Grandmasters Joey Antonio and Darwin Laylo will be the players to watch out for in the 2021 Philippine Chess Championship that unfolded Thursday at the Solea Hotel and Resort in Mactan, Cebu.
Antonio, 59, shoots for his 14th title in his 38th appearance in this annual event while Laylo, 41, guns for his fourth crown after ruling 2004, 2006 and 2008 editions.
Antonio clashes with International Master Paulo Bersamina in the opening round at press time, while Laylo collides with IM Ronald Dableo in this 11-round tournament staking more than P200,000 total cash prize including P80,000 to the winner.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) chief executive officer GM Jayson Gonzales said the winner will earn a berth to the PH team seeing action at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam next year and the 2023 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand.
Other first round games pit IM Joel Pimentel with Allan Pason, IM Ricky de Guzman versus IM Michael Concio, Jr., IM Jem Garcia against Woman GM Janelle Mae Frayna and IM John Marvin Miciano with IM Daniel Quizon.