Friday, June 5, 2009


Barcenilla now RP’s 12th GM
By Marlon Bernardino
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 10:06:00 06/05/2009

Filed Under: Chess

FILIPINO International Master (IM) Rogelio “Banjo” Barcenilla Jr. beat Georgian GM Zviad Izoria in the final round to earn his third and final GM norm in the Copper State International Chess Championship held May 29 to June 3 in Mesa, Arizona, USA.

The former San Sebastian College standout prevailed after 31 moves of a King's Indian Defense using white according to a report from the United States Chess Federation website. The Mandaluyong City native-Barcenilla, finished with 7.0 points after 10 rounds of play.

Uzbek GM Timur Gareev topped the event with 8.0 points after dashing the GM hopes of IM Daniel Fernandez in the final round.

Sharing the limelight is 19 year-old IM Alex Lenderman who downed IM Levon Altounian to earn his first norm after 41 moves of a Caro-Kann Defense. Lenderman has 7.5 points.

Meanwhile, Barcenilla's best friend, GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., welcomed the latter to the elite group of the country’s finest chess players. Antonio, is the lone Filipino who qualified to this year's FIDE World Chess Championships in Khanty Mansiyk, Russia.

Barcenilla will thus join GMs Eugene Torre, Antonio, Bong Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez and the late Rosendo Balinas Jr.

Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., the president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines said, “I’m proud and happy to announce that we have a new grandmaster in Banjo Barcenilla,” said Pichay.

Aside from being a chess GM, Barcenilla is also a blackbelter in taekwondo.

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