Sunday, July 26, 2009



(Me against Henry Fajardo during the 2009 IM Micayabas Toril Chess Challenge )

I guess its time for me to write something about myself.

I was taught the basics of chess by my father when I was 8 years old. My first tournament was the Daliaon District Interschool Chess competition sponsored by Pepsi sometime in 1977. I was in grade III at that time and I can still remember having suffered an embarrassing 7 moves mate in the hands of future International Master Marlo Micayabas who lured me into an opening trap in the Philidor's Defense by sacrificing his queen. From thereon I played chess from time to time but not seriously.

I began to take chess seriously when I was already in College. I took-up Civil Engineering at the University of Mindanao. Our department was the perennial champion during our school intramurals thus I was tempted to join the engineering try-outs in my 2nd year but I did not qualify. I took it up as a challenge and set a goal to qualify during the next try-out. I then started studying chess books borrowed from friends and school mates. My first serious book was the World Championship match between GM Anatoly Karpov and GM Victor Korchnoi held in Baguio, Philippines authored by GM Bent Larsen. The following year I became a member of the Engineering chess team and we were able to defend our chess crown. The next year I became a member of the UM Varsity team.

I was a varsity player from 1987 to 1989 and played Board 2 for UM during the 1988 National UAAP Games hosted by Davao City where I played against the likes of IM Barlo Nadera (SWU), FM Vince Alaan (Adamson), and other National Masters representing their respective schools which were all regional UAAP qualifiers . Our all- rookie team composed mostly of engineering players got walloped by the strong opposition and managed only 6th place among 8 teams. It was my baptism of fire to a strong tournament but I failed miserably. I only scored 2 pts. in 7 rounds. My teammates then were Manny Sibayan, Louie Noel, Paul Garcia, Descallar who is now based in Australia ( I forgot his first name ), another player from Commerce, and me. A protest was lodged against our Board 1 player Agapito "Toto " Abastillas who was one of the leading players of Davao City at that time,for non- compliance of residency requirements thus he was not able to play. Among the Engineering players, I was the only one who did not became an Engineer. Was it blessing in disguise? he.he.

In 1990 I took up AB Political Science at UM. I was no longer a varsity player at that time and I decided to stop playing chess competitively and concentrate on my studies. However, I was persuaded to help the AB chess team to the intramurals. I played Board 1 for AB ( Liberal Arts ) and our team became back to back champion in 1990 and 1991 to the consternation of the Engineering team. Chess was the only event that the Liberal Arts won in the intrams thus I and my teammates became popular in our department. In 1992 I decided to put an end to my self- imposed chess hibernation and joined the try-outs for the new varsity team. I topped the eliminations and became a varsity player for the second time.

I played board 1 for the UM chess team during the 1992 National PRISSA Games held in Bacolod City. This time I was able to redeem myself and bagged the bronze medal in Board 1 scoring 4 wins in 7 games. My teammates then were Nonoy Jabilles, Nofre Reyes and the late Danilo Sanchez. Our alternate was Joselito "Toto" Alejano who is now a licensed engineer presently working in Australia. The highlight of our campaign was beating the National Capital Region (NCR)champion and perennial chess heavyweight University of the East (UE). I and Nofre Reyes delivered the crucial wins while the late Danilo Sanchez drew his game on board 4. During this period I was also busy providing chess tutorials to Kendi Gonzales who later on became a Woman National Master (WNM) and a two time national games champion.

After graduation I decided to take -up Law ( LLB ) at UM. I shun myself from any chess activity during that period and concentrated on my studies. I graduated in 1996 and passed the Bar exams the following year. I had since played in chess tournaments occasionally with mix results. In the early 2000's I was runner-up in the Toril Open next to National Master Miguel Te beating the likes of Bembem Quinonez,Henry Fajardo, Cerilo " Bata " Enobio and Jimmy Dano, all prominent players in the Davao chess scene. I was also elected as the President of the Metro Toril Chess Association (MTCA) and since then I had been organizing chess tournaments in our place. Recently, I was runner-up to Atty. Emilio Elnatan in the Eastern Mindanao IBP Palaro.

