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Fil-Am chess teacher wins US tournament

A Filipino-American chess teacher in New York City emerged as the victor of a chess tourna­ment in Philadelphia, Pennsylva­nia, beating around 61 players. An article from publica­tion Asian Journal reported that 55-year-old David Asuncion Apelo from Queens, New York, won the 45th Liberty Bell Open Under – 2100 chess tournament held from Jan. 18 to 21 at the Sonesta Ho­tel after scoring six points in seven rounds. The tournament, which was in a 7-Round Swiss format, was or­ganized by the Continental Chess Association under the direction of Bill Goichberg, a former president for the US Chess Federation. The story ran a statement from Apelo Asian Journal got from his team captain Nonoy Rafael, which noted the Fil-Am as saying the op­ponents he faced were “extremely competitive,” particularly because of the participation of many young and unheralded players.
“But with some luck, my expe­rience still prevailed in the games I [played],” Apelo said in the state­ment.

In a separate email correspon­dence with Asian Journal, Apelo also said he was proud of his vic­tory as a Filipino representative in the tournament, and noted that he was the only Filipino in the contest. Aside from the honor of representing Fil-Ams in the tourna­ment, Apelo said the prize money which amounted to $1,185 was “not bad.”

The report said Apelo is known in Filipino chess circles in the tri-state area for his aggressive chess-playing style, “which he complements with great sacrificial instincts.” Meanwhile, Rafael was de­scribed as saying he considers Apelo as one of the best Filipino-­American chess players in the East Coast.

According to the article, Apelo tied for first place at the 31st An­nual Empire City Open, Under­2200 section in December last year at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, New York. In 2008, meanwhile, he won the Central Park Open and the Brook­lyn Blitz Open tournaments.

The article said the year before that, he placed second behind former US Champion Grandmas­ter Sergey Kudrin in the Harlem Chess Open, while he won gold in 2004 as a member of the Philip­pine team that was victorious in the Merkeda Open in Malaysia.
Rafael said Apelo’s next tourna­ment will most likely be the World Open, which will be conducted in downtown Philadelphia sometime this year. (Gian C. Geronimo, VVP, GMA )