MANILA, Jan. 12 (PNA)--Virgilio Moreno Vuelban stamped his class by finishing at the top of the standings in the XV International Montecatine Chess Tournament in Montecatine, Italy recently.
The Rome-based Vuelban, a native of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental,clinched the championship trophy after posting five points, edging four others who scored the same output with a superior tie break.
Vuelban, who is a nephew of Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno drew his last-two match against GM Igor Naumkin and GM Igor Efimov in order, who also scored five points in the six-round event.
Naumkin finished second while GM Efimov settled third.
Also with five points were fourth placers IM Pierluigi Piscopo and fifth placers FM Mario Sibilio.
Vuelban, also the president of the Filipino Chess Club in Rome, earlier beat Constantino Giobbi, Gaetano Bocchicchio, Doriano Tocchioni and FM Mario Sibilio, respectively in the event which attracted 104 chess players with 3 GMs and 4 IMs.
Vuelban who enjoyed the full support of Philippe J. Lhuillier, Philippine Ambassador to Italy, become the Philippines' newest International Master (IM) after his 2390 rating jumped to 2411 in the (FIDE) World Chess Federation January 2009 list.
According to Fide Handbook rules, aside from getting at least three IM norm, an IM aspirant needed to break 2400 Elo barrier to complete his IM title requirement. However, Vuelban needed to wait the Fide General Assembly to confirm his coveted IM title.
In the same event, the IM-elect Vuelban informed fellow IM and sports journalist Marlon Bernardino that he is seeking help to National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., for financial assistance for his GM title quest in the European circuit.
Pichay, the former congressman from Surigao del Sur and the current administrator of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) already produced four GMs under his term in the likes of RP whiz kid Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales and John Paul Gomez.
The Philippines already had a total of 10 GMs including Asia's First GM Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas, twelve (12) time RP Open champion Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, So, Laylo, Gonzales and Gomez.
"I hope NCFP under will help process my IM Title application through NCFP FIDE delegate, Casto "Toti" Abundo for official confimation so I could use my IM priviledge for international competition in Europe as I concentrate in my aspiration for a GM title.
"It is difficult to be a professional chess player if you are only a FIDE master because there are fewer invitations and you have to pay for your own accomodation," said Vuelban. (PNA)