NEW YORK City-based GM Mark Paragua lived up to his high billing to rule the Baby Uno Chess Challenge dubbed as GM Rosendo Balinas, Jr. Cup Memorial online chess tournament last Sunday.
Paragua, a member of the Philippine team which saw action in the recent FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020, finished undefeated with 18 points on 15 wins and six draws in the tournament organized by the Balinas family as part of the 79th birthday celebrations of the late GM Balinas.
The championship was worth P10,000 and a commemorative Team Philippines Agila shirt for Paragua.
The 36-year-old Paragua finished a full point ahead of a two-time Asian Junior champion GM Rogelio Barcenilla,Jr and two points ahead of IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia.
Barcenilla, who played board two behind Paragua in the 12-player Philippine team to the Online Olympiad, finished with 17 points on 15 wins, four draws and two losses.
The 45-year-old Arizona-based Barcenilla pocketed P5,000 for his runner-up finish.
Garcia, also the program director for chess of Ateneo de Manila University, wound up with 16 points on 12 wins, eight draws and one loss.
The 25-year-old Garcia earned P3,000 in the event sanctioned by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
A total of 654 players participated in the competition hosted by Maryland, United States-based Joe Balinas and Engr. Antonio Balinas in honor of their late brother.
Also supporting the event was Fernan Donguines of Hybreed Apparel Collection and Bayanihan Chess Club.
All game were aired live thru YouTube channel of AGM Voltaire Marc Paraguya and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines Facebook page.
The Balinas family said they will again put up P50,000 as the prize money for the GM Balinas Jr. Death Anniversary tournament on Sept. 27.