Cepca hosts first over-the-board chess tournament in two years

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CEBU CITY, Philippines — Some of Cebu’s best woodpushers will be recognized at the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca) inaugural over-the-board chess tournament, dubbed the “Prexy Jerry’s Birthday Individual Open Chess Tournament,” on Sunday, May will meet August 2022 at the Barracks Chess Club in Robinsons Galleria Cebu.

This will be Cepca’s first over-the-board tournament, more than two years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that brought all face-to-face sporting events to a halt around the world.

For a year now, Cepca has been hosting virtual weekly chess tournaments, giving Cebuano woodpushers a chance to compete with other woodpushers from the comfort of their own homes.

However, the weekly tournament was briefly paused after Typhoon Odette devastated the Visayas and Mindanao region and impacted the internet connectivity of many of Cepca’s regulars.

Fast forward to May 2022, Cepca, the premier and largest chess group in the Visayas looks forward to welcoming everyone back to the new normal.

Tournament director Jun Olis told CDN Digital that they look forward to hosting this tournament, but with extra caution.

“Amo usa limited to 70-80 participants, paradoxically crowded venues and ensures NATO maintains social distancing and safety protocols,” Olis said.

(We’ve capped it at 70-80 participants so the venue 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 naka organize an over-the-board chess tournament. From now on, amo na gipangandam tanan gamit namo of boards, tables, clocks and the venue for you,” said Olis.

(Other thing, we at Cepca are still adapting because it’s been quite a while since we organized over the board chess tournaments. As of now we prepare all the equipment from the boards, tables, clocks and that venue for the games.)

“The original plan is available online to bring the noise of the Cepca members and Uban chess players across the board. Mao does not decide mi sa cepca,” Olis said.

(Our original plan is to host online matches, but there has been a lot of shouting among the many Cepca members and other chess players as to why we can’t hold the over-the-board games. So at Cepca, we decided to host these hold games.)

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

The tournament offers a Swiss system format with nine rounds and 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 do participate in the tournament.

The champion woodpusher takes home P5,000, while P3,000 awaits the runner-up and P2,000 for the third-place finisher. Fourth through 15th places will not go home empty-handed as Cepca will also give them cash prizes.

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