Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So, Antonio, 3 others resume Asian Games build up

Gz2010Image via Wikipedia

TOP seed  GM Wesley So and  newly-crowned  Tuguegarao  Open champion GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. continue  their  build up for the coming Asian Games when they head four other players in a short, round-robin tournament starting today  (Oct. 17) at the Fischer Farm Resort in  Dasmariñas,  Cavite.
So, the country’s highest-rated player with an ELO of 2668, and Antonio will lead the Filipinos’ campaign in the Asian Games scheduled Nov. 12-27 in Guangzhou, China.
The other players seeing action  in the five-day, round-robin tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) as part of  the training of the Guangzhou-bound  national team are GMs John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Eugene Torre and IM Oliver Barbosa.
The tournament was originally scheduled to begin at the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) office in Quezon City last Friday, but was reset for today in a different venue upon the request of the players.
Except for Barbosa, all five players will represent the country in next month’s prestigious competition considered as the ‘Olympics’ of Asia.
Babrosa was added to the tournament by virtue of his strong third-place finish in the 2010 PACE-Tuguegarao Open Chess Festival won by Antonio and So.
“This will be a good opportunity for our players to hone their skills and bolster their chances  for gold medals in the coming Asian Games,” said Pichay.
“The Asian Games will be one of the biggest chess competitions in the calendar and our players must be in good shape to be able to hold their own against the top players  from Asia, especially host China,” explained Pichay, who also appointed Torre as playing captain.
Pichay said So and Antonio are two of the country’ s brightest hopes for medals in Guangzhou.
So, who turned 17 years old last Oct. 9,  is also scheduled  to compete in the SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence)  Group A tournament set Oct. 28-Nov. 7 at the Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
So will be one of six world-class players seeing action in the SICE  tournament,   considered as  the highest-rated international invitational tournament in U.S. history to date.
Aside from So, the other participants in the category 16 tournament are GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, GM Alexander  Onischuk of United States, GM Georg Meier of  Germany, GM Ray Robson of the United States and Eugene Perelshteyn of the United States.
So, Almasi and Onischuk also saw action for their respective countries in the recent World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Torre, the country’s most-experienced player,  said  Antonio’s addition to the Guangzhou-bound  team  is a wise decision.
Antonio was  recently  reinstated to  the national team after coming to terms with the NCFP, which suspended him for his failure to compete in two   international tournaments held in the country.
Meanwhile,  NCFP executive director Wilie Abalos  said   the  five-day tournament  at the Fischer Farm  Resort  in Dasmariñas of  well-known chess  patron Boy Pobre will adopt the format  also to be used in  the SPICE tournament  in  Texas, United States which gives three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.
The SPICE-inspired format is designed to encourage players to always go for a win and avoid quick and safe draws.

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