Despite being the underdog, a Cordilleran and two fellow OFWs have shocked both the World Chess Federation (FIDE) officials and international players after dislodging a few of their powerful opponents in the U1700 category of FIDE World Amateur Championships 2021 held in Greece on October 16-26, 2021.
Native from Besao, Mt. Province Marlon Tallayo, a dental technologist in Qatar, admitted that most of their opponents couldn't believe that they were Filipinos especially when they tallied wins in the early days of the prestigious event.
He narrated that he outsmarted two players from Greece, one from Belgium, one from Kuwait, one from Kenya, and had a draw with an opponent from England throughout the 9-round format via Swiss-system tournament type.
With their earned 5.5 points, he and his teammates landed top 16 out of 74 players in the U1700 of FIDE rating.
Tallayo said that it is a rare opportunity for an Igorot chess player to fly to Europe and compete in a prestigious event-a world stage.
"They (international players) don't know that there are Igorot chess players who can compete," he added as he described his experience in the said tournament.
Tallayo and two fellow OFWs from Cavite composed the Philippine team.
Meanwhile, Tallayo was the champion in the Benguet State University-organized 3rd Highland Online Chess Tournament last July 17.
✍Tin Dao-anis 📸Marlon Tallayo