Antonio wins anew, regains overall lead
MANILA, Philippines – For Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, chess is never-ending learning.
The 13-time national champion continues to study, practice and play even during this COVID-19 pandemic.
No wonder, the 2017 World Seniors Championships 2nd placer can still win titles in standard and online tournaments.
Antonio, pride of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, scored 8.5 points in 11 games and bested 4 others via tiebreak to rule the 3rd Cesar Orbe Memorial Chess 960 Series on Wednesday, April 8, and regain the overall lead in the five-leg event organized by National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director Atty Cliburn Orbe in honor of his father.
Fide Master Arden Reyes, Ellan Ansuela, John Michael Silvederio and FM Alekhine Nouri also tallied 8.5 and wound up 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively.
In the process, Antonio, winner of the inaugural leg of the online series, wrested the lead back from FM Sander Severino, champion of the second leg, with 10 points.
Severino, a four-gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, has 8.0 points following a second-place effort in the second leg.
GM Darwin Laylo and Reyes shared 3rd and 4th places with 3.0 points each.
“Nakatsamba ulit (I got lucky again),” said the 58-year-old Antonio, who bared he’s used to playing online, especially during these trying times. “Praktisado ako (I’ve been practicing), but it was difficult because most of the entries are young and fast.”
Antonio, who’s weaving poems and dabbling in column writing for Abante, said he’s inclined to compete anew if the World Senior Championship 2020 pushes through from November 5-18 in Assisi Italy.
According to Antonio, he and other former champions like GM Nigel Short of England and GM Wang Hao of China were invited to the 20th Bangkok Chess Club Open, but the event supposed to be held April 11-19 got canceled due to COVID-19.
In last year’s edition, Antonio wound up 29th in the +50 division where United States-based International Master Angelo Young finished eighth. Olympian Cesar Caturla ended up 24th in the +60 division of the annual event held in Bucharest, Romania.
Antonio shone in the 2017 World Seniors, landing second in Acqui Terme, Italy. – Rappler.com