Sunday, March 15, 2009


ONE of the most-awaited chess events of the year – the “Battle of GMs chess championships – finally comes off the wraps on March 24-31 in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

An annual undertaking of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) under president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay and secretary--general Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, the week-long tournament will be held this year in cooperation with the Dapitan City government thru Mayor Dominador Jalosjos and secretary to the Mayor Alemalrou Dagpin.

Venue of the competition is the Pavilion Hotel in Dapitan City.

Twenty-four of the country’s top male and female players, led by newly-crowned Corus champion GM Wesley So and Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, and Dresden (Germany) Olympiad veterans Catherine Perena and Cheradee Chardine Camacho, are seeing action in the prestigious tournament which offers a guaranteed cash prize of close to P1-million.

So, the country’ s highest-rated player with an ELO of 2627, and Perena, the highest-ranked female player with an ELO of 2184, are the top seeds in the tournament.

Torre is seeded second with an ELO of 2560 while newly-minted GM John Paul Gomez is ranked third with an ELO of 2539.

Other notable players seeing action are newly-crowned Gov. Umali Cup champion GM Mark Paragua, fourth with an ELO of 2537; GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., fifth with an ELO of 2519; GM Darwin Laylo, sixth with an ELO of 2504; GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, seventh with an ELO of 2471; and GM Jayson Gonzales , eighth with an ELO of 2466.

Completing the men’s field are GM-candidates Richard Bitoon (ELO 2473), Julio Catalino Sadorra (ELO 2439), Rolando Nolte (ELO 2488) and Ronald Dableo (ELO 2342).

So, Gomez, Villamayor, Gonzales and Laylo represented the country in the recent 38th World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany. Torre served as non-playing team captain.

Perena is top seed in the women’s division with an ELO of 2184, followed by Camacho with ELO of 2166.

Joining Perena and Camacho in the female division are Shercila Cua (ELO 2155), Sherily Cua (ELO 2143), Daisy Rivera (ELO 2094), Rulp Ylem Jose (ELO 2054), Beverly Mendoza (ELO 2045), Christy Lamiel Bernales (ELO 2043), JEdara Docena (ELO 2001), Kimberly Jane Cunanan (ELO 1991), Jan Jodilyn Fronda (ELO 1970) and Rida Jane Young (ELO 1957).

Perena, Camacho, Rivera, Cua and Bernales all saw action for the RP team in the Dresden Olympiad.

For inquiries, call NCFP executive/event director Willie Abalos at cell. 0929-2266210 and 0928-5513089.

Source: National Chess Federation of Philipines

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