Friday, August 27, 2010


Originally posted at Philippine Chess Portal Website.

Congratulations to NM Edgar Reggie Olay for nailing his 2nd IM Norm in the just concluded 6th Prospero Pichay Cup International Chess Tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Adriatico St. Manila. It was in the 2008 Subic International Open where Olay got his first IM norm, the day he fully returned to active competition after several years of hiatus. Olay is a Palarong Pambansa gold medalist in 1993 and topped the 1996 Shell Youth Active Chess Championship juniors' category in 1996. In 1997, Olay won a big tournament in Subic over a tough field of competitors. The victory was worth P30,000 and an NM title for Olay.

The soft-spoken Olay, a registered nurse, also played for Davao City in the National Inter-Cities and Municipalities Chess Championships from 1994 to 1998.

Then came the accident in February 2001 that almost cost him his life. Olay and several other players were returning to Kidapawan City from Amas after a chess tournament when the pick-up truck they were riding in turned turtle along the road. Fortunately for Olay and his companions, no one was killed in the freak incident.

Olay, however, suffered a cut in his head that needed seven stitches to close.

The accident didn't stop Olay from playing chess, but it affected his performance and this, coupled by the fact that he landed a job at the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital, forced him to stay away from the game for quite a while.

In 2006, Olay played again and won the Davao Open Chess. A year later, he won the Chadric Open, showing he still got the talent to dominate the big names in local chess arena.

Final standing - 6th Pichay Cup International

Name OLAY Edgar Reggie
Starting rank 29
Rating 2289
Rating national 0
Rating international 2289
Ratingperformance 2455
FIDE rtg +/- 30,5
Points 5,5
Rank 8
Federation PHI
Ident-Number 0

Rd. SNo Name Rtg FED Pts. Res.
1 6 GM GOMEZ John Paul 2527 PHI 6,0 w 0
2 8 GM HAZNEDAROGLU Kivanc 2501 TUR 5,5 s ½
3 41 LEGASPI Edmundo 2118 PHI 0,5 w 1
4 26 FM SEGARRA Randy 2308 PHI 4,5 s 1
5 16 IM RANOLA Yves 2397 PHI 5,5 w ½
6 25 WGM POURKASHIYAN Atousa 2308 IRI 5,0 s 0
7 22 IM TIRTO 2360 INA 3,5 w 1
8 12 IM NOLTE Rolando 2425 PHI 5,5 s ½
9 11 GM GONZALES Jayson 2435 PHI 4,5 w 1

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


( The winning team with team manager Engr. Jun Atmosfera )

The Toril Youngstars team proved its mettle as it outsmarted the Toril Veterans team in the two days grudge match held on August 1 and 15, 2010. Venue of the match was the Toril Chess Club located at the Toril District Plaza. Erwin Tubog topscored for the Youngstars team with 5 pts in 6 matches.

( The veterans team from left: Shaun Bacalanmo, Henry Fajardo, Zaldy
Tabanao, Atty. Jong Guevarra, Chris Yap and Nofre Reyes ).

The Youngstars scored heavily in the first 4 rounds and it was only in the last 2 rounds where the Veterans made a stand eventually winning the last round by a score of 4-2. The veterans team appears to be rusty and could not cope-up with the Youngstars in the active match where players are only given 30 mins. each to finish the game.

(Anthony Mosqueda vs. Atty. Jong Guevarra. The game ended in a draw.)

The grudge match eventually ended in favor of the Youngstars team by a
score of 22 - 14. The winning team received a cash price of P 3,000.00.
The match was sponsored by Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. of the Guevarra Law
Office and and was ably supported by One Network Bank (ONB) of Toril .

( Erwin Tubog vs. Nofre Reyes )



1. FM elect JOHN RAY BATUCAN (1915) - 3.5 POINT
6. ERWIN TUBOG - 5.0

( FM elect John Ray Batucan and FM Austin Jacob LIteratus. the 1-2 punch of the Youngstars.

( Chris Yap vs. Adrian Llanos )


1. NOFRE REYES (2013) - 3.0 POINTS
2. ATTY. JONG GUEVARRA (1900) - 1.5 "
4. CHRIS YAP - 1.0
5. HENRY FAJARDO (1959) - 3.0

( The winning team receiving the cash price of P 3,000.00 from Atty.
Jong Guevarra and Chris Yap of One Network Bank (ONB) of Toril ).

Sunday, August 22, 2010


( Anthony Mosqueda pondering his move against Atty. Jong Guevarra
during the Toril All-Stars vs. Toril Young Stars match held recently.)

Anthony Mosqueda, FM Austin Jacob Literatus, and FM elect John Ray
Batucan each scored 4.0 pts in the Toril Blitz Championship but Mosqueda
was declared the champion via superior tie-break. The three divided the
total cash prize amounting to P 1,500.00 courtesy of Guevarra law Office.
The 5 round Swiss system tournament was held last August 1, 2010 at the
Toril Chess Plaza and was a side event of the Toril All Stars vs. Toril
Young Stars chess match.

Final standing:

1. Mosqueda Anthony - 4.0 pts.
2. Literatus Austin Jacob 4.0
3. Batucan John Ray 4.0
4. Batucan Neptali 3.0
5. Tubog Erwin 3.0
6. Jover Ali 2.5
7. Bacalanmo Shawn 2.5
8. Reyes Nofre 2.5
9. Guevara Jong 2.0
10. Llanos Adrian 2.0
11. Yngayo Dhona 2.0
12. Fajardo Henry 1.5
13. Buna Christy 1.0

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Good day folks! Today's feature is all about the Modern Benoni plus an annotated game from my good friend Engr. Jun Atmosfera.

Endre Vegh aptly said in the foreword of his Book " Starting Out - Modern Benoni " that:

" The Modern Benoni is a dynamic opening and offers black good chances of winning the game, probably more so than most other defenses against 1. d4, but at the cost of substantial risks, with a very low quantity of draws. But if you do not feel chicken, but want to play entertaining and dynamic chess, then the modern Benoni may be for you ".

It is also called the Son of Sorrow. The Modern Benoni grew in popularity when it was extensively used as a weapon by GM Mikhail Tal in his battle for the World Championship against the great champion GM Botvinnik. Among its adherent is another attacking genius and former world champ GM Garry Kasparov who used this defense in winning a beautiful game against GM Korchnoi in the 1982 Chess Olympiad.

Now let us turn-over to Engr. Jun Atmosfera.

" I started playing the Modern Benoni Defense sometime in 1973 ( that was a long time ago) when I came across and replayed the games of Mikhail Tal in his World Championship match with Botvinnik in 1960.It was also employed by Bobby Fischer in his first ever win against Boris Spassky in the third game of their world title match in Reykjavik, Iceland on July 17, 1972. Prior to their world title match, the two met five times and Fischer lost three times with the black pieces (one King’s Gambit and two Gruenfeld defense) and drew two times with white, both Ruy Lopez games.

I was fascinated by the defense against white's d4 or c4 opening as it is a fighting defense and tactical fireworks are abundant due to the imbalanced formation of both sides. Of course I now know that this defense has been somewhat refuted at the super-grandmaster level but still good and exciting for club players ".

( Engr. Jun Atmosfera vs. Atty. Jong Guevarra in 1st round action during the 1st IM Marlo Micayabas Toril Chess Challenge 2009 )

Here is an example of my game with this defense:

[Event "Toril Invitational Chess CLassic"]
[Site "Toril Chess Club, Davao City, Philipines"]
[Date "2007.2.17"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Henry Fajardo"]
[Black "Engr. Jun Atmosfera"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "1960"]
[BlackELO "1900"]

Time control: 25 mins./game

( With brief annotation from Engr. Atmosfera and side comments
from Caissa's Father. )

Modern Benoni Defense

1. Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. c4 e6 5. Nc3 exd5 6. cxd5 g6

7. h3 Bg7 8. e4 0-0 9. Bd3

This is the main line of the Modern variation.

Endre Vegh: The young chess players who started playing only recently can
identify the Modern Benoni line h2-h3, Bd3 because of its popularity.
However, it was not always so popular. It is the positional players approach
to the Modern Benoni these days. My evaluation of this variation is Black is
under slight pressure, but would be able to keep the balance.

9... a6 ?!

Endre Vegh: 9.. b5! The best way to meet White's loss of time with h2-h3.
Black exploits the fact that the White king is still in the centre.
Otherwise, Black will have problems facing 0-0, Bf4, Re1, and e4-e5.

10. a4 Re8 11. 0-0 Nbd7 12. Bf4 Qc7 13. Qe2!?

Caissa's Father: White's Queen is somewhat misplaced in e2 due to the
presence of Black's menacing rook on the opposite file. In the game
Bacrot-Nazar, Evry 2004, White essayed the move 13. Re1 Nh5 14. Bh2
Rb8 15. Be2 Nhf6 16. Nd2 Bf8 17. Kh1 Nb6 18. f4 Nfd7 19. Bf1 Bg7
20. Nf6 f6 21. Qd2 Qd8 1-0 32 moves.

