All eyes will be on Asia’s first grandmaster Eugene Torre when the 2018 Asian Seniors Chess Championship gets underway on Saturday at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City.
Torre, the “Poster Boy” of Philippine chess in the mid-70s, will be the defending champion in the prestigious, nine-round tournament, hosted by the Tagaytay City government through Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Mayor Agnes Tolentino.
“It will be a another big challenge for me, but I am ready (to defend the title). I’ll do my best as always,” said Torre, who will turn 67 on Nov. 4.
Torre, who served as coach of the Philippine team which finished 37th in the 53rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia recently, topped last year’s edition in New Zealand.
The Filipino champion is also the top seed with an ELO of 2449.
Expected to challenge Torre are FM Oleg Rinas of Kazakhstan, FM Muhammad Novuan Siregar of Indonesia, Kuanishbek Jumadullayev of Kazakhstan, Than Khin of Myanmar, Syarif Mahmuf of Indonesia, Aitkazy Vaimurzin of Kazakhsran, Tony Davis of New Zealand, Kian Hwa Lim of Malaysia and Mahmood Dodeen of Palestine.
Also entered are IM Chito Garma,,Cesar Caturla, Rosendo Bandal, Casto Anundo.
Efren Bagamasbad, Adrian Pacis and Stewart Manaog.
At stake in the prestigious 10-round tournament organized by the Tagaytay Chess Club on behalf of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and the Asian Chess Federation is over P150,000 in cash prizes.
The champion will receive the International Master title and a Grandmaster norm. Runners-up receive the FIDE Master title.
There will be a special award for the best woman chesser.
Already registered are Helen Milligan of New Zealand and Mila Emperado of the Philippines.
The tournament, which is now on its ninth year, will have the over-50 and over-65 categories.
A rapid chess championship is scheduled on the first day on Friday (Nov. 3) followed by the nine-round Swiss System tournament and a blitz championship on the last day.
Players should have reached their 50th or 65th birthdays in 2018.
Participants must have been born in or before 1968 for seniors over 50 and for women over 50, and born in or before 1953 for seniors over 65.
Time control for standard chess is 90 minutes each for the whole game, with 30 seconds increment per move from the first move.
Default time is 30 minutes after starting time. Time control for rapid chess is 15 minutes each plus 10 seconds increment per move. Time control for Blitz chess is 3 minutes each plus 2 seconds increment per move.
Michael Lapitan will serve as tournament director, while Pat Lee is chief arbiter.
For inquiries, call/text 0995-5421266.