by Marlon Bernardino
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia---National Master (NM) Nelson Villanueva reinforced his position as one of the Philippines’ top chess players when he won the POLISAS Classical Open Chess Championship last September 6 to 9 in Polisas, Malaysia.
Villanueva, who hails from La Carlota City, Negros Occidental defeated Malaysian Mohd Kamal Abdullah in the final round to score 6.5 points in seven outings and captured the coveted title.
The former Rizal Technological University (RTU) Mandaluyong mainstay prevailed after 33 moves of Caro-Kann defense using the disadvantageous black pieces.
With the victory, Villanueva's performance boosted the nation's morale and he schedule to play in the 24th annual North American Open Chess Champion on December 26 to 29 at the at Bally's Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
National Master (NM) Efren Bagamasbad, on the other hand won the overall second place with a superior tiebreak points in the huge group of 5.5 pointers that includes Fairul Yusoff, Kamalarifin Wahiduddin, Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli, Mohd Khair Wahiduddin and Wan Ali Wan Manan of Malaysia.