Quarantine restrictions and time difference between the Philippines and the United States have prevented the home country from fielding its strongest players in the Asian Zone 3.3 Championship that will kick off fom 1 to 10 May.
The nine-round hybrid Swiss event will feature four grandmasters, none from the Philippines whose top players are based in the US and Metro Manila.
The country’s top-ranked players, led by No. 1 GM Julio Catalino Sadorra and No. 2 GM Mark Paragua, are not in the cast.
Paragua said that apart from the 12-hour time difference, it is unlikely that the event can draw the minimum required participants in New York where he’s based.
Sadorra is also in the US as well as No. 3 GM Oliver Barbosa and No. 4 GM Rogelio Barcenilla.
No players from Metro Manila have signed up, including GMs John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Joey Antonio.
Instead, the Philippines will be led by three international masters — Daniel Quizon, Michael Concio Jr. and Marvin Miciano — and WIM Kylen Joy Mordido.
No more than 12 Filipinos from Davao, Cavite and Laguna will take part, according to international arbiter Reden Cruz.
Five will come from Davao, three from Cavite and four from Laguna.
The top two players will advance to the World Cup set in August in Minsk, Russia.
The event will be played online starting at 2 p.m. with each player given 90 minutes to finish 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with 30-second increment per move.
However, games will be played in assigned playing venues to be manned by a chief arbiter.
Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto, who has an ELO of 2550, is the top seed followed by compatriot GM Novendra Priasmoro.
The other GMs in the field are Urtnasan Nasanjargal of Mongolia and Sumiya Bilguun of Mongolia.
Sixty-one players from six nations are taking part in the event that has a prize fund of $1,500 (about P75,000).