Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pinoy Player Under Suspicion

Just this week we reported on an excellent performance by a certain Hamed Nouri in the just concluded 1st GMA Cup in Manila. I don't too much about this guy but he is apparently referred to as the "Pinoy Kasparov" in RP chess circles. After beating those three GMs, the nickname seems entirely justified.

Sadly, though, Nouri's performance in the GMA has been cast in some rather malicious light in GM Alex Baburin's "Chess Today" publication. Writing about Nouri in issue no. 2207, Andrey Deviatkin said:

[O]ne of the 6-scored players is absolutely unknown – it is Hamed Nouri from the Philippines, who doesn't even have a FIDE ranking. He began the tournament from 2/4, but in the rounds 6-8 he beat 3 grandmasters in a row – the Philippinos (sic) Antonio and Villamayor and, finally, Vladimir Belov from Russia (2589) with Black pieces! In the last round he will be faced with the 4th GM, Mikhalevsky, so it's interesting to see if he continues his outstanding series. I may add that this all looks rather strange.

Strange? What is so strange about it? Bobby Ang, our favourite chess columnist, was moved to fire back. This is a portion of his letter published in issue no. 2208:

I don't know what is being implied by this "... it all looks rather strange". Hamed Nouri is a Philippine National Master from Bacolod, and he is a very strong player. He has beaten our GMs in the past during team tournaments and national championships. Nouri is a typical player who is not based in Metro Manila and therefore has not had an opportunity to shine. Please do not take away from him this magnificent achievement for which he trained intensively.

To be fair, Alex Baburin did reply to Bobby and offered some clarification. In this day and age when people are worried about computer assistance, Baburin said, it's easy to be suspicious when an unknown like Hamed Nouri strings together a hat-trick of wins as he did. Alex also writes:

Or perhaps [Andrey Deviatkin] found it strange that such a strong player, capable of beating GMs, was not FIDE rated yet. In any case, I trust in the presumption of innocence in chess and gladly accept that Mr Nouri is a strong and talented player, who simply had little exposure in international chess. I have come across such players often enough.

Fair enough but a pointblank apology would have been preferred. Something like: "We apologise to Hamed Nouri, to his opponents and to the organisers for any suggestion of underhanded business."


Anonymous said...

Hamed Nouri came from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental in Central Philippines.

The late GM Rosendo Balinas, Jr., then an IM, who shocked the Russians and the chess world by winning in Odessa, USSR, in 1976, also came from Bacolod City!

So what is the problem again?

Anonymous said...

most pinoy chessplayers are poor, they cannot afford laptops and fritz and those gizmos used in the USofA, much more campaign on their own in foreign countries. even IM wesley so is a product of his parents' own money and sacrifices, plus a couple of kind-hearted individuals.
as of now we are a third-world country. what will the GM say if my 8 year old son beats him? come here and try!

Anonymous said...

That is the difference in India and China in that corporate sponsors are there to help young talents.

During the Campomanes leadership years, corporate sponsors go through his pockets first before they go to the players. That is why Philippine chess languished during his years.

That is why too, besides Torre, we did not have young talents to replace him, and the late Balinas, and Antonio.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could set up a match between Baburin and Filipino NM Hamed Nouri and I am sure Hamed will kick Baburin's !!!

Anonymous said...

How can GM Alex Baburin under estimated our pinoy player Hamed Nouri. I know Hamed Nouri so much. He is a humble player.Even though he has no FIDE Rating yet but he is good player.

Anonymous said...

hamed. mig damo ka blog haw?
klain mn ni kay Closet GM Ka dri