Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A RARE PICTURE OF SOME OF DAVAO'S TOP PLAYERS CIRCA 1989 - " WHERE ARE THEY NOW? "
(Top row from Left: Prospero Cruz, Julius Canque, Engr.Roger Acedo, Edwin Jabonero, Roel Filipinas, NM Alexander Lupian, Richard Orilla, Jimmy Bacorro, Marcelino Valdez, Jun Sonsona. Front row from left:Caissa's Father, Sammy Yu, James Infiesto, Agapito Abastillas, Louie Noel, a chess fan, and Paulino Garcia..
During the opening of the Cong. Ungab Mixed Masters Active Chess Tourney held last October, 2009, my chess friend Sammy Yu gave me a 1989 group picture of some of Davao's top players during that time. I feel nostalgic seeing that picture and asked myself where are these players now? Lets try to answer the question..
1. Prospero Cruz- became a National Master in the 1990's and was a member of the historic Davao City chess team that emerged champion in the National Inter-cities during the 1990's. He is semi-retired in tournament play. At present, he is the coach of the Holy Cross of Davao chess team and an accredited NCFP arbiter.
2. Julius Canque- still play in local tourney occasionally.
3. Engr. Roger Acedo- I have not seen him for quite a long time but some of his children are into chess and established their own name in age-group competitions here in Davao City.
4. Edwin Jabonero- Just bumped with Edwin last month during a local chess tourney. He told me that he is completely retired from chess. He is a former varsity player of the Harvardian University and once placed at the top ten in the Region XI Far East Bank chess tourney.
5. Roel Filipinas- became the Region XI Far East Bank champion. Now a National Master and a policeman. The last time I saw him was during the 2007 Inter-cities held in Davao City where he was a member of the PNP team.
6. NM Alexander Lupian - Already pushing 50 but still one of the top active players of Davao region. Davao's first chess Olympian.
7. Richard Orilla- a tragic story. He was one of the up and coming players in the early 1990's. Graduated at the University of Mindanao in Accountancy with honors and became a CPA and professor in Commerce in the same school. He also took up law but died early due to a freak accident.
I could not forget an incident during the UM intrams where the Engineering team headed by Filipinas battled the Commerce Team headed by Orilla for the championships. Filipinas was on the verged of losing as Richard pushed his pawn to the 8th rank. Richard then grabbed his queen and tossed it up in the air for dramatic effect. However maybe due to excitement, Richard was not able to caught the queen and it fell on the cement floor and rolled underneath a file of chairs. Roel would not allow Richard to punch the clock unless the promoted pawn is replaced by the queen. As Richard was frantically looking for the queen he was forced to offer a draw to Roel otherwise he will lose by time forfeit. What a way to end a game!
8. Jimmy Baccoro- The self- proclaimed Chris Ramayrat of Anda chess club.Now plays chess occasionally. I was able to talk to him last year and it seems that he is having a good time as some of his children are already working abroad.
9. Marcelino Valdez- a member of the U.M team that bagged the championship in the National intercollegiate in the 1980's. He is a certified " Kunat". Last met him in the 2007 Inter-Cities where he played for General Santos City.
10. Jun Sonsona - One of Anda Chess club's resident hustlers where I regularly paid " tuition" when I was still new in chess. Still active as Arbiter and occasionally play in local tourneys.
11. Caissa's Father- plays in local tourneys occasionally. Organizes local tourney from time to time as president of Metro Toril Chess Association ( MTCA) and as partner of Chess Excellence Ltd. Co. Maintain this blog as a hobby.
12. Sammy Yu- still active in the local chess scene. Became a National Master in the 1990's together with Prospero Cruz. He is presently the coach of the Davao Doctors College women chess team.
13. James Infiesto- The long time board 1 of Ateneo de Davao. Now the Region XI point man of NCFP. Still a blitz terror. Now an IM ( International Magician )
14. Agapito " Toto " Abastillas- Definitely one of the top players of Davao in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Not met him for quite a long time. The last time I heard, he went back to Ilo-ilo.
15. Louie Noel- a teammate in the 1987-89 UM chess varsity team. A graduate of BS Mechanical Engineering, later worked in Japan. No news of him lately.
16. Paulino Garcia- also a team mate in the 1987-89 UM Varsity team. He is now a Civil Engineer and Contractor.