Friday, November 13, 2009

Paragua has backed out from simul world record attempt. GM Antonio was recall

As early as yesterday, it is already announced that GM Mark Paragua has just backed out from his attempt of setting a new world simul record this coming December. With good reasons. Mark has been struggling with serious chess lately. The organizers then issued that they need to make another recall from the "Old Guard". Eventually, it is GM Rogelio Antonio who heed the call. Although Paragua, 25, is a lot younger than Antonio who is 47, GM Joey is still one, if not the fittest and physically conditioned chess players the Philippines has up to this day. The said simul record will now be dubbed "1 vs. 600 Pinoy Ironman" (Pinoy is a slang for Filipino) and will take place next year, January 22-23, 2010. The last time I saw GM Joey was at PGMA and Pichay Cup and quickly, you have this impression that the man is indeed is in top physical shape to take up this huge challenge. Flat bellied with well rounded arms to show off. He's in the army, for starters, and makes jogging a regular habit and a certified gym buff. On a personal note, I think Antonio has a better chance of performing better than Mark.

Expect for more updates soon.

Marlon Bernardino reports

...GM Mark Paragua is initially considered to try and break the current Guinness simultaneous chess world record held by Iran’s GM Morteza Mahjoob. But a spate of poor performances in big tournaments from the first Filipino to breach the 2600 mark doubts many if he’s really up to the task.

“We’re no longer talking of personal glory here,” Paragua said in Filipino. “GM Joey will have a better shot to break the record.” Antonio readily accepted the challenge. “My game has been pretty sharp recently. I hope I’ll be up to the task and make our country proud,” said the Sta, Mesa, Manila born Antonio, the pride of Calapan, Oriental, Mindoro.

The twelve time national open champion Antonio mowed a strong field in the blitz team competition of the 3rd Asian Indoor Games last week in Hanoi, Vietnam, posting 8.5 points in nine games while Paragua only came up with a measly 4.0 points.
The former University of Manila standout is also the best Filipino finisher in last month’s PGMA Cup and Pichay Cup.

Antonio, the country’s second ranked player behind GM Wesley So, is the first of three Filipinos to qualify in the World Cup 2009 (FIDE World Chess Championships) slated on Nov. 20 to Dec. 15 in Khanty, Mansiyk, Russia. The other Filipinos to qualify are So and GM Darwin Laylo.

His record breaking attempt will be held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Jan. 22-23, 2010. The event will be dubbed 1 vs. 600: Pinoy Ironman.

Supporting the event organized by Touch of Gold Enterprises is Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), Manila Sports Council (MASCO) Chairman Niño dela Cruz, City of Manila, Filway Marketings Inc. CEO/ President Hector "Chito" Tagaysay, g4 chess club and Meralco Chess Club.

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