Here is my first featured miniature game against Henry Fajardo during the 2008 Cong. Ungab Cup.

[Event "Cong. Ungab Cup Toril Team Championships"]
[Site "Toril, Davao City, Philippines "]
[Date "2008.10.1"]
[Round "8th "]
[White "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr. "]
[Black "Henry Fajardo "]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1855"]
[BlackELO "2035"]


Annotated by CAISSA'S FATHER

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4!?

I made this move hoping to distract my opponent in his opening preparation. My opponent in this game is the perennial board 1 player of the Toril chess team and in fact he got the board 1 gold medal in this tournament. This game was his only loss. Hi is a solid player with the Petroff as his main defense against e4.

2... Nc6

If 2... Nf6 I intend to play 3. Nf3! Nxe4 4. Nc3!? transposing into the rarely played Boden - Kieseretsky Gambit.

The Boden- Kieseretsky Gambit

I played this line (by transposition) against Henry during the 2006 Toril eliminations for the Inter-Cities (20mins/game). The game started as a Petroff [ 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4!? Nxe4 4.Nc6 Nf6 ?!{ 4.. Nxc3 is the only way to test the gambit} 5.Nxe5 d5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.d4 c6 8.0-0 and I eventually won the game by time porfeit ]. I placed 2nd in the eliminations next to Bata Enobio while Henry Fajardo landed 3rd place. Trivia- The stem game of this line was played in Morphy-Poitier, Paris 1858 won by Morphy in 25 moves.

Now lets go back to the actual game.

3. Nf3 Bc5 4. b4!

The Evans Gambit. This opening gambit was hugely popular from about 1840 to 1990. It was revived by World Champion Garry Kasparov who played this gambit twice in the 1990's. I put an exclamation point in this move as it turned-out that Henry was not familiar with this line.

Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 Nxd4?

A blunder. Best is 6...exd4 7.0-0 Nge7!( This move may " kill " the Evan's Gambit according to then IM but now full pledged GM and World Senior Champion Larry Kaufman in his 2004 authoritative book " The Chess Advantage in Black and White " ), In the game Morozevich (2745) - Adams (2746) Wijk Aan Zee, 2001, White continued with 8.Ng5 d5 9.exd5 Ne5 10.Bb3 {10.Qxd4 f6 11.Re1! Bb6 12.Qh4! favors white} 10...0-0 11.cxd4 Ng4 12.Qf3?! Nf6! 13. Ba3 h6 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Re8 16.Bb2 Nf5 17. Qf4 Bb4 18. Na3 Bd6 19. Qd2 Qh4 20.g3 Qh3 21. Nc4 b5! 22.Nxe5?! Bb7 23. Rae1 a5! 24.a3 b4 25. axb4? 25. Bxb4 26. Bc3? Bxc3 27. Qxc3 Nh4! White resigned.

7. Nxe5 Ne6


Henry failed to consider this move when he played 6... Nxd4. After white's 8th move Black's position suddenly collapsed.

8... Kxf7 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Qxa5 b6 11. Qd5 c6 12. Qe5 Qf6 13. Qg3! h6 14. Bf4!

Maintaining the pressure and threatening 15.Be5

Qe7 15. O-O Nf6 16. Bd6 Nh5

If 16... Nxe4 Qf3+ and black will lose a piece.

17. Qd3 Qh4 18. f4 Ke8 19. f5 Nhf4 20. Qg3!

Final Position


Replay the game below.

GM Darwin Laylo leads the 2009 Vietnam ChessZonals, GM Wesley So in solo second

GM Darwin Laylo is the sole leader of the Zonal 3,3 chess championship, taking place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. GM Laylo is the only player with a perfect score after four rounds. He defeated Tran Ngoc Lan (ELO 2140), Vo Thanh Ninh (ELO 2340), his compatriot IM RIchard Bitoon (ELO 2495), and Bao Khoa (ELO 2161).

