Wednesday, March 3, 2010


( GM Vladimir Kramnik vs. GM Viswanathan Anand in their World Championship Match )

My chess buddie Chris Yap of One Network Bank just gave me a chess book which he bought from the National Bookstore entitled " Vishy Anand's Best Games of Chess ". A perusal of the book's pages would reveal GM Anand's fond memories of the Philippines.

In the introduction, he said that he went to Manila when his father had an assignment there and got caught up in the chess fever resulting from the 1978 Karpov-Korchnoi match.

He also won the World Junior crown in 1987 at Baguio City in his 4th attempt paving the way for him to become a Grandmaster. He also qualified for the Candidate matches for the first time during the 1990 Manila Interzonals. GM Anand said that he enjoyed playing in the Chess Olympiads and that Dubai 1986 and Manila 1992 were his favorites, in both cases the organizers went all-out to make the players feel comfortable.

He also made mention of playing in an International Open in Manila prior to the Manila Interzonals. My recollection indicate that it was the 1990 Far East Bank International and that it was IM Ricardo de Guzman who was his last round opponent and the game ended in a draw. That game has a vivid place in my memory due to an amusing incident that transpired during the game which was played up in the sports section of the major dailies in the Philippines during that time.

( IM De Guzman as a chess tutor in the U.S )

I tried retrieving a PGN of that game via the Internet and Chess data base but I could not find one. Luckily, I was able to talk to another chess buddie Engr. Jun Atmosfera who promised to look for the game among his vast collections of Chess books and chess magazines. The following day he lend me a copy of the Oct.-Dec. 1990 edition of Chess Asia where the complete result of the tournament was posted including the IM De Guzman-GM Anand game.

1990 Far East Bank International
Final Standings:

GM Anand - 9.5 points
GM Djuric - 9.5
GM Torre - 9.0
GM Csom - 8.5
GM Antonio - 8.5
De Guzman - 8.5
Roca - 8.5
GM Knaak - 8.0
Chiong - 8.0
Calvo - 8.0
Donguines - 8.0
Bagamasbad - 8.0
Nadera - 8.0
Latoza - 8.0
Malinao - 8.0

Here's a segment of Chess Asia's report of the said tournament:

For the second straight year, a foreign entry won the prestigious Far East Bank International. Last year, the Chinese players ran away with the major prizes. This year, two foreigners tied for the top two prizes but Viswanathan Anand edged out Stefan Djuric of Yugoslavia with his higher tie-break points.

The Indian clinched the championship when IM Ricardo de Guzman played it safe and drew an advantageous game against the Indian in the last round. As Anand admitted after the game, " He had all the chances, but you can't win without playing on". De GUzman, having seen how easily Anand mowed down the likes of Knaak, Torre, Roca, Garma in the earlier rounds settled for the draw to ensure his prize money.

Next time I will feature the game of IM De Guzman- GM Anand and you be the judge..

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