FILIPINO GRANDMASTER Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. is now set to conquer the world after winning the senior division of the IGB Dato’ Tan Chin Nam International Chess Open at the Cititel Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
The 13-time Philippine Open champion Antonio ruled via tiebreak against countryman Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales. Messrs. Antonio and Gonzales both tallied seven points apiece in nine outings.
International Master Tiro of Indonesia came solo third with 6.5 points followed by a huge group of 6.0 pointers that included Fide Master Maksum Firdaus of Indonesia (4th), National Master Carlo Lorena of the Philippines (5th), Grandmaster Alexander Fominyh of Russia (6th) and International Master Mikhail Vasilyev of Ukraine (7th).
Prior to the Malaysia chess campaign, the Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro native Antonio also topped the Open Kitchen rapid chess tournament held at the Open Kitchen food hall 34-36 P. Tuazon Boulevard, Barangay Kaunlaran, Cubao, Quezon City last Aug. 5.
The Quezon City-based Antonio, 57, is scheduled to represent the country in the FIDE (World Chess Federation) World Seniors Chess Championship to be hold on Nov. 11 to 24 in Bucharest, Romania.
To recall, Mr. Antonio toppled International Master Spartaco Sarno of Italy in 51 moves of a Caro-Kann Defense to finish second in the 50-and-above division of the 27th World Seniors Chess Championship in Acqui Terme, Italy in the 2017 edition.
Mr. Antonio will be seeing action this week when the 2nd Torrevillas Knights Cup Open Rapid and Kiddies chess tournament gets under way on Aug. 21 at the Samar College in Catbalogan City, Samar.
The one-day tournament is being hold in celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew 2019, backed up by Torrevillas Knights in cooperation with the Catbalogan City Chess Club and the Hermano Mayor of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew 2019.
After the Catbalogan chessfest, Mr. Antonio will defend his title in the 2019 Lifecore Enterprises Open Chess Championships set at the Bulwagang Panlalawgian, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, on Sept. 15 in the event backed up by Nicolas Ramil Castro of Lifecore Enterprises Inc. and organized by United Chess Players of Calapan Inc. President Emmanuel “Noel” Bandelaria Asi. — Marlon Bernardino