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by Marlon Bernardino
GRANDMASTER (GM) Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr.pocketed the top honors in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chess Tournament 2018 held at the

Dasma 2 Central Elementary School near in SM Hyper Market Kadiwa in Dasmariñas City, Cavite over the weekend.

The 13-times Philippine Open champion Antonio collected 7.5 points on seven wins and one draw to win the eight-round tournament in the Open division.

Francis Roy Parro (7 pts.) won the Junior division while Cedric Macato (7.5 pts.) took the kiddies crown.

The Quezon City resident Antonio who hails from Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro scored victories over Eduardo Campos Jr. in the first round, Vladimir Gonzales in the second round,

Michael Constantino in the third round, National Master (NM) MIchael Gotel in the fourth round, Jerome Villanueva in the fifth round, National Master (NM) Carlo Lorena in the sixth round,

Sherwin Tiu in the seventh round and havled the point with Fide Master (FM) Nelson "Elo" Mariano III in the eight and final round.

"I would like to thank God for winning this presitigious PSC chess tournament. My wife who is always beside me and my relative and friends as well," said Antonio, the Vice Champion of the 27th World Senior Chess Championship 2017 (50+ and 65+ Open-men and women) held in Acqui Terme, Italy last November.

Antonio went home the top prize of P12,000 plus gold medal in the two-day (March 17 and 18) rapid chess tournament sponsored by PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez Jr. and PSC commissioner Arnold Agustin and hosted by Dasmariñas City mayor Elpidio "Pidi" Barzaga Jr. and congresswoman Jenny Barzaga and supervised by International Master Roel Abelgas, Mr. Arman Subaste and Mr. Jhoner Egenias.

The time control is thirty minutes (30) and 10 sec. increment for each move according to tournament director International Master Roel Abelgas.

"1st PSC Chess Cup is done a field that strong as Philippine Open Chess Championship. Almost 300 partcpant from as far as Bicol to Pangasinan and nearby provinces gathered to win in 3 division Open, Jr. Kiddies. In the end the best of each field win the prestigious title and big cash prizes. Thanks to Mayor Pidi (Elpidio Barzaga Jr.), Comm. Arnold (Agustin) and to his office Dasmarinas City for logistics, Tournament staffs and most sa dalawang partner ko IM Roel and Mr. Joner. This is the biggest open tournament held in Dasmarinas City in the past 2 decades." said Mr. Arman Subaste, a member of the Philippine Paralympics Team who won gold medal during the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Philippine chess wizard and Dasmariñas City bet Daniel Quizon placed second overall with 7.0 popints on six wins and two draws to received P10,000 plus silver medal.

Rounding up to the top 11 were 3rd place Jerome Villanueva (6.5 pts.), 4th place International Master Roderick Nava (6.5 pts.), 5th place Fide Master Nelson "Elo" Mariano III (6.5 pts.), 6th place NM Michael Gotel (6 pts.), 7th place IM Chito Garma (6 pts.), 8th place Rowel Canaveral (6 pts.), 9th place Lloyd Rubio (6 pts.), 10th place Menandro Redor ( 6 pts.) and 11th place Genesis Mateo Borromeo (6 pts.).-Marlon Bernardino-