2½ 1 - 0 2 CONTE Reynaldo 27
19 41 JOVER Ali 2 ½ - ½ 2 TUBOG Erwin Jr. 32
20 35 ACAS Cecilio 2 0 - 1 2 SALIMBAGAT Steve 47
21 50 YPAWAGUIWE Jose 2 1 - 0 2 LUCERO Jong2x 43
22 28 IBA Peter 1½ - - - 1 ACAS Alvin 34
23 26 AMABLE Rey 1 - - - 1 VELARDE Carlos 49
24 38 BACALANMO Shaun 0 - - - 0 OMBLERO Gerzon 45
25 40 FLORES Pedro 0 - - - 0 PECISION Mel Justin 46

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


(Toril qualifiers Arbiter Nofre Reyes assited by Lito Laput )

( Caissa's father vs. lone female participant May Micayabas )

( Championship round: Erwin Tubog vs. A.J Literatus won by A.J. On 2nd board ( with watch ) is Zaldy Tabanao vs. Neptali Batucan won by Zaldy ).

Zaldy Tabanao, a former varsity player of chess titan Southwestern University of Cebu but now a resident of Toril, Davao City, topped the 2nd. Cong. Ungab Cup " King of 64 Squares Mixed- Master Tournament" Toril Qualifiers via tie-break over 2009 Shell Active Kiddies champ Austin Jacob Literatus which was held over the week-end at the Toril Chess Plaza. Both scored 4.5 pts in 5 rounds. John Ray Batucan scored 4 pts. to bag 3rd place. The top three placers received cash prizes courtesy of Guevarra Law Office. More than 20 players participated in the qualifiers, ten of whom qualified for the main tournament scheduled on Oct. 3 and 4, 2009 at the Don Juan Central Elem. School covered court. The rest of the qualifiers are as follows:

1. Zaldy Tabanao - 4.5 pts.
2. Austin Jacob Literatus - 4.5
3. John Ray Batucan - 4.0
4. Erwin Tubog - 3.5
5. Neptali Batucan - 3.0
6. Raul Valle - 3.0
7. Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. - 3.0
8.Adrian Llanos - 3.0
9.Henry Fajardo - 3.0
10. Nestor Ngo - 2.5

The Calinan Chess Club, on the other hand, had previously held their qualifiers and the following players qualified:

1.Jehan Salimbagat
2.Pedro Flores
3.Mary Israel Palero
4.Gerson Omblero
5.Ian Royce Lumandas
6.Ronald Sampiano
7.Leo Angelo Canaleja
8.Jose Yparraguirre

Players who are qualified to play by virtue of title and 2000 and above NCFP rating:

1. NM Alex LUpian
2.NM Elwin Retanal
3. NM Cedric Magno
4.CM Henry Lopez
5.CM Jimmy Dano
6.Sammy Yu
7.Peter Tidoy
8. James Infiesto
9. VIncent Umayan
10. Nofre Reyes
11. Lito Laput
12. Reynaldo " Bembem " Quinonez
13. Perkins Bayron
14. Arnel Aton
15.Dharim Bacus

Organizer's Choice:

( seasoned players lacking title and high rating )

1. Engr. Jun Atmosfera
2. Cris Yap
3. Anthony Mosqueda
4. Shaun Bacalanmo
5.May Micayabas
6. Cerilo " Bata " Enobio
7. Ali Jover
8. Engr. Oscar Barriga
9. Mario Lucero
10. Carlos Velarde
11. Werner Priete
12. Gerald Cavan
13. Jerwel Andoy ( 2009 Kadayawan Open champ )
14. Engr. Allan Diez
15. Atty. Bernie Cataluna
16. Adrian Dimakiling


1ST RUNNER-UP - 6,000.00 + TROPHY
2ND RUNNER-UP - 4,000.00 + TROPHY
3RD RUNNER-UP 2,000.00
4TH RUNNER-UP 1,0000.00


NON MASTER - P 100.00



OCT. 3, 2000 ( SATURDAY) - DAY 1

OCT. 4, 2009 ( SUNDAY ) - DAY 2
45 MIN./player

The tournament is sponsored by CONG. ISIDRO ROY UNGAB, 3RD District, Davao City
In coordination with Chess Excellence Ltd. Co., Metro Toril Chess Association and CAISSA'S FATHER Chess BLog @ http//

Monday, September 28, 2009


( Bob Bula beside his car at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA )

[ Bob Bula ( holding his grandchild ) with his family at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA ]

( With Davao chess players, from left: Engr. Jun Atmosfera, Dante dela Cruz, Bador Borras, Engr. Boy Ramirez, Bob Bula, Henry Fajardo, Jun Sonsona and host Glenn Paclar during get together at GLenn's rest house. Not in picture is Caissa's father and Chris Yap of One Network Bank who arrived after this picture was taken ).

