Friday, November 13, 2015

Pestaño: Richard Bitoon wins battle of GMs

SINCE 2008, the National men’s and women’s chess championships has been dubbed the “Battle of the Grandmasters” and feature the top 12 players in both sections in a round robin format.
Thirty-nine-year old GM Richard Bitoon of Medellin, a close friend, emerged with a superior tiebreak over fellow GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio to capture his first title in the 2015 Battle of Grandmasters-National Chess Championships at the Philippine Sports Commission Athletes Dining Hall, RMSC, Vito Cruz, Manila.
The event used the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. Under the system, a win is equivalent to two points, a draw is one point, a loss is zero, and a stalemate is 1.5 for the last player to make a move and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Here are the final results. Open Division – Richard Bitoon and Joey Antonio (14 points), Haridas Pascua (11), Eugene Torre, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez. Joseph Turqueza (10), Jerad Docena (9), Paolo Bersamina, Koel Abelgas (8), Janelle Frayna (6). Janelle is a woman who chose to compete in the men’s section.
Richard was undefeated in the tournament with wins over Gomez, Bersamina, Abelgas and Frayna and a draw against the rest.
Women’s Division – Fronda (11.5), Perena-Secopito, San Diego (11_, Suede, Enriquez (10), Bernales (8.5), Lozano, Membrere, Mendoza (8), Pineda (4).
Previous winners in the men’s and women’s sections are John Paul Gomez and Catherine Perena in 2008, Wesley So from 2009-2011, Shercila Cua and Rulp Ylem Jose in 2009-2010, Mark Paragua and Catherine Perena in 2012, John Paul Gomez and Janelle Frayna in 2013 and Eugene Torre and again Catherine Perena in 2014.
Although this is the best result of Richard locally, I think his best performance was in 2012.
The “750 Years Melaka International Chess Festival” in Malaysia was held from April 21 to 30 2012 and had three major events – the Florencio Campomanes Memorial International Rapid Chess Championship, the Historical Melaka International Chess Championship and the Historical Melaka Challenger Chess Championship and had total prize of $35,000.
The Florencio Campomanes Memorial was the first event for the Festival and it offered a prize fund of $20,000. Bitoon won first place with 8.5/11 points in the very strong field with 15 Grandmasters and 12 International Masters. Sixth-nine players from 14 countries played.
Poker. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Nov. 10 to Dec. 22, there will be a P100,000 guaranteed tournament at All-In, Waterfront Hotel. Buy in is P1,000 with a maximum of three rebuys allowed and an add-on after the sixth round. On Dec. 22, a final P300,000 tournament will be played.
Test your skills. If you want bigger pots, Pokerstars has sent me an invitation to play in Manila billed “Megastack 4” starting Dec. 1.It features a series of tournaments for five days with a final P2 million event on Dec. 5 with a buy-in of P10,000.
Side events are P200,000, P250,000, P300,000 and P500,000 guaranteed tournaments.
Cepca. This is a reminder that there will be a board meeting on Saturday at Chikaan in Parkmall, Mandaue to discuss the general membership meeting and election of new officers for 2016 to 17, Christmas party as well as the publication of a Cepca magazine to celebrate our silver anniversary.
Our November tournament will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Handuraw Gorordo. This is the last qualifying tourney before the grand finals in December.

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