13... Nh5 14. Bh2 Rb8 15. Rfe1 f5 16. Ng5! c4!?

Engr. Atmosfera: Sacrificing a pawn to gain a tempo.

17) Bxc4

Engr. Atmosfera: If 17.Ne6 cxd3 18.Nxc7 dxe2 19.Nxe8 winning the
exchange. However, Black can reply instead of cxd3,17... Rxe6
18.dxe6 cxd3 19.e7 dxe2 20.e8=Q+ Nf8 and has two minor pieces
for his rook.

17... Ne5 18. Ba2 f4 19. Ne6 Qe7 20. Nxf4 Nxf4 21. Bxf4 Rf8 22. Qe3

Bd7 23. Ne2 b5 24. a5 Nc4! 25. Bxc4 bxc4 26. Qg3 Rxf4! 27. Qxf4 Rxb2

28.e5 Qxe5!

Better than 28...Bxe5 when white has 29.Nd4

29. Qxe5 Bxe5 30. Rac1? (f4!)

30... Bb5 31. Nc3 Bd4 32. Ne4 Be5 33. g3 Ra2 34. Kh1 Rxa5 35.f4 Bb2

36. Nxd6 Bxc1 37. Rxc1 Bd7 38. Nxc4 Rxd5 39. Kg2?

39.Nb6 exchanging the knight for the Bishop is drawish. If 39.Kh2 Rc5
40.Rd1 Bxh3, Black is one pawn up.

39 ... Rc5 40. Rc2 Ba4 41) Rc3 Bb5

0 - 1
White resigns because he will lose his knight.

Time consumed: White-23 mins. Black-19 mins.

Engr. Atmosfera: Well, the game I've presented is not perfect model
of the Benoni and the game against Henry Fajardo could have resulted
in a draw, but it shows how resilient and full of tactical chances the
Benoni offers, especially for shorter time controls.

Replay the game below.


( GM Ramirez receiving the US Open champion's trophy. Photo from )

The 111th Annual U.S. Open ended at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, California with GM Alejandro Ramirez bagging the championship with an unbeaten score of of 7 wins and 2 draws in 9 rounds, with an added cash bonus for the solo win. The Philippines was well represented in the tourney with IM Julio Catalino Sadorra playing on top board in the last round against GM Ramirez and holding the latter to a draw although a pawn down in a rook ending. IM Sadorra ended the tourney with a score of 7.5 points good for a tie for 2nd place along with GM's Akobian, Shabalov and FM Naroditsky.

( IM Ino Sadorra . Photo from )

A total of 474 players from all over the country took part in this annual event held in memory of the late Jerry Hanken, the indefatigable chess promoter, columnist and player. The Philippine contingent consist of IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Mark Paragua, IM Enrico Sevillano, FM's Joaquin and Joel Banawa, among others who pit wits against a tough field consisting of 8 GM's, 10 IM's and a host of titled players and veteran campaigers. GM Mark Paragua and IM Enrico Sevillano tied for 6th to 23rd place with 7 points together with another US based Filipino FM Joaquin Banawa. FM John Daniel Bryant (stepson of IM Enrico Sevillano) and another Pinoy ace FM Joel Banawa led the 6.5 pointers and tied for 24th to 41th place.

(GM Mark Paragua. Photo from USCF website)

Final standing:

