Barbosa leads march of seeded players in La Union Open

GRANDMASTER Oliver Barbosa beat Efren Arguelles in their Queen’s Indian duel to lead the march of seeded players in the second round of the 7th La Union Open Chess Championships on Tuesday at the Ortega Gym in San Fernando City La Union.

Joining the top seeded Barbosa on top with 2.0 points were GMs Rogelio Antonio, Jr., Darwin Laylo and Richard Bitoon, International Masters Ronald Dableo, Chito Garma, Yves Ranola, Oliver Dimakiling and Emmanuel Senador, FIDE Master Paulo Bersamina and Fidel Labuanan.

Antonio downed Deniel Causo; Laylo toppled National Master Edmundo Gatus; Bitoon scalped NM Eduardo Agagon; Dableo outwitted NM Rhobel Legaspi; Garma whipped Jimmy Auman; Ranola nipped Ronald Adaya; Dimakiling trounced NM Nelson Villanueva; Senador got the better of Efren Bagamasbad; Bersamina stunned IM Rolando Nolte; and Labuanan shocked FM Adrian Pacis.

Defending champion GM Eugene Torre skipped the competition to play a more active role in overseeing the tournament along with organizer and tournament director Engineer Joseph Dumuk.

“We’re glad that our grandmasters came here to play and give rapid chess a shot in the arm,” said Torre, who made the ceremonial move along with San Fernando City Mayor Pablo C. Ortega.

The event marks the first time in local chess that a rapid competition is rated by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

“Our city is very proud to host such a historic event,” said Ortega. “We are hoping to make La Union Open one of the most anticipated chess events in the calendar every year.”

The four-day competition sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) offers P50,000 to the champion, P25,000 to second and P15,000 to third. There will be prizes down to the 50th placer.

Also at stake in the event supported by Governor Manuel C. Ortega of La Union, Mayor Pablo C. Ortega of San Fernando City, Rep. Victor F. Ortega, Abono Partylist Rep. Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega and official hotel Villa Estrella Resort are the prizes for the top non-master; top lady, senior (above 50 years old), junior (15 to 20 years old) and kiddie (14 years old and below); and the top three players from La Union. Noli Cruz

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