Blind chessers Torres, Evangelista lead 2021 PSC Para Games winners

Lynde Salgados
Blind chessers Torres, Evangelista lead 2021 PSC Para Games winners
Geronimo Torres and Mark Christian Evangelista top their respective divisions in the PSC Pilipinas Para Games Online Chess Tournament with perfect scores

Blind chess players Geronimo Torres and Mark Christian Evangelista both ended up with perfect scores to lead the winners in the 2021 Philippine Sport Commission – Pilipinas Para Games (PPG) Online Chess Tournament on Sunday, November 21, via Tornelo format.

The completely blind Torres forced the resignation of Gerald Faustino in the sixth and final round in a hopeless pinned Bishop position to remain spotless in ruling the B1-Men’s category.

Meanwhile, the partially blind Evangelista bested a 16-man field that included the higher-rated Abraham Peligro (1750), finishing undefeated in five rounds to top the B2-Men’s class of the nationwide competition for people with disabilities.

Joining them in the PSC-backed tourney are the physically-impaired John Franz De Asis and distaff counterpart Aime Dumagpi ,and completely blind and partially blind women chessers Yolanda Pespes and Siena Mae Requiron.

De Asis, after racking up five straight wins, held Eric Abanco to a draw for a 5.5-point total and claimed the PI-Men’s crown contested by 45 participants.

Abanco and Jordaine Tupaz settled for second and third places after edging fellow five-pointers Alexis Elinon and Joseph Gregana in the Bucholz tiebreaker.

This, as the physically handicap Dumagpi – with only a single opponent in sight – defeated twice Clarence Oreña, 2-0, to claim the P1-Women’s top prize.

Pespes, on the other hand, finished in a three-way logjam with fellow four-pointers Kyla Jane Langue and Abigail Magno, but prevailed in the tiebreaker to secure the B1-Women’s diadem.

The unrated Requiron, meanwhile, topped the B2-Women’s division with a 4-of-5 performance.

Requiron yielded to Shirley Abogado, but won over Marilou Lucero, Daryl Ann Higanto, and the rated pair of Regina Abogado (1664) and Alibelle Magno (1153).

All of the top three finishers received P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 cash prizes, respectively, plus stuffed toy freebies.

The three-day event was inspired by the success of the country’s para pawnpushers in the international stage, producing a first-ever Filipino world champion in 2020 International Physically Disabled Chess Association titlist Fide Master Sander Severino, and a fourth-place finish in team competition of the recent 4th World Chess Championship.

“We are here to empower the para athletes, promoting their rights to participate and compete,” said the multi-tasking organizer cum tournament director, National Master James Infiesto.

He acknowledged PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez for making the success of the para games for amateur grassroots talents across the country possible.

“We are launching this project in a continued efforts to address our need for a truly comprehensive grassroots sports development program for our para athletes and continuously harness their full potential,” said PSC oversight commissioner for para athletes Arnold Agustin. –

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