MANILA, Philippines – International master Rogelio Barcenilla Jr. became the country’s 11th grandmaster after bagging his third and final GM norm.
Barcenilla’s victory over Georgian GM Zviad Izoria in the Copper State International Chess Championship last May 29 to June 3 in Mesa, Arizona, gave the Filipino his much-coveted GM title.
According to the United States Chess Federation, the former San Sebastian College mainstay defeated Izoria after 31 moves of a King’s Indian Defense.
Barcenilla, currently based on Mandaluyong but originally from Iligan City, finished just a point behind eventual winner Uzbek GM Timur Gareev, who accumulated 8.0 points in the 10-round event.
With his GM norm completed, Barcenilla joins an elite group composed of Eugene Torre, Joey Antonio, Bong Villamayor, Nelson Mariano II, Mark Paragua, Wesley So, Darwin Laylo, Jayson Gonzales, John Paul Gomez, Joseph Sanchez and the late Rosendo Balinas Jr.
Torre was actually Asia’s first grandmaster. – GMANews.TV