64 squares

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"19. e5! Qxa1+ 20. Ke2 Na6 My personal favorite is Tigran Petrosian. His penchant of eliminating chance and decimating his opponent’s moves is really quite interesting. Prophylaxis is cool. Although the sharp aggressive style of Alekhine is profoundly fascinating as well. I’ve always had the highest respect for people fanatical about their devotion to their profession and Alexander Alekhine is certainly one of them. "What I do is not play, but struggle," he was once heard saying.

21. Nxg7+ Kd8 22. Qf6+! Nxf6 Filipino Wesley So just beat Ivanchuk and Gata Kamsky. His victories represent the best of Filipino achievements. It demonstrates our capability for intellect and mental toughness, and the benefits of having our creativity focused by discipline and method. If the Philippines doesn’t support and nurture this kid, then this country has truly lost its way."

Unfortunately, as reported in the New York Times:

"Among the players who lost in Round 4 were Wesley So of the Philippines, No. 59, who had beaten Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, No. 6, in Round 2 and then Gata Kamsky of the United States, No. 27, in Round 3. Kamsky was the defending champion, so his defeat was somewhat surprising, but less than Ivanchuk’s, which was shocking and left Ivanchuk so despondent that he reportedly briefly considered retiring (an outburst that has added to Ivanchuk’s reputation as a mercurial person). So lost to Malakhov in a playoff, but he is only 16 and is clearly a rapidly rising star."

Clearly, the Philippines has to take care of So, otherwise other countries (such as the US or China) will. Who knows, they may even perhaps offer citizenship to him. And we would have lost another jewel to another country.