THE Negrense and Filipino chess masters will defend their ground against the visiting foreign grandmasters in the ongoing Negros International Open Chess Championship which started Wednesday at the Osborne Hall of Ikthus here in Bacolod City.
Fide Master Sander Severino of Silay City, who recently won a gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Paragames in Kuala Lumpur and was third runner-up in the Negros Open Chess Championship 2016, is up for the challenge in defending the Filipino pride.
Severino, who also ruled the 2017 Negros Closed Chess Tournament in June, is among the top Filipino masters expected to give a good fight. In the 12th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2012, Severino was able to force English GM Nigel Short to a draw.
Aside from Severino, last year’s Negros Open Chess Championship winner IM Ronald Dableo is expected to bring tough game on the table.
Dableo defeated GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. in the final round of the tournament to book an undefeated record in nine rounds, with six wins and three draws.
Among the notable masters expected to do well in this week-long international chess tournament are last year’s second placer IM Oliver Dimakiling and third placer GM Darwin Laylo.
Tournament sponsor Antonio Ivan Aguirre said the presence of these foreign chess masters will further elevate the level of competition.
“This is our collective effort in showing to the world that we can make things happen,” he added. (HGD)