TWO big events are going on almost at the same time—Biel and Dortmund. Aside from that, there’s the US Women Championships, it’s getting famous because of the drama in the previous two seasons.

The US Women Championship took place from July 9 to 20 at the Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, thanks to a guy named Rex Siquenfield, who is becoming one of the biggest benefactors of the game.

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IM Irina Krush won her last two games to snare the crown from the two-time defending champion IM Anna Zatonskih.

These two ladies have been in a very close competition in the last four years, and they also had a highly-controversial Armageddon game two years ago.

Dortmund 2010 in Germany or the The Sparkassen Chess-Meeting is on its 38th edition. It is one of the four “majors” in the chess tournament circuit along with Corus, Sofia and Linares and only very strong players are invited.

The nine-time winner here is former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.

This year, the tournament is a category 20 having an average rating of 2734. It is a six-player, double round-robin event. The players are Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2790), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, 2760), Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2737), Peter Leko (Hungary,2735) , Arkadi Naiditsch (Germany, 2691).

The newcomer is the highest-rated Asean player today, Le Quang Liem (Vietnam, 2689) who won a place here by winning the 9th Aeroflot Open in Moscow.

After six rounds, the solo leader is Ponomariov with 4.0, followed by Le at 3.5. Mamedyarov and Kramnik are tied with 3.0, while Naiditsch has 2.5. Leko only has 2.0.

The Biel Chess festival in Switzerland is a whole canopy of chess events. The main attraction is the category 17 battle of 10 young stars.

The hero for the moment is our Wesley So, who is now leading the tournament after scoring two wins and a draw in three rounds.

His win over Maxim Rodshtein was a masterpiece and most kibitzers did not see the mate in five engineered by Wesley. Tied for second are Fabiano Caruana and Evgeny Tomashevsky with 2.

There is a five-way tie between Maxime Vacher Lagrave, Dmitry Andreikin, Anish Giri, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Rodshtein, all with 1.5. David Howell has 1, while Parimarjan Negi is the whipping boy of the competition and is still scoreless.

LOCAL. Talisay City conducted basic training sessions last July 11 and 18 that was attended by 22 kiddies players.

A tournament was played after the training sessions and the winner in the 10-Under was Nadene Cabano, while Kierlyn Sebial won the 11-Above.

The next event will be on July 25. For details contact Manny Manzanares at 09058386310. The organizers are Loreto Powao, Gil Buzon and Rowell Campaner.

Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano won the 16-Under tournament last Sunday at SM with a masterful 6.5 out of seven rounds and he is only 11 years old!

Golden Haven is sponsoring a tournament this Sunday at their park in Barangay Binaliw, Talamban starting at 1 p.m.

A van will ferry passengers from the Metrobank parking lot in front of the Talamban Gym to the park and back. Passengers can ride in shifts starting at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

There are two categories—13-Under and 20-Under. For details contact Roger Abella 0910-268-6898.

This is probably the first time in the world that a chess tournament will be held in a cemetery or a memorial park as it is now aptly called.

Also, a 10-board match will be played tomorrow between Aboitizland and Deep Blue players at SM.

Olympiad. Here are members of the Philippine team for the Chess Olympiad in Russia on Sept. 19 –Oct. 4.

The men’s team is composed of GMs So, Eugenio Torre, Rogelio Antonio, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo. The women’s team is composed of Catherine Perena, Cheradee Camacho, Shercila Cua, Jedara Docena and Rulp Ylem Jose.

Nicely chosen!