Saturday, January 28, 2012


( The championship match- coach vic vs. metrolirot )

This is the last part of my Manila Chess journey. To read part IV just click

( semi-finals match- sheriff vs. coach vic )

In the other semi-final match, coach Vic made short work of sheriff 2-0 thus the finals cast of the 2012 Metrolirot Cup is completed. Me and coach Vic would be playing a 2 games match at 20 mins/game. Coach Vic is Vicente Vargas III from Cabuyao, a chess coach of Letran Calamba (college) and Caritas Don Bosco School (HS/Elem). He has an NCFP rating of 1874 as compared to my 1835 which I got from joining an NCFP sanctioned tourney 12 years ago. Obviously, Vic Vargas is the favorite in the finals.

Complete semi-finals result:

Ricky - metrolirot 1-2
Sheriff - Vic 0-2

We decided to rest for a while and eat supper before the final showdown. After eating we discussed the subject common to our heart, chess and more chess plus a little bit of politics. As it started to get dark, I suggested that we start playing our final match.

( Talking about chess and more chess. From left clockwise: alland, wordfunph, metrolirot, kardopov, shadowleaf, and spawn2. Not in photo were pulsar and pinoymaster77- Not their real names but usernames in

( The finals match )

In the 1st game I played white and coach Vic used the Sicilian Defense. I countered his Sicilian with the Grand Prix Attack. Prior to the metrolirot cup, I played at the Toril Absolute championships which was a 9 round swiss system and among my preparations there was the grand prix attack. Unfortunately, I was not able to make use of the line in the toril championships but it came handy during the metrolirot cup. Coach Vic was obviously not familiar with the line thus I had an easy win in game 1. I annotated game 1 at the end of this feature.

( Me receiving the champion's prize from Allan Dinglasan )

In game 2, Coach Vic used the h3 line against my KID and after I replied with ...c5 the game transposed into the Modern Benoni defense. I tried to wrest the initiative in the queenside by sacrificing my b pawn thus the game once again transposed into the Benko Gambit line. Coach Vic was able to play a timely Bh6 and after the exchange of dark squared bishops, my game slowly collapsed.

( Coach Vic receiving the runner-up prize from alan dinglasan)

A 3rd and final game is in order and after a choice of colors, Coach Vic played white. This time around I used the Dutch Defense Leningrad variation which is akin to the KID. THe game was nip and tuck and during our mutual time trouble, I was able to concoct a mating attack which coach Vic was not able to parry. I won game 3 and thus was declared the 2012 Metrolirot Cup champion. Thus ended my Manila Chess journey. Special thanks to atty. Nanobrain, Atty. Roy Hirang, epistle, pulsar sheriff, spawn2, kardopov, shadowleaf, ricky, coach vic, pinoymaster77, wordfunph and venue host allan dinglasan for making my journey fruitful and memorable. Hanggang sa uulitin!

( Chief organizers of the 2012 Metrolirot Cup- Allan Dinglasan and wordfunph )

[Event "2012 Metrolirot Cup"]
[Site "Biñan, Laguna"]
[Date "2012.1.22"]
[Round "1"]
[White "metrolirot"]
[Black "coach vic"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1835"]
[BlackELO "1874"]

Sicilian Defense - Grand Prix Attack

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. a4 Nc6 4. f4 d6 5. Nf3 g6 6. Bc4 Bg7

7. O-O e6 8. f5!

The start of the grand prix attack. Coach Vic blurted, " Too agressive."
and played 8...exf5. I think he was not familiar with the line.

8...exf5 9. d3!

At present, many Sicilian players sidestep this line because for just
a pawn white is able to establish a dangerous initiative in the kingside.

9...h6 10. Qe1 Nd4 11. Nxd4 Bxd4+ 12. Kh1 Ne7 13. exf5 Bxf5
14. Qh4 Nc6?

14...d5! 15. Ba2 g5 16. Qg3 Be6 with slight advantage for black
according to Houdini.

15. Qg3 Ne5 16. Bd5 Qd7 17. Ne4 Bxe4 18. dxe4 c4 19. c3 Bb6 20. Bf4!

With simple developing moves, white has now established an
overwhelming advantage. Black has no way of defending his d6
and f7 pawns.

20... Nd3 21. Bxd6 Nf2+ 22. Rxf2 Bxf2 23. Qe5+!

