AFTER Failing their mission to qualify in the prestigious World Cup, Filipino Grandmasters Rogelio "Joey"Antonio Jr., Mark Paragua, Darwin Laylo, John Paul Gomez and Richard Bitoon will start their bid in the $100,000 Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Open and Women's Chess Championships on May 18 to 26 at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.
Joining them were US based GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, International Masters Rolando Nolte, Barlo Nadera and Emmanuel Senador, among others.
The tournament is held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by it's Chairman/President Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Asian Chess Federation and FIDE, and organized by the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation.
The top five qualify to the 2013 World Chess Cup scheduled on August 10 to September 5 in Tromso, Norway. Filipino Grandmasters Wesley So and Oliver Barbosa are the early qualifiers. Barbosa finished in the top five in last year's Asian Continental in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam while So qualified from the Zonal Championship organized by NCFP Secretary-General Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino last January in Tagaytay City.
The Asian Women's champion advances to the 2014 Women's World Championship tournament. Last year's Asian women's champion was Irene Sukandar of Indonesia.
The tournament will be a 9-round Swiss system with games scheduled daily. This is the fourth time for the Philippines to host the Asian Continental previously held in Cebu City in 2007, and Subic Bay in 2009 and 2010. Asian Chess Federation president Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan shall be the guest of honor during the opening of the event.
Concurrent with the championship will be a FIDE Trainers Seminar on May 20-24, organized by the Florencio Campomanes Chess Academy under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation and conducted by FIDE Trainers Commission Secretary GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece and GM Eugene Torre. Asia's first grandmaster was recently conferred the FIDE Senior Trainer title, the only FST in Southeast Asia.
For more information, players may call Pat Lee at the NCFP office, tel 0927-7209260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Seminar inquiries may be made with Elias Lao at 09262378876.