By Ed Andaya
Final standings after tiebreak:
(RP unless stated)
7.5 points — S. Li (China)
6.5 — S. Iuldachev (Uzbekistan), Z. Zhang (Singapore), E. Ghaemmaghami (Iran)
6 — W. So, M. Mchedlishvili (Georgia), B. Villamayor
5.5 – R. Bitoon, M. Paragua, K. Shanava (Georgia), M. Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan), D. Laylo, ), N.G. Truong Son (Vietnam), D. Xiu (China), S. Megaranto (Indonesia), W. Zhou (China), H. Pascua, J. Gonzales, D.T. Hai (Vietnam), J., Sadorra, R. Nolte, O. Dimakiling, N.A. Dung (Vietnam)
5 — Y. Wan (China), P. Roca, J. Gomez, Y. Wen (China), Z. Zhang (China), K. Yang (China), C. H. Hoang (Vietnam), L. Wang (China)
4.5 – R. Bancod, M. Dzumaev (Uzbekistan), N. de la Cruz, R. Legaspi, H. Nouri, E. Bagamasbad, W. Goh (Singapore), R. Dableo
WORLD Chess Olympiad-bound GMs Wesley So and Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor settled for a truce with their respective foreign rivals to finish in a tie for fifth to seventh places at the end of the fourth Prospero Pichay Cup international chess tournament at the Duty Free Fiesta Mall in Paranaque City.
So, who is set to spearhead the Filipinos’ campaign in the coming World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany on Nov. 12-25, agreed to a draw with second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore after only nine moves of the Ruy Lopez to finish with six points on four wins, four draws and only one loss.
And Vilamayor, whose successful comeback early this year enabled him to clinch one of five slots to the Dresden-bound national team, split the point with the higher-rated GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia in 35 moves of the Gruenfeld to duplicate So’s nine-round output of six points on five wins, two draws and two losses.
So, Villamayor and Mchedlishvili finished one and a half points behind solo champion GM Li Shilong of China (7.5 points) and one point behind GM Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan, Zhang, and GM Ehsan Ghaemaghami of Iran
Li (ELO 2503) defeated Konstantin Shanava of Georgia in the eighth round and drew with Maghami in the final round to finish with 7.5 points and clinch the overall title and the top prize of US$5,000.
The 31-year-old Li, who finished only 23rd overall in the recent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Cup, had six wins and three draws in topping the 68-player field.
Iuldachev drew with So in the eighth round and outduelled IM Rolando Nolte in the final round to join Zhang and Ghaemmaghami in second to fourth places with 6.5 points.
Iuldachev, however, clinched runner-up honors via higher tiebreak score.
The three players pocketed US$3,000 form the combined second to fourth prizes of US$9,000.
So, Mchedlishvili and Villamayor earned US$1,167 each.
National Chess federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero Pichay awarded the trophies and cash prizes to the top finishers.
Also present were NCFP secretary-general Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, NCFP officials Red Dumuk, Judge Gonzalo Mapili, Edmundo Legaspi and Willie Abalos and supervising arbiter Peter Long of Malaysia.
IM Richard Bitoon also struck hardest on the final day of competition, beating No. 8 seed GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan in 63 moves of the Modern Defense to finish in eighth place overall with 5.5 points.
The pride of Medellin, Cebu also crushed Ali Branzuela in the eighth round to set up a final-round match with the higher-rated Uzbek player.
Actually, Bitoon finished in a heavy, 16-player tie for eighth to 23rd places with 5.5 points but clinched eighth spot with the highest tiebreak score.
Also with the same score of 5.5 points are GM Mark Paragua, GM Konstantin Shanava of Georgia, GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan, GM Darwin Laylo, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, Deshun Xiu of China, GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia, GM Weiqi Zhou of China, Haridas Pascua, GM Jayson Gonzales, GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam, IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, IM Rolando Nolte, IM Oliver Dimakiling and GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam.
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