Paragua rules national bullet chess finals

Roy Luarca
Paragua rules national bullet chess finals
US-based Grandmaster Mark Paragua tops a 16-man field featuring the Philippines' best speed chess players


MANILA, Philippines – When Grandmaster Mark Paragua is around nobody comes close

Living up to hype, the United States-based Paragua scored 25.5 points out of a perfect 30 from his home in New York City to rule the  grand finals of the 1st Philippine Bullet Chess Championship via on Saturday, June 14.

The 36-year-old Paragua, the first Filipino to breach the Elo 2600 barrier, finished 4.5 points ahead of International Master Paulo Bersamina in the 16-man field composed of winners of the 10-leg qualifiers and the country’s best speed chess players.

Paragua, who also dominated last week’s semifinals with 22 points on 19 wins and 6 draws, won the top purse of P30,000.

After settling in the Big Apple, Paragua is contemplating on returning home with his family and rejoining the Philippine team which he represented in 2 World Cups and 4 Chess Olympiads.

“Aside from showing my countrymen I can still win, I also want to represent the country in international events like the Southeast Asian Games and Olympiad in the near future,” Paragua said after beating IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia by 3 points in the semifinals.

Probing the strength of rising stars and veteran players, also took part and won the 10th NBC Arena and SPEC and CA’s Life Arena on Wednesday and Thursday. On May 29, Paragua placed second to GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio in the 1st Baby Uno Chess Challenge.

Unheralded Michael Concio placed third with 20 points, followed by IM Daniel Quizon (18.5), Fide Master Sander Severino (18.5), GM Rogelio Barcenilla Jr (17.5), IM Garcia (16), IM Joel Pimentel (15.5), GM Antonio (16.5) and Samson Chhiu Chhin Lim (13) after the double-round robin among 16 grand finalists.

Bersamina gets P20,000, Concio P10,000, Quizon 10,000, and the rest P5,000 each, courtesy of National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Rep. Prospero Pichay. –


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