GM Short, NM Roque Lead Negros Int’l Open Chess in Round Opener

Grandmaster Nigel Short (2698) and National Master Merben Roque (2309) defeated their respective opponents in the opening round to lead the 2017 Negros International Open Chess Championship at the Osbron Hall in Ikthus, Mandalagan, Bacolod City on Wednesday.

GM Nigel Short (left) and Antonio Ivan Aguirre during the ceremonial move of the 2017 Negros International Open Chess Championship, while Mr Dante Albao look on.* (contributed photo)

Seeded no.14, NM Roque went up in the ranking list after he won against fellow Filipino NM Rustum Tolentino (2323) on board 14, while top seed English GM Short forced Filipino Women International Master Jodilyn Fronda (2170) to surrender in 37 moves on board 1.

GM Short will stay on the top board to face seeded no.13 Filipino David Elorta (2313) who scored a win against Jerish Velarde (1608) in their opening match.

On board 2, NM Roque is paired against seeded no.3 Vietnamese GM Tuan Minh Tran (2558). GM Tran routed local chess player Xavier Verdun (2147) for his first win.

Other top pairing in Round 2: Rommel Ganzon vs GM Srinath Narayanan, bo.3; GM Duc Hoa Nguyen vs Jayson Salubre, bo.4; Edsel Montoya vs IM Ronald Dableo, bo.5; IM Oliver Dimakiling vs Ellan Asuela, bo.6; GM Antonio Rogelo Jr vs Emmanuel Emperado, bo.7; Daniel Quizon vs IM Kim Yap, bo.8; IM Minh Thang Tran vs NM Elwin Retanal, bo.9; and FM Stephen Pangilinan vs IM Chito Garma, bo.10.

Tournament sponsor Antonio Ivan “Tony” Aguirre said that the presence of these foreign chess masters will further elevate the level of competition – as well as expecting tough challenge from local GMs and masters.

“This is our collective effort in showing to the world that we can make things happen,” Tony Aguirre added.

The international open chess event offers a total cash prize of close to USD14,000 and as much as Php90,000 in the Challenger’s Cup. Champions in their respective categories will go home with $3,000 and P25,000 including a trophy and medal each.

The A&V Negros Chess Club Inc., organized tournament in cooperation with the National Chess Federation of the Philippines under the auspices of FIDE was able to gather 17 titled chess players including 7 GMs, 6 IMs, 2 WIMs, and 2 FMs.

Tournament director is Jose Dante Albao with Leo Romitman as assistant tournament director and International Arbiter Gene Poliarco as chief arbiter.* (James G. Toga)