By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Asian Para Games gold medalist Sander Severino added another feather to his cap as he emerged the first champion of the Cesar Orbe Memorial Chess 960 held via online Sunday night.
The 34-year-old Severino finished with a total of 13 points after topping the second and fifth legs to become the first winner of the five-leg event organized by National Chess Federation of the Philippines executive director Cliburn Orbe.
He edged out Grandmaster Joey Antonio, who wound up with 12 points.
Severino, who will represent the country in the ASEAN Para Games in Manila and the World Chess Olympiad for the differently able in Russia next year, sealed the win by ruling the final leg with 9.5 points, a point ahead of GM Darwin Laylo who has 8.5.
Laylo wound up third overall with 11 points
Needing at least third place finish to win it, Antonio couldn’t deliver and crashed out of the Top 10 that allowed the title to slip out of his hands and into Severino’s grasp.
Severino won his 11th round duel against Erickson Marimla of Bataan while Laylo turned back Arjie Bayangat of Sta. Rosa, Laguna to finish second.