TOP seed GM Eugene Torre hopes to make it back-to-back championships when he opens his campaign in the 9th Asian Seniors Chess Championship at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City this weekend.
Torre, who captured the title with a rare sweep of the nine-round tournament held in Auckland, New Zealand last year, sets out as the top favorite in the event hosted by the Tagaytay City government thru Cong. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Mayor Agnes Tolentino.
Torre, who will turn 67 on Sunday, is top seed with an ELO of 2449 in the nine-round competition which offers P150,000 in cash prizes in the over-50 and over-65 categories.
“It will be a another big challenge for me, but I am ready to defend the title. I’ll do my best as always,” said Torre, who finished 2.5 points ahead of Ewen Green of New Zealand and compatriot Edmundo Legaspi in Auckland last year.
Several foreign players, including four from former Russian republic of Kazakhstan and three from Indonesia, and a handful of Filipino standouts will provide the challenge.
Leading the foreign challenge are Oleg Rinas, Kuanishbek Jumadullayev, Aitkazy Baimurzin a nd Timur Kazzymuv, all of Kazakhstan; and Muhammad Novian Siregar, Syarif Mahmud and Hendry Jamal of Indonesia.
Aside from Torre, IM Chito Garma, Cesar Caturla, Rosendo Bandal, Casto “Toti” Abundo, Efren Bagamasbad, Adrian Pacis, Stewart Manaog and Rolzon Roullo will also carry the Filipinos’ campaign.
Three-time champion Helen Milligan of New Zealand will also gun for her fourth straight women's title.
Milligan, however, is expected to find a strong challenge from Mila Emperado.
The champion in the tournament organized by the Tagaytay Chess Club on behalf of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and the Asian Chess Federation (ACF), will receive the International Master title and a Grandmaster norm.
Runners-up receive the FIDE Master title.
Tournament director Michael Lapitan said a rapid chess championship is scheduled on the first day on Saturday (Nov. 3), followed by the nine-round Swiss System tournament and a blitz championship on the last day.
Players should reach their 50th or 65th birthday in 2018. Participants must have been born in or before 1968 for seniors over 50 and for women over 50, and born in or before 1953 for seniors over 65.
Time control for standard chess is 90 minutes each for the whole game, with 30 seconds increment per move from the first move.
Default time is 30 minutes after starting time.
Time control for rapid chess is 15 minutes each plus 10 seconds increment per move.
Time control for Blitz chess is 3 minutes each plus 2 seconds increment per move.
For inquiries, call/text supervising arbiter Pat Lee at 0995-542126.