Tuesday, March 29, 2011


( Photo from the UT Dallas website )

Newly minted GM Julio Catalino Sadorra is a French Defense devotee
although he also uses the Sicilian Defense from time to time. In the
recently concluded UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational, he used the
French Defense thrice ( 1 win,1 loss, 1 draw). Let us watch his
impressive handling of the French Defense in a win against Bulgarian
GM Dejan Bojkov.

[Event "UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational Underwritten by Turner Construction"]
[Site "Richardson"]
[Date "2011.03.17"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[Black "Sadorra, Julio"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "2523"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackELO "2475"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

FRENCH DEFENSE- Tarrash Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7

This the Morozevich variation of the French Tarrash made popular
by GM Alexander Morozevich. This line was recommended by GM
Nikita Vitiugov in his 2010 book " The French Defense - A Complete
Black Repertoire ". Quoting GM Vitiugov:

" It is considered that after 3. Nd2, Black has two basic
possibilities at his disposal, 3... c5 and 3... Nf6. Lately,
however, a variation, which used to be regarded as a sideline,
3... Be7 became very popular. The point is that White cannot
create any real threats in the next few moves (This should not
be surprising, since the game is just beginning..) and Black
develops his Bishop to a reliable although not necessary permanent,
position. He is simply willing to see his opponent's next move ".

4.e5 c5 5.Qg4 g6

In the 9th round of the same tournament, Ino's team mate IM Salvijus
Bercys played the main move 5...Kf8 against GM Bojkov. The game
continued with 6.Ndf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 f6 8.c3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Qc7 10.Ne2 fxe5
11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Qf4 Bf6 13.O-O! Ke8 14.Qg3 Nh6 15.Bf4 Nhf7
16.Rac1 Qd6 17.dxe5 Bxe5 18.Rfe1 g5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.f4! Qxb2
21.fxg5 Qb6 22.Kh1 Bd7 23.g6 1-0

6.dxc5 Nh6!?

This is a novelty. More common is 6... Nd7. In the game Adams 2716
vs. Short 2697 Sarajevo Bosnia 1999, Black played the surprising
6...f5 but after 7.Qg3 Nd7 8.Bb5 Qa5 9. Bxd7 Bxd7 10.c3 Qxc5
11.Ne2 Bd8 12.Nb3 Qe7 13.h4! and White went on to win in 39 moves.

7.Qf4 g5 8.Qa4 Bd7 9.Bb5 Nc6 10.Ndf3 a6 11.Bxc6 Bxc6
12.Qb4 a5 13.Qd2 d4 14.h4 Nf5 15.hxg5 Bxc5 16.Ne2?!

White could have maintain his advantage with 16.Qd3 Qb6 17. Qb3!

16...Qb6! 17.Nf4 Bb4 18.c3 dxc3 19.bxc3 Rd8 20.Qb2 Bxf3

GM Sadorra has played vigorously and managed to hold his head
aboved water in a complicated position. Who will be the first
to blink?


White blinks first. 21.gxf3 is the only move to maintain the
balance. Then if 21...Qd4 22.Bd2 Qxe5 23.Ne2. Now the advantage
has shifted to Black who played the rest of the game flawlessly
never allowing White any counter-play.

21...Rg8! 22.gxf3 Rxg5 23.Ng2 Rg6 24.cxb4 Nh4 25.Bf4?

The final blunder. White could have provide stiffer resistance by
25.Kh1 Nxg2 26.Rg1

Nxg2 26.Bh2 Ne1 27.Kh1 Qc6!


Replay the game below.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


[Harrison Maamo ( in black shirt with blue collars )pondering his move against Davao Youngstar's Erwin Tubog Jr. during the Davao Veterans vs. Youngstars -II match]

Harrison Maamo dominated the opposition to emerged as the 2011 Araw ng Davao Open champion. The Panabo City native had a perfect tourney with 7 points at the end of the 7 rounds swiss system tourney. Along the way, he scored wins against notable players the likes of FM John Ray Batucan, Irwin Aton, Rodrigo Catayas, Jerwell Andoy plus a big win against Henry Lopez in the 7th round. He received the champion's prize of P 5,000.00 + trophy courtesy of the City Governmnent of Davao.

Runner-up honors went to Jayson Salubre who scored 6.5 points punctuated by a last round win against Jay Bulicatin. Third placer via tie break surprisingly went to junior stand-out Aglipay 8 Oberio with 6 points who won against Carlo Doctolero in the last round. Vincent Umayan was another 6 pointer with a last round win against Jake Milagrosa. FM Austin Jacob Literatus joined the 6 pointers with a crucial win against Jerwell Andoy in the last round.

