LONG-OVERDUE RECOGNITION. Tony Balinas (left) talks about the upcoming GM Rosendo Balinas Memorial Chess Championships during the 25th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in the Philippines (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros on June 6, 2019. The tournament, to be participated in by the country’s top grandmasters and international masters, will be held in September as another long-overdue recognition for Rosendo Balinas, the country’s second GM. Also in photo are Philippine Executives Chess Association president Dr. Jenny Mayor (center) and TOPS president Ed Andaya of People's Tonight. (TOPS photo)
MANILA — Grandmaster Rosendo Balinas, who made history by becoming the country’s second grandmaster in 1976, will get another long-overdue recognition from his peers.
Fourteen of the country’s top players, led by GMs Eugene Torre and Rogelio Antonio Jr., are expected to participate in the GM Rosendo Balinas Memorial Chess Championships scheduled sometime in September this year.
The tournament -- the first of its kind -- is aimed at perpetuating the memory of Balinas, who succeeded Torre as the country’s second GM following a historic triumph in Odessa, Russia in 1976.
“This is something we all would like to do — a tournament in honor of my brother Rosendo (Balinas). He was not only a good family man, an outstanding lawyer and prosecutor, but also a great Filipino chess champion,” said Engineer Tony Balinas during the 25th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in the Philippines (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros.
“Sa pamamagitan ng tournament na ito, na lalahukan ng mga magagaling nating GMs, IMs at iba pa, mapapanatii nating buhay ang alala ng akng kapatid (Through this tournament, to be participated by our GMs, IMs (international masters) and others, we will keep my brother’s memory alive),” explained Balinas, who was accompanied by Philippine Executives Chess Association (PECA) president Dr. Jenny Mayor in the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, Pagcor, Community Basketball Association and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks.
Aside from Torre and Antonio, the other players being invited to join are GMs John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Jayson Gonzales and even United States-based GMs Rogelio Barcenilla, Mark Paragua and Julio Catalino Sadorra.
Top IMS will also be invited to complete the list of the participants in the tournament, which will be held in cooperation with the PECA.
Engr. Balinas said the month of September is very special to the family since they will mark the 78th birth anniversary on Sept. 10 and 21st death anniversary on Sept. 24 of GM Balinas.
The details of the 14-player tournament are being finalized, including the official venue and prizes.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) and treasurer Atty. Cliburn Anthony Orbe will supervise the tournament.
Mayor, on the other hand, said PECA will also rename the 2019 National Executive Chess Championships in honor of Balinas starting with the next leg on June 22 at Alphaland Place Makati,
“PECA recognizes the contributions of GM Balinas to the growth of Philippines. GM Torre, Balinas and even the late IM Cardoso blazed the way and opened the doors for Filipino chess players with their outstanding games,” Mayor said.
“And like GM Balinas, we would like to inculcate to the minds of our young players the importance of studies with a college course. Balinas is also one of only few chess champions who is also a lawyer by profession,” Mayor explained.
“He is a perfect example of PECA’s ideal,” he added.
On July 14, PECA will hold eighth leg at the Vista Mall in Sta. Rosa, Laguna thru the initiative of Dr. Fred Paez, PECA's incoming Season 3 president.
The ninth leg will be held on July 27 in Lucban, Quezon thru the organizational skills of PECA business manager Joselito Cada.
On Aug.10, PECA will proceed to Davao City for its 10th leg courtesy of PECA vice president for Mindanao James Infiesto during the month-long Kadayawan Festival.
Also in the calendar are Bicolandia (Tiwi, Albay), Pampanga (San Fernando) and Subic (Olongapo City) legs on the third and last Saturdays of August up to the 1st and last Saturdays of September.
The Calapan City (Oriental Mindoro) leg will be held on Sept.14 through the efforts of PECA Press Relation Officer Emmanuel Asi.
The 15th and last leg will be on Oct. 26 in Zamboanga City through the initiatives of Professor Rey Reyes, accountant Eduard Sumergido and businessman Joey Ardiente.
The Boracay Grand Finals is scheduled on Nov. 16 and 17 at Casa Pilar Resort in Boat Station 3 in Barangay Manoc-Manoc.
For inquiries, please call Atty. Orbe — 0918-897-4410, Dr. Mayor — 0935-100-4755, Dr. Fred Paez — 0921-272-8172, Joselito Cada — 0949-998-1949, Director Martin Gaticales — 0999-885-1432, and NM Efren Bagamasbad — 0915-720-9148.