On August 22, Arena Grandmaster Dandel Fernandez demonstrated once again that Filipinos are world-class sportsmen by finishing second at the 28th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival – Frontline Heroes at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi Corniche in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
The Dubai-based frontliner finished first runner-up in the event with 6 points on five wins and one defeat, trailing champion UAE’s Fide Master Ammar Sedrani, who got 6.5 points. He also assisted the Philippines/Novelty chess team, led by athlete Sonsea Agonoy, in finishing second in the 28th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival – Communities Tournament on August 20.
Speaking to The Filipino Times, Fernandez is thankful for the opportunity given to him to showcase the prowess of Filipinos in the field of chess.
“Una po, Maraming Salamat po sa itaas. Ibinabahagi ko ang award at achievement na ito sa buong OFW ng UAE, lalong lalo na sa mga kapwa ko front liners, at sa Saudi German Hospital na buong sumusuporta. Bilang Pilipino, if you have talent, show it to the world – para malaman nang lahat na ang Pilipino ay may kakanyahang galing sa iba’t ibang aspeto. It’s an honor to represent our country,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez, a former Maynilad top chess player, pulled off the biggest upset in the 2X2 team event, tying International Master Ali Sebbar of Egypt in the fourth round, defeating Grandmaster Bassem Amin of Egypt in the sixth round, and defeating Fide Master Hilwani Talal of Syria in the seventh and final round.
Fernandez is a certified National Master in the Philippines and a former NCR SCUAA top player from the Technological University of the Philippines – Manila.