Barcenilla tabla sa Battle of the Grandmasters

GINAWA ang lahat na makakaya subalit nauwi lamang sa tabla ang laban ni former two-time Asian Junior champion Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla kontra kay fellow GM John Paul Gomez matapos ang 31 moves ng Sicilian defense tangan ang advantageous white pieces sa pagbubukas kahapon ng National Chess Championship: 4th Battle of the Grandmasters sa historic National Press Club (NPC) sa Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Maynila.

“Mahirap pilitin eh, may repetition na tabla sa laro namin ni John Paul,” sabi ng Chandler, Arizona based Barcenilla, na kampeon sa 1989 Asian Junior Chess Championships sa Dubai, United Arab Emirates at 1991 Asian Junior Chess Championships sa Calicut, Kerala, India.

Una dito, sina Barcenilla at Paris, France-based Joseph Sanchez, na pormal ng nakopo ang kanilang GM title status ng World Chess Federation ay kapwa nakatanggap ng tig P50,000 cash incentive mula kay National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. na nanguna sa opening rites kahapon kasama si tournament director NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales, supervising arbiter IA Gene Poliarco, Asia’s First IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso at Mindanao coordinator James Infiesto.

Habang isinusulat ito, kalaro ni Sanchez si reigning three-peat champion na si GM Wesley So.

“Malaking inspirasyon sa mga kabataan ang karangalan na hatid nina Banjo at Joseph, kahit malayo sila sa bansa natin patuloy silang nagbibigay ng karangalan sa bayan natin,” sabi ni Pichay, na target na makapag-produce ng 20 chess grandmaster para magkaroon tayo ng sariling zonal championships.

Sa iba pang kaganapan, tabla si GM Darwin Laylo kontra kay World Cup qualifier GM Mark Paragua matapos ang 35 moves ng Sicilian defense habang tabla din si Milan, Italy-based GM Roland Salvador kontra kay 2011 Campomanes Yangon International Open champion IM Oliver Barbosa matapos ang 31 moves ng Sicilian skirmish.

Nakataya ang prestigious championships trophy at P150,000 top prize sa event na suportado ng Pilipinas Shell, Manila Pavilion Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee, National Press Club, Remate at Hataw (JSY Publication).

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