Friday, September 12, 2008
EUGENE Torre is showing his old deadly self as he took the lead in the nine-round President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Championships in Parañaque City.
For Torre, the final two rounds are the most exciting part of the nine-round Swiss tournament as the 56-year-old long-time RP chess icon is eyeing his first major title this year.
The unbeaten Torre drew with second seed GM Zhang Zhong (2632) of Singapore after 43 moves of a London System Opening in the sixth round late Wednesday then beat fifth seed and defending champion GM Li Chao (2590) of China after 57 moves of Scotch Defense in the seventh round yesterday to inch closer to the title and the top purse $6,000.
“My match last night against GM Zhang Zhong was crucial. Even if it ended in a draw, I still have the momentum. My game with GM Li was tough because he was forcing a draw in the end game,” said Torre, who raise his total to 6.5 points in seven outings in this National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) event.
Torre’s next assignment in the eight late last night is third seed GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili (2604) of Georgia, who beat IM Julio Catalino Sadorra after 41 moves of Queen’s Gambit Accepted in the sixth then made a quick draw over compatriot and 14th seed GM Konstantine Shanava (2522) of Georgia in the seventh.
Mchedlishvili improved to 5.0 points, to share third to eighth place with Li, Shanava, top seed GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev (2641) of Kazakhstan, GM Ehsan Maghami of Iran and Zhou Weiqi of China.
After settling a draw with Torre in the sixth, GM Zhang crushed GM Wen Yang of China after 40 moves of a Reti Opening for his 5.5 points and to move into a solo second place.
In other matches, Murtas defeated GM Li Shilong of China after 58 moves of Gruenfeld Defense; Maghami downed GM Darwin Laylo after 39 moves of another Gruenfeld.
With the loss, Laylo was stuck at 4.0 points.
Meanwhile, GMs Wesley So and Mark Paragua, IMs Julio Catalino Sadorra and Barlo Nadera are tied with seven others at fourth with 4.5 points. (ML from PR)