Not 23. Qxf2 because of 23...Qxd6

23...Kd8 24. Qxh8+ Qe8 25. Qf6+

Final position

Black resigns. 1-0
Replay the game below.

Friday, January 27, 2012


This is a continuation of my Manila Chess journey. To read part III just click

At around 2:00 p.m of January 22, 2012, I rendezvous with spawn 2
and his group at SM Bicutan and together we proceeded to the house
of Allan Dinglasan at Biñan, Laguna where the 2012 Metrolirot Cup
will be held. The tourney has became a tradition among BW/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. The 1st to be organized
was the Bubuli Cup middle of last year for member bubuli who
vacationed from the US. Next was the NF3em Cup held last November
in honor of then Japan based member Nf3em.

(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.)

A warm welcome greeted me upon arrival in the residence of Allan
Dinglasan. I was surprised to see a huge tarpaulin bearing my
picture and the tourney prominently tied at the gate of Allan's

(Stallwarts of BW/GETS: pinoymaster 77 and wordfunph )

After exchanging pleasantries and picture taking, we decided to
eat merienda before plunging into action. Wordfunph decided for the
drawing of lots to determine the seeding and pairing. Eight players
were entered into the main draw which was a best of 2 games knock-
out sytem at 20 mins/game. I had a tough luck as I was paired vs.
defending champ pulsar right in the 1st round.

( metrolirot vs. pulsar in 1st round action )

In the 1st game, pulsar again essayed the French defense. In the
3rd game of our match, I beat him using a sideline in the Advance
variation. Sensing that he has something in his sleeves, I dare
not to repeat our game and instead used the 3.Nd2 Tarrash variation.
I saw that he was a bit surprise with my opening choice and soon I
was able to exploit his isolated d pawn which is black's perennial
problem in the French Tarrash exchange variation. Soon I was 3 pawns
up and it was just a matter of time before pulsar would resign, so I
thought. Suddenly, pulsar sacrificed his rook and in the ensuing
exchange I realized that he has a perpetual check with his queen. Not
again! This guy is really a tough nut to crack, I was telling myself.

In the 2nd game, I used the Modern Defense in answer to his d4
opening wary that he has something prepared for my King's Indian
Defense. I emerged a pawn up in the opening but my queen was
driven out of play.

( metrolirot vs. pulsar - game 2 position )

In the aboved position, I defended my rook at f7 by playing...Raf8.
Pulsar answered with Rxf7 and after I played...Rxf7, pulsar
immediately played Rc8 check. I said okey and played ...Bxc8. Pulsar
shook his head and resign as obviously he failed to reckon in his
analysis that I had a bishop at h3. I was now on to the semi-finals.
Complete results of the quarters:

spawn2 - Ricky 0.5-1.5
shadowleaf - Sheriff 0-2
Jasper - Vic 0-2
metrolirot - pulsar 1.5-0.5

( Players in action )

I was paired with Ricky in the semi-finals. He was wordfunph's
sparring partner. He was a good practical player but still lacks
opening savvy. In our first game, I played white and made an
interesting knight sac at f7. Ricky was not equal to the task and
defended poorly and soon was forced to gave up his queen to avoid
mate. I just need to draw our last game to enter the finals but
the same was easier said than done. I employed my pet KID against
Ricky's d4 opening and obtained some advantage in the opening.
However, I rush things in the middle game allowing Ricky some
counter play. He maintained the pressure and eventually I

( semi-finals: metrolirot vs. ricky. Wordfunph is keenly watching
the game. )

We choose colors and Ricky played white in our 3rd and deciding
game. Once again I used the KID and emerged a pawn
up in the opening. Ricky was able to regroup his pieces in the
middle game and soon I was put into the defensive. This time
around I did not crack from the pressure and defended tenaciously.
My passed e pawn soon gave him problems enabling me to launch a
mating attack which proved to be successful. I was now into the

To be continued...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This is a continuation of my Manila Chess journey. To read part II just click

After the conclusion of my match with pulsar, Atty. nanobrain suggested that we transfer venue in order to play unlimited chess. Pulsar bade us goodbye as he went back to work while the five of us composed of Atty. nanobrain, Atty. Roy Hirang, the Sheriff, Epistle and myself went downstairs. After a short search we settled down at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, 3rd floor SM Megamall. We occupied two tables and ordered brewed coffee and cookies compliments of atty. nanobrain. Afterwards the round robin begun. Having beaten pulsar the BW champ, I thought i could easily handle the rest of the group but as the games progressed, the opposite happened.

