By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) will hold a qualifying tournament on Thursday as part of its selection process for the national team that will compete in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The four-day meet will be held at the PACE building on Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City where the winners in the blitz and rapid events will earn berths to the SEAG-bound PH team.
A total of 16 men and 16 women are expected to compete in the qualifying meet.
Although they had already earned SEAG berths after topping the National Championship in December, International Master Daniel Quizon and Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna still decided to compete to spearhead the strong field.
Seeing action in the men’s side are GMs Joey Antonio, Darwin Laylo and John Paul Gomez, IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Ronald Dableo, Paulo Bersamina, Ricky de Guzman, Ronald Bancod, Michael Concio, Jr. and John Marvin Miciano and FIDE Master Alekhine Nouri.
In the women’s side are WIMs Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Bernadette Galas, Kylen Joy Mordido, and WFMs Shania Mae Mendoza, Cherry Ann Mejia and Allaney Jia Doroy.
The opening day will have the blitz event using a knockout format where each pair will play six games.
The rapid event will be held Friday to Sunday where opposing players have four games each under a knockout system format.