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INTERNATIONAL Master Joel Pimentel REVEALED his top-seed billing when he dominated the Open division of the Asenso Misamis Occidental National Open Chess Tournament held last weekend at the Aya Hotel and Residences in Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
The 30-year-old Pimentel, a native of Bacolod who is now based in Cebu City, has won seven consecutive victories including victories over 12-year-old National Master Keith Adriane Ilar and Johnnel Balquin of Misamis Oriental, NM Levi Mercado in Cagayan de Oro and fellow IM Angelo Young in Quezon City.
Carrying an Elo rating of 2264, Pimentel played to safe draws with fellow Cagayan de Oro opponent Nazario Ubanan, and FiDE Master Victor Lluch of Iligan City in the last two rounds to score an impressive eight points out of nine. -round FIDE-rated rapid tourney.
But all is not rosy for young Pimentel’s ascension to the crown of glory.
After his seventh round victory against the veteran Young, Pimentel immediately asked for help from the assigned medics personnel to check his blood pressure.
“pretty misunderstanding between me and IM Young in the course of our crucial encounter so it seems to have increased the BP is the,” Pimentel later said Gold Star Daily.
However, eventually the atmosphere changed, which gave positive vibes to everyone after the arrival of Misamis Occidental first district Governor Henry Oaminal Sr. who announced that he would double all tournament prizes.
From the P30,000, Pimentel got a total of P60,000 top purse including the championship trophy.
“Everyone was very happy players though the colleagues who very supportive of the winners. Although I was surprised statement on gov to double the prize,” said tournament organizer AGM Rey Urbiztondo.
Sixth-seeded Balquin (2191) bounced back from his only loss to Pimentel when he reeled off three straight wins and agreed to break with Ubanan in the final round to overtake Young (2197), Mercado (2194 ), Ubanan (2062) and FM Lluch (2252) for 7.5 points.
The lucky tiebreak propelled Balquin to second place with a P40,000 take-home. Meanwhile, Young, Mercado, Ubanan, and Lluch ―who shared third to sixth place ― got P30,000, P20,000, P10,000, and P4,000 each plus a medal.
Completing the top 10 finishers are Lyndon Lumancas from Cagayan de Oro, Joven Berondo from Misamis Oriental and Jezreel Lopez from Pagadian City.
Gilbert Baba (Ozamiz), Johnny Wellen Carzano (Tangub), Lexis Bruce Portacion (Sapang Dalaga), Archalaus Turbo (Ozamiz), Alger Palanas (Sinacaban), Richard Tuquib (Calamba) and Shoje Navarro were selected as the top 10 Misamis Occidental performers ( Clarin), Noel Arabia (Ozamiz), Jesus Bebat (Calamba), and Roy Ronald Roa (Oroquieta).
The category prize winners are Mardonio Fuentes (Misamis Occidental), Jesson Bolando (Oroquieta), and Anna Marie Saldo (Ozamiz) as top senior, top unrated, and top lady.
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