GRANDMASTER  JOEY  ANTONIO  EARNS  CRACK AT 5 SEAG CHESS GOLDS

MANILA, August 5, 2005 
(STAR) By Joey Villar - Grandmaster Joey Antonio will have a chance to win a maximum of five of the eight gold medals at stake in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games slated Nov. 27-Dec. 5 in Tagaytay City after topping the blitz qualifier recently.

Antonio, currently RPís No. 3 behind International Master Mark Paragua and GM Eugene Torre, completed a four-match sweep of the menís blitz elimination tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium by trouncing fellow GM Nelson Mariano II that solidified his claim as the countryís blitz king.

Joining Antonio in the blitz team were defending Zone 3.3 champion IM Ronald Dableo and IM Jayson Gonzales.

Another slot could go to either Mariano or Paragua, who once topped a strong international blitz tournament.

Sherily Cua, on the other hand, topped the distaff side by beating National Master Catherine Perena in the finals. Perena settled for second place and a slot in the team while WNM Joan Toledo took the third berth. Either Beverly Mendoza or Sherrie Joy Lomibao could get the fourth spot.

Antonio, a regular member of the menís Olympiad chess team, earlier made the standard and rapid teams.

Aside from Antonio, the other members of the standard squad are Torre, Dableo, FIDE Master Oliver Dimakiling and reigning national juniors champion Oliver Barbosa with IM Jayson Gonzales as reserve player. Torre made it to the team through the "option clause."

Antonio also leads the rapid chess team that also includes Paragua, Mariano, IMs Barlo Nadera and Petronio Roca. Paragua got a slot after Torre gave up his spot.

The womenís standard team is made up of Lomibao, Mendoza, Shercila Cua, Enirose Magno and Aices Salvador.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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