I first met Bob Bula last January 10, 2009 during a get together of Davao chess players ( mostly from Toril ) hosted by Glenn Paclar at his rest house at Eden, Bayabas, Toril, Davao City. Prior to our meeting, I already heard from chess player friends his utmost devotion and love for chess. During the past years he had sponsored and supported local chess tournaments, the most recent of which was the Kadayawan Open and Age-group competitions where he provided special prizes. He had also financed the campaign of some local chessplayers notably Jimmy Dano who had a couple of wins against noted GMs Mark Paragua and Joey Antonio. Others received chess books and Chess Life magazines from him.

With this backdrop I was able to talk to Bob and I found out that he was an amiable and down to earth guy. I was even suprised upon being told that he eagerly followed our team tournament last year through the internet. We were lucky then as the said tournament was prominently featured in the local newspaper Sunstar Davao. That is how passionate he is for chess and considering that we shared the same passion, we easily got acquianted to each other.

Just recently, our common friend Engr. Jun Atmosfera informed me that he had a series of talk with Bob through the Internet and that Bob will be sponsoring our next tournament. Thus the 1st Robert " Bob " Bula Toril Invitational Chess Challenge. The tournament will be a 14 players round-robin competition with a time limit of 45 min./player. Games will be played during the week-ends starting Oct. 16 to 31, 2009. Venue will be the Guevarra Law Office and Glenn Paclar's resthouse.The tournament aims to develop and sharpen the skills of the Toril young stars who will be pitted against veteran players from Davao City.

The prizes are as follows:

CHAMPION - P 5,000.00 + TROPHY
1ST RUNNER-UP - 3,000.00 + TROPHY
2ND RUNNER-UP - 2,000.00 + TROPHY
4TH RUNNER-UP - 1,000.00 + MEDAL

Here's a salute to Bob Bula and may your tribe increase !!

Thursday, September 24, 2009



Who said that pawn endings are simple? Not me or GM Wesley So. GM So missed a chance to nail his 1st win in the ongoing SPICE Cup by failing to solve a problem-like pawn ending in his 3rdd round game against GM Akobian of the USA.

Below is the game with analysis by NM Glenn Bordonada with some notes/kibitz by GM Wesley So himself. ( First posted at GM So's page at chessgames. com ).

GM Wesley So: Hello everyone,thanks for keeping track and studying my games.In my game today,I actually had good winning chances (probably win) if 32.Ke3 was played(instead of 32.h4?).Anyway,I would like to ask a favor if you can study my games and tell me what is my weakness or what I need to improve etc.Thank you very much to everyone :)

NM Glenn Bordonada: The endgame which, as Wesley pointed out earlier, he could have won is indeed very instructive. I expanded some of his lines to make it easier to understand below.

[Event "SPICE Cup 2009"]
[Site "Lubbock"]
[Date "2009.09.21"]
[Round "3"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Akobian, Varuzhan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[BlackElo "2636"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[ECO "C10"]
[Source "MonRoi"]
[TimeControl "5 min/game"]
[WhiteElo "2644"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Bd3 c5 7. O-O Nxe4 8. Bxe4 Nf6 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Be7 11. Bf3 O-O 12. c3 Qc7 13. Bh4 Bd6 14. g3 Bd7 15. Qb3 Rab8 16. Nb5 Bxb5 17. Qxb5 h6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Rad1 Rfd8 20. Rd3 a6 21. Qa4 Bc5 22. Rfd1 Rxd3 23. Rxd3 Rd8 24. Qg4+ Kf8 25. Qf4 Qb6 26. Rxd8+ Qxd8 27. Bxb7 Qb6 28. Be4

Possibly stronger is 28. b4 Bxf2+ 29. Qxf2 Qxb7 30. Qxf6 and White is a clean pawn up and has a potential passed pawn pair in the Queenside.

28... f5?

Best is 28... Qxb2 29. Qxf6 Kg8 and Black has sufficient counterplay.

29. b4 Bxf2+ 30. Qxf2 Qxf2+ 31. Kxf2 fxe4

32. h4?!

GM Wesley So: Btw,if anyone would like to look ay my fascinating king and pawn endgame today against Akobian,here is the computer's analysis: 32.Ke3 (instead of 32.h4?)32...f5 33.g4! Ke7 34.a4 Kd6 35.c4 Kc6 (35...Ke5 36.b5! f4 37.Ke2 Kd4 38.b6 f3 39.Ke1 ) 36.a5 Kd6 37.b5 Kc7 38.b6 Kc6 39.Kf4 Kb7 40.h3 Kc6 41.Kg3!!(31.h4 e3! 42.Kxe3 fxg4 allows Black to draw) 41...Kb7 42.h4 followed by g4-g5. This was all given by Rybka 3 and I missed the very instructive Ke3-f4-g3 manoever over the board.