( From left: Atty. Roy Hirang, Atty. Nanobrain, Sheriff and me at the Coffee Bean Coffee Shop, 3rd floor SM Megamall )

1st game -metrolirot vs. the sheriff
result: 0-1

I played white against the sheriff. He employed the Sicilian Defense against my e4 opening and i countered with the grand prix attack. I got some advantage in the opening but over pressed. I used my queen to penetrate his position but later on my queen was trapped in the queenside resulting to my resignation.

( Atty. nanobrain vs. metrolirot)

2nd game - atty. nanobrain vs. metrolirot
result: 1-0

I was able to used my Sicilian Defense against nano's e4. The game
went 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4. Bc4!? Nc6 5.O-O Nf6 6.Re1. I was
able to fianchetto my black bishop and adopted a sicilian dragon
formation. Aty. nano slowly built-up his forces and soon i was on the
defensive. I was forced to sacrificed my rook for white's bishop and
pawn to eased the pressure. At this point, I thought i had already
equalized. Although quality down, I had two bishops and a couple of
central pawns. However, nano pressed on with his attack and a timely
knight sac at f7 ended our game in his favor.

( Atty. nanobrain, myself, epistle, and sheriff )

I paused for a while and consumed my coffee and cookies. The round robin is turning out to be a disaster for me. Next in line was epistle. I played a fine attacking game against epistle's Alekhine defense and scored my only win in the round robin. Atty. Roy Hirang was my last opponent. He employed the exchange variation vs. my King's Indian Defense. Soon pieces were exchanged and we went into an opposite bishop endgame. I pressed on for whatever small advantage that i may have but the game soon ended in a draw.

( Atty. Roy Hirang, myself, sheriff and epistle )

To summarized the friendlies at the SM Megamall, I was in high heaven after beating pulsar in our match but was brought back to earth after the result of the round robin with the rest of the group. Below is my only win in the round robin.

[Event "BW/GETS Round Robin"]
[Site "Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 3rd floor SM Megamall"]
[Date "2012.1.20"]
[Round "3rd"]
[White "metrolirot"]
[Black "epistle"]
[Result "1-0"]

Alekhine's Defense

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 c6 4. Bc4 e6 5. d4 d6 6. Nf3 Nxc3
7. bxc3 dxe5 8.Nxe5 Be7 9. Qh5 O-O 10. Bd3 h6?

Better is 10...g6 11.Qh6 Nd7 with only a slight advantage for white.

11. Bxh6! gxh6 12. Qxh6 f5 13. g4!

With the eventual opening of the g file, there is no way for Black
to survived White's unslaught.

13...Bf6 14. gxf5 Bg7 15. Rg1 Qf6 16. Rg6 Qe7 17. Ke2 Rf6
18. Rag1 Rxg6 19. Rxg6 Kf8 20. Qh7 exf5 21. Bc4

Final position.


Replay the game below..

Monday, January 23, 2012


This is a continuation of my Manila Chess journey. To read part I just click

( pulsar vs. metrolirot match- Jan.20,2012 Kamayan-Saisaki restaurant
4th floor SM Megamall )

After being jolted by a brilliant move in game 1, I proceeded with caution in my 2nd game with Pulsar. I essayed my pet King's Indian Defense against pulsar's d4 opening.

2nd game
White: Pulsar
Black: Metrolirot

King's indian Defense Panno variation

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. g3 d6 6. Bg2 Nc6
7. O-O a6 8. d5 Na5 9. Qd3?!

Better is 9.Nd2


Pulsar blundered with 10.b3? and after 10...Bf5! White's queen has
no good retreat square because of the discovered pin along the a1-
h8 diagonal. Then came 11.e4 Nxe4! after which Black emerged with a
pawn and quality up. I then was able to consolidate my advantage
and won game 2 to tie the match.

In the 3rd and deciding game, I played white and Pulsar essayed the
solid French Defense in response to my e4 opening. I surprised him
by using a seldom used line in the Advance variation. The game became
messy as black opted to catle queenside.

3rd game
White: Metrolirot
Black: Pulsar
French Defense Advance variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bd3 Qb6 6.O-O cxd4 7.Re1 Bd7
8.a3 f6 9.b5 fxe5


Houdini suggests 10.b5! and If the black knight retreats, then white's
knight will take on e5 with a firm control of that square. If 10...e4
11.bxc6 bxc6 12.Ne5 exd3 13.Qh5+ with slight advantage for white.


