by Marlon Bernardino
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro---PH chess genius Keene Ijssel Dirk Valdez swept all five matches on the way to ruling the elementary open division of the 2019 Lifecore Enterprises Open Chess Tournament dubbed as Grandmaster Rosendo Carreon Balinas chess cup at the Bulwagang Panlalawigan in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on Saturday.
The nine years old Valdez, a grade 4 pupil of Camilmil Central School of Puting Tubig, Calapan City emerged as the only player with an unblemished record among the participants of the four divisions in the two-day tournament organized by United Chess Players of Calapan, Inc. headed by it's president Emmanuel "Noel" Bandelaria Asi and supported by Nicolas Ramil Castro of Lifecore Enterprises Inc. in cooperation with local government of Calapan City, Province of Oriental Mindoro and Philippine Executive Chess Association (PECA) led by it's president Dr. Jenny Mayor.
Chad Stephen Madrigal placed second with 3.5 points, while Kent Andrei Cante is at third with 3.5 points.
John Mark Ditaunon, meanwhile ruled the high school open side with 5.0 points with Jeff Janssen Arellano and Kyle Nemuel De Silva who had four points apiece, finished second and third, respectively.
National Master (NM) Raymond Salcedo of the Philippine Airforce Chess Team won the executive division followed by solo second place Jose Rizal University chess team head coach Fide Master (FM) Nelson "Elo" Mariano III.
National Arbiters Byron Villar and Israel "Ice" Landicho of the Chess Arbiter Union of the Philippines (CAUP) supervised the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) sanctioned tournament.
The FIDE rated Lifecore Enterprises Open rapid chess championships gets underway on Sunday with 13-time Philippine Open champion Grandmaster (GM) Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. defending his title. Antonio, 57, who hails from Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro is the country's representative in this year's 2019 FIDE World Seniors Chess Championships to be held on November 11 to 24 in Bucharest, Romania.-Marlon Bernardino-