The Most Active GM In Chess.com History?

The Most Active GM In Chess.com History?

MikeKlein
FM MikeKlein
Nov 4, 2015, 8:15 AM |
71 | Chess.com News

When it comes to titled players on Chess.com, one man has climbed Mt. Everest. GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., 53, better known as "gmjoey1," has now played more than 100,000 games over six years. Chess.com/live is likely his browser's homepage by now!

That is surely a record among all grandmasters who frequent the site, and is quite possibly the most games played by any of the 13 million members.

His name is so synonymous with live chess that he has his own fan club despite never participating in any "official" Chess.com events like Titled Tuesdays or Death Matches.

One Chess.com blogger explained his popularity plainly: "It's simple, it's because he's online a lot. We can easily get into his game from the top game match. His fans even said, 'Some say he doesn't sleep,' or, 'I never get into live chess without find [sic] Joey playing.'"

GM Rogelio Antonio before a game earlier this year in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy WGM/IM Alina L'Ami).

So does Antonio sleep? Well, as I write this, he is playing an over-the-board tournament, the Philippines National Championship, where he was leading after seven rounds. That's no small feat in a country with a chess legacy as deep as the Philippines.

An update: He just tied for first in his national championship.

Other highlights of his CV include a peak rating of 2589, helping his national team achieve its highest Olympiad placement ever (seventh in 1988), winning his national championship 12 times (now 13!), and in 2005 winning the Quezon City Outstanding Citizen Award from his hometown.

An aerial view of Quezon City, Philippines, outside the capital Manila. (Photo: Wikipedia).

The Pinoy grandmaster is obviously very proud of his country -- he played in 10 Olympiads in total, amassing the second-most lifetime points, behind only the legendary GM Eugenio Torre. As can be seen from this short video in the 2013 Thailand Open, he often still plays with a national team jacket on!

Chess.com caught up with Antonio to ask him about his time playing on the site (minor grammatical corrections have been made).

1) You have played 105,874 games on Chess.com. Do you have any estimate how many hours you've played here? How many current slow time control games do you have going on right now?

Wow 105,874 games! I did not realize I already played over 100,000 and still counting. Well I think the minimum of hours I've played on your site is six hours and two days; the longest I've spent playing on Chess.com.

[Here's the breakdown of that mammoth number. --M.K.]

Live chess games: 105,867 -- 91,967 bullet; 13,847 blitz; two standard. Total is +63,641 -38,985 =3,189.

Turn-based games: Seven -- one win and six losses.

Gmjoey1 almost got to 3000 in the fledgling days of Chess.com's live server. As you can see, he's compressed those 100,000 games into fewer than five years.

2) Did you have any celebration when you got to 100,000 games?

It will be much appreciated if you can give me recognition for the largest number of games in your site, and also encouragement to all players patronizing Chess.com. I would like to add that I believe that I have the most numbers of checkmates. A lot of my friends and fans will be happy and they will celebrate for that.

3) Who are some of the biggest names you've beaten on Chess.com?

Well I think GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA. I beat him three games and I lost two games in blitz. We also played two games over the board and they were both draws.


4) Do you have any favorite games?

Yes a lot. And one of my favorites was against Hikaru winning with Black.

[He was probably referring to this one! -- M.K.]


5) What was Chess.com like back in 2009 when you first got your account?

Well way back in 2009 playing on Chess.com I found interesting and I thought, "This site will grow and eventually a lot of strong GMs will patronize this site."

6) Besides playing in Live Chess, what are some other parts of the site you enjoy?

I enJOEY playing a lot on Chess.com. Is there any site as good as Chess.com? ["enJOEY" is already taken as a username on Chess.com, too bad! -- M.K.]

7) Name a feature you'd like to see Chess.com add.

The first Open Titled Tuesday tournament. I wanted to play but I was afraid my internet connection will not help me win.

8) What are your other interests besides chess?

Playing basketball and biking.

9) You've played with Eugenio Torre many times. What have you learned from him? 

Asia's first GM, Eugenio Torre, often played board one to Antonio's board two at the Olympiad. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Well I learned a lot from the icon of chess in the Philippines.

10) You've also played against Wesley So when he was younger. Did you know right away that he would be so good? Did you have any hand in teaching him?

GM Wesley So.

Wesley So, no doubt he will be one of the strongest in the world. When he was younger I saw in him potential to become a very strong player.

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