BAGUIO CITY – International Master Paulo Bersamina scored 105 points in 43 games to win the KingHari Chess Tournament over Lichess on April 10.

Hosted by Baguio’s International Master Haridas Pascua, the online tournament that drew 399 players saw Bersamina, “fastestmanalive” over Lichess, score a 72 percent winning rate.

In scoring 105, Bersamina, who is one of the five players to qualify for the 44th Chess Olympiad supposedly in August in Russia, lost only nine games in the 90 minutes play to win as many possible tournaments.

Only AJ Literatus was able to catch Bersamina in terms of speed as he also recorded 43 games but finished second with 100 points on a higher winning percentage rate of 77 percent after eight losses.

Literatus had the highest performance rate of 2710, better than the 2648 peak rating despite coming in as the highest-rated player with 2707.

IM Joel Pimentel landed third after coming in with 91 points on 40 games with eight losses for a 68 percent winning rate.

Pimentel had a performance rating of 2636.

Another IM, the 15-year-old protégé Daniel Quizon, finished fourth with 85 points.

The online tournament hosted by Pascua and staged on April 10 during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) while games and tournaments are either postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Played on the free chess online server, players from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam joined the competition, said the 26-year-old Mangatarem, Pangasinan-born chess master.

Pascua, who is one of the highest-rated players on the online chess server with a 2800 rating was able to get a tough field that included GM Darwin Laylo, fellow IMs Bersamina, and Quizon, FIDE (Federation Internationale des Eshekes) Master [FM] Cuaso and the 14-year-old FM Alekhine Nouri.

Pascua said that the tournament is an arena format where players must earn wins within 90 minutes with the player with the most wins winning the title.

He said that the winners, top 10, received cash prizes sent through GCash.

Pascua joined Bersamina in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiyak, Russia this August, which was moved to August next year, after ruling the Chess Olympiad qualifier last February beating Laylo and Quizon, whom he lost to in the last round.

Pascua is the second Baguio resident to reach the IM level after the late Andronico Yap in the late 80s. Yap, who died in a drowning incident in 1990 is also a University of Baguio alumnus like Pascua. (PNA)

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