INDONESIAN Grandmaster Susano Megaranto will be back to defend his title as Tagaytay City stages the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship from tomorrow to Jan. 30 at Tagaytay International Convention Center.
Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is hosting the event for the second time in his capacity as president of the international chess federation’s (Fide) Asian Zone 3.3.
Other than the cash prizes, top-flight participants will be vying for two slots to the World Chess Cup 2013 slated in Tromso, Norway, from Aug. 10 to Sept. 5.
“The city will make sure that all participants, especially the foreigners, will enjoy their stay here (Tagaytay),” said Tolentino, also the secretary general of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
Tolentino and the city drew praises from foreign delegations for the smooth running of the 2011 edition won by Megaranto.
The Indonesian veteran is up against a strong field led by top Filipino GM Wesley So, who took a break from his studies in the United States to seek another stint in the biennial World Cup.
“Wesley arrived Saturday and is raring to perform very well for countrymen,” said Tolentino.
Also expected to contend for the crown are the Vietnamese and the Indonesians.
The tournament’s top lady performer will advance to the Women’s World Championship in September.
GM Mark Paragua placed second to Megaranto in 2011 and also advanced to the World Cup.
Singaporean International Master Li Ruofan ruled the distaff side and represented the zone in the World Championship.
Thus far, GM Oliver Barbosa is the only Filipino assured of a slot to the World Cup after placing fifth in the Asian Chess Championship held in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, last May.