Monday, December 28, 2009

Impressions from 3rd Gathering of Knights and Kings

They said that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. But last Sunday at the gathering, you don't need to pretend or play incognito as a fine Romans of noble birth just to be in the company of the Knights and Kings or simply called the "Old Vanguard" of Philippine chess. The 3rd Gathering of the Knights and Kings took place last Sunday, December 27, at the roof deck of Prince Gregory Condominium in Cubao, Quezon city. No other than GM Eugene Torre supervised the one day event. The closed quarters of the venue helps the players and guest to interact more with one another, I guess. Serenades, foods, drinks, gift, and friends never lacks. Dinner was also served at around 8:00 pm. Everyone was treated with excellent sweet and sour fish nuggets.

This friendly, exhibition tournament was made special by the presence of all grandmasters who participated in the recently held World Cup of Chess in Khanty. Wesley So, Rogelio Antonio and Darwin Laylo.

Also for the first time, in person, we had the opportunity of having some informal chats with the fathers of two chess prodigies, William So, father of Wesley and Bong, father of Stephen Rome Pangilinan. Our conversation all starts with simple kind words of humility that goes like this, "Sir, aren't you the father of Wesley/Stephen?" in which we received in return: "are you the author of ChessHeroes?".

Kapmigz, and Alexis and Tony, avid supporters of Philippine chess were here too. Also present and accompanying the So father and son is Mr Reggie Tee, who will accompany Wesley instead of his father William to Corus in January next year. GM Jayson Gonzales also showed up accompanied by some of his varsity players from FEU.

The Open section, or the masters section of the 3rd Gatherings of Knights and Kings was won by GM Joey Antonio, defeating the surprised finalist and first placer after the elimination rounds, National Master Ali Branzuela. The overwhelming favorite, Wesley So ended up in fourth place after finishing the elimination with 3 wins and 2 draws, loosing the tie break points to Antonio in the process.

This event is just a friendly and exhibition tournament which means yours truly had all the privileged and enjoyment of taking photos all at my hearts content and once again, test my amateurism in photography. I actually captured over 300 photos with my DSLR in 7 hours! Such an opportunist. Hope we'll get another chance to get invited in the 4th edition of this gathering next year.

Project director GM Eugene Torre in yet another great and inspiring speech. The moment he spotted Wesley, Eugene said something witty about Ivanchuk and everyone lets out a hearty laugh.

It actually starts as a rumor. But Wesley So just arrived, with restraint humility.

Now he finaly took notice of the attentions and allow us with this one.

One more time. Thank you Wesley.

William So, Wesley's father, Meralco Chess Club president Rolly Cruz and a man who needs no further introduction, Project director GM Eugene Torre.

view from the roof top of Prince Gregory Condominium.

Tony, GM Joey, Rolly and Alexis. GM Joey tells us some bits about his recent stint in World Cup of Chess and the funny slipping incidents he had in Khanty.

Except for NM Bernardino, not one among the crowd saw it coming but IM Nolte.

GM Eugene observing the game of Paulo Bersamina with a cup of sugar free coffee.

Spot a GM among the crowd. Just sneaking in. Making sure sure he won't miss the action.

WFMs' Daisy Rivera and Sherily Cua. Be warn. Their shyness is highly contagious.

Winner of the Non Master Section, Narquinden Reyes. Nope. That envelop does not contain a vibrator as earlier joke by GM Eugene but some kind of facial massage battery powered machine that probably looks similar to vibrator GM Eugene is quite familiar with.

7 years old Stephen Rome Pangilinan who earlier this year tops the Las Vegas International Chess Festival- Susan Polgar under eight-year-old division. He settled third overall in the kiddies section of K and K.

Still fresh from World Cup, GM Darwin Laylo. Darwin finished 6th overall. Torre has some encouraging words for him, being impressed with his performance against Navarra in WCC

GM Jayson Gonzales who commits an outrageous bishop sacrifice in his round 5 game against GM Joey. It didn't work though. His FEU varsity team also accompanied him in the K and K tourney.

Believe by many as the next chess superstar in the country, Paulo Bersamina. He's the top kiddies of this tourney.

Surprised finalist and second placer, NM Ali Branzuela wearing jersey no. 53

The K and K masters section champ. GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio. Hope he'll like it ;)

The so called "Old Vanguard". The Knights and Kings. During this photo sessions I heard someone shouted like: "They'll put our photos in the computers!" (he means the internet, I presume).

Final Standings: (Master division/ 35 players)


Champion: GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr.

2nd place: NM Ali Branzuela

3rd place: IM Rolando Nolte

4th place: GM Wesley So

5th place: IM Petronio Roca

6th place: GM Darwin Laylo

7th place: IM Barlo Nadera

8th place: NM Roberto Suelo Jr.

9th place: GM Jayson Gonzales

10th place: NM Allan Macalla

11th place: RP and US master Almario Marlon Bernardino Jr.

12th place: NM Erwin Carag

13th place: NM Rudy Ibanez

14th place: NM Mirabeau Maga

15th place: FM Deniel Causo

16th place: NM Edgardo Garma

17th place: IM Ronald Bancod

18th place: NM Raymond Salcedo

19th place: IM Emmanuel Senador

20th place: IM Chito Garma

21st place: Mark Ingcad

22nd place: NM Allan Sasot

23rd place: NM Elias Lao

24th place: FM Adrian Ros Pacis

25th place: FM Leonardo Carlos

26th place: NM Julius Sinangote

27th place: NM Efren Bagamasbad

28th place: NM Andrew Vasquez

29th place: Jerry Areque

30th place: NM Alex Milagrosa

31st place: NM Ponciano Badilles

32nd place: NM Eduardo Agagon

33rd place: Rodolfo Panopio Jr.

