Chess Gladiators – Heroes Among Us

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  • Butch-VillaviejaVANCOUVER – The Filipino talent is known for his luster shine from all four corners of the world. Famous among them is Manny Pacquiao, who, year after year seems to be improving with more maturity and invulnerability. There are those who conquered the stage of Broadway creating waves overseas for their singing prow­ess. And there are those who si­lently but mightily labour their way to great nobility sweating every penny to survive and feed hungry mouths back home. Less illustrious but equally tal­ented as their peers, there are, among us, a few who made a mark for themselves locally and sharing some pride for the Ma­lay blood. All they’ve fun to do is ‘push wood’ but with good sense. After all, they do it with the use of the higher faculty of reason, logic and critical thinking. And they have to constantly watch out for the playing field accepts neither lie nor hypocrisy. They either win or lose although occasionally call it a draw. Yes, their battle ground is the chessboard – the gymna­sium of the mind.
    One ‘Canoy’ stands out among them. His name is Butch Villavieja. Recently he achieved the pinnacle of success when he’s crowned ‘BC 2012 Chess Champion. With this plum, he duplicated the feat achieved by the young Filipino immigrant Loren Laceste who was co-champion in 2011. Not to be outdone are Mayo Fuentebella, a perennial champion in the local Active Chess tournaments and currently the ‘BC Active Chess Champion. Vicente Lee Jr is an­other formidable chess artist who was back to back ‘BC Active Chess Champion’ from 2009 to 2010.
    “… he regards chess as a game, a science and an art rolled into one.”

    Chess, indeed, is an oasis of fun, energy and motivation for many. One such chess aficionado is Isabelo ‘Jun’ Bandong. As fe­rocious as a tiger when he plays chess, he is as kind as a tigress when sharing his professional ser­vices to kababayans. He regards chess as a game, a science and an art rolled into one! Yes, the se­nior is no senior at all. Give him the slip and he’ll finish you with a coup de grace!

    Other local ‘Canoys’ who are regulars in the local chess circuit are Jofrel Landingin – a regu­lar campaigner in the American chess circuit, Marionito Jose, Junie Caluza, and Leo Erazo, to name a few.
    All of them are making the Fili­pino within and among us, proud. Indeed!

     

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