Grandmaster Joey Antonio will spearhead a slew of Filipino masters when they plunge into action in the Asian Seniors Online Chess Championship on July 13 to 21.
Antonio, 58, should be one of the favorites to rule the nine-day event following a runner-up finish to Peruvian GM Julio Granda Zuniga in the World Seniors Championship three years ago in Acqui Terme, Italy.
The 13-time Philippine champion is also riding high on placing second to GM Mark Paragua in the Battle of the Grandmasters more than a week ago while topping several local online tournaments.
“I will do my best for country and flag,” said Antonio.
Other Filipinos seeing action are International Masters Ricky de Guzman, Angelo Young, Petronio Roca and Asian Seniors champion Chito Garma as well as local masters Rudy Ibanez and Alex Lupian.
GM Eugene Torre, Asia’s first GM, skipped the event.
The PH chessers will be pitted against a strong field headed by GMs Niaz Murshed of Bangladesh, Saidali Iuldachev, Tahir Vahidov and Alexei Barsov of Uzbekistan and IM Jamsed Isaev of Tajikistan.
The event, which will have two categories in 50-and-above and 65-and-above, starts with a seven-round Zonal qualifier with the best performers advancing to the nine-round Finals, all using the Swiss System format.
The Philippines belongs to Zone 3.3 that includes countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
A total of $3,000 will be up for grabs including $500, $350 and $300 to the champion of the 50-and-above and 65-and-above and the best woman player.