Filipino Chess Player: Rogelio Antonio Jr.

Jul 17, 2007, 8:01 AM |

Rogelio Antonio Jr.

Rogelio Antonio Jr. (born February 19, 1962) is a Filipino chess player. He is affectionately known as "Joey" Antonio or GM Joey, having been awarded the International Grandmaster (GM) title. As of early 2007, his elo rating was 2557, making him the 2nd ranked player in the Philippines and number 319 in the world. His favorite openings are the Sicilian Defense and Caro-Kann Defense.

As an experienced professional, he has played many times for the Philippines Olympiad team, mostly on board 2, behind Asia's first ever grandmaster Eugenio Torre, for many years the Philippines number one player. Antonio's tally in this arena has never fallen below 50% and in 2000, at Istanbul, he scored 7/10 with a performance rating of 2682. In recent years, both he and Torre have been overtaken by rising star, grandmaster Mark Paragua.

Antonio has a reputation for being one of the best-dressed grandmasters on the tournament circuit, but his opponents are probably more aware of his tournament successes and fearless style of play. His most contemporary results include 3rd at the Manapla, Negros Occidental event in 2001, 2nd= at the Leuven Open 2003 and 2nd at the Malaysian Open of 2005. Also in 2005, he took a bronze medal at the blitz event of the South East Asian (SEA) Games and a (board one) gold medal at the National Open Team Championship for club side Tagaytay City, with a fine score of 6/7. Less memorable was the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Cup in 2006, when he had to retire through illness and the Phu Quoc (Vietnam) Zonal in 2007, where he finished a disappointing 12th, only the top 2 qualifying for the latest FIDE World Chess Championship cycle.

Journalist and chess expert Bobby Ang has many praiseworthy comments about Antonio's play, but equally, he fears that his weaknesses have not yet been addressed and this may be holding back his further progress. As a creative, attacking player, few would doubt his abilities, which are evidenced by the games below.

Notable games

<white> Rogelio Antonio Jr. [2513] - <black> Dao Thien Hai [2601] Malaysia Open 2005, Kuala Lumpur. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 5.O-O Ngf6 6.Qe2 e6 7.b3 Be7 8.Bb2 O-O 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 11.c4 Qc7 12.Nc3 Rfe8 13.Kh1 Nf8 14.f4 N6d7 15.Rad1 Rad8 16.Qh5 g6 17.Qh6 Bf6 18.Rf3 Bg7 19.Qxg7+ Kxg7 20.Nd5 1-0

White's early queen sacrifice shows terrific vision against such a highly rated opponent. Black loses too much material if he is to prevent 21.N(d4)-f5 double check, followed by 22.N-h6 checkmate.

<white> Rogelio Antonio Jr [2539] - <black> Adam Maltese [2244] HB Global Chess Challenge 2005, Minneapolis 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.f4 h6 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e5 Bg7 8.Qf3 0-0 9.0-0-0 c6 10.g4 Qa5 11.Bc4 c5 12.exd6 exd6 13.dxc5 dxc5 14.Rd6 Nc6 15.Rxg6 Nd4 16.Qe4 Be6 17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Rxg7+ Nxg7 19.Nf3 Qb4 20.Qxb4 cxb4 21.Nd5 a5 22.g5 h5 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Ne5 Rac8 25.Nfd7 Rfe8 26.Nxf7+ Kh7 27.Nd6 Kg6 28.Nxc8 Rxc8 29.Re1 Rc7 30.Re7 1-0

Apart from the exchange sacrifice, this game also shows how knights can, in some instances, dominate rooks.