Cepca will organize the 1st over-the-board chess tournament in two years

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Some of Cebu’s best wood pushers will compete in the first ever Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) Chess Tournament dubbed the “Prexy Jerry’s Birthday Individual Open Chess Tournament” on Sunday May. February 22, 2022 at Barracks Chess Club at Robinsons Galleria Cebu.

This will be Cepca’s first over-the-board tournament, more than two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which halted all face-to-face sporting events around the world.

For a year, Cepca hosted weekly virtual chess tournaments, giving Cebuano wood pushers a way to compete against other wood pushers from the comfort of their homes.

However, the weekly tournament was briefly interrupted after Typhoon Odette ravaged the Visayas and Mindanao region, affecting the internet connection of many regular Cepca participants.

Fast forward to May 2022, Cepca, the Visayas’ first and largest chess group, is eager to welcome everyone to the new normal.

Tournament Director Jun Olis told CDN Digital that they are excited to host this tournament, but with an added caution.

“Amo usa gilimit to 70 to 80 participants, as long as the game room is crowded and maintain NATO safety and social distancing protocols,” Olis said.

(We’ve limited it to 70-80 attendees so the playroom isn’t crowded and we can maintain social distancing and safety protocols.)

“Usa pa, nagadjust pa mi karon sa Cepca kay taod-taod jud ta wala nakaorganize og over-the-board chess tournament. From now on, I have no more space on boards, tables, clocks and the meeting place,” Olis said.

(One more thing, at Cepca we are still adjusting because it’s been quite a while since we organized off-road chess tournaments. From now on we are preparing all the material from chessboards, tables, clocks and the place of the Games.)

“The original plan never came online, as Cepca members were clamoring for Cuban chess players and there were too many of them. Mao to naka decide mi sa Cepca,” Olis said.

(Our original plan is to have online matches, but there was a lot of clamor among many Cepca members and other chess players why we can’t hold the off-board games. That’s why we at Cepca have decided to organize these games.)

The tournament is also one of the highlights of the 43rd birthday of Cepca’s longtime president, engineer Jerry Maratas.

The tournament features a nine-round Swiss system format with a playing time of 10 minutes.

No less than International Master (IM) Joel Pimentel, National Master (NM) Merben Roque, (NM) Jerish John Velarde, Richard Natividad, Joel Pacuribot, Allan Pason, Cefrino Vizco, FIDE Arbiter (FA) Lincoln Yap, and Antonio Cabibil will be participate in the tournament.

The champion woodpusher wins P5,000 while P3,000 waits for second place, and P2,000 for third place. Placers fourth to 15th will not go home empty handed as Cepca will also give them prize money.

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