(UPDATE) TRADITIONALLY, chess has been perceived as a male-dominated sport and women are often seen as weaker players.
Not this time, though.
On Wednesday, June 28, 22-year-old Geraldine Guyo, one of the three female players in the tournament, scored 6.5 points in seven rounds to emerge champion in the Sentro Artista Invitational Blitz Chess Tournament held at the Arton Strip by Rockwell, Blue Ridge A, 226 Katipunan, Quezon City.
Guyo, who hails from Trece Martires City in Cavite, scored victories over engineer Allan Anthony Alvarez in the second round, Evaristo Tizon in the third round, Apollo Pablo Zantua in the fourth round, Eric Frigillana in the fifth round, Julian Paul Querubin in the sixth round and Ronald Donasco in the final round. She drew with Alex Guingab in the opening round.
“I knew that this was a tough tournament. I just tried to play my best,” said Guyo, a student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and played under the guidance of UP chess coach FIDE Master/FIDE Trainer Leonardo Carlos and Woman International Master Catherine Pereña Secopito.
“I didn't expect to win. Nonetheless, I feel very blessed.”
Engineer Michael Palma finished second with 6.0 points followed by Benz Ablazo, Ronald Donasco and Chester Concordia who scored 5.0 points apiece.
Julian Paul Querubin and Michael Suacillo, meanwhile, finished with 4.5 points each while Apollo Pablo Zantua led the huge group of four pointers that included the two other female players in the tournament, Bonalyn Ornido and Jarel Lacambra (female).
Guyo, a bronze medalist in the UAAP and Palarong Pambansa, said this is the first time that she topped a major chess event and finished the tournament unbeaten against male players.
Earlier, Quezon City First District Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde, Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. president and CEO Hexilon Josephat Thaddeus Alvarez, son of former senator Heherson Alvarez, performed the ceremonial opening moves to kick off the one-day blitz tournament.
They are joined by International Master (IM) Roderick Nava, Eric Frigillana and IM Jose Efren Bagamasbad.
The opening ceremony was also graced by engineer Allan Anthony Alvarez, Jay and Marjorie Ruiz, Zeke Cancio, National Master Almario Marlon Quiroz Bernardino Jr., lawyer Rodolfo Enrique Rivera, Arnel Espiritu, Noel Jay “Super B Estacio, and chess bloggers Richard Cornell Manzano and Donna de Guzman Apolinar.
Chess enthusiasts from the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers participated in the tournament as a tune-up for a major chess tournament for engineers on Nov. 27, 2023, as part of the 48th Annual National Convention.
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