Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Draw Again in So, Antonio Replay

So, Antonio battle to a draw anew in 'Battle of GMs' replay

MANILA, Philippines - Top seed grandmaster Wesley So and GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. battled each other for the second time in four days but came up with the same result – a draw – in the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of GMs" chess championship late Monday at the Dapitan Resort Hotel.

Already assured of the overall title and the top prize of P200,000 with still one round left, So agreed to split the point with the fifth-seeded Antonio in a replay of their controversial sixth-round match which also ended in a quick draw.

This time, So and Antonio battled to another standoff in 31 moves of the Sicilian Rossolimo.

The draw enabled the 15-year-old So to keep a commanding three-point lead over Antonio in the overall standings in this 11-round tournament featuring the country’s top chess masters.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president /chairman Prospero “Butch" Pichay ordered the replay since the 21-move draw between So and Antonio violated an earlier NCFP ruling which seeks to avoid early draws between players to make the games a lot more competitive.

On Monday, So and Antonio played 10 moves longer than their previous match but ended up with the same result.

Overall, So has 16 points built on six wins and four draws.

Antonio, who is making his first appearance on local soil following a highly-successful campaign in the United States, is second with 13 points.

A close third overall is Asia's first GM Eugene Torre, whose back-to-back victories over fellow GMs Buenaventura “Bong" Villamayor and Jon Paul Gomez in the ninth and 10th rounds, gave him 12 points.

Dresden Olympiad veteran GM Darwin Laylo is fourth with 11.5 points.

In the women’s division, WFM Shercila Cua and WIM Beverly Mendoza hurdled their respective ninth-round matches and drew against each other in the following round to keep their 1-2 positions with 15 and 14.5 points, respectively.

Cua bested Rida Young in 32 moves of the King’s Indian while Mendoza outlasted Kimberly Cunanan in 78 moves of the Dutch.

Cua and Mendoza then halved the point in 36 moves of the French.

The 11th and final round will be played Tuesday afternoon. GMANews.TV

No comments: