Pinoy GMs Paragua, Dableo make presence felt

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Pinoy GMs Paragua, Dableo make presence felt

09/26/2009 | 12:47 PM

Filipino players made their presence felt in the fourth President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Cup international chess championship with GM
Mark Paragua and GM-elect Ronald Dableo leading the charge with
impressive victories over their higher-rated foreign rivals at the
Duty Free Fiesta Mall in Parañaque City.

Paragua, ever so eager to regain his billing as the country’s top
player, pulled the rug from under second seed GM Gopal Nayanan of
India in the biggest upset win so far in the tough, six-day tournament
featuring 56 players.

Dableo, who nailed his third and last GM norm during the Kuala Lumpur
Open last month, shocked sixth seed GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia
to boost his chances for the title and the top prize of US$6,000.

Filipino GM Rogelio `Joey" Antonio, Jr., left, prepares his next move,
during the GMA Cup international chess championship at the Duty Free
Fiesta Mall in Parañaque City. Jeff Venancio
Seeded only 15th with an ELO of 2501, Paragua, also whipped Rainier
Labay, while No. 23 Dableo (2417), humbled Angel Cordero for a leading
2 points apiece.

Dresden Olympiad sensation GM John Paul Gomez trounced Conrado Diaz in
the first round and subdued Emmanuel Senador in the second, while IM
Barlo Nadera outclassed Lyndon Lumancas and upset No. 10 seed GM
Darwin Laylo to join Paragua and Dableo in the lead pack.

No. 25 seed GM Meng Kong Wong of Singapore emerged as the only foreign
player with perfect score of two points after beating Danilo Jorda and
No. 8 GM Tigran Kotanjian of Armenia.

Seventeen players, led by top seed GM Mikhal Mchedlishvili of Georgia
and World Cup-bound GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., stayed within striking
distance with 1.5 points out of a possible two.

Mchedlishvili, the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2613, was
held to a draw by David Eorta in the first round but bounced back to
beat Reggie Olay in the second.

Antonio, the highest-rated Filipino player in the absence of GM Wesley
re crushing FM Haridas Pascua the following round.

The other notable players in the 17-player second group were GM Anton
Fillipov of Uzbekistan, who dumped Edgardo Garma in the opening round
and drew with No. 16 GM Pyotr Kostenko of Kazkahstan; No. 4 GM Nguyen
Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, who beat FM Leonardo Carlos and drew with
GM Buenaventura `Bong" Villamayor;

GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran, who overwhelmed Daniel Causo and drew
with Tirto of Indonesia; and GM Jayson Gonzales, who split the point
with Albert Rivera and won over Rolando Andador.

Defending champion GM Eugene Torre had a slow start, drawing with
compatriots No. 38 Ali Branzuela and No. 40 Allan Macala.

Mchedlishvili and Duty Free deputy general manager Lorenzo Formoso
made the ceremonial moves during the short but colorful opening
ceremony while NCFP president Prospero Pichay formally declared the
tournament open.

A one-minute silent prayer for former chess writers Odette Alcantara,
Roger Flores and Boy Manuel was also observed during the opening
rites. – GMANews.TV

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