National Masters will compete in the 4th GAEV George S. Aguirre/Atty. Eugenio Villasor Villanueva Jr. Memorial Negros Rapid Chess Championship to unfold today at the Centroplex Mall at Gonzaga–Locsin streets, Bacolod City.
Leading the lists of top wood pushers who will vie for the title is FIDE Master Sander Severino, who has already confirmed his participation, Tournament director Marvin Ting said.
“This is the strongest cast so far since the GAEV tournament started years back, and since this weekend tournament will also draw some top players in the ongoing Unigames, the competition is expected to be tough,” he said.
National Master Rodrigo Atutubo, NM Alfred Acaling, NM Edwin Tan, NM Allan Severino, NM Nelson Villanueva and NM Rolando Andador are also competing.
Also coming strong in this tournament are defending champion Police Officer 1 Ernie Abanco, Ted Ian Montoyo (3rd GAEV champion) and Danny Mangao, among others.
Severino who played in the Bangkok Open early this year, is expected to be a strong contender for the crown following his remarkable performance in that international event.
Defending champion Abanco stressed that though he finds his opponents tough, he is ready to defend his crown.
The 7-round, one-day tournament will grant each player with 25 minutes to finish the game.
On the other hand, Hugo Villanueva and Lawrence Villanueva of the sponsoring group jointly said they look forward to see more Negrense wood pushers competing in the international tournaments, adding that through this tournament, we can develop more Grand Masters.
Lawrence, who is also the president of the First Community Bank Incorporated further said at the same time we will be able to help our fellows Negrense chessers experienced this level of competition in preparation for more international competition.
The tournament is a commemoration of the Aguirre and Villanueva’s clan to their lost loved ones, who were also former chess players.
Antonio Ivan Villanueva, Lea Aguirre and Mary Jo Aguirre will grace the tournament and award the prizes to the winners.*HLG
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