Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Just came across the result of the 1st Pelagio Guevarra Memorial Chess tournament held way back in 2002 in the internet while surfing for data for my feature of NM Allan Macala. To those outside the loop, The Pelagio Guevarra Memorial was an open chess tournament held in Davao City in 2002 and 2003 which I sponsored and organized as a tribute to my grandfather Pelagio Guevarra as well as to give chance to up and coming players to test their chess skills against seasoned players in this part of Mindanao. It was also during this period that chess tournaments came in trickles in Davao region thus adding to its significance.

The First Pelagio Guevarra Memorial Active Open Chess tournament was held on June 22-23, 2002 at the Toril Gym, Davao City with 8 National Masters in attendance . Cotabato National Master (NM) Roger Sarif tallied 6.5 points to emerge champion. Sarif pocketed a cash prize of P4,000 along with a trophy in the seven-round Swiss System 30-minute active chess tournament organized by the Metro Toril Chess Association (MTCA) under its president lawyer Dionisio "Jong-Jong" Guevarra.

The runner-up prize of P2,500 went to Panabo City's NM Cedric Magno who earned 6.0 points while Cagayan de Oro City's Abu Reynaldo had 5.5 points for third place and P1,500 cash prize. Reynaldo edged Davao City's Allan Macala via a higher tiebreak of 30 to Macala's 28 in the event sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines under regional director Ronnie Tabudlong. In fifth was James Infiesto of Davao City (5.0) whose 24.5 tiebreak points was enough to eclipse General Santos City's NM Ric-Ric Portugalera 5.0 (24.0).

Completing the top ten finishers were Davao's Reynaldo Quinonez (4.5, 32.5) in seventh, NM Miguel Te (4.5, 31) eighth, General Santos City's NM Ferdinand Leysa (4.5, 24.5) ninth and NM Kaharudin Tayuan of Davao City (4.0, 30.5) tenth. The chessfest drew 36 woodpushers of the region, including Davao City lady bets Jennifer Catilo and Rowela Acedo, both members of the Holy Cross of Davao College chess varsity team. Acedo tallied 2.5 while Acedo got 1.5 points.

The 2nd Pelagio Guevarra Memorial was held on July 11-12, 2003 at the Spazio of Gaisano Mall of Davao City. The 2nd edition was a round robin competition among 13 players who qualified for the grand finals. There were 3 qualifying tournaments, 1 open and 2 thematic (Sicilian Defense and French Defense ) upon which participants were given points corresponding to their ranking.

The 2nd edition was ruled by Reynaldo " Bembem " Quinonez who finished with a total of 11 pts ( 11 wins and a single loss to Engr. Nofre Reyes). Engr. Nofre Reyes took runner-up honors with 9 wins against 3 losses inflicted by Johnny Salud, Engr. Anselmo " Jun " Atmosfera Jr. and James Infiesto. Shell National Youth Active chess contender Brene parreno settled for the 3rd spot with 8 points on account of 7 wins and 2 draws. The champion received P 5,000.00, a trophy and an MTCA t-shirt, the 2nd placer P 2,500.00 plus MTCA t-shirt while the 3rd placer received P 1,500.00 plus MTCA t-shirt.

2nd Pelagio Guevarra Memorial
Final standing:

11 pts. - Reynaldo " Bembem " Quinonez
9.0 " - Engr. Nofre Reyes
8.0 " - Brene Parreno
7.0 " - NM Sammy Yu
6.5 " - John Ritter Belocura
6.0 " - James Infiesto, Johnny Salud
5.0 " - Vien Tipay, Henry Fajardo
4.5 " - Sherwin Orbeta
4.0 " - Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr.
3.0 " - Engr. Jun Atmosfera, Engr. Werner Priete

I stopped organizing the tournament for the next and succeeding years for many reasons. First and foremost is the financial aspect and secondly i momentarily lost interest in chess due to minimal number of players participating. However, the past couple of years showed a renaissance of chess activity in the Davao region and the emergence of new breed of chess players thus rekindling my interest to the sport. Hopefully , a 3rd edition of the Pelagio Guevarra Memorial will be organized this year.