GM Banjo Barcenilla tops qualifier for Online Olympiad-bound PH team

Published July 13, 2020, 4:17 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Barcenilla joins other GMs, IMs in Agila Pilipinas
Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla
Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla

Grandmaster Banjo Barcenilla displayed good form over the weekend to top the qualifying tournament for the Philippine team bound for the first FIDE Online Chess Olympiad scheduled late this month.

The Arizona-based, 47-year-old Barcenilla finished six points on two wins – both against International Master Haridas Pascua – and eight draws to secure the berth.

It was Barcenilla’s first tournament victory this year after winning a trophy at the Battle of the Grandmasters late last year.

Other players who made the cut were New York-based GM Mark Paragua, GM Darwin Laylo and GM Joey Antonio.

Antonio, 58, came from behind with a victory over IM Paulo Bersamina in four blitz playoff matches for the fourth and last spot.

Also making into the PH team that will be called Agila Pilipinas were IM Daniel Quizon and Michael Concio, who will represent in the boys’ 20-and-under, and Jerlyn San Diego in the girls’ 20-under.

The women’s team, meanwhile, decided it would send Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna and WIMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Catherino Secopito and Bernadette Galas. WGM candidate Kylen Joy Mordido also earned an automatic slot after ruling the Asian Juniors qualifier held online last month.

The Olympiad will be held July 22 to Aug. 30 and will be staged as an alternative event to the over-the-board edition rescheduled next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The online event will implement a different format by letting six team members composed of two men, two women, an under-20 boy and girl play each round.