NM GLenn Bordonada: The advance of the h-pawn throws away the win. After the game, Wesley found he could have won with:

(Start of long analysis of the winning process)

32. Ke3! f5 33. g4!

An important move as will be seen later.

33... Ke7 34. a4 Kd6 35. c4 Ke5 36. b5 axb5 37. cxb5

The more distant the passed pawn, the better for White.

37... Kd5

There are two alternatives, both of which lose:

a) 37... f4+ 38. Ke2 Kd4 (38... Kd5 39. h4 Kc5 40. g5 and one of the White pawns will queen.) 39. b6 f3+ 40. Ke1 e3 41. b7 Kd3 42. b8=Q f2+ 43. Kf1

White's King and Queen can stop the pawns from further advancing.

b) 37... fxg4 38. b6 Kd6 39. Kxe4 h5 40. Kf4! It is crucial for White's King to prevent Black from pushing his h-pawn. (For example, 40. a5? h4! 41. a6 Kc6 42. a7 Kb7 43. Kf4 g3 44. hxg3 h3 45. Kf3 e5 and it is Black who wins!) 40... e5+ (If 40... Kc6 41. a5 Kb7 42. Kg5 and White wins by harvesting Black's pawns starting with the h-pawn.) 41. Kf5

Black is in zugzwang and must part with his pawns. Back to the main variation after 37... Kd5.

38. a5 Kc5 39. a6

White tries to create passed pawns which are as far apart from each other.

39... Kb6

Black will try to draw by shuffling his King on the squares a7-b6 and wait for White to make progress. White will try to win by creating a second passed pawn.

40. Kf4!

Necessary as will soon be evident.

40... Ka7 41. Kg3!

An important move without which the win is not possible. The immediate h-pawn advance throws away the win: 41. h4? e3! 42. Kxe3 fxg4 43. Kf4 h5=.

41... Kb6 42. h4

Threatening to create a second passed pawn which will decide the game.

42... e3 43. g5

Not 43. gxf5? exf5 44. Kf3 f4! and the game is a draw as both Kings are checked by the pawn pairs.

The endgame is winning for White. The Black King cannot stop one of the pawns from queening. On the other hand, White can hold Black's three pawns in the center. Black's King has no time to help the pawns.

(End of long analysis)

Back to the game:

32... f5 33. h5 Ke7 34. Ke3 e5 35. c4 Kd6 36. a3 Kc6 37. Kd2 Kb6 38. Kc3 a5 39. Kd2 axb4 40. axb4 Kc6 41. Ke3 1/2-1/2

Sep-22-09 fab11mt: Thank you Master Glenn!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


( GM So vs. GM Kuzobov in 1st round action of the SPICE CUP )
Photo and result first posted at Susan Polgar's chess blog.

A group

GM Akobian 1/2 GM Mamedov
GM Andreikin 1/2 GM Hammer
GM So 1/2 GM Kuzubov

B group

GM Bhat 1/2 IM Kuljasevic
IM Finegold 1-0 IM Ippolito
IM Robson 1/2 GM Perelshteyn
IM Papp 1/2 FM Rensch
IM Antal 1-0 GM Diamant

Thursday, September 10, 2009


( NM Retanal, wearing red shirt w/ hat, pondering his move during the Kadayawan Open ).

NM Erwin Retanal of Malita topped the Davao del Sur Open- Mayor Arsenio Latasa Mix-Masters held on Sept. 7 & 8, 2009 at Dagohoy Hall, Lim St., Digos City, scoring 6.5 pts. in 7 rounds. He was awarded the Champion's trophy and cash price of P 6,000.00 Jimmy Dano of Digos City also scored 6.5 pts. but only placed 2nd due to inferior tie break. He received P 4,000.00 + trophy. In the KIDDIES DIVISION - 12 yrs old & below, John Raymund Vistal emerged as champion with a perfect score of 4pts in 4 rounds winning the cash price of P 1,000 w/trophy.

(Davao del Sur Open Chess Championship 2009)
September 7-8, 2009
Dagohoy Hall, Lim St., Digos City

(7 rounds)

1. Retanal, Elwin - 6.5 pts.

2. Dano, Jimmy - 6.5 pts.

3-8. Lofranco, Venanie - 5 pts.
Melendes, Charles
Babayson, Abelardo
Laput, Lito
Lanticse, nelson
Castro, Bernard

9-10. Velarde, Carlos - 4.5 pts.
Abayon, Neill

Total of 43 players.

