SEA Games: Pinoys brace for formidable field in chess

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2019 06:01 AM

Philippines head coach Eugene Torre (left) acknowledges that the national chess team will go through the proverbial eye of the needle in the Games. Handout/file

After several qualifying tournaments, the Philippines has come up with a 10-member chess squad that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games, which begin next month.

The composition of the team will be revealed in the next few days, although head coach and chess Grandmaster Eugene Torre assured the top names were selected. 

“We did our best para ma-pinpoint the best we could offer. Lahat ng qualifying event pinagdaanan nila,” Torre said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

“Very tough ang chances natin this coming SEA Games kasi lalo ang Vietnam ifi-field nila 2 highest-ranked players nila na ang isa nag-world champion na sa rapid chess,” he said.

Vietnam is set to field Quang Liem Le and Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen. 

Le is currently the No. 1-ranked player in Vietnam and No. 21 among active players in the world. He is the 2013 World Blitz Chess champion. 

Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen, 14, meanwhile, is the youngest Vietnamese player to become Grandmaster.

Indonesia also has a potent pair in Susanto Megaranto and Novendra Priasmoro. 

Susanto went toe to toe with Torre in the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games, while Novendra is considered a threat on the board.

There will be five chess events in this year’s SEA Games: Blitz (men’s and women’s), rapid (men’s and women’s) and ASEAN chess.
“We'll make the best effort na maganda ang preparation at psychologically prepared,” Torre said.

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