Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pestaño: Philippine chess Olympiad lineup

Thursday, July 26, 2012

THE World Chess Olympiad will be held in Istanbul, Turkey next month from Aug. 27 to Sept. 10 and the Philippine selection for the team to the Olympiad, the “Battle of Grandmasters” has just concluded.
This prestigious 16-player round robin tournament was held at two venues in the Province of Aklan--the Paraw Club in Boracay from July 14–20 and the Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo from July 21– 26.
The GMs in the field were Oliver Barbosa (2554), Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. (2548), John Paul Gomez (2539), Julio Catalino Sadorra (2525), Mark Paragua (2508), Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla (2501), Darwin Laylo (2489), Eugene Torre (2469), and Richard Bitoon (2442).
Heading the qualifiers from the semifinals were IMs Oliver Dimakiling (2415) and Emmanuel Senador (Elo 2353), Fide Masters Roderick Nava (2397), Haridas Pascua (2310) and Randy Segarra (2283) and the surprise of the tournament, 15-year-old Giovanni Mejia.
The event offered P655,000 in prizes with the winner getting P150,000. GM and IM norms were also up for grabs.
Three players will be selected. Wesley So (2650) is already assured of a slot while the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. has the option to pick the fifth player of the men’s team and two players in the women’s team.
Competing for the three outright slots in the women’s were Woman International Masters Catherine Perena (2091) and Beverly Mendoza (2058), Woman Fide Masters Rulp Ylem Jose (2061), Jan Jodilyn Fronda (2022), Cherry Ann Mejia (1995) and Marie Antoinette San Diego (1922), Woman National Masters Jedara Docena (2061), Janelle Me Frayna (1991), and Shania Mae Mendoza (1806), Eden Tumbos (1776), Akiko Charmaine (1892) and Mikee Charlene Suede (1948).
According to Richard Bitoon (he had a fever during the tournament) , who texted me the results, the possible men’s team will be composed of Wesley, Paragua, Torre, Barbosa, and Dimakiling. Sadorra, who qualified, will not play as he has classes.
The Women’s team will be composed of Perena, Frayna, Docena, Galas and Jose.
Wesley So has been busy as a bee. After placing a respectable third place finish at the World Open in Philadelphia early this month, he proceeded to New York.
Wesley took part in a charity chess match organized by the Filipino-American Chess
Club of New York last July 11 at the Philippine Center and competed against 20 players simultaneously.
One of the 20 players he competed against was acting deputy permanent representative of the Philippine Mission to the UN Eduardo de Vega.
After New York, he went to Toronto, Canada. The tournament was a seven-round Swiss with 18 participants and organized by the Chess Institute of Canada.
He finished with a total of six points from five wins and two draws, half-a-point ahead of his closest rival International Master (IM) Nikolay Noritsyn of Canada. With his victory he won the top purse of $4,000.
So continued with his Canadian tour at the Quebec Open Chess Championship from July 21 to 28 in Montreal.
Canada’s most successful tournament attracted 9 GMs and 1 WGM, as well as 10 IMs looking for GM norms. Thirty-two players are competing in the invitational section for a first prize of $4,000.
After four rounds, So is the tournament leader and is followed closely by GM Lazaro Bruzon from Cuba (ranked 35th in the World) and IMs Bryan G Smith, Eric Hansen, Leonid Gerzhoy and Daniel Naroditsk.
So will then head to Webster University-Spice for his full- time study on a scholarship, with a brief two-week interruption to represent the Philippines in the Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

No comments: