FILIPINO international master (IM) Jan Emmanuel Garcia shocked stronger and more seasoned rivals to emerge champion in the Fide Arena International Master (AIM) Rey Urbiztondo Thanksgiving and Anniversary Open Online Chess Tournament held recently via lichess.org recently.
Ateneo de Manila University graduate Garcia was a gold medalist in the demonstration online chess event of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Subic in December 2019.
He amassed a total of 50 points in 41 matches played, besting Argentina's IM Lucas Liascovich, Russia's IM Alexander Ulanov and Filipino grand masters (GMs) Mark Paragua and Joey Antonio who placed second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
Garcia received P5,000 while Liascovich, who made 45 points in 39 games, got P4,000 and Ulanov, who also earned 45 points, claimed P3,000. Paragua settled for P2,000 and Antonio pocketed P1,000 in the one-day online chessfest hosted by Engr. Urbiztondo.
Rounding up the top 15 were International Physically Disabled Chess Association online world champion Fide master (FM) Sander Severino (sixth), GM Vugar Rasulov of Azerbaijan (seventh), Uzbekistan's IM Abdimalik Abdisalimov (eighth), GM Jahovir Sindarov of Uzbekistan (ninth) and GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (10th), Filipino national master (NM) Merben Roque (11th), GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov of Uzbekistan (12th), Fide master (FM) Narquinden Reyes (13th), Mahdi Olami Orimi of Iran (14th) and GM Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam (15th).
They also pocketed cash prizes.
The top Mindanaoan players were FM Austin Jacob Literatus of Davao City, FM Elect Ronald Canino and NM lawyer Bob Jones Liwagon; top ladies Vic Glysen Derotas, Adelaide Lim and Mary Segarra; top juniors IM Daniel Quizon, Chester Neil Reyes and Juncin Estrella; top kiddies Ruelle Canino, Ricdaniel Gorostiaga and Gladimir Romero; top seniors IM Angelo Young, IM Barlo Nadera and Tagum City's NM Jonathan Tan; and top PWD AGM Henry Roger Lopez, NM Jasper Rom and Felix Aguilera.
Urbiztondo thanked the 273 participants for joining the event, which he did not expect to also attract rated foreign players.