2 New Filipino Chess Grandmaster: Barcenilla and Salvador

Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla (2518) and Roland “Kulot” Salvador (2511) were officially conferred Grandmaster title by FIDE or World Chess Federation in a Presidential Board meeting that coincided with the ongoing 39th World Chess Olympiad at the Complex “Arena Ugra” of Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

The Iligan City born Barcenilla, who is now based in Arizona, Texas, USA, was conferred the title on the basis of his performance in the 2009 Copper State International Chess Championship held in Mesa, Arizona.

The former San Sebastian College mainstay Barcenilla, a former Asian Junior Champion, collected seven points in 10 outings in the event that was won by Uzbek GM Timur Gareev who finished with eight points.

He beat Georgian GM Zviad Izoria to gain his third and final GM result.

“I’m thankful to National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. for being a strong leader. I’m looking forward on playing big tourneys sa Philippines again. I just need to schedule it ahead of time” said Barcenilla in an email Friday.

Barcenilla, also a blackbelter in taekwondo, likewise thanked the late Florencio Campomanes, the late Atty. Art Borjal, Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz, Casto Abundo and Willie Abalos of NCFP, Edgar de Castro, Cebuano sportsman Bombie Barcenilla Aznar and Boogie Lim, his wife Lilibeth Lee, his father and mother Rogelio Barcenilla Sr. and Wilhelmina Padla, his uncle George Barcenilla, his father and mother in-law Antonio Lee and Hedelisa Lee for being very supportive throughout his career in chess.

Salvador, who hails from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, earned his third and final GM title during the 11th edition of the International Chess Tournament Fermo-Porto San Giorgio held from August 21 to 29 at the Astoria Hotel, Fermo, Italy.

The Italy-based Salvador, a former top player of Rizal Technological University (RTU) under the wings of its president Dr. Jose Q. Macaballug and head coach Olympian NM Mauro Yasay in the mid-1990s, was declared winner on best tie break score and he doubled the celebration by fulfilling his third and final GM norm by virtue of the 7/9 FIDE rule.

Thus, Barcenilla and Salvador join the ranks of RP’s elite group of GMs who include Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez and Joseph Sanchez. (PNA)

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