By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:30:00 03/25/2009
DAPITAN CITY—Top favorite Grandmaster Wesley So downed Bong Villamayor last night to take the head-start in the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of Grandmasters” at the Dapitan Resort and Hotel here.
The end came after 25 moves of a London Opening, with So threatening mate with his queen and rook in three moves.
So, winner of the first Battle of GMs in Manila last year, reasserted his supremacy over Villamayor, who now has lost three times in four games to the country’s top player.
Grandmaster Eugene Torre and International Master Rolando Nolte fought to a draw in the first completed match of the 11-round tournament that stakes P900,000 in prizes.
Torre, winner of last year’s GMA Cup, and Nolte agreed to a truce after 36 moves of a Gruenfeld-Slav, with both players having two pawns each and opposite-colored bishops.
Still being played at press time were the games pitting GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. against IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Darwin Laylo against IM Ronald Dableo, GM John Paul Gomez against GM Jayson Gonzales and GM Mark Paragua against IM Richard Bitoon, winner of last year’s Singapore Open.
In women’s play, sisters Sherily and Shercila Cua also settled for a draw after 34 moves of another Slav.
Still unfinished were the matches between WNM Loreshyl Cuizon and WNM Cristy Lamiel Bernales, Rida Young and Woman Fide Master Catherine Perena, WIM Beverly Mendoza and WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, WNM Rulp Ylem Jose and WNM Jedara Docena and WNM Daisy Rivera and Kimberly Jane Cunanan.
To lessen the number of draws, a scoring innovation is being introduced in the event with a win worth 2 points, a draw 1 and a loss 0.
In case of a stalemate, the player who forces the draw gets 1.5 points with the stalemated player getting 0.5 points.
The men’s division champion pockets P200,000 plus trophy while the girl’s division winner receives P60,000 plus trophy.
Rounds two and three will be played Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.
Former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos declared the tournament open while FIDE honorary president Florencio Campomanes gave the inspirational speech.
Also present were Dapitan Mayor Dominador Jalosjos Jr., board member Bullet Jalosjos, Vice Mayor Patri Chan and Amadeo Mas, client relations officer of the sponsoring Phoenix Petroleum.
Source: Inquirer Sports