Grandmaster Rogelio Antonio will join the Philippine chess team to the Guangzhou Asian Games after all.
Antonio was suspended by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines for skipping the 6th Pichay Cup and the 1st Florencio Campomanes Memorial Cup. Because of the suspension, the veteran woodpusher also missed the recent World Chess Olympiad where he was expected to play a key role for the national squad.
Without Antonio, the team failed to achieve its target of at least a top 20 finish in Khanty-Mansiyk Russia as the 37th-seed RP team fell to 50th spot.
But Antonio made his presence felt in a strong tournament in Tuguegarao, an event which he ruled over the weekend. His impressive showing earned him back a spot in the RP team to the quadrennial meet slated next month.
Antonio’s reinstatement was formalized after NCFP president Prospero Pichay informed Asian Games Chief of Mission Joey Romasanta Wednesday of the federation’s decision to put back the country’s second-ranked ranked chess player to the squad bound to compete in China.
Antonio will take the spot of International Master Richard Bitoon.
“Joey has proven that he still is one of our best players and he also apologized to our president and promised that he will follow all the rules and regulations set by the NCFP,” said NCFP executive director Willie Abalos.
Antonio will retain his board two status.GM Wesley So will be the team’s board one, GM John Paul Gomez will play in board three and GM Darwin Laylo will be responsible in board 4.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre will be the team’s alternate.
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