GMs Mark Paragua, Banjo Barcenilla post 1-2 finish in online chess tilt

Mark Paragua chess
Mark Paragua. (File Photo)

United States-based Grandmasters Mark Paragua and Banjo Barcenilla showed why they are two of the top Filipino chessers at present after a 1-2 finish in the online GM Rosendo Balinas Cup over the weekend.

Fresh from playing the top two boards for the Philippine team that saw action in the FIDE Online Olympiad last month, Paragua took the title with 18 points out of a possible 21 while Barcenilla ended up with 17 points.

The 30-year-old Paragua, the reigning Filipino bullet king, emerged the lone unbeaten participant with 15 wins and six draws, while the 48-year-old Barcenilla struggled with two early losses but recovered in time to salvage a second-place finish.

International Master Jem Emmanuel Garcia was third with 16 points.

The win by Paragua highlighted what had been a productive day for him as he also triumphed in the rated tournament by the National Chess Tournament as well as the Stay at Home Arena tilt.

All in all, Paragua, who thanked Benjamin Lim for sponsoring him, had won P15,000 for his feats.

“I just try to make the most out of my opportunities and I’m thankful for all the blessings,” said Paragua, who now lives in New York.