THE Philippine International Chess Championships reels off today (Tuesday, Dec. 6) at the Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City, Zambales.
The opening ceremony will be graced by Congressman Prospero “Butch” A. Pichay, Jr., Chairman and President of National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) together with other NCFP Board of Directors and Officials, Secretary General Congressman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Vice-President for Luzon Atty. Ruel V. Canobas, Grassroots Development and Promotions Committee Chairman Congressman Neri Javier Colmenares and Deputy Sec. Gen. Red Dumuk
The nine-round Swiss tournament is the first of the twin tournaments being organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) headed by chairman, William “Butch” Ramirez and under the auspices of FIDE.
The next international tournament is slated on December 12-19, at the same Venue.
To see action in this prestigious event are Grandmasters from different continents and countries led by Super Grandmaster Wang Hao (2678) China, GM Anton Demchenko (2629) Russia, GM Boris Savchenko (2613) Russia, GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2611) Georgia, GM Levan Pantsulaia (2607) Georgia, GM Kovalev Vladislav (2603) Belarus, GM Merab Gagunashvili (2588) Georgia, GM Kirill Stupak (2562) Belarus, GM Tigran Kotanjyan (2473) Armenia, GM Sriram Jha (2416) India, International Master Tran Tuan Minh (2478) Vietnam, IM Abhimanyu Puranik (2476) India, FIDE Master Tran Minh Thang (2399) Vietnam, Harshit Harnish Raja (2399) India, FM Lee Qing Aun (2227) Singapore.
China’s third-ranked Woman Grandmaster Lei Tingjie, WGM S.Vijayalakshmi (2381) India and WIM Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva (2274) Uzbekistan will also compete.
The Filipino woodpushers will be spearheaded by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, who just won the bronze medal in World Chess Olympiad in Baku Azerbaijan together with Philippines first WFM Janelle Mae Frayna.
Also expected to play from the Philippines are GM Mark Paragua, GM John Paul Gomez, GM Joey Antonio, GM Darwin Laylo, IM Paulo Bersamina, IM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Haridas Pascua, IM Jerad Docena, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia and IM Ricardo de Guzman.