MANILA, Philippines – Grandmaster (GM) Jayson Gonzales and International Master (IM) Richard Bitoon will be leading the Filipino contingent in the 1st ASEAN Chess Championships which starts on Christmas Day in Singapore.

Gonzales is the head coach of the multi-titled UAAP Chess champion Far Eastern University.

He and Bitoon will be joining the following comrades:

  • GM John Paul Gomez
  • IM Oliver Barbosa
  • IM Kim Steven Yap
  • IM Oliver Dimakiling
  • IM Luis Chiong
  • Fide Master (FM) Haridas Pascua
  • National Master (NM) Edgar Reggie Olay
  • NM Merben Roque

“We hope to perform well in this event,” said Gonzales, also the founding chief of Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence (PACE).

“My aim is to get my second GM norm here in Singapore,” said the Cebu native Bitoon, who earned his first GM norm also in Singapore two years ago.

Among the notable players joining the tournament are GM Sang Cao, GM Dao Thien Hai and GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam; GM Susanto Megaranto and GM Cerdas Barus of Indonesia; IM Daniel Howard Fernandez and FM Timothy Chan of Singapore; and Edward Lee of Malaysia. – By Marlon Bernardino