A total of 116 players participated in the tournament. The tourney was sponsored by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rody Duterte with the following prizes: champion 5000, 2nd 2500 3rd 1500, 4th 750, 5th 750.

For further details of the final standing, just click

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Unrated Jake Milagrosa is playing excellent chess to remain unbeaten along with 5 others at the end of the 4th round of the ongoing Araw ng Davao Open chess tourney. Milagrosa recorded a major upset in the 3rd round by beating 2011 Kidapawan Open champ Reynaldo Gempero in the 3rd round and followed it through with a win against University of Mindanao player Denzel John Amar in the 4th round. Others with 4 points include Carlo Doctolero who won against FM Austin Jacob Literatus in the 4th round, Rodrigo Catayas who was an upset winner against CM Jimmy Dano, Jay Bulicatin who won against Vincent Umayan, Harrison Maamo who prevailed over Irwin Aton and Jerwell Andoy, winner against Aglipay 8 Oberio.

Top seed NM Macacana Macala is next with 3.5 points after being held to a draw in the 4th round by Nazario Ubanan of Cagayan de Oro City. Others with 3.5 points includes Nazario Ubanan, Lyndon Sombilon, Henry Lopez and Jayson Salubre.

The last 3 rounds of the tourney will be played today at the 5th floor of the Gaisano Grand Citi Mall, Illustre St., Davao City . A total of 116 players are entered in the tournament. The tourney is sponsored by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rody Duterte with the following prizes: champion 5000, 2nd 2500 3rd 1500, 4th 750, 5th 750.

For further details of the standing, just click

Friday, March 25, 2011


The Davao Chess League will be launched on May 7, 2011 at the Toril Chess Plaza with a ten boards exhibition match between perennial rival Buhangin Chess Club and Metro Toril Chess Association. The Buhangin team will be lead by newly crowned Blue Jazz Executive champ Vincent Umayan and the Aton brothers of Dela Salle fame while the MTCA side will be spearheaded by FM's AJ Literatus and JR Batucan. The team managers/owners meeting will follow after the match. Formal hostilities for the inaugural DCL tourney will begin on May 14, 2011.

So far, 8 teams have already confirmed participation of the initial tourney dubbed as the Commissioners Cup. They are:

1. Cong. Ungab Youngstars ( FM's Literatus and Batucan )
2. MTCA Dragons ( Henry Fajardo/ Zaldy Tabanao )
3. Guevarra Law Gambiteers ( Atty. Jong Guevarra/Nofre Reyes)
4. Ateneo Blue Knights Alumni ( Chris Yap/Engr. Recososa)
5. Chess Excellence Kidz
6. Buhangin Chess Club
7. Davao Doctors Team ( c/o Engr. Reyes )
8. Caissa's Father Bloggers

Invitations are also to be sent to Risins Philippines of Engr. Allan Diez and NM Alex Lupian, Osmeña Park Chess Club/Multi-Car of Maning Eva, Panabo Chess Club c/o Henry Lopez/NM Magno, Digos City Chess CLub c/o Lito Laput, University of Mindanao, Holy Cross College of Davao, and Jose Maria College (JMC).

THe Davao Chess League is composed of the following directors: Glen Paclar, Chris Yap, City Pros. Allan Cabitin of Chess Excellence, and James Infiesto as ex-officio member being the NCFP Regional Director. Acting League Commissioner will be Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr.. The technical committee will be composed of Alfred Moulic, Nofre Reyes and Engr. Werner Priete. League advisers includes Atty. Melzar Galicia, Engr. Jun Atmosfera, Engr. Allan Diez and Architect Gene Nagayo.

For the initial tourney dubbed as the Commissioner's Cup, the prizes are as follows:

P 15,000.00 + trophy- Champion
10,000.00 - 2nd placer
6,000.00 - 3rd placer

Prizes shall also be given to top individual board performance.

The prize money could still go up depending on the numbers of participating teams. The team shall be composed of 4 regular players and 1 alternate. Titled players (NM/FM) are allowed to play provided that the average NCFP rating of the team would not reach beyond 2050. For purposes of rating computation, players who are unrated or whose rating is below 1800 shall be given a provisional rating of 1800. The tournament format would either be a round-robin or swiss system depending on the number of participating teams. Every team is required to bring 1 chess clock and 2 chess boards during the tourney proper. Registraton fee is P 3,000.00 per team. Those teams that are interested to play may inquire at Guevarra Law Office tel.no. 291-4087.

