By Adrian Stewart Co
Negrense FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri ended 2021 with a bang after ruling the Artillery Foundation of the Philippines, Inc (AFPI) Year-End Blitz Tournament held virtually.
The Escalante City, Negros Occidental-native Nouri finished with 8 points out of the possible nine in the one-day virtual chess tournament that was participated by 80 chess players.
“I am very happy. I dedicate this to my family, to my friends, to my sponsor Senator Manny Pacquiao, and to God,” said Nouri, who pocketed the tournament top prize of P3,000.
“I am fortunate that, even during the (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic they are still here supporting my chess career,” added the Negrense standout from University of Santo Tomas.
The 16-year-old Nouri’s lone defeat in the virtual tournament came at the hands of eight-time Illinois USA Champion International Master Angelo Abundo Young in the fifth round.
Prior to this, Nouri also captured the boys division crown in the Philippine National Juniors Chess Championship Grand Finals (Over The Board) held at the PACE Building in Quezon City last December 7, 2021.
Michael Concio Jr. of Cavite finished runner-up with 7.5 points to receive P2,000, while ending up with 7.0 points each were Young, Henry Roger Lopez of Davao del Norte and Rhenz Rheann E. Auza of Butuan City who got P1,000, P700 and P500, respectively.
Gerardo Cabellon of Bocaue, Bulacan, John Marvin Miciano of Davao City and United Arab Emirates-based woodpusher Dandel Fernandez placed sixth to eighth with 6.5 points each.
Keith Adriane I. Ilar of El Salvador, Misamis Oriental and Freddie Talaboc of Quezon City finished ninth and tenth places with 6 points apiece. The last five chess players earn P300 each.
Meanwhile, the top high school award for the competition was won by 12-year-old National Master Ivan Travis Cu, a Grade 7 pupil of Xavier School in San Juan City./ASC, WDJ