Black returns the favor. 10...Nxe5! 11.Rxe5 Bd6! with advantage for
black as he is now the one in firm control of the vital e5 square.


Prophylaxis. This is the theory of over protecting the e5 square as
championed by Aaron Nimzowitch. The game has now revolved on who
can control the vital e5 square.

11... O-O-O 12.Nd2 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Bd6 14.Nf3 Ng4 15.Bxd4 Oc7 16.Bxa7 e5?

Black could have grabbed the advantage with 16...Bxh2+ 17. Kf1 Rhf8.
However, the position is still problematic for white due to black's
central pawns at e5 and d5. The immediate threat is 17...e4 forking
white's bishop and knight plus the threat to take on h2 is still
there. How is white to proceed?


And Black's proud center pawns are suddenly contained.

17... d4

(If 17...e4 18. cxd5! and the open c file will posed a big problem
for black)

18.c5 Be7 19.b5!

White's pawnstorm in the queenside is unstoppable. If 19...Bxc5
20.Bxc5 Qxc5 21.Rc1 and black losses his queen.

19...Rhf8 20.c6! bxc6 21.b6!

Black is now lost as he has no way of preventing the white
bishop's check on a6.

21...Qb7 22.Qa4 c5 23.Qa5 Rxf3 21.gxf3

Black resigns 1-0

With this win, I won the friendly match 2-1. The games were full
of struggle and excitement. Pulsar"s ... Rd2 in game 1 was
a brilliant stroke. I got lucky in game 2 with pulsar's early
blunder. Game 3 was really a struggle with the advantage changing
from time to time. It was an honor to play pulsar in a frienly match
and it would not be possible if not for the accomodation and warm
welcome provided by the gracious host Atty. nanobrain. Special
mention also goes to epistle, the sheriff, and Atty. Roy Hirang.

You can replay the 3rd game here.

To be continued....


( From left: Epistle, Atty. Nanobrain, Pulsar, Metrolirot, Sheriff and Atty. Roy Hirang at Kamayan- Saisaki restaurant, SM Megamall. Except for Atty. Hirang, the rest are identifed through their handle at

I was in Manila from January 20, 2012 to January 23, 2012 primarily to accompany my 2 daughters Caissa Jane (12 years old ) and Florence Faith (10 years old) who both competed in the grandfinals of the Philippine Association of Junior IT Achievers (PAJITA) computer competition. I took the opportunity to touch base with my chess friends at particularly the members of the Barangay Wesley (BW)and Grandmaster Eugene Torre Supporters (GETS)of which I am also a member. It was then agreed that I would be sponsoring the prizes for the 2012 Metrolirot Cup which would be held in my honor. The venue would be the residence of Allan Dinglasan in Biñan City, Manila. However some of our members particulalrly Atty. Nanobrain could not come on the 22 so he suggested that we meet instead at the SM Megamall for some friendlies together with other members of the group on Friday the 20th at 3 p.m.

On January 20, 2012 I arrived in Manila at around 10:30 a.m and at around 2:30 p.m I arrived at the SM Megamall to met Atty Nano and friends. The venue of our friendlies was the Kamayan-Saisaki Restaurant located at the 4th floor of SM Megamall where a sumptous merienda buffet was displayed for the picking courtesy of Atty. Nanobrain. I was met by Pulsar and after exchanging pleasantries, we ate our merienda. Already at the venue then was Atty. Nanobrain, Epistle, and Sheriff. After a while, Atty. Roy Hirang of the Don Galo Chessclub fame arrived. After settling down, I played a 3 game match of 10 min/game with 2 time BW champ pulsar.

( pulsar vs. metrolirot match. Keenly watching the proceedings are Atty. nanobrain with the sheriff standing to have a better view of the game)

In the 1st game, I played white in a Scotch Gambit and got some advantage in the opening. In the diagram below, I thought I was already winning as I had a double attack against Black's bishop and c5 pawn.

Pulsar defended his Bishop with Rab8 and I proceeded to gooble his c5 pawn. With a pawn up and 2 connected central pawns, the game is on the bag, so I thought. However, I got a shock of my life when Pulsar moved his rook to d2 which I never expected as the square was defended by my bishop at e3.

Then I realized that I was lost. I could not take the rook with Bxd2 as Black would reply with e3! unleashing his Bishop and there is no way for me to defend the mate at g2.

To be continued......