Ttl Name Rate Pts Rnd1 Rnd2 Rnd3 Rnd4 Rnd5 Rnd6 Rnd7 Rnd8 Rnd9
1 GM Ramirez, Alejandro 2645 8.0 W216 W200 W 58 W 23 W137 W 7 D 2 W 3 D4
2 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2698 7.5 W243 W114 W 50 W 18 W 8 D 6 D 1 W 14 D5
3 GM Shabalov, Alexander 2632 7.5 W245 W270 W 88 W 77 D 11 W 42 W 15 L 1 W24
4 IM Sadorra,Julio Cat. 2471 7.5 W176 W149 W 32 L 12 W 57 W 46 W 47 W 50 D1
5 FM Naroditsky, Daniel 2453 7.5 W179 W 65 D 56 W 29 W 33 D 10 W 58 W 9 D2
6 GM Gareyev, Timur 2689 7.0 W441 W115 D 36 W 22 W 98 D 2 D 25 W 77 D11
7 GM Khachiyan, Melikse 2590 7.0 W129 W112 W 39 D144 W140 L 1 W 37 W 28 D12
8 IM Matikozyan, Andran 2545 7.0 W422 W117 W 35 W 45 L 2 W 36 D 31 W 30 D16
9 IM Sevillano,Enrico 2536 7.0 W271 W261 D 46 W 38 D 12 W 28 W 17 L 5 W50
10 GM Paragua, Mark C 2529 7.0 W213 W197 W 19 D 14 W 79 D 5 W137 D 12 D20
11 GM Gurevich, Dmitry 2481 7.0 W250 W218 W259 W196 D 3 D 25 W 22 D 16 D6
12 IM Bercys, Salvijus 2467 7.0 W421 W262 W 37 W 4 D 9 D 16 W 48 D 10 D7
13 IM Mulyar, Michael 2457 7.0 W375 W162 W 59 W 61 D 20 D 17 L 50 W 53 W47
14 IM Cornejo, Max 2456 7.0 W219 W150 W 85 D 10 D 30 W 32 W145 L 2 W52
15 GM Kaufman, Lawrence 2452 7.0 W180 W109 W 91 D140 W 34 W 20 L 3 D 60 W48
16 IM Ginsburg, Mark 2431 7.0 W274 W159 W145 D 24 W 96 D 12 W 59 D 11 D8
17 FM Beelby, Matthew 2358 7.0 W376 D111 W157 W 87 W144 D 13 L 9 W 55 W60
18 FM Banawa, Jouaquin 2346 7.0 W308 W127 W 68 L 2 W 63 D 82 W 66 D 52 -X-
19 Gupta, Ankit 2290 7.0 W187 W155 L 10 D105 W113 W 94 W200 D 42 W71
20 FM Dean, Jim H 2287 7.0 W222 W204 W 60 W258 D 13 L 15 W119 W 25 D10
21 Carreto, Giovanni 2257 7.0 W284 D265 W217 L 96 W121 D149 W103 W145 W70
22 NM Williams Paulsen, 2257 7.0 W311 W183 W 73 L 6 W158 W 68 L 11 W 59 W42
23 West, Vanessa A 2075 7.0 W382 W316 W139 L 1 L 48 W169 W136 W 82 W45


Powerhouse Doña Carmen Denia National High School (DCDNHS) bagged the high school boys title in the 1st JVR Inter-School Chess Team Championships held at Emcor conference room, J.P. Laurel Avenue over the weekend. DCDNHS's one-two punch consisting of 2008 ASEAN 12 and under champ John Ray Batucan and 2010 ASEAN 14 and under champ Austin Jacob Literatus delivered the points for their school as expected.

Batucan scored a perfect 10 points while Literatus tallied 9.5 points as DCDNHS garnered the highest score of 19.5 points at the end of the 11 rounds tourney.University of Mindanao's Alvin Acas and Denzel Amar, who lost to the Batucan Literatus pair in the final round, took the runner-up honors with 16 points while the Cabantian National High School placed third with 14 points.

Meanwhile, The Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) captured the men's crown by scoring 16 points in the five-round collegiate division. HCDC bested UM and JMC which finished with identical 14 points. University of Mindanao (UM) clinched the women's title by scoring 16 points over HCDC's 13.5 points. HCDC's Mohammad Sacar and Erwin Tubog Jr., along with JMC's Jay Bulicatin, earned 4.5 points apiece while UM's May Micayabas, JMC's Mary Rose Sevilla and UM's Noelyn Enriquez made perfect five points each.

In high school girls, Jose Maria College (JMC) and DCDNHS each tallied 15 points after nine rounds to place first and second, respectively. Davao Central College of Toril got 14 points for third while CNHS had 12 and good for fourth place.

Doña Pilar Learning Center (DPLC)-Sasa and Don Juan dela Cruz Central Elementary School (DJDCCES)-Toril, meanwhile, shared top honors in the elementary division.

DPLC ruled the boys team event with 17.5 points followed by DJDCCES (15) and JMC (14.5) after 11 rounds, while DPLC (11.5) topped the girls side with 15.5 points while DPLC (11.5) was second and Barner Learning Center (10) in third after nine rounds.

The awarding of prizes is on August 14, 2010 on the same venue. The tournament was organized in celebration of Emcor's 52nd anniversary and held in cooperation with HCDC. Chief Arbiter of the successful tourney is veteran NM Prospero " Bebot " Cruz.