Wednesday, November 11, 2009


(GM Chanda Sandipan vs. IM Oliver Barbosa in the 2008 Kolkatta Open, India)

IM Oliver Barbosa will be playing a 20 boards simul chess exhibition against the top players of the Metro Toril Chess Association today November 14, 2009. The venue will be the Guevarra Bldg. located at De Guzman St., Toril, Davao City. The event is sponsored by the Chess Excellence Limited Co. and the Guevarra Law Office in coordination with the Metro Toril Chess Association ( MTCA).

Its good that IM Barbosa is kind enough to play against the Toril players, many of whom will be playing a top Philippine player for the 1st time according to Atty. Jong Guevarra, President of MTCA. It is also a good way to help spread the popularity of chess and also a good treat to chess fans who can watch the chess wizardry of IM Barbosa in person.

IM Oliver Barbosa is fresh from a brief campaign in the US Chess Circuit where he was entered in around 30 tournaments, 25 of which he was either the champion or tied for 1st beating noted GM's Michael Rhode of the USA, Leonid Yudasin of Israel and Jaan Ehlvest of Russia in the process.

Here's a brief excerpt of IM Barbosa's campaign in the US as featured in the US Chess Federation website.

Barbosa and Shankland Lead New York International
By Elizabeth Vicary
June 22, 2009

The upsets continue at the New York International , where 22-year-old Filipino IM Oliver Barbosa and 17-year-old Sam Shankland lead with 5/6. Four players are half a point behind: GM Alex Stripunsky, IM Jacek Stopa, GM Zbyneil Hracek and IM Marc Arnold.

IM Oliver Barbosa was proud of his win over GM Jaan Ehlvest. “The middlegame was very tricky, but we both saw some precise moves. Then I was in a slightly complicated endgame up an exchange, but he had a knight outpost on d3, so it was hard to move my rooks. But I found a sacrifice against the pawn on c4 that was defending the knight, and after that I was doing well."

A stereotype I hear frequently in the chess world is that Filipinos are tricky, tactical players. Although I was a little worried that the question would sound rude and/or racist, I asked Oliver if he gave any credence to this idea about a national style. He agreed that the characterization sounded true, and suggested a possible reason: economic conditions in the Philippines mean that most masters don’t have time to study middlegames or endgames in depth, and just play lots of blitz and look at openings. Barbosa contrasted this with the situation of former Soviet players, who have had a far more organized, comprehensive chess education. I asked Oliver if he would describe himself a tactical player, and he hesitated, then disagreed: “When I play I just try to think of every possible move, and I don’t take chances on moves that aren’t required by the position. In a choice between a safe, good move, and a sacrifice, I usually choose the non-sacrifice, although my tactics are ok, I think."

No comments:

Post a Comment