Liga Peruana de Ajedrez a Distancia
Article provided by: César Musitani and updated by Gino Figlio
Chess came to Peru hand-in-hand with the Spanish conquerors, and even the last Inca had the chance to play it, although that cost him his life… As told by the illustrious writer Ricardo Palma in his “Tradiciones Peruanas” (Peruvian Traditions), the captains Hernando de Soto, Juan de Rada, Francisco de Chaves, Blas de Atienza and the treasurer Riquelme played often in the place that served as jail for the Inca Atahualpa.
“Deep concern would overwhelm the spirit of the Inca during the first two or three months of his captivity, for although every afternoon he sat down by Hernando de Soto, his friend and protector, he gave no signals of having discovered how the pieces acted nor the incidents and accidents of the game. But one afternoon, in the final moves of a game between Soto and Riquelme, the former made a gesture to move the knight, and the Inca –gently touching his arm- told him in low voice:
-No, captain… The castle!
There was a general surprise. Soto, after a few seconds in meditation, moved his rook as Atahualpa had counselled, and a few moves later Riquelme suffered an unavoidable mate”.
After that date, the Inca also started to play chess with his captors, and after two months he did so with equal mastery. But “popular tradition assures that the Inca would not have been condemned to death had he remained ignorant in chess. The population says that Atahualpa paid with his life the mate that Riquelme suffered due to his counsel. In the famous jury of 24 people, the death penalty was imposed on Atahualpa by a vote of 13 to 11. Riquelme was one of the thirteen that signed the death sentence…”
In the 20th Century, Peru gave birth to great assets of the 64 squares. Maybe the two most relevant are Esteban Canal, a distinguished player of solid and combative spirit, who had an important place during the 1920s and 1930s, and more recently a brilliant strategist and no-less combative Julio Granda.
Development of Correspondence Chess in Peru
In 1970, Gustavo Paz, an enthusiastic chess lover, obtained information from an Argentine magazine -“Ajedrez” (Chess) which for many years and for the rejoice of Spanish-speaking chess players was published by Sopena- about the practice of telechess, and that National Leagues were affiliated to CADAP (Confederación Latin-oamericana de Ajedrez Postal – Latin American Postal Chess Confederation) and that aficionados were invited to play in tournaments which it organised. Thus he discovered a passionate world, a new way to practice the game, and a great opportunity to make good friends with whom to share the same hobby… friendships that often consolidated when they met personally.
That is how, through counsel given by one of his many chess friends, the Argentine Carlos José Bet- the idea to organise a Peruvian League caught hold, because then the only ones with real activity were those from Argentina and Brazil, with Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela quite behind. Mr. Bet sent by mail much information to Mr. Paz, which allowed him to create the Liga Peruana de Ajedrez Postal (Peruvian Postal Chess League), which at its birth also was supported by other Argentine colleagues such as Carlos Germán Dieta, Alfredo Monsoalvo, Juan S. Morgado and Oscar Gianotti, among others.
Thus, in early 1972 LIPEAD was born and immediately affiliated to CADAP and ICCF. The first Board (for the period 1972-1975) was composed by: Gustavo Paz (President); Hernán Miranda Souza (Secretary); Manuel Valencia (Treasurer) and José Manrique (Tournament Director).
At that time, Gustavo Paz was a member of the San Isidro Chess Club in Lima, and with the support of its president, Mr. Abraham Kalinkausky, an advertising campaign was started in order to raise awareness of correspondence chess and to invite players to the first National Championship, in which 77 players took part. Mr. Oscar Basurco won the tournament (1972-1975). The following Championships had these winners: Second Championship (1974-1977) Archie Milligan; Third Championship (1983-1986) José Ranilla; Fourth Championship (1983-1986) Augusto Garland Ghio; Fifth Championship (1986-1992) Augusto Garland Ghio; Sixth Championship (1987-1994) Miguel Bailly; Seventh Championship (1989-1996) Alfredo Cillóniz; Eighth Championship (1992-1996) Pedro Alzola; Ninth Championship (1993-1997) Ricardo Teruya; Tenth Championship (1995-1998) Alfredo Cillóniz, and Eleventh Championship (1995-1999) Alfredo Cillóniz.