In second place is the top seed and the Corus 2009 group C winner GM Wesley So (ELO 2646). GM Wesley So started with a draw against FM Ly Hong Nguyen, but since then has scored three consecutive wins against FM Ton That Nhu Tung, CM Nguyen Van Huy, and FM Chan Wei-Xuan Timothy to collect 3,5/4 and become number 2 in the standings.

Draws in other top board plays left the chasing pack a full point behind Darwin Laylo and 1/2 point behind Wesley So. The top local player GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son held to a draw the second highest rated of the competition GM Zhang Zhong in the derby of the round.Filipino players GM Mark Paragua and GM Eugene Torre also had a peaceful match. Vo Thanh Ninh brought the surprise of the round after holding GM Susanto Megaranto to a draw.

This development will bring an interesting match in the 5th round between fellow Pinoy GMs Wesley So and Darwin Laylo for the provisional leadership in the standing. Other interesting encounters include GM Zhang Zhong - IM Bitoon, GM Mark Paragua - GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, and GM Eugenio Torre - IM Hafizulhelmi Mas.

The stakes at this year's Zonal 3.3 are high. It is a qualification for the Chess World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, as the first two players qualify for the event and get a chance to compete for a place in the World Championship finals 2010 - 2011.

Standings after round 4
1 GM Laylo Darwin PHI 2494 4
2 GM So Wesley PHI 2646 3,5
3 GM Zhang Zhong SIN 2613 3
4 Bao Khoa VIE 2161 3
5 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2592 3
6 IM Bitoon Richard PHI 2495 3
7 IM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy VIE 2500
8 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 2552 3
9 GM Paragua Mark PHI 2487 3
10 GM Bui Vinh VIE 2517 3
11 FM Batchuluun Tsegmed MGL 2384 3
12 IM Duong The Anh VIE 2440 3
13 FM Ton That Nhu Tung VIE 2227 2,5
14 GM Torre Eugenio PHI 2560 2,5
15 GM Megaranto Susanto INA 2534 2,5
IM Mas Hafizulhelmi MAS 2391 2,5
17 Tran Ngoc Lan VIE 2176 2,5
18 CM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2414 2,5
19 FM Chan Wei-Xuan Timothy SIN 2344 2,5
20 Vo Thanh Ninh VIE 2340 2,5
21 IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2458 2,5

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


( Players in action in the 10th ASEAN Age-Group Chess Championships, Hue City, Vietnam )

[Event "OPEN 12"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2009.06.08"]
[Round "3.8"]
[White "Ta, Minh Hoang"]
[Black "Literatus, Austin Jacob"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E81"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2009.06.07"]

Annotated by Caissa's Father


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5!

According to 2001 British Champion GM Joe Gallagher in his book " Starting Out: The King's Indian ", the move 6... c5 has dented the Samisch's popularity somewhat in recent times. The pawn sacrifice is hardly ever accepted by White anymore. because of this 6.Be3 is no longer automatically considered as the best move. Nowadays white plays 6.Bg5 and 6.Nge2 almost as often. An example of this line was played in Kramnik vs. Shirov, Bundesliga 1992 which goes 7 dxc5 dxc5 8 Qxd8 Rxd8 9 Bxc5 Nc6 10 Ba3 a5 11 Rd1 Be6 12 Nd5 Nb4 13 Nxe7+ Kh8 14 Rxd8 Rxd8 15 Nd5 Nc2+ 16 Kd2 Nxa3 17bxa3b5! 18 Nh3 Draw agreed.

7. Nge2 Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Ng3 e6 10. Qd2 exd5 11. cxd5

The game has now transformed into the Modern Benoni Defense.

11... h5!

