MANILA, Philippines – Fide Master (FM) Haridas Pascua ruled the Dagupan Bangus Festival/Mayor Benjamin S. Lim Cup Chess Tournament at the University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City over the weekend.
Pascua, who hails from Mangatarem town, tallied a total of 6.5 points to win the title, ahead of top-seeded International Master (IM) Emmanuel Senador.
Senador finished with the same point total, but had to settle for second place as he had the lower tie-break score.
Both players received P8,500 in cash prizes.
Pascua, the highest-rated player in Pangasinan, now has four titles in his name after winning the same number of tournaments organized in the province since December last year.
Bryan Barcelon, Zejih Angelo Merilles and Ronaldo Alvez were tied for third to fifth places with six points each.
Prince Mark Aquino, Leodegario Ricaña, and Emmanuel Lomibao finsihed tied for sixth to eighth places with 5.5 points each.
Meanwhile, John Jasper Laxamana of Pampanga took the solo lead in the Kiddie Category after tallying 6.5 points. He took home a P3,000 cash prize.
Tied for second to third place with six points each were Juan Carlos Presente and Fernando Mendoza. They were followed by John Marx Anastacio, Nezie Ay Merilles and Antonio Almodal III.
Special awards went to Ernali Bayot for the top lady prize, Ricaña for the top senior player, and Jimmy Austria for the top local player. Each awardee received P1000 cash prize.
The tournament, which was sponsored by the city government for its Bangus Festival celebration, was the first tournament conducted by the newly-formed Dagupan City Chess Club (DCCC).
According to tournament director and DCCC President German C. Francisco, the tournament has attracted a total of 190 participants in the kiddie and open categories.
This makes it the biggest tournament organized by a city-based chess club in terms of number of participants. The competitors came from various provinces including Oriental Mindoro, Manila, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Baguio City.
Councilor Redford Christian P. Erfe-Mejia, who led the awarding ceremony, said he hopes that chess tournaments will become one of the regular events in the annual Bangus Festival. -- By Marlon Bernardino.