Harley F. Palangchao
Despite being pushed to the limit, International Master Haridas Pascua leaned on his vast experience to complete an impressive 18-1 win-draw record in a simultaneous exhibition in chess (chess simul) that happened over the weekend.
The 21-year-old chess wizard remained the main attraction in the chess simul dubbed, “The Right Move: Three Against Many” that also featured fellow chess wizards Bea Mendoza, 13 and Brylle Gever Vinluan, 14.
The much-awaited chess simul proceeded as scheduled at the University of Baguio gymnasium despite the inclement weather that failed to dampen the spirit of the three players and their mixed opponents.
Pascua was successful in finishing the five-hour chess marathon that saw him pitted against fellow UB varsity players, enthusiasts and veteran players who are older than him.
His last play was a win over Baguio City National High School upcomer Jan Daryl Batula while the draw came from Darlene Ancheta, who gave him a hard time during the event backed by UB as well as Camp John Hay Development Corp., and Mukha ng Baguio Production.
Pascua, the 18th Filipino Grand Master who started his two-year quest for at least three norms to become full GM, had the most opponents during the tournament.
Mendoza won all her 11 assignments in a span of more than three hours.
She first beat her siblings Christer, 7 and Donna, 8, before slowly defeating her opponents from the ninth slot up.
Vinluan outsmarted 11 fellow wood pushers but fell to UB college varsity players Rodnel Bueno and Clymar John Manipon.
The two successful varsity players were supposed to be fielded as Pascua’s opponents but the latter’s field is already composed of very competitive players.
But Vinluan still has a consolation, as Bueno and Manipon are nearly five years his senior.
As the first to win, Bueno brought home a Nokia 5200 phone courtesy of Rotaract Club of City of Pines, which also provided P600 worth of cell cards for Manipon for beating Vinluan.
Rotaract Club of City of Pines is under the Rotary Club of Baguio Sunrise, one of the event benefactors.
“It was good enough a performance for a first timer. Now he learns valuable lessons in playing better in a simul game because there is always a strategy and it is different from a regular game,” said UB coach-trainer Ronaldo Alvez.