Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Philippines new chess grandmaster, IM Roland Salvador

Reports has it that the Philippines will have a new chess grandmaster, Italy based IM Roland Salvador. That makes Salvador the 12th grandmaster the country has ever produced by far.

by Marlon Bernardino

Final Standings: (Open Division, 103 players)
7 points---IM Roland Salvador (PHILIPPINES)
7 points---GM Vladimir Epishin (Russia)
7 points---GM Peter Prohaszka (Hungrary)
7 points---GM Viesturs Meijers (Latvia)
7 points---GM Alberto David (
6.5 points---GM Manuel Leo Hoyos (Mexico)
6.5 points---IM Roberto Mogranzini (Italy)
6.5 points---Valerio Raineri (Italy)

MANILA, Philippines---ROLAND SALVADOR is the Philippines newest chess grandmaster.

The San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan ace Salvador, who is currently based in Italy formally earned the elusive GM title during the 11th edition of the International Chess Tournament Fermo-Porto San Giorgio was held August 21 to 29 at the Astoria Hotelin Fermo (5 minutes from Porto San Giorgio on the sea) in Italy.

Salvador, a former top player of Rizal Technological University (RTU) under the wings of it's president Dr. Jose Q. Macaballug and head coach Olympian NM Mauro Yasay in the mid 90's was declared winner on best tiebreak score and he doubled the celebration by fulfilling his third and final GM norm by virtue of the 7/9 FIDE rule.

Salvador, GM Vladimir Epishin of Russia, GM Peter Prohaszka of Hungrary, GM Viesturs Meijers of Latvia and GM Alberto David of
Luxembourg tallied identical 7 points apiece in nine outings but the former (Salvador) enroute the coveted championships trophy with a superior quotient in the event which attracted 103 players.

"Inaalay ko po sa bayan ang pagkapanalo ko dito sa Italy chess at pagkuha ng 3rd at final GM norm. Naging inspirasyon din po natin si President/ Chairman (NCFP) Pichay (Prospero) na patuloy na sumusuporta sa local at international tournament para lalong mapalakas ang chess sa Pilipinas kasama na ang pagdaraos niya (Pichay) ng malalaking torneo sa bansa. Hope sa future event po natin dito sa Europe ay matulungan din tayo ni President/ Chairman Pichay," said Salvador in an exclusive interview of this writer yesterday.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President/ Chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. lauded Salvador latest feat in a seperate interview yesterday.

"He deserves this... I'm really happy for him (Roland Salvador). "This proves once again that the Filipino can be at par with the world's best woodpushers," said Pichay.

The undefeated Salvador, earlier beat Jon Arana Garate, Valerio Raineri, Rubern Bernadi and GM David, respectively. He settled a truce with IM Branir Certic of Serbia in the fifth, toppled IM Paolo Vezzosi of Italy in the sixth and drew his last three remaining games against Epishin, Prohaszka and Meijers, in order.

With his impressive performance here in Fermo-Porto San Giorgio in Italy , Salvador raised his Elo rating points 2498 to 2511, enough ELO rating points for a grandmaster status after breaking the Elo 2500 mark. Salvador achieved his 1st GM norm in 2004 in Bratto, Italy and picked up his 2nd GM norm in 2006 in Genova, Italy.

He will soon join the ranks of RP's elite group of GMs which includes Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez and Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla.

However, Salvador and Barcenilla needed to discussed their full-pledge GM title status in the upcoming FIDE Congress coincide the World Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiyk in Russia on Sept. 21 to Oct. 3.

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