7:30 am: I read Mr. Rolly Sol Cruz invitation. OMG! Hope to arrive at least for round 1. Wrote a hasty post, phone my boss that I'll be late for about two hours. Rush.
10:15 I arrived at the playing venue. Drench with sweat. The playing hall was cool. Shivering. Did not catch GM Torre and Antonio for the opening ceremonies and speeches. People were everywhere and I'm alone. Where do I go from here?
10:50 Fellow chess blogger and web neighbor, Rusticbull from Malibay chess club was the first to greet and welcome yours truly. We exchanged warm handshakes. My pleasure. Asked me if I want to play. I said, no thanks, some other time, I'll just take pictures, observed and will be going back to work soon. Shy. He introduced me to BW member, Epistle, we exchanged warm handshakes too. He calls me Sir Catolos. I blushed. Pls don't do that again :)
11:30. Desperate for something to eat. I just took a small bite from a small banana. That's all I had for breakfast before rushing to Meralco. Never ever skipped breakfast! Thank God, the venue was a canteen! Learned that round 1 will start in about 5 minutes. Drank two glasses of water instead. Realized that I need to pee!
11:45. Looking for Sir Rolly Cruz. Where's he? Heard a thundering, commanding voice. Somebody was yelling at me from the other side of the playing venue. "CATOLOS!!!" It was Mr. Rolly Cruz. I rushed towards him, yes I know I'm late, a handshakes ensued, he thanked me for coming. Sigh of releif. Asked me to play as a guest for the Meralco team. It's an honor. Shook hands with other members of the Meralco team. I'm feeling at home.
12:00 pm . I met Pulsar of Chessph. Very funny guy. Lots of sense of humor. We took our lunch together and talked things about chess bogging. He introduced me to Knyt4k and said so this is the guy who caused us so much trouble about Wesley So playing for Singapore! we all laughed. Met other members of the Barangay Wesley Club during lunch. One noisy and lively pack. Thank you sir Rolly by the way for the free lunch and...participation fee as well.
1:00 pm. Believe it, SMART all text 20 in an important day like this? But I need to phone my boss to inform him that I'm not going to report for work that day!
5:45 pm Snack/dinner at McDonalds with the Barangay Wesley team. Got to know them better. Laughed a lot. Also a long talk with Rustic. Sounds selfish but I'm glad to find that I'm not the only one who are feeling the tremendous stress of chess blogging.
6:15 pm. share one another phone numbers and we go our separate ways. I'm tired but happy. Nice people I met. Till next time guys.
1st - RP PARA, 14.5 pts
2nd - Brgy WESLEY, 11.5
3rd - MERALCO, 10.0
4th - La Salle, 6.0
Interesting moments: In the final round, partially blind Rudy Canonigo playing Board 1 for the PARA team still has ongoing game. Sitting silently on his left was his teammates, Francis Ching (totaly blind) who had just won a game. Rudy's opponent left momentarily to go to the rest room. Francis, eager to learn the progress of his teammates games, leaned towards Rudy and asked: "how things going?" which Rudy replied, "not good" then Francis stretch out his arms, and grazed his fingers over the board, feeling it and said: "what? a pawn down". Amazing.
Please meet these two talented and gifted individual. They were the center of attention of the day.
Playing board 1. Rudy Sarmiento. Analyzing positions in his head, not in the board. Very courteous man.
Top performer of the friendly tournament, the talented and smiling face, Francis Ching, scoring a perfect 3 out of 3. He likes playing blitz chess too in between rounds!