The Asian Juniors and Girls Chess Championships got going Friday at the Knights Templar Hotel in Tagaytay City with Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino welcoming the 58 participants representing 11 countries competing in the nine-day event.
“We are expecting great matches from these young Asian masters in the championships that give opportunity for our Filipino players to get grandmaster norm and international master [IM] norms,” said Tolentino of the twin competitions for players aged 20 and younger.
Tolentino is an honorary member of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE, having once served as its secretary general. He also previously headed FIDE’s Southeast Asian Zone when he was the National Chess Federation of the Philippines’ secretary-general.
Cavite Vice Governor and NCFP Vice President Athena Bryana Tolentino made the ceremonial first moves with girls’ top seed, Woman IM Assel Serikbay of Kazakhstan.
Reigning national juniors champion FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri and girls titlist Mhage Sebastian lead the country’s campaign, along with IMs Daniel Quizon, Michael Concio, Al-Basher Buto, Andrew James Toledo, Gabriel Ryan Paradero, Ronell Co and Marlon James Piel.
The nine-round Swiss system tournament is sponsored by the Asian Chess Federation, Philippine Sports Commission and City of Tagaytay.
Also present during the simple opening ceremony were ACF Executive Board member Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh of Iran and Appeals Committee members from India, Guam, Iran, Malaysia and Kazakhstan.