Trojans to parade Iranian Super GM in 2nd conference of PCAP online chess

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 13,2021 - 05:46 PM

Team owner Attorney Jeah Jean Gacang is flanked by (from left) National Master (NM) Rogelio Enriquez Jr., International Master (IM) Rico Mascariñas, team captain Bonn Rainnauld Tibod, and team manager Felix Poloyapoy Jr. CDN Digital photo | Glendale G. Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Toledo Trojans are ready to prove that they have already learned the lesson from their failure to qualify in the South Division finals of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) online tournament 1st Conference last March.

Due to a bad internet connection, the Trojans fell to the Iloilo City Kisela Knights in the semifinals.

However, the Trojans said they are more prepared for the 2nd Conference dubbed the “Wesley So Cup” that will start on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

To prevent such mishap from happening again, the Trojans will play the 2nd Conference at the Xignex Digital Solutions office in Krizzia Building in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City which is equipped with a fast and reliable internet connection.

The venue was offered to them by chess lover John Signe, the founder of Xignex Digital Solutions in Cebu City.

On top of that, the Trojans will also parade Iranian Super Grand Master (SGM) Amir Bagheri, one of the only two Iranian GM in their country. The 42-year old Bagheri is a veteran in international chess tournaments, making him a formidable addition to the Trojans’ official line-up.

He represented Iran in three Chess Olympiads in 1998, 2000, and 2008.

“We have already adjusted our line-up for this conference. We also got the service of the veteran Iranian SGM. We’re very confident of this line-up because we have an SGM that is capable of competing on a very high level,” said Trojans team manager, Felix Poloyapoy Jr., in a press conference at the Xignex Digital Solutions Office.

He was joined by the Trojans’ playing team owner, Attorney Jeah Jean Gacang, International Master (IM) Rico Mascariñas, National Master (NM) Rogelio Enriquez Jr., and team captain Bonn Rainnauld Tibod.

The other team members who missed the press conference were the Ganzon brothers Ronald and Rommel, Richard Natividad, Glicerio Pardillo, Jr, Christopher Tubalado, and Jinky Catulay.

“I trust my teammates a lot for this conference. We already proved it in the first conference that we’re capable of making it to the semifinals, but it was just unfortunate that we lost our semifinals match against Iloilo because of bad internet connection,” said Enriquez Jr., who recently finished 17th in the FIDE Asian Zonals 3.3 Chess Tournament.

IM Mascariñas, one of Cebu’s well-respected chess icons, believes that Bagheri will become a huge factor in the team’s performance. He added that the Iranian SGM would help them a lot in their upcoming campaign.

“I have high expectations for the team for this conference especially we have a very good import. He will be our board one since we reshuffled the entire board assignments, so it will also give us a chance on what aspect of the team needs improvement. I strongly believe we can make it to the quarterfinals or even the finals,” said IM Mascariñas.

The Trojans’ first opponent on Saturday is yet to be announced.   /rcg

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TAGS: 2nd Conference, Iranian Super Grand Master (SGM) Amir Bagheri, Online Chess Tournament, Professional Chess Association of the Philippines, Toledo Trojans, Xignex Digital Solutions

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