FILIPINO Grandmasters (GMs) Eugene Torre, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo along with International Masters (IMs) Paulo Bersamina, Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Daniel Quizon will spearhead the country’s campaign in the Asian Continental Chess Championships (Open and Women’s Championships), slated June 7 to 15 this year at the Hongshigou Quesheng Bieyuan Hostel in Xingtai, (People’s Republic of) China.
“It’s going to be exciting, that’s for sure,” said Torre, adding that players from India, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Iran, Malaysia, Singapore and host China have already confirmed their attendance.
The top five (5) finishers in the Open side will earn slots to the World Chess Cup 2019 set Sept. 9 to Oct. 2, in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia where the top two will automatically booked a berth to the Candidates Tournament serving as the last qualifying tournament before the next World Championship in 2020.
The top woman will advance straight to the Women’s World Cup, which is similar to the men’s World Cup.
A total of $75,000 pot will be given away including $11,000 to the men’s titlist and $7,000 to the women’s winner.
“It will be very tough playing against the top Asian players,” said Torre, adding that they will also be challenged by the Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese woodpushers.
Other Filipino entries are Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Janelle Mae Frayna, Woman International Masters (WIMs) Kylene Joy Mordido, Bernadette Galas, Shania Mae Mendoza and Marie Antoinette San Diego.
The Filipino woodpushers campaign is support of National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman/president Prospero “Butch” Arreza Pichay Jr. and secretary-general Abraham “Bambol” Ng Tolentino Jr., Philippine Sports Commission and Dasmariñas City mayor Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr.. — Marlon Bernardino