Hello guys!! Considering that today is my birthday allow me to write something about my days as a chess player.
I got addicted to chess when I was already in college taking -up BS Civil Engineering at the University of Mindanao which was rather late based on today's standard. I became a member of our school's varsity team in 1987 and played board 2 when U.M hosted the National UAAP games the following year. Our team composed of new recruits mostly from the Engineering department ( Manny Sibayan, me, Arnold Placiencia, Louie Noel, Paulino Garcia and Descallar) was no match against the veteran laden team of Adamson University headed by FIDE Master Vince Alaan, Dennis Gutierrez and Chris Palma and Southwestern University headed by IM Enrico Sevillano, future IM Barlo Nadera and Ariel Ranile. Adamson won the title over the board by defeating SWU with FM Alaan delivering the crucial point with a victory against IM Sevillano. SWU filed a protest questioning the eligibility of FM Alaan to play considering that he was meted a one year suspension by the PCF in the aftermath of the game fixing scandal triggered by the complaint of GM Torre during the National championships and Olympic qualifier. The protest was upheld and all games of FM Alaan was forfeited thereby giving the champion's trophy to SWU.
In 1992 I played board 1 for U.M which represented Eastern Mindanao in the 1992 National PRISAA games held in Iloilo City.
( The 1992 U.M chess team at the poolside of Sarabia Manor Hotel, Iloilo City which was the site of the chess competition. From left: Joselito "Toto" Alejano, Nofre Reyes, Arnold Javilles, our coach, me, and Danilo Sanchez.)
Our team beat Western Mindanao represented by Mindanao State University ( MSU)3-1 and scored a huge upset in the second round by defeating top seed and NCR champion University of the East (UE)2.5-1.5 thereby giving us the provisional lead. In the third round we were paired against second seed Adamson University. If we could win against Adamson or even tie the match then we will be in a good position to aspire for the title. Adamson came well prepared for the match and as the battle progressed my teammates fell one by one. At this point Chris Palma offered me a draw which I refused in the hope of scoring our team's solitary point. The position was quite even but I was slightly ahead in time. I did not reckoned that Chris Palma thrives in blitz play. When he started banging the chess clock with lightning speed, I got rattled and nervous. I was now thinking of offering a draw but was afraid to be revoked. In mutual time scramble, I put my queen in prise which my opponent readily gobbled. I shouted my lungs out in anguish and disbelief causing some players to rush to our board to the amusement of the arbiter.
( NCR- South represented by Adamson University featuring Chris Palma on board 1 vs. Eastern Mindanao represented by University of Mindanao featuring Caissa's father on board 1 in 3rd round action in the 1992 National PRISAA games chess tourney.)
Chris Palma ended up bagging the gold medal in board 1 while I settled for the bronze next to Ronald Llavanes who bagged the silver. Llavanes is now a National Master and just recently beat GM So in the PSC sponsored active chess tourney. My refusal to accept the draw offer proved costly as I could have won the silver medal via tie-break if i did so.
At present, I am semi-retired in active chess competitions . My participation is confined mostly to invitational tourneys where I had a part in organizing or in occasional executive tourneys.
( The elected Officers of the Davao Professional and Executive Chess Association during the 2008 Executive tourney and election. Caissa's father is in the top row standing, fifth from right and was elected vice-president).