Thursday, September 30, 2010

So draws with ex-champ Topalov

People's Tonight
by Ed Andaya

KHANTY-Mansiysk, Russia – GM Wesley So  put up a brave stand  and  drew  with  former world champion  GM Veselin  Topalov but the Philippines dropped another 1.5-2.5 decision  to highly-rated  Bulgaria  in the  eighth round of the  39th World Chess Olympiad.

So, now one of the world’s top junior players with ELO of 2668,  defended with his usual calm  precision against the   white-playing  Topalov and  claimed  a morale victory with the draw achieved  from  the  black  side of the board after 52 moves of  the Gruenfeld.

Experts agreed that Topalov’s chances  in the endgame are slightly better, but that So managed to equalize with some adept rook and bishop moves.

In the  final position,  Topalov and  So  had a rook and three pawns each.

The  Filipino champion  from Bacoor, Cavite, who is playing in only his  third Olympiad since  2006 Turin and 2008 Dresden, also placed  the Bulgarian ’s  king on f6  under check twice already  when the game was agreed drawn.

“It’s a draw. Topalov has a slight edge, although  it’s very difficult  to exploit,” commented veteran chess journalist Ignacio Dee, who practically exhausted his mind analyzing the games shown live on the Internet.

Topalov opened with the  d4 and So countered with the solid system of  the  Exchange Gruenfeld  until the 12th move when he steered the game out of the book line  with  Ne5 instead of the customary Qa5.

The Bulgarian champion, who  held the world title in 2005, managed to seize the initiative after 22. Rc7 but  missed the right continuation  and   allowed the  16-year-old  Filipino  to initiate  massive  exchanges that included the queens on the 33rd move and bring about  a position that offered little  prospects.

But  even the hard-earned draw by So and  the victory by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre over IM Kiprian Berbatov on board  four failed to save the day for the 37th- seeded Filipinos, who  plummeted into a tie for 42nd to 66th places with only nine points on  four wins, one draw and three losses.

Torre, who is making a record 20th  Olympiad appearance in 40 years, came  away with the much-needed victory over the lower-rated  Berbatov  (ELO 2461) on board  four.

The 58-year-old Torre, who became Asia’s first GM in  the 1974  Nice Olympiad, raised his personal record to  88 wins, 114 draws  and 39 losses in 242 games. His total of 145 points spread over 20 Olympiads from 1970 to  2010 tied him with GM Miguel  Najdorf for second most points  behind only Hungarian GM  Lajos Portisch ( 176.5 points).

But the draw by So and the win  by Torre  proved  not enough.

The pair of heart-breaking losses by  GMs John Paul  Gomez and  Darwin Laylo   on boards two and  three  did not help the Filipinos’ cause.

Gomez, who plays board two for the country in the absence of GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr,, went down to GM Ivan Cheparinov (ELO 2661) in  only 29 moves of the  English , while  Laylo yielded to  GM  Aleksander  Delchev (ELO 2623).

Cheparinov unleashed a deadly combination  against  the lower-rated Gomez that led to a mate in one  using a  rook, knight and bishop.

The loss, which followed a similar 1.5-2.5 setback to Spain  in the second round and 1-3 loss to  Belarus in the  sixth round,  left the Filipinos  five full  points behind solo leader  Ukraine.

Ukraine  battled  top seed Russia-1 to a  fighting 2-2 draw to keep the  solo lead with 14 points on six wins and two draws.

Up next for the Filipinos is  No. 69 Turkmenistan, which lost to India, 1-3.

It was double black eye for the Philippines, which also  lost  in the women’s division.

The  52 nd-seeded Filipinas were wiped out by Southeast Asian Games rival Vietnam, losing all four matches in their worst showing  in the tough 11-round tournament so far.

Dresden Olympiad top scorer Cheradee Chardine Camacho proved no match to WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram on the top board.

Also losing their matches were Catherine Perena to WIM Pham Le Thao Nguyen,  Rulp Ylen  Jose to WIM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung and Jedara Docena to  WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh  An.

With the loss, the Filipinas remained with only eight points  and fell several rungs below --  49th  to 69th places in the 115-team  field.

Overall, the Cesar Caturla-mentored Filipinas now  trail top seed Russia-1, which  routed India, 3.5-.5, to raise its score to eight wins for a perfect score of 16 points  based on the match point-style  2-1-0 win-draw-loss scoring system.

The Filipinas’ next assignment is No. 62 Bolivia, which drew with ICSC, 2-2.

National Chess Federation of  the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero “Butch” Pichay lauded the Filipinos’ gallant stand against the Bulgarians, especially  So’s  draw with Topalov and Torre’s victory over Berbatov.

Pichay, however, admitted that the Filipinas have a lot of work to do to catch up with the Vietnamese in the  women’s division.


rjsolcruz said...

[Event "Wch"]
[Site "Sevilla"]
[Date "1987.01.12"]
[Round "11"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Anatoli Karpov"]
[Black "Garry Kasparov"]
[ECO "D87"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O Bg4 11.f3 Na5 12.Bxf7+ Rxf7 13.fxg4 Rxf1+ 14.Kxf1 Qd6 15.Kg1 Qe6 16.Qd3 Qc4 17.Qxc4+ Nxc4 18.Bf2 cxd4 19.cxd4 e5 20.d5 Bh6 21.h4 Bd2 22.Rd1 Ba5 23.Rc1 b5 24.Rc2 Nd6 25.Ng3 Nc4 26.Nf1 Nd6 27.Ng3 Nc4 28.g5 Kf7 29.Nf1 Nd6 30.Ng3 Nc4 31.Kf1 Ke7 32.Bc5+ Kf7 33.Rf2+ Kg7
34.Rf6 Bb6 35.Rc6 Na5 36.Bxb6 Nxc6 37.Bc7 Rf8+ 38.Ke2 Rf7 39.Bd6 Rd7 40.Bc5 Na5 41.Nf1 Rc7 42.Bd6 Rc2+ 43.Kd3 Rxa2 44.Ne3 Kf7 45.Ng4 Nc4 46.Nxe5+ Nxe5+ 47.Bxe5 b4 48.Bf6 b3
49.e5 Rxg2 50.e6 Kf8 51.d6 b2 52.d7 b1=Q+ 0-1

rjsolcruz said...

[Event "m/5"]
[Site "Sevilla 44/568 (Zaitsev,I)"]
[Date "1987.01.06"]
[Round "5"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Anatoli Karpov"]
[Black "Garry Kasparov"]
[ECO "D87"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O Bg4 11.f3 Na5 12.Bxf7+ Rxf7 13.fxg4 Rxf1+ 14.Kxf1 Qd6 15.e5 Qd5 16.Bf2 Rf8 17.Kg1 Bh6 18.h4 Qf7 19.Bg3 Be3+ 20.Kh2 Qc4 21.Rb1 b6 22.Rb2 Qd5 23.Qd3 Nc4 24.Rb1 b5 25.Kh3 a6 26.Ng1 cxd4 27.Nf3 Rd8 28.a4 dxc3
29.Qxc3 Qe6 30.Kh2 bxa4 31.Rb4 Nd2 32.Rxa4 Nf1+ 33.Kh3 Rd1 34.Qc2 Rc1 35.Qe2 h5 36.Be1 Qd7 37.Qxa6 Ra1 38.Qxg6+ 1-0