350 chess players join in Asenso MisOcc nat’l open chess tournament

CLARIN, Misamis Occidental (PIA)–Around 350 chess players from all over the country participated in the “Asenso Misamis Occidental National Open Chess Tournament,” July 8–9, at the Aya Hotel and Residences, Clarin town.

The Asenso Misamis Occidental Federated Chess Association organized the National Chess Federation of the Philippines-sanctioned competition with the support of Misamis Occidental Governor Henry S. Oaminal, Ozamiz City Mayor Henry F. Oaminal Jr., and Second District Rep. Sancho Fernando F. Oaminal, who doubled the total cash prize from P130,000 to P260,000.
Gov. Oaminal aims to strengthen its sports development program to support aspiring Filipino athletes, especially Misamisnons.

The governor also vowed his efforts to keep the youth away from illegal drugs and crime and make them productive citizens.

“This sports tournament that we are hosting now is part of our promotion for the sports enthusiasts to say that wala na tayong problema at iisipin pa (we have no problems and will not think negatively about it. Contrary sa mga narinig niyo noon so ngayon (to what you heard before, so now), the peace and order situation is that great, and that is one of our core values and Misamisnon Magpuyong Malinawon, Malambuon of Malipayon,” Oaminal said.

As an invited guest of the 1st Chess Tournament in MisOcc, Hall of Famer and Asia’s first chess Grandmaster Eugenio ‘Eugene’ Torre gave an inspiring talk.

He emphasized the importance and role of parents in children’s involvement in chess in particular and self-discipline in general.

“Marami tayong sports, but talagang naniniwala ako na malaking maiitulong ng chess lalong lalo na sa ating mga kabataan. Ang sports na [chess] sabi nga nila yan ay discipline, nagiging discipline tayo. Ok lang naman hindi ma champion ang mga bata, ang importante dito nagiging discipline sila at meron din silang alternatives,” he said.

(We have many sports, but I really believe that chess can help a lot, especially for our young people. The sport of chess teaches you to become disciplined. It’s okay that children can’t be champions; the important thing here is that they become disciplined and also have alternatives)

International Master Joel Pimentel, a chess teacher at BRD Chess Academy in Cebu, topped the Asenso Misamis Occidental National Open Chess Tournament held over the weekend.

Pimentel scored victories over Danilo Esik in the first round, Rianne Joyce Branzuela in the second round, Gilbert Baba in the third round, National Master Keith Adriane Ilar in the fourth round, Jhonnel Balquin in the fifth round, National Master Levi Mercado in the sixth round, and International Master Angelo Abundo Young in the seventh round.

He drew with Nazario Ubanan and Fide Master Victor Lluch in the final two rounds. Balquin, Young, Mercado, Ubanan, and Lluch finished with 7.5 points apiece, while Ilar, Arena Grandmaster Lyndon Lumancas, Gilbert Baba, Joven Berondo, Jezreel Lopez, Johnny Wellem Carzano, and Lexis Bruce Portacion each tallied 7.0 points.

Ashzley Aya Nicole Paquinol of Cagayan de Oro City, meanwhile, ruled the elementary division, while Sean Kenneth Cogonon of Cebu City dominated the high school division.

Among those who received special awards were National Master Mardonio Fuentes as the top senior player, Jessen Bolando as the top unrated player, and Anna Marie Saldo as the top female player.

The top 10 finishers from Misamis Occidental were Baba, Carzano, Portacion, Archalaus Turno, Alger Palanas, Richard Tuquib, Shoje Navarro, Noel Arabia, Jesus Babat and Roy Ronald Roa.

Recently, Gov. Oaminal, Mayor Oaminal, and Grandmaster Eugene Torre performed the ceremonial moves to formally open the tournament.

Torre, who was recently inducted into the Chess Hall of Fame, also held simultaneous chess exhibition matches against local chess enthusiasts, including the governor, who held Asia’s first GM to a fighting draw.

Misamis Occidental is currently at the forefront of the chess scene in the Philippines. The event is part of the 75th Charter Anniversary of Ozamiz City. (SMRN/PIA-10/Misamis Occidental)

The Provincial Government of Misamis Occidental, in partnership with the City Government of Ozamiz and the Misamis Occidental Federated Chess Association, opens the two-day Chess Tournament at Aya Hotel and Residences, Clarin Town, July 8–9, 2023. Dubbed the “Asenso Misamis Occidental National Open Chess Tournament.” (The Agenda)
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