Wednesday, April 1, 2009

So Further the Gap in Battle of Gms

MANILA, Philippines - Grandmaster Wesley is virtually the champion of the 2009 Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of GMs" chess championship.

So halved the points with GM-candidates Julio Catalino Sadorra and Richard Bitoon at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel late Sunday to post a three-point advantage against second-running GMs Eugene Torre and Rogelio Antonio Jr. with a round to go.

Then the pride of Cavite agreed to a draw with Sadorra after 36 moves of the French and with Bitoon in just 30 moves of the Sicilian Pelican to accumulate 15 points.

So and Antonio, however, will meet for their sixth round match on Tuesday. The National Chess Federation of the Philippines ordered a replay of the match after the two players settled for a quick draw after just 16 moves.

However, the day belongs to Torre who won against fellow GM Buenaventura “Bong" Villamayor after 39 moves of the London opening in the ninth round which the first Asian grandmaster followed up with another triumph against GM John Paul Gomez in 46 moves of the
Bogo-Indian in the 10th round to accumulate 12 points.

Antonio, meanwhile, defeated Gomez in 41 moves of the Benoni but split the point with GM Mark Paragua in their Sicilian match to tie Torre for the second and third spots.

GM Darwin Laylo halved the point with IM Rolando Nolte in 30 moves of the Center Counter and then defeated GM Jayson Gonzales in 33 moves of the Slav to move up into solo fourth place with 11.5 points.

Sadorra's draw against So and IM Ronald Dableo paved the way for him to tie Gomez with 11 points for the fifth to sixth spots.

Paragua and Bitoon are tied for the next two spots with their similar 10 points.

The 11th and final round will be start at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

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.

Cua’s younger sister, Sherily, halved the point with Christy Lamiel Bernales (46 moves, Queen’s Indian) and Daisy Rivera (43, Budapest) to remain in third place with 13 points.

Rivera overpowered Rulp Ylen Jose in 70 moves of the Center Counter to share fourth to sixth places with Bernales and former world youth campaigner Jan Jodilyn Fronda with 12 points.

Bernales drew with Cua and won over Catheirne Perna in only 26 moves of the Center Gambit.
Fronda drew with Catherine Perena in 63 moves of the Petroff and beat Loreshyl Cuizon in 42 moves of the Tromposvky.

The 11th and final round will be played starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

At stake in the annual tournament are trophies and cash prizes, with the men’s champion pocketing the top prize of P200,000 and the women’s titlist earning P60,000. GMANews.TV

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