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List of Articles by Marlon Bernardino



SADORRA NOTCHES 3RD GM NORM; BECOMES RP'S 13TH GM

By Marlon Bernardino
PhilBoxing.com
19 Mar 2011

MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- JULIO CATALINO SADORRA is the country's newest chess Grandmaster (GM). This was revealed yesterday by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President/ Chairman Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr.

"Ino (Julio Catalino Sadorra) assured his third and final GM norm in the 2011 University Texas (UT) Dallas Grandmaster International Tournament after beating GM Alex (Shabalov) in the 10th round," said LWUA head Pichay, who produced seven (7) grandmasters under his six-year magnificent leadership that includes GMs Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez, Rogelio "Banjo" Barcenilla and Sadorra.
 
The former Cavite ace Sadorra, who is currently based in Texas, United States, assured his third and final GM norm after beating GM Alexander Shabalov of the USA in the 10th round before losing to GM Ray Robson of the USA in the 11th round on Saturday (Friday in US time).

"We will forward official GM norm certificate signed by Tournament Director and Arbiter to FIDE delegate Casto (Toti) Abundo and will tackle in the next FIDE congress," explained by Pichay.
 
In the past leadership of the chess federation from the defunct-Philippine Chess Federation (PCF) to NCFP), they needed at least 45 years to produced GMs in the likes of Asia's First GM Eugene Torre, the late Rosendo Balinas Jr., Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., Buenaventura "Bong" Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II and Mark Paragua before Pichay spearheading the chess federation in his short stint produced seven (7) grandmasters.

Sadorra, a sophomore Business Administration student at the University Texas (UT) Dallas notched 7 points going to the last round against GM Julio Becerra of the USA, in this unique a double round-robin, Scheveningen format which being held in University Texas (UT) Dallas, USA.

Also with 7 points is GM Dejan Bojkov of Bulgaria while countryman GM Valentin Iotov of Bulgaria is leading the way with 7.5 points going to the last round.

"I have also crossed the 2500 rating in the live ratings for the first time," Sadorra informed Pichay in an email yesterday. "I have to make at least 7 in 12 rounds. Also Scheveningen System can only get it in 12 rounds," he added.

Julio gave advice to the youth chessers: "My message to our promising juniors is to hold on to their dreams of becoming a GM. Work on improving your games by studying your games with a master to learn your weaknesses and solve positions that will strengthen them."

Sadorra earned his first GM norm during the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup last 2008 and he achieved his second GM norm during the Battle of the GMs in Tagaytay last June 2010.

"I would like to start by praising and thanking God who is always in control, even when we think things are going wrong. I almost gave up pursuing my last norm while pursuing my degree (Business Administration, Sophomore) because in last year's GM Invitational Tournament here I was .5 point short of the norm and I lost a game by forfeit when my phone went off. However, when I heard about this upcoming GM event early this year I decided to give it a last shot. I kept working on chess whenever I got some free time and trusted that God will let me have the GM title this year, which I've been aspiring to achieve since I was 10. With my training and support from loved ones, I played my best on every round. I must say that I've never played so solid before (4 draws in the first half of the event!!!). I tried to recall all the lessons I've learned from my past experiences and apply them every game. These valuable experiences I refer to mainly include those that come from tournaments sponsored and made possible by NCFP Pres. Prospero Pichay and officials. I want to thank them a lot for giving me opportunities to get my other 2 norms and for continuing to believe in me. I hope that our country will keep producing strong players. Mabuhay ang NCFP!," said the young Sadorra.

According to Sadorra's father Bing, Julio continues to represent the Philippines in all his tournaments in the US while pursuing an academic degree at the University of Texas Dallas. Last Dec. 27 to 30, 2010 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his team, the UTD garnered 1st place.

Also, he placed 3rd in the December 2010 UTD GM invitational but he missed a half point to earn his final GM norm.

His campaign in the 2011 University Texas (UT) Dallas Grandmaster International Tournament also served as preparation for his university team for the final four tournament in Washington D.C.this year. His 2011 summer schedule includes tournaments in the US mainland: Chicago Open, World Open and US Open. Incidentally, he tied for 2nd place in the 2010 US Open, but unfortunately missed his final GM norm because he was not paired against the required number of GMs and titled players.


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