'Chess can wait'

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Looking for a solution to end the Covid-19 virus threat proves to be much tougher than analyzing a subtle position atop the 64-square-board. (Lynde Salgados)

THE scheduled Cagayan de Oro Fide-rated Under-20 chess tournament on March 27-29 at Limketkai Mall has been postponed, owing to the escalating virus scare known as Covid-19.

"There's no hope for us now to continue, but it's not a cancellation. Chess can wait at the right time atong i-reset kon mawala na kanang salot," said tournament coordinator Fide Master Rustum Tolentino.

The Cagayan de Oro bets were trampled upon when they traveled last year to campaign in a Fide-rated chess event in Tacurong City, Cotabato province.

They'll supposedly be up to a stiff challenge in their turn to host another Fide-rated competition against the visiting wards of female Fide arbiter Margie Narcilla had it not for the deadly coronavirus that already scored a number of deaths across the country.

FM Tolentino said at least 10 players from Tacurong City had booked themselves to compete in the Goldcrest Marketing Corporation-backed 20-Under Chess Tournament tentatively set at the Green Lane 2nd floor of Limketkai Mall.

Tolentino expects a maximum of 150 participants in the keenly-awaited tourney that already confirmed another 10 entries each from Zamboanga City and Kisolon, Sumilao, Bukidnon.

"Sumilao Mayor Sonny Villo, who is a close friend of our godfather in CDO chess (National Master Roly Tan), is also a competitive chess player himself which to explain why we have entries from Kisolon. Pero apil ang Bukidnon nag community quarantine na pud sila tungod sa Covid-19," Tolentino said.

Among those who signified their participation are the varsity players of Corpus Christi School to be spearheaded by Palaro standouts David Rey Ancheta and Lorebina Carrasco II, as well as Euniel Grant Capilitan, Kenneth Caingin, the Gabing siblings (Charles and Bruce) in the company of Lance Magloyuan, Garcia, Libago, Bansiloy and the Maestrado sisters.

Consistent in promoting local chess development, the Goldcrest Marketing Corporation under the stewardship of NM Tan is offering over P50,000 in total cash prizes for the said event.

If things will get better, the three-day tourney will adopt the nine-round Swiss System format with standard time control of 60 minutes and 30 seconds increment.

The top three winners will receive P10,000, P9,000 and P8,000, while fourth up to 10th placer will get P7,000, P6,000, P5,000, P4,000, P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000 all with certificates.

Top female, top unrated and top kiddy will also be given with P1,000 each, also with certificates.

FM Tolentino, who runs the Masters Class Chess School in Cagayan de Oro alongside National Master Levi Mercado, said the participants shall not have a published Fide Rating of 2001 or more at the start of the tournament.


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