All players are also required to follows the dress code. Players who wears shorts and slippers will not be allowed to play.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


( Players and tourney officials posed with the owner of BlueJazz Resort after the awarding of prizes)

VINCENT Umayan was declared the Champion via tiebreak over Alfred Moulic in the 1st Bluejaz Employee/Executive Rapid Chess Tournament held at the Bluejaz Resort, Island Garden City of Samal over the weekend.

(Champion via tie-break - Vincent Umayan receiving his prize from the owner of Blue Jazz Resort)

Umayan, representing PAC Packaging and Moulic, representing MIPCPD each scored four points at the end of the five-round Swiss System format chessfest. Umayan, however, beat Moulic, 14.5-14.0, in the tiebreaks.

(Second placer - Alfred Moulic )

Reynaldo Gempero of Lapanday tallied 3.5 points to place third while three-pointers Irwin Aton of Bahay Financial Services and Atty. Melzar Galica of LG Law Firm placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

( Third Placer- Reynaldo Gempero )

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) regional director James Infiesto representing Bonjee Entertainment Services placed sixth while fellow 2.5 scorer Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. of Guevarra Law Office finished seventh. Christopher Yap, Manager of One- Network Bank Toril branch , Servando Nudas of Holcim Philippines and Miel John Barcemo of MIB Rent a Car, rounded up the top 10 finishers in the one-day tournament.

According to NCFP director James Infiesto, the second leg of the Grand Prix tourney will be held on the month of May after the staging of the National age- group and National juniors competition.

(Caissa's father vs. Chris Yap of One Network Bank)

( Irwin Aton vs. Reynaldo Gempero)

( Architect Gene Nagayo vs. Caissa's father)

( James Infiesto vs eventual champ Vincent Umayan)

( Atty. Melzar Galicia vs. Chris Yap)

( James Infiesto vs. Caissa's father )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


(GM Alex Shabalov vs. IM Ino Sadorra. Photo from the tourney website)

The UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational, underwritten by Turner Construction took place on March 12-19, 2011 hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas with games held at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas hotel.Six Grandmasters (GMs) competed against six of UT Dallas' chess team members, two of whom are already ranked GM's.

UT Dallas Team

1. GM Alejandro Ramirez (2594) Arts and Technology Graduate Student
2. IM Marko Zivanic (2497) Computer Science Doctoral Student
3. GM Cristian Chirila (2513) International Political Economy Freshman
4. IM Julio Sadorra (2475) Applied Math Sophomore
5. IM Puchen Wang (2464) Business Administration Junior
6. IM Salvijus Bercys (2469) Accounting Senior

Avg. rating 2502

Grandmaster Team

1. GM Magesh Panchanathan (2542) India
2. GM Dejan Bojkov (2523) Bulgaria
3. GM Julio Becerra (2549) USA
4. GM Ray Robson (2522) USA
5. GM Valentin Iotov (2574) Bulgaria
6. GM Alex Shabalov (2590) USA

Avg. rating 2550

The tournament used the Scheveningen system which allows each player on one team to play each player on the opposing team. Playing against Grandmasters gave IM Julio Catalino Sadorra ( Ino to friends) and the rest of his IM teammates the much needed chance to achieve GM norms although at the end of the tourney only Ino Sadorra was able to achieve this feat thereby completing his GM norm requirement. He just needs to up his ELO rating to 2500 to be officially awarded the GM title.

The tournament was won by GM Valentin Iotov with 8 pts in 12 rounds. Sadorra lead his UT Dallas Team with 7.5 pts with a TPR of 2645 good enough for 2nd place. However, his team lost to the all GM team 29.5-42.5. Overall, Sadorra scored 4 wins 6 draws and 1 loss. He won against GMs Robson, Panchanathan, Bojkov and Shabalov and suffered his only loss at the hands of GM Robson in their return match when he walked into a prepared line of the French Winawer.

(GM Robson in action vs. IM Zivanic)

Let us watch his first win in the tourney which he scored against the US chess prodigy GM Ray Robson.

[Event "UT Dallas Grandmaster Invitational Underwritten by Turner Construction"]
[Site "Richardson"]
[Date "2011.03.13"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Sadorra, Julio"]
[Black "Robson, Ray"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "2475"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackELO "2522"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]


1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.d5

The immediate closing of the centre with 7. d5 is known as the
Petrosian system, after the Armenian World Champion who did much
to develop and popularise the move, especially in conjunction with
8 Bg5, pinning the black knight. (Raymond Keene, Byron Jacobs The
Complete Kings Indian)

The line involves a complex maneuvering game which is a wise choice
against GM Robson who is known as an attacking player.

a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.Nd2 c6 11.O-O Bd7 12.Kh1 Qe8

13.Nb3 cxd5?

