Grandmasters John Paul Gomez and Joey Antonio banner the elite cast vying for national team slots to the World Chess Olympiad in the “Road to Batumi” qualifying tournament at the Alphaland Makati Place.
The opening round is being played at presstime with Gomez up against FIDE Master Mari Joseph Turqueza, and Antonio clashing with International Master Chito Garma.
Also competing in the first round of the 11-round tournament are IM John Emmanuel Garcia against Roberto Suelo Jr., IM Paul Bersamina over IM Richielu Salcedo III, IM Haridas Pascua over Rolando Andador, and Jonathan Jota versus Jeth Morado.
Round 2 pits Garcia over Jota, Garma versus Morado, Gomez against Antonio, Andador over Turqueza, Bersamina versus Pascua, and Suelo against Salcedo.
Pascua, Gomez, Bersamina, Garma, Morado and Jota are actually seeded in this tournament while the remaining six woodpushers had to go through the seven-round eliminations last week for this Olympiad qualifier.
Competing for Olympiad seats in the women´s side are Woman International Master Bernadette Galas, WFM Allaney Doroy, Jerlyn San Diego, WFM Cherry Mejia, SFM shania Mendoza, Christy Bernales, WIM Catherine Secopito, WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego, WIM Mikee Suede and WFM Michelle Yaon.