BERNARD Nillo finally broke out of his slump and took the February championship crown of the monthly regional Kordilyera Chess Tournament held in La Trinidad, Benguet during the weekend.

Nillo, who placed fourth in last year’s grand battle of the champions, will once again see action for the battle of the champions slated this coming June after taking home the top February prize including trophy.

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The Baguio City National High School chess wiz will be joined by Rafael Kimmayong, Frederick Bintuhan and Daryl Kipas in the June contest after they topped last January’s tournament.

It was a tough win for Nillo, who had to get the advantage of a tie break to edge Inso Abubo who settled for a decent first runner–up finish but nonetheless will join the champion in the battle of the champions.

Dindo Maslang took the second runner-up finish, while Marvin Limocon, Julio Busaing and Fabian Passi settled for the third, fourth and fifth places, respectively, who were all tied after seven rounds.

The KCA’s monthly tournament was launched last year and culminated in a “battle of champions” hosted by the Municipal Government of La Trinidad with Oscar Guanzon as the eventual winner last December.

More than 40 woodpushers from Baguio City and neighboring towns joined the tournament.

RKCA Vice President Roger Garcia said the group decided to make two battles of the champions for this year with the June winner joining the December affair.

“We will be having one battle of the champions in June and another in December so players who qualified will no longer have to wait until the end of the year,” added Garcia.

He said this is also a venue for the organization to discover new and young talents who might compete locally, at the national level and even internationally. (Roderick Osis)