NM Roque tops Cepca Prexy Jerry Bday chess tourney

National Master (NM) Merben Roque (right) and Jave Mareck Peteros (left) during their match in board one of the Prexy Jerry’s Birthday Individual Chess Tournament last Sunday at the Barracks Chess Club in Robinsons Galleria Cebu. † Glendale G. Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — National Master (NM) Merben Roque shone in the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) Prexy Jerry’s Birthday Individual Chess Tournament last Sunday at the Barracks Chess Club in Robinsons Galleria Cebu.

NM Roque of the Toledo City Trojans that’s currently vying in the Wesley So Cup of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) finished the nine-round Swiss system tournament with a near perfect 8.0 points.

NM Roque pocketed the top purse of P5,000 for his stellar performance in the tournament organized to celebrate the 43rd birthday of Cepca’s long-time president, Engineer Jerry Maratas.

His teammate in the Trojans, Richard Natividad finished second with 7.5 points while Anthony Makinano rounded off the top three with 7.5 points as well. They were ranked according to their accumulated tie-break points. Natividad went home with P3,000 while Makinano received P2,000 for their performances.

During the tournament, NM Roque went on winning six straight matches from rounds one to six against Jonathan Canque, Jessie Supangan, Jave Mareck Peteros, Michael Joseph Pagaran, Natividad and fellow NM Rogelio Enriquez Jr., respectively.

Makinano prevented NM Roque from sweeping the nine-round competition by defeating the latter in the seventh round. However, NM Roque managed to seal his campaign by winning the eighth and ninth rounds against Cyril Ortega and fellow NM, Jerish John Velarde respectively.

Completing the top 10 woodpushers of the tournament were Ortega, NM Enriquez Jr. (7.0), Cephas Seguisabal (7.0), NM Arnolito Cadiz (7.0), John Dave Lavandero (6.5), Jose Fernandez (6.5), and NM Velarde (6.5) who placed fourth to 10th respectively.

Isen Montero and Reynaldo Flores were named the top two Cepcans category A while John Velarde, Stephen Rosales, and Rafael Perez for Cepcans B.

Other special awardees were Aller Somosot (top senior), Hannah Misal (top ladies), and Limuel Tampus (top kiddie).

The one day tournament drew around a hundred wood pusher. It served as Cepca’s first over-the-board chess event, two years after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to tournament director Jun Olis they are planning to hold another tournament next month.

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