Friday, March 27, 2009

Wesley Pulls Away In Battle of GMs

Standings after four rounds:
Men: 8.0 points—W. So; 6.0—Antonio; 5.0—J. Gomez, R. Bitoon, D. Laylo; 4.0—M. Paragua, E. Torre; 3.0—R. Nolte, J. Sadorra; 2.0—B. Villamayor, J. Gonzales; 1.0—R. Dableo

DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte—Teen sensation Wesley So continued his rampage in the Battle of Grandmasters at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel here Thursday night.

The 15-year-old So pounced on a blunder by International Master Rolando Nolte to prevail after 27 moves of a Slav, stretching his win run to four and pulling away from the field in the chase for the P200,000 champion’s purse.

So now totes 8.0 points under the novel scoring system that rewards a win 2 points and a draw 1 point.

GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio also squeezed out a victory over GM Jayson Gonzales to rise to 6.0 points.

With his first loss, Nolte virtually blew his bid for a GM result in the 11-round event supported by Phoenix Petroleum and the Dapitan city government.

GMs John Paul Gomez and Mark Paragua opted for a draw by repetition after 15 pushes that moved them farther behind So, winner of last year’s tournament in Manila.

Gomez, who completed his GM title in the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, was at 5.0 points. Paragua was at 4.0.

IM Julio Catalino Sadorra bounced back with a 42-move victory over GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor in their Slav game to improve to 3.0 points.

In other matches, GM Eugene Torre beat IM Ronald Dableo and GM Darwin Laylo drew with IM Richard Bitoon.

Torre, winner of the 2008 PGMA Cup, boosted his total to 4.0 points, while Laylo and Bitoon were at 5.0.

In women’s play, WNM Kimberly Jane Cunanan and WFM Catherine Pereña hurdled their foes to stay in contention for the P60,000 top prize.

Cunanan handed WNM Jedara Docena her fourth straight defeat to climb to 4.0 points while Pereña, the highest-rated player in the field, subdued erstwhile co-leader WFM Sherily Cua to improve to 3.0.

Sherily Cua stayed at 5.0 points in a tie with older sister WFM Shercila Cua, who was still battling WNM Cristy Lamiel Bernales at presstime.

Source: Sports Inquirer

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