MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa will defend his title in the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship set at the Olympic Sports Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 17-23.
Other GMs leading the Filipino contingent to Malaysia are Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Mark Paragua and Darwin Laylo.
"Mas mabigat ang field ngayon, anyway sana Filipino pa din ang magkakampeon," said Barbosa, the top Filipino performer in the recent 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.
Barbosa expects to face stiff competition from GMs Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands, Thomas Luther of Germany, Wong Meng Kong of Singapore, Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan , Deepan Chakkravarthy J. of India, Cao Sang, Bui Vinh and Nguyen Ang Dung of Vietnam.
"Handa naman ang mga Pinoy sa ganitong kalakas na field. Pero Kailangan ng luck lalo na sa Swiss-System event," said Antonio.
Also playing are GM Richard Bitoon, International Masters (IMs) Rolando Nolte, Ronald Bancod, Oliver Dimakiling, Ronald Dableo, FIDE Masters (FM) Edgar Reggie Olay, Julius Joseph de Ramos, National Masters Stewart Manaog, Almario Bernardino Jr., Edmundo Legaspi and Franz Barreto.
Also included in the all-star field are Woman Grandmasters (WGMs) Nadig Kruttika and Padmini Rout of India and Woman International Master (WIM) WIM Muminova Nafisa of Uzbekistan. – By Marlon Bernardino