It was agreed to deem as founding members all players who participated in the first National Championship. Currently, some of them are actively participating and playing (Gustavo Paz, Jorge Ato del Avellanal, José Domingo Paz, José Carrión Lava and Calvin Rouse) and others are sympathisers and collaborators (Manuel Pastor, Reynaldo Llerena, Juan J. Valcárcel, Teodosio Arias Schereiber, Carlos Cárdenas, José Manrique, Abraham Kalinkausky, Hernán Miranda Souza, Dante Vásquez).
Mr. Gustavo Paz was President for more than 20 years. In the year 1992 he was replaced by Ezequiel Huguet, who –after six months- was also replaced by Darío Biella-Bianchi. Angel Acevedo was President from 2002-2004. Darío Biella-Bianchi was then re-elected and finished his Presidency in 2010. Alfredo Cilloniz was then elected as President of the league and continues to serve until now.
During its history, LIPEAD has developed an uninterrupted activity organising National Championships, Promotional tournaments, International tournaments, and participating in matches and Olympiads.
Most important tournaments
Among the most remarkable achievements we can mention the following:
Between 1978 and 1981 the “Monsalvo in Memoriam” tournament was played, with players from Russia, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Finland, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, USA, and Peru. First place was for the soviet player Vassily Koslov, unbeaten, whilst the local Gustavo Paz obtained third place.
The First Peru Cup started in 1983 (with 56 players from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, India, USA, Germany and Peru) and ended in 1987 with victory for Luis Paúcar, who was thus the first Peruvian to achieve the International Master title.
In order to celebrate its Fifteenth Anniversary, LIPEAD organised the “LIPEAD XV Anniversary” tournament, which was played in two important groups. The “Master” granted IM titles and was brilliantly won by the current Argentine GM Rodolfo Redolfi; and the “Premier” group, won by Darío Biella-Bianchi earning him the Latin American Master title.
From 1991 until 1998 the Second Peru Cup was played, in which 105 players took part. Carlos Sosa Patiño won the “Premier” final on tiebreak over Fred Fraser from England (both obtained the Latin American Master title, and the Englishman was the first non-American to do so!). In the “Master” final the winner was Miguel Bailly from Peru, and another local player, Carlos Barreto, achieved third place. Due to his work as Tournament Director in this event, Darío Biella-Bianchi obtained the International Arbiter title.
In 1998 LIPEAD entered the world of the Internet in order to be in pace with modern times, organizing its first e-mail championship and a friendly match with the powerful team from Finland. A website was also developed.
In 1999 the Third Peru Cup started, this time with parallel versions: postal and e-mail. Our german friend SIM Hans-Dieter Vötter was the winner of both tournaments. The email event ended in 2003 and the postal one finished in 2006.
It is also worth mentioning that the “LIPEAD Bulletin” was the only printed national publication that had been kept alive throughout the years, getting better and better each time.
To conmemorate its 30th anniversary LIPEAD organized 2 invitational events in the year 2000: Esteban Canal A and B. The A tournament was the strongest event ever organized by our federation (XI). The winner was italian SIM Giorgio Ruggeri Laderchi. The Esteban Canal Memorial B tournament was category V and was won by our english friend SIM Russell Pegg.
In 2006 LIPEAD organized its first webserver tournament, the Final of the XVI National Championship. The event winner was Juan Reyes La Rosa. Every single tournament since then has been organized in the ICCF webserver. LIPEAD does not support Email chess nor Postal chess. We strive to provide the best possible service to our players and this can only be achieved with server chess.
In 2007, the Alfredo Biella-Bianchi Memorial was organized to celebrate the life of the son of our then League President Dario Biella-Bianchi. The event ended in 2011 with the victory of Carlos Sosa Patiño.
In 2009 we organized another Memorial tournament, this time to celebrate the life of Guillermo Rivas-Mongrut, father of our own Guillermo Rivas Romero, and renowned member of our federation. Alberto Moreno won the event.
To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we organized the LIPEAD-40 Open Tournament in 2012. The preliminary stage started with 57 groups and almost 400 players. This event is also a tribute to our founding member Gustavo Paz y Barriga.
Gustavo Paz y Barriga, Honorary President and Founder of LIPEAD
Ruben Battistini (ITA), Dario Biella-Bianchi (PER) and Angel Acevedo (PER) in Seixal, Portugal during ICCF Congress 2002