Chasing the knight and disrupting the coordination of White's pieces. This move is also useful to free the h7 square for the Black knight to enable him to launch the freeing move f5.

12. h4 a6 13. Be2?

A positional blunder that clearly showed White's unfamiliarity with the line. 13. a4 is automatic as White should prevent 13... b5 and Black's succeeding queenside expansion in the Modern Benoni Defense.

13.. b5!

Of course!!

14. Bg5 Qb6 15. Be3 b4 16. Nd1 a5 17. Nf2 Ba6 18. Rc1 a4

19. O-O Bxe2 20. Nxe2 Qb5 21. Rfd1 Rfb8 22. Bf4 Nfd7

23. b3 axb3 24. axb3 Ra3!

This move and the succeeding moves showcase Austin Jacob's matured play and fine technique in utilizing his positional advantage. Watch how he strangled his Vietnamese opponent into submission.

25. Rb1 Rba8 26. Nc1 Qb6 27. Nfd3 Nxd3

28. Qxd3 c4+! 29. Qe3 Qxe3+ 30. Bxe3 c3!

A beautiful finish. White was simply outplayed in all phases of the game.

White resigns. 0-1

Replay the game below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blind plays blitz chess

Have you ever seen a blind chess player playing a blitz game? See it to believe!

In this video, totally blind Francis Ching plays a blitz game against a young kid (son of knyt4k) during the RP PARA Team's visit in Meralco last July 11.

Francis, RP's paralympics multi-gold medalist, brutally beat me in Meralco in Round 3. (I was 2/3 in that goodwill event). HERE is the previous article I posted about Francis.

All I could say was ohhhhh, ahhhhh, and wowwwww during my match against this visually impaired Pinoy talent. What an experience!!!

The way we played, it's he who saw the board with sharper eyes!!!

Watching Francis play reminds me of the immense power of human potentials. Playing with him was an experience worth telling and retelling over and over again.

Back to the video. The very promising boy beat Francis. It's not that Francis had a hard time playing blitz. It's just that the boy was really that good.

Brother knyt4k, could you tell me the name of your son, please?

Click below to see the video.

Malibay Chess Club: Blind plays blitz chess

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Austin Jacob Literatus together with some members of the RP Youth team who brought honor to the country in the recently concluded 10th ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships in Vietnam.
Front row: Sheider Nebato, Paolo Kristobal, John Alcon Datu Back row: Tristan Ibaoc, Vince Medina, Jacob Literatus, Paulo Bersamina., Cherry Ann Mejia, Ma. Ysabelle Joyce Semillano, and Bernadette Galas
(Photo first posted at Malibay ChessClub Blog)

Austin Jacob Literatus (playing White) seeing action in Board 1 versus 2008 Shell National Chess Active Championship overall champ Jerich Cajeras (Kiddies Division).
(Photo first posted at Malibay ChessClub Blog )

( Picture taken during the 1st IM Marlo Micayabas Toril Chess Championships )

TWELVE-year-old Austin Jacob Literatus of Toril, Davao City will be the youngest Male Athlete of the Year in the history of the annual So Kim Cheng Sports Awards to be held on July 22 at the Pantawan Hall-Pagcor of the Grand Regal Hotel.

Literatus bagged one individual gold medal, three team silvers and one individual bronze in the recently concluded Asean Age-Group Chess Championships in Hue City, Vietnam, was the overwhelming choice for the prestigious award.

Austin Jacob Literatus incidentally, is the nephew of the 1982 Asian Junior Champion International Master Marlo Micayabas.

Just recently, he lead the Cong. Ungab - Toril Youngstars team to a 4th place finish in the just concluded Tagum Open Chess Team Tournament scoring 4.5 pts in 5 games to bag the gold in board 2. Other members of the team includes John Ray Batucan ( Bd. 1); Neptali Batucan Jr. ( Bd. 3) and Nikki Yngayo ( Bd. 4).