Philippines, 30 Nov 2022
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Vitaliy Bernadskiy leads foreign GMs in Manny Pacquiao International Open Chess Festival


PhilBoxing.com


MANILA---RUSSIA'S Super Grandmaster Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Elo 2615) will lead foreign-based grandmasters (GM) in the Manny Pacquiao International Open Chess Festival on December 13 to 17 at the Family Country Hotel in General Santos City.

It is the first time that foreign players will flock to the City of Gensan, dubbed as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines for this Fide-sanctioned international chess tournament.

The 28-year-old Bernadskiy won the Grandiscacchi Festival Primavera Cattolica tournament last March 16-20, 2022 in Cattolica, Italy.

Also seeing action next month are GM Gaburzyan Hovhannes (Elo 2586) of Armenia, GM Vitaly Sivuk (Elo 2568) of Ukraine and Tee Wee Zhun (Elo 1908 ) of Malaysia.

Filipino International Master Kim Steven Yap (Elo 2373) and National Master David Elorta (Elo 2265) lead the long list of top Pinoy woodpushers who will try to defend the Filipino pride.

Organized by Maharlika Pilipinas Chess League (MPCL) offers a total pot prizes $100,000 or P4.2 million will be up for grabs in the five-day event that is expected to draw participation from around 100 players in the Open division and 180 participants in the side events.

"For five days, General Santos will be the chess center of the world and we look forward to hosting the tournament of brilliant minds," said boxing icon and former senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, who will celebrate his 44th birthday on the final day of the tournament.

Pacquiao thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala and National Chess Federation of the Philippines chairman and president Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. for supporting the chessfest.

The open event will stake a cash pool of P3.4 million with P1.14 million going to the champion while giving out a total of P800,000 in the side event where the eventual titlist will be getting a cool P300,000.

Organizers IM Hamed Nouri and Alex Dinoy said this is the first of many tournaments planned by the MPCL. In fact, they are planning to stage at least three more international tournaments next year.

"We are truly convinced that the MPCL will become a truly global festival of chess," said Pacquiao.

Apart from the champion, the top 20 finishers will also get a prize along with the best category winners for kiddies (under-14), ladies, juniors (under-20), seniors (60-above) and top local players from General Santos City.-Marlon Bernardino-



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.


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