MANILA, Philippines - Twelve-time National Open champion Grand Master (GM) Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. will spearhead the Mandaluyong City chess team competing in the 2011 National Inter-Cities and Municipalities Chess championship at the Tanauan Gymnasium in Tanauan City, Batangas on November 4-8.
This was announced yesterday by former Rizal Technological University-Mandaluyong top player and team manager Edwin Llamo.
"The Mandaluyong City team backed up by Mayor (Benhur) Abalos and Congressman (Boyet) Gonzales is fielding one talent-laden team to the National Inter-Cities and Municipalities chess team championship," said Llamo.
"GM Joey will surely be one of the players to watch, but the rest of our players are just as talented and capable of making Mandaluyong City proud," Llamo added. "Let's just hope they will play well and continue to bring honors to Mandaluyong City."
Joining Antonio in the team are Fide Master David Elorta, Ricardo Jimenez, Francis Glenn Panes and Jose Vito Tapulgo.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental and multi-titled Tagaytay City have also been tagged as favorites for the tournament.
Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno and Vice-Governor Norres Babiera will draw power from GM Darwin Laylo while Tagaytay Mayor Abraham Tolentino Jr. will lean on GM Wesley So in their bid for the P150,000 top purse.
Other members of the Misamis Oriental chess team are National Master (NM) Onofre Espiritu, Allan Cantonjos and Jhonel Balquin. Completing the Tagaytay chess squad are NM Edmundo Gatus, Ivan Gil Biag and Andrew Casiano.
At least 30 teams, led by the country's top titled players, are seeing action in the 5-day event organized by the Tanauan Economic Council, headed by lawyer Ruel Canobas and supervised by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines led by chairman/president Prospero Pichay Jr.
Prizes have been broken down to the 10th placer, with the runner-up getting P90,000.
Special awards will also be given to the individual board champions with P5,000 to be awarded to the team with the best uniform.
A rapid-chess side event among players of eliminated teams will also be held simultaneously with the semi-final and final rounds, with a P20,000 cash prize to be disputed.
For details, contact Edwin Castillo of Tanauan City (09167027157); IA Gene Poliarco, chief arbiter (09237309445); or NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales (343-3089). -- By Marlon Bernardino