Black's last move was the cause of his problem for the rest of the
game. Better is 13...g5 14.Bg3 a4 15. Nd2 a3! 16. bxa3 Nc5 =

14.Bxf6 !

The reason why 13...g5 was in order. By this intermediate move
White is able to occupy the critical d5 square.

Bxf6 15.Nxd5 Bd8 16.Nxa5! Nc5

16...Bxa5 losses the Queen because of 17.Nf6 +

17.b4 Rxa5?

True to form, White undertakes a quality sacrifice in a hope to
obtain counter-play. However, White's material advantage and
more active pieces highlighted by his dominating knight at d5
offers black no hope at all. The rest is a matter of technique as
the master would often say.

18.bxa5 Nxe4 19.Bf3 Ba4 20.Qc1 Ng5 21.Bd1 Bc6 22.h4 Ne4

23.Bf3 Bxd5 24.cxd5 Nc5 25.Qxh6 Qe7 26.g3 Bxa5 27.Kg2 e4

28.Bg4 Bc3 29.Rac1 Bg7 30.Qg5 Qxg5 31.hxg5 Re8 32.Rfd1 Kf8

33.Rb1 Ke7 34.Rdc1 Rb8 35.a4 Kd8 36.a5 Kc7 37.Rb4 Re8

38.Rb6 Be5 39.Rb4 Bg7 40.Rh1 Bc3 41.Rb5 Rf8 42.Rh7 Kd8

43.Rh1 Bd2 44.Rhb1 Kc7 45.a6!

IM Sadorra proves that he is equal to the task. This brilliant move
finally shatter black's defense.


If 45... bxa6 46. Rb6! with a clear win for White.

46.axb7 Rxb7 47.Rxb7 Nxb7 48.Bd7! Nc5 49.Be8 Nd3

50.Bxf7 Ne5 51.Be6 e3 52.f4 e2 53.Kf2 e1Q 54.Rxe1 Nd3

55.Ke2 Bxe1 56.Kxd3 Kd8 57.Bf7 Bxg3 58.Ke4 Be1 59.Bxg6 Bd2

60.Kf3 Ke7 61.Kg4 Kf8 62.f5 Kg7 63.Bh5 Bc3 64.f6 Kf8

65.Kf5 Ba5 66.Ke6 1-0

Final position.

Replay the game below.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This is the 2nd part of IM Marlo Micayabas's personal account of his comeback tourney, the 2008 Bradley Open where he tied for 1st. To view Part I just click

By IM Marlo Micayabas

After a draw in my previous game, I dropped to playing on board 3 against chess expert Zakhar Maymin. I overdid my tardiness in this game, so I started with 10 minutes already used up on my clock. I'm starting to convince myself that showing up late for a game is not always such a great idea.

Saturday, August 9, 2008, 6:10PM

[Event "Bradley Open 2008"]
[Site "Bradley, USA"]
[Date "2008.8.9"]
[Round "3"]
[White "IM Micayabas, Marlo"]
[Black "Maymin, Zakhar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "2339"]
[BlackELO "2170"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5

Again, avoiding mainstream theory in 3.Nc3 or 3.Nd2 and hoping to find my way along positional grounds.

3... c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nc6

Reverting to lines starting with 4... Nc6. Also possible was 7... Bb5 exchanging off Black's "bad" Bishop. Play might continue 8.0-0 Be2 9.Qe2 Nc6 10.Be3 Nge7 11.Nc3 Nf5 with equal chances as in Hofman - Psakhis, Benasque 1994.

8.0-0 Nge7 9.Nc3 Nf5 10.Na4 Qc7

This is a passive move. The recommended move here is 10... Qa5 meeting 11.Bd2 with 11... Bb4.

11.b3 Nb4 12.a3! Bxa4 13.bxa4 Nc6

Black had succeeded in getting rid of his "bad" Bishop and saddled White with doubled a-pawns. However, he has fallen too far behind in development enabling White to seize the open c-file.

14.g4! Nfe7 15.Bd2 Ng6 16.Rb1! Be7 17.Rb3! 0-0 18.Qb1 Rab8 19.Bd3 Rfe8 20.Rfc1 Qd7 21.Rbc3 Rbc8 22.Qc2

White has completed lining up his heavy artillery on the c-file. Invasion comes next.

22... Rc7 23.a5! Bd8

If 23... a6, then 24.Bxa6!

24.a6 Nge7 25.Bxh7 Kf8 26.Bd3

Black resigned as he is a pawn down in a difficult position.

In this round, GM Alexander Ivanov netted his 3rd straigh win, while GM Sergei Kudrin was held to a draw by a talented young expert Andrew Ng. GM Michael Rohde bounced back from his loss to Kudrin with a win to rack up 2 points.