Saturday, May 13, 2006

Paragua To Lead RP

This week, ex-RP Olympiad captain Bobby Ang wrote:

I think that the powers-that-be in Philippine chess will ask GM Eugene Torre to lead our team again. This would be his 19th straight Olympiad, in 18 of which he was the top board. The latter is a world record. My guess is that our board order will be: bd01 Torre, bd02 Paragua, bd03 Antonio, bd04 Laylo, bd05 Dimakiling and bd06 So.

As it turns out, the powers-that-be have decided on Mark Paragua to banner the team on board 1. Torre will be posted to second board and grandmaster Antonio holding down board 3. We can only agree with this decision.

In preparation for Turin, the RP team have been in training in Tagaytay city. The sessions apparently included "mental toughness" training. RP federation head Prospero Pichay said, "I told the players that nobody is exempt from going to Tagaytay. If they don’t want to go, they’d be replaced".

So it looks like everything is in place for the Philippine team. However, there could be a minor problem. It seems some members of the 19-person Philippine delegation are still awaiting their visas from the Italian embassy.

Now just for fun, who will the Closet Grandmaster support if the Philippines and Australia play against each other? The Pinoys, of course!


Anonymous said...

19 person delegation?
Does the Phillipines team recieve sponsorship from the Phillipines national airline?

Bobby Ang said...

I spoke with Mark's dad around 2 weeks ago and he told me that although Mark was the highest rated player in the team they would not insist on top board, since they recognize that Eugene Torre's name was sufficient to get us a few draws on top board against the opposing team.

For example, in 2000 Istanbul Torre asked to sit out our match vs. Spain. While walking around Istanbul after lunch on that day he bumped into Shirov, who thought that they would be playing that afternoon and offered him a draw! Eugene could not accept this, of course, since he was not in the line-up that day.

That afternoon Shirov dealt GM Joey a very painful loss, one which shattered the Filipino's confidence in his pet Caro Kann.

I still think it is better strategy to have Eugene on 1st and Mark on 2nd. This does not mean that Eugene will be playing every game - they would then have flexibility. Against a topheavy team Eugene could be on first and let Mark et al try to score on the bottom boards.

Oh well, they probably thought that Mark should have his "trial by fire" sooner rather than later.

By the way, Amiel, I follow this blog all the time and find it very interesting. Keep it up!

Bobby Ang

Anonymous said...

Hurray for The Closet Grandmaster!!! Hurray for the Pinoys!!!

(Imagine my favorite chessplayer-writer is rooting for our team!)

Chi Nazario

Bobby Ang said...

Hi Chi,

How's my favorite chess mom? :)

A delegation to the olympiad usually consists of:

6 male players + 1 team captain
4 female players + 1 team captain

that makes 12 people whose room and board are paid for by the organizers.

all the rest have to come up with their own means to pay for their hotel rooms and meals.

You might be wondering who the other 7 people are in our delegation.

Well, the federation usually wants someone from the press to join them, and sometimes a team manager and/or head of delegation to take care of organizational details and to provide some spot cash, maybe for celebrating after a huge victory or something.

Then there is also the Philippine delegate to the FIDE Congress who will attend the FIDE General Assembly and committee meetings, to follow up awarding of GM and/or IM titles for our players.

The plane tickets are usually shouldered by the national federation with funding from the Philippine Sports Commission.

Sponsorship from PAL? Sometimes, but they haven't done so in recent history. As far as I know (but I can be wrong), the last time PAL sponsored tickets for chess was during the 1999 Las Vegas World Chess Championships, when GM Joey, GM Eugene and myself represented the Philippines. But that might be because they felt sorry for us - we were really hard up then.

bobby ang

Chi Nazario said...

Oh, hi, Bobby! I'm ok! And hope my favorite chess author is, too ("Inside Philippine Chess" - the only chess book I got to read from cover-to-cover, except the notations, of course, as I am completely ignorant when it comes to the game of chess)!

See you again at TCG!

Anonymous said...

with due respect to eugene, but mark deserves the 1st board. this is just right and based on proven recent performance and strength. i think eugene will even score more on second board. my 2 cents.

nice to hear too from bobby ang. bobby and you CG should team up and start an inclusive philippine chess web page. i know lots of sponsors will be interested too.

you are all doing it so well already as lots of pinoys and foreign chess players world wide are eagerly following up your blogs and articles.

Anonymous said...

Its all go, do the alternates need to go in Turin? Does Kimberly Cunanan's Mother accompany her? How bout the expenses? Pichay as MB reported spend almost 100K+ on each player? Kanino kaya galing yun?