Boracay hosts Philippine Battle of GMs Print
Sunday, 15 July 2012 12:26

Boracay isn’t just a showcase for beautiful people. It’s for the brainy ones, too. The country’s top chess players will match wits in this island paradise July 14th to 26th with the staging of the 2012 National Open Chess Championships for men and women.

In photo, Malay Councilor Hon. Wilbec Gelito and GM Eugene Torre make the ceremonial moves opening the Battle of Grandmasters. Witnessing the event are, from left, Carlito Lavega, NCFP Executive Director GM Jayson Gonzales, Tony Echavez, Arch. Levy Gaac, NCFP Director Raymond Linsangan and Louie Ramos, Sister Easter Gadon, GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., NCFP Chairman/President Prospero Pichay Jr., Aklan Provincial Sports Coordinator Wilfredo Neri, NCFP Director and Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares, GM Darwin Laylo, NCFP Director Atty. Edmundo Legaspi,  Arwind Barrios, GM Rogelio Barcenilla,  GM John Paul Gomez, Grace Tolentino, GM Mark Paragua. Seen above is Councilor Rowen Aguirre.


There will be two venues – the Paraw Club in Station 1, Boracay Island from July 14 – 20 and the the Cabagnot Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo Aklan from July 21– 26.The event dubbed as “Battle of Grandmasters” will determine the members of the Philippine Chess Team to the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey scheduled August 27 to September 10.

Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa (Elo 2554), the country’s hottest player this year, will lead fellow GMs and six other qualifiers in the race for the three remaining slots in the men’s team. Top Filipino player GM Wesley So (Elo 2650) is already assured of a slot while the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. shall seed another player to the men’s team.

The other GMs in the field are Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. (Elo 2548), John Paul Gomez (Elo 2539), Julio Catalino Sadorra (Elo 2525), Mark Paragua (Elo 2508), Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla (Elo 2501), Darwin Laylo (Elo 2489), Eugene Torre (Elo 2469), and Richard Bitoon (Elo 2442).

Heading the qualifiers are International Masters Oliver Dimakiling (Elo 2415) and Emmanuel Senador (Elo 2353), FIDE Masters Roderick Nava (Elo 2397), Haridas Pascua (2310) and Randy Segarra (Elo 2283) and 15-year-old Giovanni Mejia.

The event is organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) with P655,000 in cash prizes with the winner getting P150,000. GM and IM norms are also up for grabs. Visit for results and standings of the Men’s and Women’s divisions.

Competing for the three slots in the women’s are Woman International Masters Catherine Perena (Elo 2091) and Beverly Mendoza (Elo 2058), Woman Fide Masters Rulp Ylem Jose (Elo 2061), Jan Jodilyn Fronda (Elo 2022), Cherry Ann Mejia (Elo 1995) and Marie Antoinette San Diego (Elo 1922), Woman National Masters Jedara Docena (Elo 2061), Janelle Me Frayna (Elo 1991), and Shania Mae Mendoza (Elo 1806), Eden Tumbos (1776), Akiko Charmaine (1892) and Mikee Charlene Suede (1948).

NCFP will seed two players in the women’s team. The event is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in coordination with the Boracay Chess Club, Gov. Carlito S. Marquez of Aklan, Lone District of Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores and Ang Kasangga Party List Rep. Teodorico T. Haresco, Jr.

-by Marlon Bernardino-

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