By Alex P. Vidal
“Chess demolishes differences. It’s a language of different generations.”
A NEW York-based Filipino engineer became the latest head-turner in the United States chess community by clinching the Under-1600 category of the 14th annual Foxwoods Open International Chess Championship on April 17, 2022, at Foxwoods Resort Casino & Hotel in Connecticut.
Donato “Gerry” Gamaro, a member of the Filipino American Association of Engineers (FAAE) where he served as vice president in 2019, improved his fourth-place finish in the 2021 Chicago Open in the same category by amassing 6.5 points in the seven-round Swiss System, according to his coach, Filipino National Master Mario Rebano, who accompanied the newly installed chess champion from Calauan, Laguna.
Filipino International Master Marlon Bernardino, who reported Gamaro’s conquest, said Gamaro, who finished sixth in the same division in the 2021 World Open, also won the Blitz side event for $100.
“Fondly called Gerry in the chess world, an engineer and a golfer from Queens, New York, reigned supreme in the Under 1600 division with a 6.5 points after beating Karim Naba in the final round of the 7-round Swiss System Tournament. With his feat in the regular game 60 minutes plus 10 seconds delay time control format received US$2,325 for his efforts,” Bernardino reported.
Gamaro, also a 2020 champion in the Pilipino Golf Association of New York (PGANY), admitted that “chess is one of my passions aside from golf.”
“Chess gets influence on the human psyche and reasoning,” Gamaro said. “Being the champion is just a thing; however, the key is not the will to win but the will to prepare to win.”
Gamaro’s next international chess tournament is the tough 50th annual World Open Chess Championship Under 2000 category set this July in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reported Bernardino.
Yordenis Ugas’ TKO loss to Errol Spence Jr. during their welterweight title unification on April 16 didn’t surprise us.
Now, the 35-year-old conqueror of Philippine presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao would be sidelined for quite some time after suffering a fractured right orbital in the 10th-round stoppage defeat.
Spence Jr. was too fast and too strong for the Cuban fighter; he could have beaten impressively Pacquiao had their fight pushed through.
Pacquiao, who had slowed down in his last fourth fights before hanging up his gloves to focus on politics, would have also suffered a disposal loss.
“I have a fracture in my eye and in the next few days, the doctors will say how they will treat it,” Ugas said on Instagram. “I spent all morning in a hospital and I write these words with only one eye, the other one is still closed.”
Ugas (27-5, 22 KOs) was diagnosed with an eye injury early Sunday morning at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.
The Cuban was reportedly buckled by a left uppercut in Round 7 that did the damage; his eye immediately swelled.
Despite the debilitating injury, Ugas fought on for three more rounds before the ringside doctor advised the referee to stop the bout in Round 10; he concluded the boxer couldn’t see out of his right eye, which was completely swollen shut, observed Coppinger.
When Billy Joe Saunders was defeated by Canelo Alvarez in a super middleweight title unification last May, Coppinger said he immediately had metal plates inserted because the orbital was fractured in three places.
Ugas could escape a similar fate but will surely be sidelined for an extended period. He hurt Spence in Round 6 before Spence inflicted the damage the following round. Ugas, ESPN’s No. 3 welterweight, entered the bout with the WBA title at 147 pounds, a belt he retained after he sent the legendary Manny Pacquiao into retirement with a loss in August.
Spence, 32, was set to fight Pacquiao last summer but withdrew after he suffered a detached left retina that required surgery. Ugas was the beneficiary, and now he’ll look to bounce back from his own serious eye injury.
“The referee stopped the fight, but I wanted to keep going to the end,” Ugas said Saturday through an interpreter. “I definitely had a chance to win the fight in the sixth round, but he recuperated well.”
Spence previously fractured Kell Brook’s orbital bone when he first became a champion in 2017.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) added the WBA title to the WBC and IBF belts he already owned. Terence Crawford’s WBO title is the only one he doesn’t possess, and they could meet later this year to crown an undisputed welterweight champion in one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing.
“Everybody knows who I want next, I want Terence Crawford next,” said Spence, ESPN’s No. 6 pound-for-pound boxer. “That’s the fight that I want, that’s the fight everybody else wants. Terence, I’m coming for that motherf—ing belt.”
Ugas didn’t need emergency surgery, according to his team, and would be reexamined at a later date after the swelling has subsided to see if a medical procedure was required.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)