GM Paragua eyes Guinness record

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2009 06:29 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2009 10:38 AM

MANILA -- Mark Paragua, the first Filipino to reach “Super Grandmaster” status, will attempt to put the Philippines in the world chess map once again as he tries to break the Guinness simultaneous chess world record in December.

The attempt dubbed as “1 vs. 600: Beat the MARK”, which will pit Paragua against 600 players at the same time, will be held on December 27 and 28.

According to sports writer Noli Cruz, there will also be 400 reserves for a total of 1,000 opposing players present during the event.

The current record is held by Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob, who faced 500 opponents simultaneously last August 13 at the Engelab Sports Complex in Tehran.

The Guinness World Record for the largest number of simultaneous games played in a single session was initially set in 1996 when Swedish Grandmaster Ulf Anderson took on 310 opponents. This record was broken in 2004 by British IM Andrew Martin, who played against 321 opponents, scoring 294 wins, 26 draws and 1 loss for a winning percentage of 95.64 percent.

In August 2005, GM Susan Polgar played against 350 players simultaneously at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Finally in February this year, Bulgarian GM Kiril Georgiev played a simultaneous exhibition against 360 opponents before the record was eventually broken by Morteza.

Paragua’s trainers for the 1 vs. 600 event will be Asia’s First GM Eugene Torre and World Chess Cup bound GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr.

The event is organized by Touch of Gold Enterprises in close cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Manila Sports Council (MASCO) Chairman Niño dela Cruz, City of Manila, Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" Tagaysay and Meralco Chess Club.

Wilfredo “Willie” Abalos of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) will head the list of International arbiters (IA) that will oversee the competition. The arbiters include Gene Poliarco, national masters Erwin Carag and Elias Lao and RP’s six-time executive champion Dr. Jenny Mayor.

Organizers are looking to hold the event either at the historic Ninoy Aquino Stadium or the San Andres Gymnasium in Manila.

For inquiries, contact mobile no: 0919-8493648. By Marlon Bernardino