A former member of the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) varsity ruled the 117th Philippine Independence Day Chess Tournament organized by the Dubai-based Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL)-UAE at the Reef Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Armel Abucejo, who donned the TIP chess team’s colors in the 1990s, won all his matches to dominate the five-round Swiss system multinational competition held on Friday.
The fourth seeded Abucejo, a civil engineer who works for a construction firm in Abu Dhabi, outplayed India’s Irfan M. in the final round to preserve his immaculate slate and claim the championship trophy.
Marlon Mortel, the third seed, claimed runner-up honors with four points following a win over unrated Danny Reyes in the final round. Ronald Pernez also had four points, but was relegated to third with an inferior tiebreak score. Pernez took down second-seed Mark Matutina after a mad time scramble in their final-round encounter that saw Matutina commit an illegal move to squander a huge material and positional advantage.
Top-seed Rocky Pabalan was fourth, edging out fellow 3.5-pointer Irfan on a tiebreaker, while Matutina was sixth with three points.
The special awards went to Reyes, who had the best score among players with an International Chess Federation (Fide) rating of 1900 and below, Ben Peñaranda (top senior) and Kathrina Manrinque (top lady).