Thursday, May 10, 2007

Joey starts super GM bid in US this month
By Marlon BernardinoCebu Daily NewsLast updated 12:51pm (Mla time) 05/02/2007

The country’s top Grandmaster (GM) Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. will leave for the US this month to compete in a series of chess tournaments there as part of his ambitious bid to become the Philippines’ second “super grandmaster”.

A chess player needs to obtain an Elo Fide rating of at least 2600 to become a super GM.
Mark Paragua became the country’s first ever super GM when he breached the 2600 mark April of last year. Paragua, however, failed to maintain his position due to a series of dismal results in his past tournaments. He recorded his highest Elo rating of 2621 in April 2006.

The 45-year-old Antonio beat fellow GMs Eugene Torre and Paragua in the latest RP-Fide rating list with 2539 points. Torre and Paragua had identical 2532 Elo points.

According to Antonio, his first stop is the US circuit is the 2007 Chicago Open on May 25 to 28 in Oak Brook, Illinois. He will then fly to Las Vegas, Nevada in June for the National Open then go to Philadelphia for the World Open in July.

The 12-time National Open champion said he has been invited to the above tournaments so he grabbed the chance to enhance his rating points.

“Sana ipagdasal n’yo po akong manalo (I hope you will pray for my success there),” Antonio, the country’s top performer in the 2006 Turin World Chess Olympiad in Italy, said.

Antonio is fresh from a runner-up finish in the tough 2007 Bangkok Chess Club (BCC) Open in Phuket, Thailand and lifted RP-Tagaytay City to a strong second place finish in this year’s Asian Cities Chess Championships in Teheran, Iran.

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