Frank “Boy” Pestaño


IF YOU play chess and you still remember your chemistry, you will notice that in the algebraic notations of the game, you will come across abbreviations of several elements like hydrogen(H), nitrogen (N), oxygen(O), fluorine (F), carbon (C) and boron (B).

Notations in a chess game can result in several compounds like NH3 or ammonia, a very valuable compound which is the source of nitrogen in plants.

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Ammonia is also used in the manufacture of nitric acid, certain alkalies such as soda ash, dyes, pharmaceuticals such as sulfa drugs, vitamins and cosmetics, synthetic textile fibers such as nylon, rayon and acrylics.

Compounds that sometimes result in the notations of chess openings are the so-called ozone-depleting substances (ODS) like pentaflouropropane C3F5H3 (1. c3 f5 2. h3); C4F4H6 fluorobutane (1. c4 h6 2. f4) and C3F3H5 trifluoropropane ( 1.c3 h5 2. f3).

These chemicals, also known as CFCs or chloroflourocarbons, are mainly used as refrigerants, flame retardants and propellants together with bromoflourocarbons or halons. Under provisions of the Montreal Protocol of 1987, the use of CFCs is being phased out to avoid further depletion of stratospheric ozone.

It is suspected that skin cancer, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations may result from the increased ultra-violet exposure due to ozone depletion. Ozone is an allotrope of oxygen expressed as O3.

Global warming, or climate change, is a subject that shows no sign of cooling down. Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), all greenhouse gases that help trap heat near the Earth’s surface.

Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades.

As a result, Arctic ice and glaciers are rapidly melting and coral reefs are damaged. Heat waves and strong tropical storms are also attributed in part to climate change.

Sea level could rise between seven and 23 inches by century’s end and affect a hundred million people living in coastal cities.

More than a million species face extinction from disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans. Agriculture yields will be reduced significantly and widespread famine will follow.

I am writing this article because the reduction of these harmful gases concerns everyone. We are responsible for causing global warming.

“No one is spared when nature exacts its revenge on those who have taken its well-being for granted. Even the greatest minds cannot predict when the inevitable will strike or where it will unleash its unrelenting fury.”

DEEP BLUE. The February tournament of the Deep Blue Chess Club was played last weekend at SM city and attracted 28 participants. The format was six rounds Swiss with handicaps depending on the skill of the players.

The champion was Atty. Ben Harayo, who won a colored TV set. Mandy Baria and Jonathan Canque had the same scores but had lower tiebreaks and snared a DVD player and a stand fan, respectively.

Fourth placer Felix Balbona won a rice cooker, while Mark Alasagas went home with an oven toaster.

Other winners were Excel Canque for being the highest scorer in group B and Rey Mendoza in Group C. Both won cash prizes together with Manuel Abucay, who won the raffle.

The event’s sponsors were Mandy Baria and Maggie Dionson, both of Aboitizland.

SO UPDATE. Coming up is the Battle of GMs 2010 which will be held in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte from March 15-22.

Wesley So will be gunning for his third straight title, while WFM Shercila Cua will shoot for her second.