Saturday, May 2, 2009


May 2, 2009 7:45 P.M

Bong Gonzales was one of the prime movers of Toril chess when he was still in the Philippines. Together with Engr. Jun Atmosfera, the two of them sponsored some local tournaments (mostly 1 day tournaments with 30 mins. time limit) during the late 80's and early 90's. These tournaments which were mostly round-robin affair among Toril chess players were also occasions for players to renew their bonding and friendship during those times that tournaments were quite few and far in between. There were always blitz sessions at the end of the tournaments were ice- cold beers were a plenty with matching kinilaw and sinugbang pirit or barilison as pulutans.

Their family store popularly known as " Gonzales Store " was the venue of numerous chess battles where leading Toril players were pitted against a "dayo" or players from other places, either individually or by team with huge bets on the side. There was a time when our group won more than P 10,000.00 which was quite big at that time, in 2 days of chess matches pitting our top player against a dayo who was a manager of a leading jeans brand. Their father, Dominador " Dodong " Gonzales was a former Barangay Captain and Kagawad of Toril Poblacion where I also served once as the Barangay Treasurer. I was quite close to their family as I provided chess tutorials to Kendi Gonzales, daughter of Bong's elder brother Danilo. Kendi eventually became a two time National Games Chess Champion and was awarded the Woman National Master title.

Bongsky would also invite us during weekends in his house for lunch were we play blitz games the whole day, with ice cold beer and kinilaw on the side. The last time around, the lunch was served quite late so we played blitz while waiting for lunch and during that time Bongsky won all his blitz games. After lunch Glenn Paclar suddenly blurted " Pwede na pildihon si Bobong kay human na tag kaon! " Everyone burst into laughter including Bongsky who now realized why he was so unbeatable a while ago.

Bongsky was a solid and dependable player during his Toril chess playing days. I was informed that he holds the record in Toril for playing a blitz match for more than 24hours non-stop. I still remember the match we played against Anda Chess club which we played at the Phil. New Agency ( PNA)office, C.M Recto St., Davao City where he delivered the crucial point by beating Anda Chess CLub's resident hustler nicknamed " Mangagoy ". He migrated to the United States sometime in the year 1997 and due to work load, has played competitive chess sparingly. He is still an active supporter of Toril chess as he sends chess pieces, books and even DVD's to his chess player friends in Toril.

Here's a sample of his game in the U.S where he created a stir by upsetting the eventual champion.

Title : 2001 Summer Gloom Tournament
White: Bong Gonzales, USCF Rating: 1757
Black: Tony Miller, USCF Rating: 2095
Opening; English Opening

(With notes from Bong Gonzales)

1.c4 e5
My knowledge of the English opening is very limited. All I know is that the character of this opening is positional and will give me a long lasting stand against a rated player.

2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 f5
4.d3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6
6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 Be6?
Better was 7..0-0. Judging from his reply, it seems that my opponent was even more unfamiliar with this opening than me.

8.Ng5 Bg8?
Loss of tempo. Do not move your piece twice in the opening. An important principle in the opening.

Exploiting the absence of the white squared bishop.

9... Bb6 10.Qb5 Qd7
11.e4 h6 12.Nf3 g6?!
Now black's plan is clear. He is giving the h-pawn in favor of a direct assault on the h-file via Qh7.

13.Nh4 Bh7 14.ef5 gf5
15.Bh6 f4
White grabs the pawn free of charge

16.Bg5 Ng4 17.Ne4 fg3
18.hg3 Be4 19.Be4 a6
Black wants to drive the Queen away but white even intensifies the pressure on its next move.

20.Qd5 Ne7?
Black has no other choice but to protect the threat of 21.Bf5 and to let his King escape from heavy which is the beginning of his end. Any other move results to mate or queenless.

21.Qb7 0-0 22.Be7 Qe7
23.Bd5+ Kh7 24.Be4+ Kg8
25.Qd5+ Kg7 26.Qxa8! Rf2?
Black should have taken the queen although white would still have an overwhelming advantage after 27.Ba8 or 27 Nf5+.

27.Rf2 Bf2+ 28.Kg2 Qg5
29.Nf5+ Kf7 30.Bd5+ Kg6
31.Qg8+ Kf5 32.Qe6++ Mate
I remember that after the game, I was heralded as a Giant killer and somebody to reckon with.When the tournament was over after five rounds, Tony emerged still the champ with only one loss against me while I scored only 3.5 points.

Replay the game using CAISSA'S WEB PGN Editor

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