NOT only Filipinos but also rated foreigners have signed up for the Fide Arena International Master (AIM) Rey Urbiztondo Thanksgiving and Anniversary Open Online Chess Tournament.
The August 26 event via lichess.org will no doubt be a must-watch showcase of sheer brilliance and skills. Matches will be livestreamed via IM Roderick Naya’s YouTube Channel.
Filipino woodpushers will have the rare opportunity to play with the likes of Uzbekistan’s No. 2 grandmaster (GM) Nodirbek Abdusattorov (2677), touted as the second-youngest GM in history at the age of 13. He was also a former Asian Junior Champion and 2012 Age Group World champion.
Joining him in the elite cast are GM Vugar Rasulov of Azerbaijan (2656), international master (IM) Alexander Ulanov of Russia, and IM Lucas Liascovich of Argentina.
On our side, the top 3 current Chess Olympiad team members led by New York-based GM Mark Paragua (2692); Asian Seniors champion GM Joey Antonio (2531), GM Darwin Laylo will also show their wares.
International Physically Disabled Chess Association (Ipca) World Online Chess Championship 2020 titlist Sander Severino along with other Filipino titled and local players are also joining.
“We are indeed happy that in our little way, we will be able to give a relaxing time during this crisis,” Urbiztondo said. He, however, didn’t expect that the meet would turn out to be star-studded.
Registration is still open with cash prizes awaiting category winners - open, seniors, juniors, ladies and persons with disabilities.
Online chess tournaments have been thriving since the pandemic started as most players are just within the confines of their homes due to quarantine control measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
No matter how minimal the prizes are or even at times there are no prizes at all especially for some youth or age-group tournaments, the good thing is competition is always available for young players to hone their skills even just virtually.
Some Filipinos, including Davao City’s very own arena grand master Rowelyn Joy Acedo, have also earned Fide arena titles that were not really possible before.