CHAMPION. Grandmaster Darwin Laylo (center) rules the Philippine National Chess Championship Grand Finals at the Malolos City Hall on Tuesday (Feb. 7, 2023). From left are National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) executive officer Jayson Gonzales, chairman and president Rep.Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia (2nd place), IM Michael Concio Jr. (3rd place), Malolos City Vice Mayor Miguel Alberto Bautista and Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Grandmaster Darwin Laylo of Mandaluyong City ruled the Philippine National Chess Championships at the Malolos City Hall on Monday.

Laylo held International Master Daniel Quizon of Dasmarinas, Cavite to a draw in the ninth and final round of the tournament known as the Battle of the Grandmasters.

Laylo, a member of the Philippine Army chess team under Special Service Center (SSC) Director Col. John Oliver F. Gabun, had a total of 6.5 points (four wins and five draws) and bagged the PHP100,000 top purse.

"I am happy for winning the Philippine National Chess Championship Grand Finals. I wish that my luck would remain the same in my next tournament," said the 42-year-old Laylo, who is supported by Dasmarinas Mayor Jenny Barzaga, Rep., Elpidio "Pidi" Barzaga Jr., Atty. Nikki De Vega and lawyer Krisanto Karlo Nicolas.

Laylo, who won his first national title in 2006, will be playing with the Magic Mandaluyong Tigers at the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) tournament on Feb. 18.

De Vega, team owner of the Magic Mandaluyong Tigers congratulated Laylo for his victory, hoping he would bring more honor for the country.

IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia also had a draw with WGM Janelle Mae Frayna to finish second with 6.0 points. The Ateneo de Manila University chess team program manager had three wins and six draws and pocketed PHP80,000.

IM Michael Concio Jr. of Dasmarinas, Cavite placed third with 5.5 points followed by IM Paulo Bersamina of Pasay City (5.0 points); Frayna, NM Mark Jay Bacojo and Quizon (4.5 points); GM John Paul Gomez and GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. (3.5 points); and WIM Marie Antoinette San Diego (1.5 points). (PNA)