By Adrian Stewart Co
Bacolodnon International Master Joel Pimentel took home the championship in the 1st Governor Eugenio Jose V. Lacson Chess Tournament held recently at the Provincial Capitol building.
Pimentel, one of the veterans of Negros Kingsmen in Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, finished with 4.5 points to rule the Open category of the two-day chess tournament.
Pimentel opened his campaign by defeating Gary Abaño of La Carlota City, National Master Xavier John Verdun of Cadiz City, Stevenson Garong of Bacolod, and Fide Master Nelson Villanueva of La Carlota City.
The former College of St. Benilde Blazers woodpusher, however, could not complete a sweep after he was forced to draw in the fifth round against La Carlota City’s Theseus Benitez, who settled for fourth place.
Bacolod’s Garong finished in second place with 4 points followed by La Carlota’s Villanueva and Benitez, and Ted Ian Montoyo of Bacolod City, who all have identical 3.5 points each.
Reginald dela Peña, meanwhile, scored 4.5 points to capture the title in the Class B category. The Bacolod City-native capped his coronation by forcing eventual third placer Arnold Acero of Talisay City to draw.
Clark Kent Pelione of Bacolod City and John Lloyd Bautista of Sagay City settled for second place finish with four points apiece. At fifth place onwards were Jomar Fundan (Talisay City), John Jerich Canoy (Bacolod City) and Gee Ian Gallano (La Carlota City).
Meanwhile, receiving special awards are Gleanesque Lemoncito (Sagay City) – top under 20; and top female woodpushers Jean Rose Sangco (Bago City) and Aliah Grace Bellano.
According to Provincial Sports Coordinator Anthony Carlo Agustin, the competitors followed the required health protocols during the tournament as players and technical officials wore face masks and gloves all the time./ASC, WDJ