Sun. Apr 18th, 2021

BAGUIO CITY – International Master Haridas Pascua has gone to online chess tutoring to earn for his campaign to hurdle the last stage in his quest for the Grand Master title – complete the Elo rating of 2500.

“I really want to get my full GM-ship,” said the 25-year-old University of Baguio (UB) alumnus who five years ago completed his third and final GM norm failed to get the Elo rating 2500 mark.

His ranking has dipped to 2418, which is a long way to the needed mark despite rather impressive performances in national and international competitions, including winning his second straight Battle of Champions in 2018 and a slot in the biennial chess Olympiad.

He qualified again this time for the (International Chess Federation or Federation Internationale des Echecs) FIDE 44th Chess Olympiad which is supposed to be played on August 5 to 18 in Khanty-Mansiyak, Russia but was postponed for next year due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“I am trying to earn for my international campaign,” Pascua told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) via a private message.

“Pang-ipon po for future tournaments since wala po namang sponsors (I am trying to earn for future tournaments especially that I don’t have sponsors),” he said.

“As of now tuloy tuloy pa din [ang] training and aiming for GM title pa din. Ang next tournament sana sa Thailand this month pero na move (As of now, my training continues and aiming form my GM title. My next tournament supposedly is in Thailand, but then it was moved also),” Pascua added.

This time, Pascua is very much motivated after getting married late last year.

“Mas motivated ako ngayon kasi mas lumaki na ang responsibility ko not only as a chess player and also as a husband (I am more motivated now with more responsibility not just as a chess player but also as a husband),” he said.

Pascua joined the five-man Olympiad team when he ruled the playoffs last February 10-12 at the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence in Quezon City to join the Philippine team composed of GMs Julio Sadorra, Rogelio Barcenilla and John Paul Gomez and IMs Paulo Bersamina.

Despite losing the final game against fellow IM Daniel Quizon, Pascua cruised to four points of possible six in the 44th Chess Olympiad Play-offs.

Pascua was part of the 2018 Philippine team in Batumi, Georgia after retaining his national chess title. The team eventually finished 37th in Georgia Olympiad.

The five-man team is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines led by president Prospero Pichay Jr., Secretary-General Abraham Tolentino Jr., and the Philippine Sports Commission, led by its chairman William Ramirez.

On April 10, Pascua will host the Haridas Pascua Online Chess Tournament that starts at 7 p.m. and where cash prizes will be given to the top 10 finishers. (PNA)

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