The city’s second International Master who is points away from being named a Grand Master is skipping the country’s first pro chess league.
IM Haridas Pascuahas opted to skip the tournament that will have 24 teams and is expected to begin on January 16.
“Nag-withdraw po ako before the drafting kasi very busy ako (I withdrew from the drafting because of my busy schedule),” Pascua told the Regional Network Group through private message Wednesday, December 23.
“Kinkukuha ako ng dalawang teams, kaso di kaya ng schedule ko (Two teams were trying to draft me, but it won’t fit in my schedule),” said the Mangatarem, Pangasinan born Pascua who now resides in the city after finishing his high school and college at the University of Baguio.
He did not name the teams.
Pascua teaches chess online as well as preparing for outside engagements after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is declared over and safe to travel as well play face to face.
On Tuesday, Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre was drafted first by Team Rizal in the pro chess league with GM Joey Antonio getting the second pick and by Team Iloilo.
Palawan, meanwhile, drafted an all-female squad led by Woman IM Shania Mae Mendoza, followed by WIM Catherine Perna-Secopito, WIM Antoinette San Digeo and WIM Mikee Charlene Suede.
Other GMs seeing action in the pro league are GMs: Ino Sadorra, Banjo Barcenilla, Darwin Lasylo, John Paul Gomez, Mark Paragua, Roland Salvador, Oliver Barbosa and GM candidate Ronald Dableo. More than 50 other titled Filipino players seeing action in the event are IMs Paulo Bersamina, Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Ricky de Guzman and Oliver Dimakiling, to name a few.
Pascua joined Paragua, Antonio, Laylo and Bersamina in the first Asian Online Chess Tournament last October where the team made it into the quarterfinals.