ABS CBN News, Philippines
March 8 2004
Five gain good shot at La Union Open chess crown
By Manny Benitez
TODAY Chess Columnist
A thrilling race for the top prizes developed after coleaders Barlo
Nadera and Ronald Nolte fought to a short draw in the penultimate
eighth round of the weeklong, cash-rich La Union Open chess
tournament, allowing three others to join them at the helm with 6.5
Nadera, an international master (IM) from Mandaue City, and Nolte, a
national master (NM) from Baguio City, called a truce after only 15
moves of a Nimzo-Indian duel. Both belong to the Air Force team.
In an e-mail from San Fernando City, publicist Marlon Bernardino
quoted Nolte as saying: `Napagod na yata si Barlo kaya nakipagkasundo
siya ng draw sa aking kahit puti pa siya.’
They shared the lead with IM Richard Bitoon of Medellin, Cebu, who
beat Jerome Balico of Isabela in 39 moves of another Nimzo-Indian; NM
Darwin Laylo of Marikina, who outplayed NM Yves Ranola of Caloocan in
48 moves of an English; and NM Ronald Llavanes of Naga City, who
stopped Ferdinand Leysa of South Cotabato in 44 moves of a Modern
Just half a point behind the five leaders were four players led by
lone Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre, who outclassed Alex Milagrosa in
31 moves of a Vienna.
The three other 6.0 pointers entering the ninth and final game were
IM Petronio Roca of Dasmariñas, Cavite, Fide Master (FM) Fernie
Donguines of Parañaque City, and Rustum Tolentino of Cagayan de Oro
They won against Roland Salvador of San Jose del Monte City, Jermel
Abordo of Mexico, Pampanga, and FM Jesse Noel Sales of Calamba City,
The top prize of P80,000 is at stake for the champion of the
tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the
Philippines with the support of La Union Gov. Victor Ortega, San
Fernando City Mayor Jane C. Ortega and the Villa Estrella Beach
Tournament director is Engr. Joseph Dumuk.
Meanwhile, the Reykjavik Open chess tournament got under way on
Sunday (Monday in Manila) in the Icelandic capital made famous by the
historic Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky world championship match of
Top players from all over the world, including Russian GM Alexei
Dreev, teenage Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi and the former Australian
champion, GM Ian Rogers, are competing in the nine-round event.
The top three finishers are to qualify for the Reykjavik Rapid, which
will take place from March 17 to 21.
Former world champions Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov of Russia
are to lead a cast of heavyweights, including former challenger Nigel
Short of England, Emil Sutovsky of Israel and Peter Heine Nielsen of
Sweden, in the rapid event.
In Armenia, a memorial tournament in honor of the late ex-world
champion Tigran Petrosian, the deaf former chimney sweeper who
reigned at the height of Soviet hegemony from 1963 to ’69, starts on
Although he had the reputation of being a relatively dull player
because of his positional style of play, Petrosian is the only
champion in chess history who swept through the interzonal and
candidates’ matches undefeated.
The Petrosian Memorial will be held in Stepanakert, Karabakh, in the
former scene of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1992.