THIS distinct annual event pits five highly-talented young players against five older and experienced ones. It was held last Aug. 12 to 22 at the five-star Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of Amsterdam.

The “Experience” team consisted of Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2739), Peter Svidler (Russia, 2734), Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark, 2700), Loek van Wely (The Netherlands, 2677) and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (Serbia, 2572). The “Rising Stars” was made up of Hikaru Nakamura (United States, 2729), Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2697), Wesley So (Philippines, 2674), Anish Giri (Netherlands, 2672) and David Howell (England, 2616).

The tournament was a double round-robin Schveningen type match, in which the players of each team play each player of the other team twice.

It was the fifth and final edition of the tournament. The youngsters won the first three editions. This year the rising stars won again but barely, 26-24.

This tournament is organized by the Monaco-based Association Max Euwe of renowned

billionaire Joop van Oosterom. The players are treated like movie stars and the only thing that is expected in return is that they entertain the public with great fighting chess.

Each player of the winning team receives 2,000 euros, and the losing team 1,000 euros each. In case of a tie, each player gets 1,500 euros. In addition, each player receives 500 euros for each point he scores.

There’s also a special prize for the “Rising Stars” team and the player with the highest score will be invited to the 2011 Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in Nice, provided he scores over 50 percent. In case two players reach the same score, a blitz tiebreaker will decide who will be invited.

Nakamura and Giri were tied at the end of the tournament and a tiebreak blitz game was played. Nakamura, renowned as one of the world’s best blitz players, swept the series 2-0, and will join an elite field in Nice next year for some blindfold and rapid chess.

Our Wesley So is turning out to be like Peter Leko of Hungary and Tigran Petrosian of Russia—great players with a penchant for draws. Wesley did not win a game in 10 rounds and had nine draws. His single loss against the lowest rated Ljubojevic who I remember was a nemesis of Eugene Torre in the 70s and 80s.

BARCENILLA.US-based GM elect Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla’s long-overdue grandmaster title will be tackled again .

“Mag meeting ulit daw sa September sa next Congress during Olympiad,” said Barcenilla, former Asian Junior champion.

It was Fide delegate Casto “Toti” Abundo of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) who assured Barcenilla’s long-ovedue GM title application.

“Sabi ni Casto Abundo iti-take up nila ang application ko daw ulit,” said Barcenilla.

Barcenilla achieved his first GM norm in 1993 in Jakarta and picked up his second norm five years later in Subic. He won his third GM norm in 2000 in New York and his fourth in 2009 in Phoenix. Barcenilla best ELO rating is 2518.

Barcenilla became the fourth Filipino GM after Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas and Rogelio Antonio, Jr. when he obtained the third and final GM result in the

Marshall Chess Club GM Invitational in New York in June 2000.

However, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) did not confirm Barcenilla’s GM status since his third norm was a result of a tournament which used the Marshall system.

This tournament format is not included among those cited in Fide’s guidelines that could bestow GM norms.

He is a nephew of the late Bombi Aznar and is from Carcar.