Friday, December 22, 2006

Santa Claus came early for Mike, Dante and Bong

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

LAST Sunday, Dec. 17, was a red-letter day for members of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association Inc. (Cepca), the country`s premiere chess club. On that day, we had the induction of the new officers for 2007, Christmas party and Grand Finals. Also inducted were the new members of the club as well as a side tournament for those who did not make it to the Grand Finals.

Sun.Star Network Online's 12th Asean Summit watch

Venue was at the Stella Maris Seamen Centre and there was food galore and beer flowed like there was no tomorrow.

Everything went according to plan except that the program started 30 minutes late and our guest of honor and inducting officer, honorable Vice-Mayor Michael Rama was, as usual, on time and he had to wait until all the officers were present.
Entertaintment was provided by Zaldy Tabanao, a member of the club and a professional singer.

Inducted as officers for 2007 were Emmanuel “Mat” Matuco,president; Dante Arguelles, internal vice- president; Percival Fiel, external vice-president; Jun Olis, press relations officer and secretary; Felix Balbona, treasurer; and Rene Casia, auditor. Also elected were chairmen of the important committees of the club namely, tournaments—Mandy Baria, ways and means—Norway Lara and FYP-membership.

Inducted as new members were Solon Bagalihog, Caesar Fernandez, Mike Banebane, Rey Reroma, Ronald Hamac, Glenn Dakay, Benjamin Sanchez, Bernabe Sanchez and Manuel Abucay

Playing in the Grand Finals were the following monthly winners : Dante Arguelles-January, Jun Olis-February, Maggi Dionson-March, Percival Fiel-April, Jongjong Melendez-May, Mike Banebane–June, Fabio Abucejo-July, Joe Atillo-August, Mandy Baria-September, Ramon Pangilinan-October, Nikki Estenor-November. NM Bombi originally seeded to the Grand Finals did not play due to a prior commitment.

Grand winner was Dante Arguelles with 7 wins, one draw and 2 losses for a total score of 7.5 pts. Second placer was Maggi Dionson and third Nikki “boy” Estenor.

In the side event among non-qualifiers, the winner was Bong San Pascual and second Jessa Balbona.

Grand Prix winners (those who had the most number of points in the monthly tournaments) were led by Miguel Banebane followed by Maggi Dionson, Mandy Baria, Felix Balbona, Dante Arguelles Rene Casia, Percival Fiel Junard Labadan, Joe Atillo and Manny Abucay.

Dante, Bong and Mike received as their special prize a Timex Executive watch each, courtesy of Timex Phils. Inc. All the qualifiers and grand prix winners also receive special prizes.

Asian Games. For the first time, chess became a part of the Asian Games recently staged in magnificent splendor in Doha, Qatar last Dec.1-15. The Philippines was represented by Ronald Dableo, Darwin Laylo and Jedara Docena.

Three gold medals were at stake, one each for men and women in rapid control and mixed team under classical control.

Men’s gold medalist was the surprising Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan, silver to Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam and bronze to Bu Xianghi of China. Laylo could only managed 8th place while Dableo placed 15th.

Women’s winners were Koneru Humpy of India, Zhao Xue of China and former world champion Zhu Chen formerly of China but now playing for Qatar due to her marriage to a Qatari Grandmaster. Jedara was a respectable 12th placer amidst very strong competition.

In the mixed team event, India as expected, snared the gold medal while China was a solid 2nd.The surprise 3rd placer was Iran. The Philippines was around the middle at 8th.

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