34th place: NM Edmundo Gatus

35th place: NM Samuel Estimo


MANILA, PHILIPPINES---GRANDMASTER (GM) Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., reigning RP Boy 12 and under champion Paolo Bersamina, Ray Marras and Narquinden Reyes emerged winners in Sunday's 3rd Gathering of Knights and Kings (Fianchetto Invitational Chess Tournament) at the Rooftop of Prince Gregory Condominium #105 12th Avenue along Pedro Tuazon in Cubao, Quezon City.

The twelve-time RP Open champion Antonio, a sergeant at the HSSG of the Philippine Army under Commanding Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, defeated National Master Ali Branzuela in the finals (2-game match, seven minutes with three seconds increment), 1.5-0.5, to captured the Master division title and the top purse of P6,000 in the one-day event hosted by sportsman/ businessman Cesar Iligan, organized by Fianchetto Realty Development Corporation. Asia’s First Grandmaster Eugene Torre acts as the Project Director while International Arbiter Gene Poliarco serve as Chief Arbiter.

Earlier, the Sta. Mesa, Manila native Antonio, needed to beat fellow former University of Manila (UM) team mate IM Rolando Nolte for the last final berths using the advantageous white pieces in their Alekhine Skirmish to arrange a titular showdown with Branzuela, one of the mainstay of Philippine National Police (PNP). Branzuela, meantime booked his seat in the finals after topping the five round Swiss-system elimination round with 4.5 points.

Antonio, Nolte and GM Wesley So tallied identical 4.0 points each, after the tie break points was applied, Antonio landed over-all 2nd place in the elimination round followed by Nolte and So who failed to enter in the play-off match because of lower tie break.

Rounding up to the top 20 finishers were No.5 IM Petronio Roca, No.6 GM Darwin Laylo, No.7 IM Barlo Nadera, No.8 NM Roberto Suelo Jr., No.9 GM Jayson Gonzales, No.10 NM Allan Macalla, No.11 RP and US master Almario Marlon Bernardino Jr., No.12 NM Erwin Carag, No.13 NM Rudy Ibanez, No.14 NM Mirabeau Maga, No.15 FM Deniel Causo, No.16 NM Edgardo Garma, No.17 IM Ronald Bancod, No.18 NM Raymond Salcedo. No.19 IM Emmanuel Senador and No.20 IM Chito Garma in the event which attracted 35 woodpushers

Paolo Bersamina, on the other hand, the pride of Pasay City defeated Prince Kenneth Reyes, 2-0, in the finals to dominate the Women and Kiddies tiara. Stephen Rome Pangilinan, winner in this year’s Las Vegas International Chess Festival Susan Polgar under eight-year-old division settled over-all third.

In other final results, Ray Marras edged NCFP official Wilfredo “Willie” Abalos, 2-1, to pocket the Executive title while CSB top gunner Narquinden Reyes walloped Clement Valledor, 2-1, to rules the Non-Master title. MARLON BERNARDINO


Tony said...

Nice article Des! I'll keep a copy (cut & paste) in my word files for
GM Eugene.

Might be good to put up a photo gallery for all the photos, ask
Resty na lang how to do it when he's back from vacation (via picasa ata).

See you around in 2010 hopefully a more vibrant year for chess!

Des Catolos said...

Hi Tony, I just simply wish everyone was there. Together with Rusticbull and Pulsar this tourney would easily make as the most publicized chess tournament in the web :D

Tony said...

Hi Des,

Request lang on the last photo titled 'The Old Vanguard', maganda siguro makumpleto yung names nila.

Of course you will need help as some of them baka di ka pa nga pinanganak!

I will help - seated from right - 2nd is NM Elias Lao, IM Cardoso, Mr Iligan/Fianchetto Realty Pres, and
rightmost is NM Allan Sasot.

Standing are IA Poliarco, GM Eugene,Coach Hentysky Mariano, Master Glenn Bordonada, Ricky Merano, Maga is wearing the cap with Phil flag and at rigthmost is FM Adrian Pacis

Darius said...

Crisp sharp article. Very attentive to details. Great photos too. hope you can upload more.

Des Catolos said...


Thank you Tony for the enlightenment. We will make another post for that one.


I'm glad that you like it. We will!

Tony said...

Hi Des,
I was making the rounds of the international chess blogs and when I visited chessdom - lo and behold your article was featured, and with
due acknowledgement! Congratulations!

Di lang na-extra, 4 photos were selected of the main characters. Im glad to see the photo of the 'Old Vanguard' included. I hope the old masters get to see/read it!

koyodenzo said...

sir des,

Happy New Year!

Sorry if di ko na update yung site sa Hindi kasi gumana yung link ng article niyo nung clinick ko siya kaya ayon di tuloy na repost. Ok lang ba na i link ko siya kaso late na masyado. CEnxa napo talaga, medyo na busy po kasi sa work.


Des Catolos said...

happy new year din sayo koyodenzo. No problem. repost mo na lang anything na interesting dito na fit sa site ni wes.