GRANDMASTER (GM) Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. and National Master (NM) Elwin Retanal are among the favorites in the GM/Atty. Rosendo Carreon Balinas Jr. Online Chess Tournament (open division) on Dec. 27, 2020 at the lichess.org.
The Calapan, Oriental Mindoro native Antonio, a 13-time Philippine champion, is best remembered for his second-place effort in the 2017 World Seniors held in Acqui Terme, topped the Joselito Asi Arena on Dec. 2-3 while the Cebuano ace Retanal, 1997 Philippine Junior Champion duplicate Antonio’s feat winning the Joselito Asi Arena last Dec. 4-5.
Another former Philippine Junior Champion, National Master Jonathan Tan of Davao City, the inaugural winner of Joselito Asi Arena on Dec. 1 also set to fight for his place in this year-ender tournament, hosted by US based frontliner Dr. Joe Balinas and Engr. Antonio “Uncle Paps” Balinas, both founding honorary chairman of the organizing Bayanihan Chess Club.
Also playing are defending champion New York-based GM Mark Paragua and GM Oliver Barbosa, Italy-based GM Roland Salvador, GM Darwin Laylo of Marikina City and WGM Janelle Mae Frayna of Bicol.
Others are IM Barlo Nadera of Malabon, IM Chito Garma of Manila, IM Ricardo de Guzman of Rizal Province, IM Angelo Young of Manila, WIM Catherine Perena-Secopito of Bulacan, WIM Bernadette Galas of Makati, Sydney, Australia based FM Jesse Noel Sales, Thailand based FM Deniel Causo, FM Roel Abelgas of Dasmarinas City, FM Alekhine Nouri of Escalante City, NM Giovanni Mejia of Taguig City, NM Alfred Acaling III of Bacolod City, NM Gerardo Cabellon of Bulacan, and NM Carlos Edgardo Garma of Manila. — Marlon Bernardino