Pestaño: The top lady players in Cebu-A A +A
Thursday, March 14, 2013
THE month of March is International Women’s Month and is celebrated all over the world. Our article for today is all about women chess.
Fide estimates that there are 700 million chess players worldwide but less than six percent are women. There are an estimated 1,300 grandmasters today but only 28 are women.
In the March 2013 Elo list, there is only one lady player (Judit Polgar) in the top 100 and only three in the top 300.
Why the big discrepancy? In a previous article, I wrote “A stereotype exists in chess that women are no match for men. It is based on statistical data. That’s why many female chess players are taught from early childhood that they’ll never make it to men’s level. Parents deem chess as a strange pastime for a girl. The answer seems to be psychological and the upbringing of girls compared to boys.”
However, women’s chess in the Philippines is very active and more so in Cebu as there are a lot of tournaments here where they can participate.
Top local players. Here are the top local ladies. This list was prepared by KC Morala who knows the playing strength of each and every one of them. I also consulted Fide arbiter Marvin Ruelan, who is also knowledgeable as he presides over local tournaments.
1.) Jessa Marie Balbona (20 years old). USJ-R Chess team tertiary level; former Palarong Pambansa player and Philippine Team player; former Prisaa player.
2.) Cecillee Lumapac (18 years old). USJR Chess team tertiary level; former Palarong Pambansa player.
3. ) Airene Robillos (17 years old). USJR Chess team Tertiary level and former Prisaa player.
4.) Jazzelle Villarin (17 years old). USC Chess Team Secondary level; former Palarong Pambansa player, board 1 silver medalist and team gold medalist in Milo Nationals 2012, former Batang Pinoy Visayas Leg champion.
5.) KC Morala (16 years old). USC Chess Team Secondary level; former Palarong Pambansa player, Most Outstanding Player, board 2 gold medalist and team gold medalist in Milo Nationals 2012, Batang Pinoy Visayas leg 2012 champion.
6. ) Sharon Princess Lee Pacres (16 years old). USC chess Team Secondary level; board 3 silver medalist and team gold medalist in Milo Nationals 2012; Batang Pinoy Visayas
LEG 2012 silver medalist.
7.) Laila Camel Nadera (14 years old). USC Chess Team Secondary level; former Palarong Pambansa player, alternate gold medalist and team gold medalist in Milo Nationals
2012, Batang Pinoy Visayas LEG 2012 champion.
8.) Vic Glysen Derotas (11 years old). USC Chess Team Elementary level; former
Palarong Pambansa player; Philippine Team; Batang Pinoy Visayas leg 2012 champion.
9.) Shaira Monsalud (16 years old). UC Chess Team Secondary level; current player for Palarong Pambansa.
10.) Queenelyn Torres (16 years old). ANS Chess Team Secondary level, former Milo Visayas LEG team gold medalist.
Top players nationwide. I contacted Cebuano GM Richard Bitoon, who is now based in Manila for his opinion on who are the top ladies nationwide. Here are the top 5.
1.) Catherine Perena. She is the rating favorite ( top-rated women’s player of the Philippines) and a mainstay of the National team.
2.) Ralp Ylem Jose. She twice won the prestigious national women’s championship.
3.) Jedara Docena. A mainstay of the women national team and a serious rival for every women’s championship.
4.) Bernadette Galas. A new and young talent who performed very well in the recently concluded Asean women chess championship that was held in Tagaytay early this year, besting several WGMs from neighboring countries.
5.) Cheradie Camacho. She used to be the Board 1 player in the Philippine women’s team to the Olympiad but after grabbing the opportunity to study in the USA, she’s been quiet lately.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 15, 2013.