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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Pestaño: Significant chess records this year

THE game had the most superlatives this year.

The strongest world rapid and blitz tournament in history were held in Dubai, UAE last June. Eight players from the current top 10 participated, including the world’s top three --Magnus Carlsen (Norway), who won both events, Levon Aronian (Armenia) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia).

Former world champion Vishy Anand also joined along with 28 other 2700 plus rated players. There were also close to 100 GMs who participated.

Only Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov were missing from the top 10.

The Tromso Olympiad last month was the biggest in history with a record 174 men’s and 143 women’s teams. It also featured the best performance in Olympiad history by the men’s team of China, which did not lose a match and only drew one out of 44 games.

The Sinquefield 2014 tournament last month was the strongest tournament with an average Elo of 2802 and the first ever Category 24 event. Those who played were six of the world’s top nine players. Fabiano Caruana scored seven straight wins for the greatest performance ever and finished three points ahead of the field with 8.5 points.

Another superlative is coming. The Millionaire Chess tournament is offering the biggest prize fund in chess history for an open event. It will start on Oct. 9 and will be held in Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Millionaire chess was founded in 2013 by GM Maurice Ashley and entrepreneur Amy Lee, a unique combination as Maurice is black and Amy is Chinese.

“We understand that chess suffers from a perception problem,” says Ashley.

“Millionaire Chess intends to revolutionize the chess world and hopes to bring in thousands of amateurs from around the world and of all ages.”

Cepca member. Josito Dondon, who is now based in the USA will be playing in the 2200 and under category. Also playing is Wesley So and his gang at Webster University. He is the favorite in the Open category to bag the $100,000 top prize.

Amy Lee is supplying the funding for what she believes will be a three-to-five year investment, with corporate sponsorship and events in other cities to follow.

“I consider this as a business,” she told The New York Times. “In order to bring

sponsors in, you have to make chess exciting. You have to make it fun.”

Amy is Chinese and was born in Vietnam, raised in Canada and has been there since she was eight years old. Her family escaped from Vietnam in 1976. Her parents had nothing left but the four gold necklaces they saved up for as wedding gifts for their children. Amy’s family literally started life anew in Canada.

Child prodigy. A child prodigy has just been killed. An 11-year-old internationally-ranked chess player was shot dead by his father before killing himself. Scotch Plains police of New Jersey found the bodies of 48-year-old Jens Elberling and his 11-year-old son Thomas last weekend. His wife Kate Chou filed for divorce last May, though the divorce had not yet been granted.

Joan DuBois, director of affiliate relations for the USCF confirmed that Thomas was an expert-level player who was ranked as one of the highest child players in the country.

“He was a very, very good player,” DuBois said.

Cepca. Our monthly tournament will be this Sunday at Handuraw Gorordo at 2 p.m. The format is five rounds with handicapping. We will have some kiddie guest players-- Mico Tequillo, Andre Avenido, chess sensation Jerish Velarde and James Andrew Balbona. The sponsor is Fiesta Cebuana of SM Foodcourt. Come, join and enjoy!

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