Brilliancy Prize Award - Lito Laput

Prizes are the following:

Champion - P 6,000 w/trophy
2nd - P 4,000 w/trophy
3rd - P 3,000 w/trophy
4th - P 2,000 w/trophy
5th - P 1,000 w/trophy
Brilliancy Prize Award - P 500 w/trophy

KIDDIES DIVISION - 12 yrs old & below
(4 rounds)

1. Vistal, John Raymund - 4pts. (P 1,000 w/trophy)

2. Dulay, Arnel - 3.5pts. (P 500 w/trophy)

3. Lakina, Angelo - 3.5pts. ( P 300 w/trophy)

Total of 22 players.

( As e-mailed by Neill Abayon ).

Thursday, September 3, 2009


[NM Erwin Retanal(with red t-shirt and hat) pondering his next move against Anthony Mosqueda ].

This game was the biggest upset of the Kadaywan Open and arguably the best game.

Playing the black pieces was NM Elwin Retanal. NM Retanal may be considered as a veteral National Master although only 30 years old and scored upset triumphs over RP's big names the likes of Grand Master Mark Paragua, GM Darwin Laylo, GM elect Ronald Dableo and GM candidate Roland Salvador. He played board 2 for the Philippine team in the World Under-16 Chess Olympian and won a silver medal in the process. He also represented the Philippines in the Asian Junior Chess Championship in Jaipur, India where he finished 10th. He also ruled the 2008 Malaysia Challenger Open in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Playing the white pieces is 17 years old Anthony Mosqueda of Metro Toril Chess club. He is one of the promising junior players of Davao City and a member of the University of Mindanao (UM) varsity team.

[Event: 2009 KADAYAWAN OPEN]
[Site: 5th Floor, GAISANO ILUSTRE]
[Date: 2009.8.29]
[Round 3]
[Result: 1-0]
[WhiteELO: 1700]
[BlackELO 2198]


( Annotated by CAISSA'S FATHER )

1. e4 e6 2. d3 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6

5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. Nbd2 d6

This is the starting position of the King's Indian Attack vs. the Sicilian System. White has 2 main continuations, 8. c3 to prepare the push d4 and 8. Re1 to prepare the push e5. In their book " Modern King's Indian Attack- A complete System for White ", the Authors SM John Hall and Jan R. Cartier prefers the move 8. c3 as it does not only prepare the push d4 but it also limit the scope of Black's dark colored bishop.


G.M Vassily Smyslov essayed the mainline 8. c3 against G.M Mikhail M. Botvinnik in the 23rd game of their 1954 World Championship match held at Vienna, Austria. The game continued 8.c3 0-0 ( by transposition)9.a4 f5 10.Qb3 d5 11.exd5 exd5 12.Re1 f4 13.Nf1 Bg4 14.gxf4 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Kh8 16.Bd2 Bh6 17.Re6 Bxf4 18.Rae1 Bxd2 19.Nxd2 Nf5 20.Bg2 Nh4 21. Qxd5 Nxg2 22.Qxg2 Qxd3 23.Ne4 Rf5 24.Nd6 Rf3 25.Nxb7 Raf8 26.Nxc5 Qf5 27.Re8 Kg8 28.Rxf8+ 1-0

The move 8. Nb3 in preparation for the pawn push c3-d4 was played a number of times in the 1960's by GM Georgi P. Tringov of Bulgaria and he was quite successful with this line.

8...a5 9. a4 O-O 10. c3 e5

11. d4 b6 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Qd2 Rd8?

I would say that this move started Black's downfall. The rook is needed to defend BLack's kingside and to support the counter- thrust f5. Much better is 13...Ra7 to avoid White's menacing Bishop at g2. The rook can then be transferred to the kingside to further defend Black's King and to support its counter-attack.

14. d5! Nb8 15. Bh6 Bh8 16. Ng5!

Suddenly White's threat of a kingside attack with 17.f4 seems unstoppable as Black's kingside is inadequately protected.

16...Bg7? 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. f4 f6 19. fxe5!


If 19...fxg5 20.e6! And Black is in a virtual zugzwang.

Position after 19...dxe5

20. Rxf6!!

This rook sacrifice delivers the final blow against Black's position. The rest is a matter of technique, as the masters would often say.

20...Kxf6 21.Rf1+ Kg7 22. Rf7+ Kg8 23. Qf2 Bf5 24. exf5 Qd6

25. fxg6 Nxg6 26. Ne4 Qf8 27.Rxf8+ Rxf8 28. Nf6+ Kh8 29. Qf5 Ra7

30. Qe6 Raf7 31. Ne4 Nd7 32. Nbd2 Re7 33.Qc6 Ref7 34. Nf3 Nf6

35. Nfg5 Nxe4 36. Nxf7+ Rxf7 37. Bxe4 1-0

Final position

Replay the complete game below.