by Marlon Bernardino
Manila---Grandmaster (GM) Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla Jr. did it again.
The 48-years-old Chandler, Arizona, USA based Barcenilla collected six points on two wins and eight draws to win the qualifying tournament for a Philippine chess Olympiad team organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) headed by chairman/president Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and executive director Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
Thus, Barcenilla a two-time (1989 and 1990) Asian Junior champion in India and Dubai and 1991 Bronze medalist in World Juniors championship in Romania will lead the country’s team to the first FIDE Online Olympiad slated July 22 to August 30.
It shall be recalled that Barcenilla won the 2019 Philippines National Chess Championship dubbed as Battle of the Grandmasters in an impressive fashion held at the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence (PACE), 2nd floor, No. 56 Mindanao Avenue, Project 6 in Quezon City last November 26.
Other member of the team were GMs Mark Paragua and Darwin Laylo for the men’s, Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna, WIM's Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Catherine Secopito and Bernadette Galas for the women, IMs Daniel Quizon and Michael Concio for the boys Under-20 and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido and WFM Jerlyn San Diego for girls U-20.
"Pagkakapanalo ko ng Online Olympiad siguro yun tamang preparation lang din at kundisyon ng katawan kasi hindi biro five rounds a day ito tapos rapid pa. Tapos mabigat ang line up din.,"said Barcenilla, the pride of Barangay Malamig, Mandaluyong City under the leadership of chairman Marlon Manalo.
"Congratulations Honeypotpot (Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla Jr.)," said his wife, former olympian Woman National Master (WNM) Lilibeth Lee-Barcenilla.
Since the traditional over-the-board Olympiad was displaced due to global pandemic crisis covit-19, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) will use a unique format of allowing a maximum of six boards consisting of two men, two women, one U-20 boy and girl per game.-Marlon Bernardino-