Friday, February 13, 2009

Sinulog winners and the Corus

I WOULD like to honor the winners and the people behind the just-concluded 2009 Sinulog Open tournament, as this was one of the most successful tournaments in terms of participation, enthusiasm and quality of games, in a long, long time.

Five generations of chess players were present as players from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s attended the event, including the youngest player, who is eight years old and a few more players, who are below 10 years old.

And, most of Cebu’s best players were also there.

We, the members of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association Inc., are eternally grateful to the city council especially to the chairman of the committee on sports, games and amusement, Councilor Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem and Acting Mayor Michael Rama for their help and support.

We hope that this collaboration will be repeated for the next Sinulog and luckily, we have been assured of it.

Many thanks also to SM City Cebu, led by Marissa Fernan and Marybelle Chua, for allowing us to use the venue and to Nicnic Climaco for making this possible.

The champion in the competition that attracted 32 teams was the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Team A composed of Rogelio Enriquez Jr., Romelio Asoque, Yuri Cauba, Rosendo Yamyamin and non-playing team manager, Bernard Garces. They won the P25,000 top purse plus a signature designer trophy.

There were four teams figuring in a deadlock for second to fifth places. They were Cebu Progress Marketing of Kelly Uy, USJ-R Team B, Fe Fish Dealer of Choyan Evardo and Uniplus Gaming Center of Danny Pestaño. They each pocketed P8,250.

Six teams tied for sixth to 11th places and they are Gorgonio Builders of Moyon Cala, Lapu-Lapu City of Jun Olis, Sikad Talisay of Manny Manzanares, Opascor of Tomas Riveral, Sta. Cruz Shell Gallery of Ben Dimaano and Barangay Day-as of Nic Cuizon.

The winners in Boards 1 to 4 were Glen Pardillo of White Sands, Bonn Tibod, Aller Somosot and Rodrigo Ababat (tied at Board 2), Joel Pacuribot of Opascor and Mandy Baria of Aboitizland, respectively.

The most unique team was the Balbona Kids, the brood of Felix and Juliet. The Balbona siblings, who are all chess enthusiasts, are Jessa Marie (16 years old), Marq Gabriel (13), Felix Shaun (11), Jhon Francis (10) and James Andrew (8).

Another kiddies lineup was the Lapu-Lapu team headed by Rafael Bensi.

Also making his presence felt was Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano of Southwestern University. A protege of Bombi Aznar, Sevillano, though only eight years old, gave the adults a hard time.

Many thanks also to the rest of the managers and coaches—Rey Ompoc, Wilfredo Gallardo, Edmund Suralta, Vergillo Codilla, Christopher Tubalado, Jesus Bitoon, Gonzalo Tumulak, Paquito Unchuan, Dave Entea, Louie Navaja, Romeo Romagos, Roberto Basadre, Chris Mejarito and Boy Cabungcal, who were instrumental in the success of the event.

CORUS 2009. The Corus chess tournament happens from Jan. 16 to Feb. 1 in Wijk aan Zee, a North Sea Resort in the Netherlands. It was called the Hoogovens Tournament from 1938 to 1999, and is one of the most prestigious in the Fide chess calendar. The tournament is divided into three main groups—A, B and C.

Our Boy Wonder, GM Wesley So, accepted the invitation by Jeroen van den Berg, the tournament director, to join the prestigious tournament.

An e-mail by Mr. Van den Berg sent to Mrs. Eleanor So, Wesley’s mother, dated June 6 said, “I am interested in the participation of Wesley So in the upcoming Corus Chess Tournament (Grandmaster group C). We can offer Wesley 1,250 Euros as appearance fee, plus hotel and breakfast during the event.”

The average Elo of the players in group C is 2521, a Category 11. Wesley is the highest-rated player at 2627. If he wins here, it will be his ticket to bigger tournaments.

Incidentally, Jobannie Tabada, the former sports editor of Sun.Star, is now a Fide arbiter after passing the course in Dubai just recently.

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