By U.S. News Agency / Asian

Three members of the Philippine team which bagged the silver medal in the recent Asian Games chess team competitions in Guangzhou, China lead the list of players in the coming National Inter-Cities and Municipalities chess team championship scheduled Dec. 18-19 at the People’s Astrodome in Dagupan City.

GMs Wesley So, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo will play top board for their respective teams during the two-day team competition organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in cooperation with the Dagupan City government.

So will carry the banner of Makati, which will be supported by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino.

Gomez will play for Quezon City, which will carry the banner of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)-A., while Laylo will carry the fight for Mandaluyong City.

“The entry of the three national players, who made the country proud in the recent Asian Games, will add luster to the season-ending tournament,” said NCFP president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay. “It will be a good weekend for chess in Dagupan City.”

The two other national team members — GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr, and Eugene Torre — have not made themselves available yet.

Aside from Makati, Quezon City and Mandaluyong, more than 30 other cities and municipalities from various parts of the country have already confirmed their participation in the tournament, which offers a guaranteed cash prize of P70,000 to the champion.

Among the early registrants are Angeles City, Bacolod, Bataan, Binangonan, Bulacan, Cabanatuan, Camarines Sur, Cavite City-1, Cavite City-2, Davao, Laoag, Quezon City-B, Quezon City-C, Quezon City-PNP, La Union-1, la Union-2, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Naga, Nueva Ecija, Pasay, Pasig, Palawan, Tagaytay, Tuguegarao, Valenzuela and Vigan.

The team managers meeting is set at 10 a.m. on Dec. 18, while the opening ceremony is scheduled at 1 p.m. on the same day.

The champion in the prestigious, season-ending tournament will bring home the top prize of P70,000 and trophy. The runner-up and the third placer will receive P50,000 and P30,000, respectively.

The fourth up to the 10th placers will get P25,000, P20,000, P10,000, P8,000, P7,000, P6,000 and P5,000, respectively.

For inquiries, call NCFP secretariat at tel. 02-3817224 or call or text NCFP executive/event director Willie Abalos at cell. 0929-2266210 or Ilann Perez at cell.0905-3269576 or Ms. Ana Mendoza of Dagupan City Mayor’s Office at cell. 0923-5127886 or 0939-3617282.