"WE LOVE Cagayan de Oro and we'll always be behind Mindanao chess development."
Saying this, many-time Philippine chess champion Grandmaster Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. assessed that the P420,000 2nd Robert Tan Memorial Cup concluded recently at the Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro was a big success.
"Isipin mo na lang, 'mi mga big events din sa Manila pero pinili pa rin ng mga top players from the big city to come here and compete. Talagang all the best for Cagayan de Oro or Mindanao chess development," said the 57-year-old living legend of Philippine chess Antonio, who went on to pocket the P30,000 top purse in the individual rapid chess event.
Completing the top-15 winners are: GM Joey Antonio and GM Darwin Laylo, 9.5 points; Johnnel Balquin and IM Joel Pimentel, 9 points; Ellan Asuela, Lennon Hart Salgados and FM Narquingden Reyes, 8.5 points; Sherwin Tiu, IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia, NM Edsel Montoya, IM Ronald Dableo, IM Nouri Hamed, FM Nelson Mariano III, Eduardo Tare II and Cyril Ortega, at 8 points each.
Lawyer Anthony Cliburn Orbe, board director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), was among those who competed in the "tatluhan" team chess competition won by the all non-master cast of King Nico Tire 1 (Don Tyrone delos Santos, Ricardo Batcho, Rommel Llavanes) that brought home the lion's share of P100,000.
Home squad Goldcrest Marketing Corporation (Johnnel Balquin, Christian Arroyo, Bobby Salomon) bagged the runner-up prize worth P70,000.
"Atty. Orbe of the NCFP is now a successful businessman in Manila but he's a native of Iligan City. No doubt, palangga niya ang mga players sa Mindanao which to explain his team's participation," said NM Rustum Tolentino of the organizing Masters Class Chess School.
Team Larry Dumadag (NM David Elorta, Cecil Cuevas, Eduardo Tare II), Philippine Army (Alfredo Rapanot, Antonio Chavez Jr., Eltiur Fretz Balacy) and Bacolod Black and White Pieces (IM Joel Pimentel Jr., Marvin Ting, Remegio Ditchon Jr.) shared third to 5th places with similar 11 match points.
Quantum Zero (NM Raymond Salcedo, Allan Cantonjos, Jake Riddick Sabordo), Municipality of Talakag (NM Rustum Tolentino, Bryan Jose, Roland Sajetarios) and Team Ahuvati (GM Darwin Laylo, Junaico Segismar, Gerry Millan) occupied sixth to eight spots with similar 10 points.
Among the top-15 team finishers are FLM Team (NM Joey Albert Florendo, Norman Longjas, Jones Maghuyop), MEGU Team (NM Edsel Montoya, Jethro Esplanada, Noel Rey Gullan), Aimcoop (Cyril Ortega, Roumundo Jaime Alexis Edades Jr., Wilhelm Joey Ardiente), MD 1 Chess (IM Richelieu Salcedo III, Silverio Abasolo, Wil Maghanoy), Team United A (Vince Angelo Medina, Neptali Batucan III, Gabriel Libre) and Guevarra Law (Jimmy Dano, Jimzon Trangia, Atty. Jose Dionisio "Jong" Guevarra).
National Master Roly Tan of the sponsoring Goldcrest Marketing Corporation (GMC) said the Memorial Cup, as tribute to his older brother and fellow chess lover, Robert, will become bigger and better next year.
"For as long that every Filipino chess player in the country will support it, the Memorial Cup is here to stay as one of the top chess attractions in Mindanao every year," the ever humble NM Tan told SunStar Cagayan de Oro.