MANILA - Oscar Joseph "OJ" Cantela, a promising Filipino chess player, is pursuing the prestigious title of FIDE Master, a recognition awarded by the World Chess Federation. The Grade 11 student at Far Eastern University - Diliman, part of the team that won the high school boys championship in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86, is coached by Grandmaster Jayson Gonzales.
According to Philippines News Agency, achieving the FIDE Master status requires participation in international tournaments against rated players to earn Elo rating points. His quest for the title will commence at the 21st Bangkok Chess Club Open, taking place at the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort and Spa in Phetchaburi, Thailand, from April 13 to 21. Cantela, who hails from San Juan Uno, General Trias, Cavite, currently holds a National Master title and boasts Elo ratings of 2009 (standard), 1772 (rapid), and 1791 (blitz).
Cantela expressed his aspirations for the upcoming tournament in Thailand, aiming to improve his Elo rating through strong performances. His efforts in the chess community have been notable, including winning a gold medal in the 16-under category at the 12th Dato' Tan Chin Nam Foundation Open Rapid Age-Group Chess Championship on August 27 last year and gaining 100 Elo rating points at the 2023 World Youth Chess Championships in Montesilvano, Italy, on November 24.