Oro’s Tolentino tops Aurora chess tourney

ALWAYS believing that his chess theories are a notch better than the rest in the field, National Master Rustum Tolentino of Cagayan de Oro indeed mesmerized his foes in the 2nd Mayor Boen Dorotheo Cabahug Jr. Open chess tournament concluded recently at the Aurora gymnasium in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tolentino amassed 7.5 points on six wins and three draws to rule the nine-round Swiss system event that made him P20,000 richer.

“After scoring 4.5 points of the possible five on the first day, I was thinking that in the bag na nga smooth sailing akong campaign. And yes, it gives you more confidence to play when you have deep understanding of the complicated chess theories,” Tolentino later told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro.

A chess master known to have a “rockstar attitude,” Tolentino immediately threw a party with circle of friends in Oro chess community after conquering the tough Aurora Open that served as a major highlight of the annual “Adlaw sa Aurora Badak Festival” in cooperation with the Black Knight Chess Club headed by businessman Joey Ardiente.

Tolentino’s casualties include Oro compatriot Silverio Abasolo, Joey Albert Florendo of Zamboanga, NM Alan Macala of Davao City and Rommel Ganzon of Cebu City. While his matches with Johnnel Balquin (CdeO), NM Paulo Florendo (Zamboanga) and Airforce man Allan Cantonjos (Gingoog City) in the 9th and final round all ended in a draw.

Winning chess tournaments, Tolentino said, will help enhance his credibility and convince the parents of aspiring kids in the locality to let them study chess under his tutelage.

“I’m a chess mentor either sa internet or home service and that’s one of my motivation to finish strong in any chess competition,” Tolentino further said.

NM Florendo, Cantonjos and Hernando Fernan shared second to fourth places with identical 7 points to equally divide among themselves the pooled prizes of P20,000 cash also with trophies.

Mayor Cabahug said Aurora town is bent to make the chess tournament a regular fixture in the Badak Festival Celebration.

“We believe that promoting chess is one way to bolster sports development in our province. So we expect chess players from other places to come here every time we celebrate Badak Festival,” were the mayor’s inspiring words.
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