Wednesday, April 1, 2009

So caps 'Battle of GMs' title run with rousing win

MANILA, Philippines - Top favorite grandmaster Wesley So finished the 2009 Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of GMs" chess championship the way he started it– with a rousing win.

Already assured of the title and the top prize of P200,000 as early as Sunday, So demolished Dresden Olympiad teammate GM Darwin Laylo to clinch the title with a runaway score of 18 points on seven wins and four draws at the Dapitan Resort Hotel on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old So, who also bagged the title in the inaugural edition held last year, finished a clear four points ahead of GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. and five over Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre.

Antonio, who is making his first appearance in the country since his highly-successful campaign in the united States, and Torre settled for a draw in their 11th and final round encounter.

Antonio finished with 14 points and pocketed the second prize money of P100,000.

Torre, who displayed his vintage form in winning the third President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup chess championship late last year, wound up with 13 points for third place worth P80,000.

GM Mark Paragua recorded the only other win on the final day of competition, beating GM-candidate Julio Catalino Sadorra to climb into a share of fourth to fifth places with GM John Paul Gomez. Paragua and Gomez received P50,000 apiece.

Laylo settled for solo sixth place with 11.5 points and earned P30,000.

Sadorra and IM Richard Bitoon, who drew with IM Ronald Dableo in the final round, shared seventh to eighth places with 11 points.The two pocketed P20,000 each.

Nolte, Gonzales, Villamayor and Dableo brought home consolation cash prizes of P15,000 in the tournament organized by the National Chess federation of the Philippines (NCFP) featuring the country’s top chessers. GMANews.TV

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