Pestaño: How the Olympiad almost got cancelled

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Thursday, July 24, 2014


THE other week, the organizing committee of the Tromso Olympiad sent an official letter to the World Chess Federation excluding the Russian Women team and several other teams from the Olympiad because they had missed the June 1 registration deadline.

Other countries that were to be excluded were Cambodia, Central African Republic, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Oman, Pakistan, Senegal for the men. The other women’s team, aside from Russia, was Afghanistan .The Russian women’s team is the defending champion.

This drew sharp reactions from Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and other countries.

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It seems that politics is rearing its ugly head again as most of these countries support Kirsan against Garry Kasparov. The coming elections is very bitter, bordering on animosity.

Chessmoso is for Kirsan. Why fix it when it ain’t broken?

Kirsan said that the Russian Chess Federation had informed the Organizing Committee long before June 1. The only reason that Russia could not register its women team was that it was waiting for Fide’s decision on the Kateryna Lagno case, which was only finalized on July 12.

Women’s world rapid champion Kateryna changed federation from Ukraine and will play Board 1 for Russia.

Kirsan issued an ultimatum that by Monday, July 21, the Organizing Committee should confirm to Fide in a written statement that no country will be excluded from the Olympiad without its approval.

Fortunately, the other day, the organizers agreed to reconsider its decision to ban the Russian team as well as nine others.

“Nobody wins if the conflict continues,” Boerge Robertsen, director of the Norwegian organising committee, told local television.

I believe the Olympiad, scheduled Aug. 1-15, would have been cancelled by the Fide board had the ban pushed through.

WESLEY UPDATE. Wesley So won the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) tournament last weekend in Bergamo Italy. It was a Category 17 event and one of the strongest tournaments for this year. He raised his live Elo rating to 2750 while climbing to 12th in the world .

The top-seeded So (2744) opted for a draw with Italian Sabino Brunello in the seventh and last round to wind up with 4.5 points, a full point ahead of Georgian Baadur
Jobava.

So defeated second seed Ian Nepomniachtchi ( 2730) of Russia in the second round, Daniele Vocaturo in the third and Jobava in the sixth for a performance rating of 2844.

Cepca new members. We have two new members—Alex Olis and Regelito Hortelano. Alex is the younger brother of Cepca secretary Jun , while Lito is a cousin of our auditor, Ruel Hortelano.

Alexander C. Olis is from Tanjay and is a B.S. in Agronomy graduate of Silliman University in 1979 . He was salutatorian in high school of East Negros Institute.

He pursued further studies with an M.S. in Agronomy, Soil and Water Engineering, from Asian Institute ofTechnology, Bangkok, Thailand in 1981 and Ph.D., Soil Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA in 1989.

Currently, he is an instructor in chemistry at Ridgeview High School, Orange Park, Florida and an adjunct instructor in chemistry at St. John’s River State College, Orange Park, Florida.

He was an environmental consultant for 20 years for the US Navy and the United States Environment Protection Agency.

He is a member of the Bayanihan Chess Club, Jacksonville, Florida and an organizer/mentor for the Chess Club of Ridgeview High School.

Regelito is presently election assistant II of the Commission of Election assigned in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island and is a BS Commerce degree holder of the University of San Carlos.

Lito was champion in the Bantayan Open in 2011.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 25, 2014.

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