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 Zealanf 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 and 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.