Former NCAA campaigner Marvin Marcos crowned himself champion of the 2nd Pag-IBIG Chess Tournament after prevailing over second-seed Jobannie Tabada in the final round last Friday at the Reef Mall in Dubai. The former Letran varsity tallied 6.5 points in seven games, emerging as the only undefeated player in the tournament to pick up the top purse of Dh 750 plus the championship trophy.
(Final standings, cross-table, round-by-round results, photos, videos at the end of the article)
Rolenson Loyola, another college standout who was part of the San Sebastian College dynasty that had a dominating championship run in the NCAA from 1997-2002, collared the second spot with 5.5 points following a miracle win over top-seeded Fide Master Antonio Molina Sr. Loyola picked up Dh 400 and a trophy.
Loyola, playing the white pieces, was a pawn down and was battling Molina’s two rooks with his rook and bishop in an otherwise hopeless endgame when his top-seeded opponent suddenly blundered away a rook, accentuating the trend of reversal of fortunes at the top two boards.
On board one, Marcos, wielding the white pieces, was likewise on the receiving end of a gradual squeeze, but Tabada missed a relatively easy queen move that would have netted a pawn and an irresistible kingside attack; instead, the fallen second-seeded player chose a forcing line that won him a quality advantage, but at the cost of giving up the initiative and with it any real chance of securing the point and the championship.
Iloilo’s Rocky Pabalan also had 5.5 points after outplaying India’s Johnny P, but settled for third place with an inferior tiebreak score. Pabalan received Dh 300 and a trophy.
Angelita Melicano, on the other hand, proved to be the tournament’s biggest revelation after the 33rd-seed took the fourth spot with five points, edging out five others who had the same score to secure the Dh 200 cash prize. Molina also had five points to settle for fifth place and a Dh 100 cash prize, while fellow five pointers’ Tabada, Gilbert Taopa, Antonio Marbella and Pakistan’s Ali Sibit wound up sixth to ninth and received Dh 75 each. Tenth was India’s Santhosh P with 4.5 points.
The special awards went to India’s Anuswend (Best Kiddie Player), new FCPL member Arnold Jimenez (Top Unrated), Jumar Abo (Top Under-1900 rating category) and Paul Ducalang (Top Under-1800).
Meanwhile, Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL)-UAE members elected the group’s board of directors also on Friday. The BOD members are set to meet on March 13 to finalise the roster of officers and committee chairmen.
Sponsored by Pag-IBIG Fund, the 2nd Pag-IBIG Chess Tournament was organised by FCPL in cooperation with Reef Mall. A total of 48 players took part in the tournament, which was held on two successive Fridays.
Final Standings (Please click on image)
Cross Table (Please click on image)
Round 7 Results (Please click on image)
Round 6 Results (Please click on image)
Round 5 Results (Please click on image)
Round 4 Results (Please click on image)
Round 3 Results
Round 2 Results
Round 1 Results
(Photos by Kyrie Villaluz)
Tournament Champion Marvin Marcos
First Runner-up Rolenson Loyola
Second runner-up Rocky Pabalan
Third Runner-up Angelito Melicano
Fourth runner-up Fide Master Antonio Molina Sr.
Fifth runner-up Jobannie Tabada
Sixth runner-up Gilbert Taopa
Seventh runner-up Antonio Marbella all the way from Abu Dhabi
Eighth runner-up Ali Sibit from Pakistan
Ninth runner-up Santhosh P from India.
Top Unrated and new FCPL member Arnold Jimenez
Top Kiddie Player Anuswend from India
Newly elected FCPL Board Member Willy Laceste receiving the Top Under-1800 rating category award on behalf of Paul Ducalang
Pag-IBIG UAE staff Lowella addressing the audience on behalf of Pag-IBIG Representative to the UAE Mr. Gerry Lababo, the chief architect of the tournament who could not attend the final day of the event as he had to rush back to the Philippines to attend to important familay matters. His father, we regret to say, passed away last week.
All winners, all smiles.
Another take of the champion's trophy.
Tournament arbiter Anthony Pelayo, a National Arbiter in the Philippines who has also earned the Fide Arbiter title in Dubai during a recent seminar
Emily, the awarding ceremony's MC, doing last-minute preparations.
Willy Laceste, who has selflessly worked behind the scenes in several FCPL tournaments, including this event.
The Pag-IBIG staff entertaining queries from potential Pag-IBIG members.
The staff attending to a new Pag-IBIG applicant.
A view of the Pag-IBIG desk from above.
The following are photos during the penultimate sixth round.
Board-one encounter between Jobannie Tabada (left) and Rolenson Loyola, one of the two leaders in the sixth round. On board two, co-leader Marvin Marcos (left) vs. India's Udin Shahab. Tabada and Marcos won their matches to set-up a final-round encounter.
A closer look at the top boards with arbiter Anthony Pelayo.
Round 7 - The Ultimate Matches
Rey Joy Bartolay clowning around while waiting for his opponent to return. (Foreground) Iran's Samer Mehdi (left) vs. Sibit, who won the encounter.
Bartolay's opponent, Antonio Marbella, returns and ponders his next move. Marbella won the game.
Archie Rafols (left) faces India's KS Sumith. Rafols won.
Tabada (left) in trouble after making inaccurate moves in the middlegame against eventual champion Marcos.
Crowd starts to gather as final-round matches wind down to the last few minutes.
Board-one encounter at a point when Tabada's black side still held the initiative.
Jimenez (right) and Taopa (second from left) about to win their final-round games.
FM Antonio Molina pressing for a win with his queen and two rooks against Loyola's Queen, bishop and rook. The game eventually reached an endgame with Molina having a decisive advantage of rooks and a passed pawn (g-pawn) against Loyola's bishop and a rook. The game ended tragically with Molina giving up his rook for nothing in return.
Lower boards in action.
Ronnie Balilo inspects the game of fellow BOD member Jun Moneda (right) against new FCPL member Lawrence de Luna.
From the other side of the board.
Final moments of the eventful final-round matches at the top boards.
Crowds jostle for a front-view of the final-round action. On board two, Loyola ponders his move - a few pushes later, Molina commits the tragic blunder.
Rey Medez (left) and FCPL patron Paul Ducalang analysingduring a break.
Videos are found here.