UPDATE: After 13 rounds, Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So emerges as the champion in the Group C of the Corus Chess tournament in the Netherlands. +++ After 12 rounds, Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So finishes on top of Group C of the Corus Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. According to the Corus Chess website, So has earned a total of 9 points, making him the number one contender in Group C. This Filipino teen sensation has been competing in the Corus Chess tournament, which started January 16 and ended on February 1. Based on the Corus Chess website, the standings are as follows: So with 9 points; Anish Giri with 8; Tiger Hillarp Persson with 7½; David Howell with 7; Abhijeet Gupta with 6½; Frank Holzke with 6; Frisco Nijboer, Dronavalli Harika, Manuel Bosboom, and Roeland Pruijssers all with 5½; Manuel Leon Hoyos with 5; Eduardo Iturrizaga and Ali Bitalzadeh with 4½; and finally Oleg Romanishin with 4. You can watch the games here. Thanks to readers Bobby Echeverria and Patrick So for the heads up.
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AT 14 years of age, Filipino Wesley So looks like just any ordinary kid. But at this young age, he has become the world's seventh youngest Grandmaster of all time. In an interview with INQUIRER.net online videographer Janie Christine Octia, So talks about the sport and describes his daily training sessions that takes about 6 to 7 hours. Octia caught up with So at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 2 before his flight to Vietnam for another chess tournament.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--A day after securing the second of three grandmaster norms he needs to become a full-fledged GM, Wesley So lost his match against Indian International Master Abhijeet Gupta in the 10th round Saturday of the World Juniors and Girls Chess Championships at the T. Petrosian Chess House in Yerevan, Armenia. The 14-year-old from Bacoor, Cavite, resigned after 38 moves of a Sicilian Defense, Ritzer Rauzer Attack, and fell out of contention with just three rounds left in the tournament. The loss was the third for So, who also has five victories and two draws. The standings: 7.5 points -- GM Wang Hao (China), GM Ivan Popov (Russia), IM Grigoryan Avetik (Armenia); 7.0 -- GM Ahmed Adly (Egypt), GM Georg Meier (Germany), GM Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), IM Abhijeet Gupta (India); 6.5 -- GM Arman Pashikian (Armenia), GM Daniel Stellwagen (Netherlands), GM Victor Laznicka (Czech Republic), IM Marcus Ragger (Austria), IM Davit Jojua (Georgia),Viacheslav Kulakov (Russia); 6.0 -- IM Wesley So (Philippines),GM Maxim Rodshtein (Israel), GM Parimarjan Negi (India), GM David Howell (England), GM Gawain Jones (England), IM Daan Brandenburg (Netherlands), IM Evgeny Romanov (Russia), IM Gogineni Rohit (India), IM Gopal Narayanan (India), IM Fidel Corrales (Cuba), IM Tamas Banusz (Hungrary), IM Hrant Melkumyan (US). Report from Marlon Bernardino, Contributor
By Virginie Montet Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON--He sleeps on a bench, but he is king of chess during the day at Washington's Dupont Circle, where he dazzles beginners and masters alike with his winning moves on the park's stone chessboards. Tom Murphy, 49, makes what little money he has from teaching his prodigious knowledge of the game to passersby for a few dollars. "He has the title of expert in chess. This is the second highest American title; above him are master. So it means he is quite good," said Washington's Chess Center director David Mehler. A former math and science major and a celebrity among amateurs, Murphy has made the Dupont Circle public square America's most prestigious chess park after New York's fabled Washington Square, according to some chess lovers. "The mathematical equation has always been fascinating to me, then when you add the camaraderie, the ambiance, the open air, it's almost irresistible," said Murphy, peering over a park chessboard that draws players from all walks of life -- students, doctors, lawyers, drunkards. Garrulous and brilliant, Murphy, grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two well known chess centers, and specializes in a lightning version of chess known as "blitz." In this accelerated version of the ancient game, players are allowed five minutes for all their moves, and the game ends within 10 minutes. "The appeal of blitz is that, maybe in two or five minutes, I may put together a work of art that might last a lifetime," Murphy said in his inimitable style of explaining chess basics. The game, he said, consists of "few guiding principles: king safety, fight for the center, give every piece a job". "At blitz he is a very strong player. He has a very fast mind and he sees combinations very quickly. He calculates very quickly," said Mehler, who has been teaching the board game to underprivileged children for 15 years. Murphy has won several chess tournaments and finished 15th in the 2005 world blitz championship. He's not always down and out, but his addiction to booze often lands him on the street. "The pursuit of the ego versus the pursuit of the spirit are in conflict sometimes," he explained. "I enjoy alcohol a little too much." He attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and admits: "When I don't drink my chess is better." Murphy aims to get better at chess and rise to the title of master. "I would dearly love to go on and make my master's rating because through that I get a credibility to increase my teaching fee," he said. "There is an upcoming tournament on Thanksgiving (November 22) in Philadelphia. That's looking promising." For now, the homeless chess teacher charges $20 to $30 an hour and will match his wits with any rival for two to five dollars per game. "Grand masters are teaching 100 or 200 bucks [dollars] an hour, masters can get at least 50, that's not bad," he said.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Unheralded Filipino FIDE Master Virgilio Vuelban stole the thunder from the grandmasters recently by topping the tough Rome International Chess Festival in the Italian capital. Vuelban, 35, who has an ELO rating of 2332, beat two GMs in tallying 5.5 points on five wins and a draw in the six-round Swiss tourney. Among Vuelban’s victims were top seed Russian GM Oleg Korneev and Bulgarian GM Milko Povchev. Just last Saturday, International Master Rolly Martinez earned his first GM norm when he finished fourth in the 27th Chess Festival in Bratto, Italy. He pooled 6.5 points. Martinez, the solo overnight leader, dropped his ninth and final match to eventual champion GM Vladimir Burmakin of Russia. Marlon Bernardino, Contributor Final Standings 5.5 points -- FM Virgilio Vuelban (RP); 5.0 -- GM Igors Rausis (Czech Republic), IM Milan Mrdja (Croatia); 4.5 -- GM Oleg Korneev (Russia), GM Igor Naumkin (Russia), IM Bogomil Andonov (Bulgaria), GM Milko Povchev (Bulgaria)
By Marlon Bernardino Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Filipino International Master Rolly Martinez yielded to Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Burmakin in the ninth round and settled for fourth place in the 27th International Chess Festival in Bratto, Italy, Saturday. Martinez lost after 40 moves of the Nimzo Indian Defense and was stuck at 6.5 points, dropping into a tie for 3rd to 8th places with GM Vladimir Epishin of Russia, GM Sergei Tiviakov (Netherlands), Jacob Aagaard (Scotland) and GM Alberto David (Luxembourg). If any consolation, the Milan-based Martinez got his first GM result and 600 euros. Burmakin took the title and the 1,500 euros that goes with it by edging Croatian GM Miso Cebalo in the tie break, 46.5-44.5 points. They tallied 7.0 points apiece in nine outings. Epishin, who drew with German GM Igor Khenkin, took third with a better tie break of 49 points than Martinez’s 47. Another Filipino entry, IM Roland Salvador, drew with IM Martha Fierro Baquero of Ecuador to finished with 5.5 points along with 16 others in the event that drew 120 players.