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


( 2012 Toril Absolute Champion John Ray Batucan receiving his prizes from MTCA Pres. Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. Also in phto are MTCA officers Dante dela Cruz, Chris Yap, Henry Fajardo and Engr. Jun Atmosfera. )

FM elect John Ray Batucan scored 8 wins with only a single loss in 9 rounds of intense battle to emerged as the 2012 Toril Absolute Chess Champion. Batucan defeated top-seed Jimmy Dano in the 9th and final round after the latter refused Batucan's draw offer. Batucan was awarded the champion's prize of P 7,000.00 + trophy + chessbook.

( 2nd placer Austin Jacob Literatus )

Another junior stand-out FM elect Austin Jacob Literatus grabbed second place after agreeing to a draw with Cerilo " Bata " Enobio in the last round. Other 6.5 pointers includes Eric Fernandez who beat Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr., and Cerilo Enobio but Literatus was declared 2nd placer via superior tiebreak. Fernandez and Enobio placed third and fourth, respectively but the three of them equally divided the prize of the 2nd to 4th place totalling P 8,000.00.

( 3rd placer Eric Fernandez )

Batucan seeded only 7th, toppled Rey Monte and Dhona Yngayo in the first two rounds before bowing to fourth-seed Nofre Reyes in the third round. Batucan, a former Asean Age-Group 12 and under champion, then bounced back with five straight wins at the expense of Eric Yngayo, Sr., 2nd seed Vincent Umayan, 8th seed and older brother Neptali Batucan, 10th-seed Anthony Mosqueda, 3rd seed Eric Fernandez and Dano.

( 9th round top board battle - CM Jimmy Dano vs. FM elect John Ray Batucan )

Mosqueda, Dano and Lito Laput shared the fifth to seventh places with similar six points while 5.5 scorers Neptali, Umayan and Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. rounded up the top 10.

( 9th round Board 2 - FM elect Austin Jacob Literatus vs. Cerilo " Bata " Enobio )

The tournament was organized by the Metro Toril Chess Association in cooperation with the Chess Excellence Ltd. Co. and sponsored by third district Representative. C Isidro Ungab supported by Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. of the Guevarra Law Office. Cecilio Acas was the tournament Arbiter.

( 9th round Board 3 - Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. vs. Eric Fernandez )

( Celebration time !!! )

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


( Cong. Isidro Ungab playing chess with Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. during
the Toril Class B tourney held last Dec. 17 and 18, 2011 )

The Toril Absolute (Premier) Chess Championships is set on January 7,
8, and 14, 2012. The tournament will be a 9 round swiss system event.
Venue will be the Toril Chess Club. Playing time is 40 mins/game.
Registration fee is peg at P 100.00/player.

( Cong. Ungab together with the officers of the Metro Toril Chess Club )

The tourney is open to all Toril District and affiliated players only.
Those players who were members of the victorious Metro Toril team in
the 1st Philippine Internet match against BW-Manila are also allowed
to play. Top players seeing action would include CM Jimmy Dano,
Vincent Umayan, Nofre Reyes, Engr. Werner Priete, Nofre Reyes, Lito
Laput, Henry Fajardo, Atty. Jong Guevarra, Engr. Nap Recososa, Chris
Yap, Engr. Jun Atmosfera and Zaldy Tabanao. Toril's rising stars such
as Austin Jacob Literatus, John Ray Batucan, Neptali Batucan, Anthony
Mosqueda and Adrian Llanos are also among those seing action.

( Participants of the Toril Class B tourney pondering their moves.. )

The tournament is sponsored by Cong. Isidro Ruy Ungab of the 3rd
District of Davao City and supported by Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr.
The event is organizedby the Metro Toril Chess Association (MTCA)in
coordination with the Chess Excellence Ltd. Co. Chief Arbiter is
Alfred Moulic with Cecilio Acas as assistant arbiter. Registration
is now on going at the Guevarra Law Office, de Guzman St., Toril,
Davao City with tel. no. 291-4087. Regisration deadline will be at
12 noon of January 7, 2012. Players are encouraged to bring their
own chessboards and chess clocks to lessen the burden of the

( The players of the Metro Toril Chess Club- Davao Team who won the 1st Philippine Internet Chess Match vs. Barangay Wesley (BW)- Manila team )

Prizes are as follows:

Champion - P 7,000.00 + chess book
1st runner-up 4,000.00
2nd runner-up 2,500.00
3rd runner-up 1,500.00