IT WAS a dream that came true.
This is how 34-year-old Fide Master Sander Severino described his victory in the recently-concluded International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) World Online Chess Rapid Championship held last June 17, 2020.
He is the Philippines' first world chess champion.
"I'm so happy with this result. It's been my dream to become a world champion," said the Silay City-born titlist in a messenger.
Despite his disability, after diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was eight years old, Severino dominated 5-time world standard chess king IM Igor Yarmonov of Ukraine to finish undefeated with 8.5 points following an eight-win and a drawn record.
Meanwhile, former world champions Israeli IM Andrei Gurbanov and Russian IM Andrei Obudchuk settled second and third with seven points apiece while Filipino bets Jasper Rom and Henry Lopez finished sixth and eighth places, respectively, with 6.5 points each.
It was recalled that Severino also settled for second place during the First Fide Online Cup for People with Disabilities last month.
Severino drew with Poland Grandmaster Martin Tazbir in the fifth and finished tied at first with 4.5 points each but, eventually ended second in the final ranking after tiebreaks. Tazbir edged Severino in the tiebreak, 10.5 to 10.0.
The Silay City-hailed Fide Master also won against other titled players like CMC Mucha Annegret of Germany, Woman IM Natasha Morales Santos of Puerto Rico, FM Vit Valenta of the Czech Republic, and International Master Yuri Meshkov of Russia.
With that win, Severino took home 400 euros or P22,000 for his feat.