Umayan clinches Long Island blitz chessfest

NEW YORK CITY — Davao City pride Vincent Umayan dominated the Team Albano I Victory Party chess tournament in Long Island November 12 edging two Filipino grand masters by half point to clinch the title.

“This victory is for my kids (Gabriel John and Samantha),” declared the 41-year-old Umayan, most valuable player (MVP) of the Commercial Chess League of New York.

Umayan scored 7.5 points in a 9-round double elimination tournament sponsored by lawyer-philanthropist Gerry Albano held at the residence of Vitaliano “Nonoy” Rafael, an industrial engineer and community leader.

Filipino Grand Masters Mark Paragua and Oliver Barbosa and FIDE Master Rico Salimbagat finished tie for second with 7 points.

Umayan, a chess instructor, received $100 (P5,100) in the tournament held to celebrate the dominance of Team Albano I in the Commercial Chess League of New York.

He upset Paragua in the fourth round but drew with Paragua’s wife, Mary Christine Joyce Dacayo-Paragua, Barbosa and Salimbagat.

Rafael, 1989 World Open Chess Championship (expert division) champion, finished third with 5 points followed by Albano, a United States Chess Federation (USCF) national master, with 3.5 points. Non-master Alex P. Vidal wound up fifth with 2.5 points.

“May pambaon na ang mga anak ko (my kids will now have a pocket money),” Umayan hissed.

Gabriel John, 12, and Samantha, 11, are the Philippines’ official representatives in the 18th Asean Age-Group Open Chess Championship 2017 in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia from November 25 to December 4.

Umayan helped train the kids online every day. His Wife Merlinda monitored their regular training.

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