Filipinos lead Manny Pacquiao Cup Print
Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:21
Manny Pacquiao (center) watching Filipino GM Julio Sadorra beat IM Wang Chen of China. With Pacquiao are GM Eugene Torre (left) and NCFP Chairman/President Prospero A. Pichay, Jr.

Four Philippine players are in the lead pack at the halfway mark of the Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Metro Manila, Philippines.

GM Mark Paragua grabbed solo lead with 4.5 points after beating erstwhile leader compatriot Julio Sadorra in the 5th round. Sadorra, a senior business administration student at the University of Texas in Dallas, Filipino GMs John Paul Gomez and Richard Bitoon, top seed Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem and Chinese GM Li Chao trail a half point behind with 4 points each.

Paragua penetrated the French Defense of Sadorra with his Rook on the seventh rank and delivered checkmate on the 33rd move. Gomez beat Chinese GM Li Shilong, Bitoon outsmarted compatriot GM Joey Antonio, Li Chao smashed GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam while Le Quang Liem was held to a draw by GM Lalith Babu of India.

The top five qualify to the World Cup this August in Tromso, Norway.

In the women's division, the champion qualifies to next year’s Women’s World Championship. WGM Mary Ann Gomes of India outclassed WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan to create a four-way tie for first along with IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul of Mongolia, WGMs Guo Qi and Wang Jue of China with 4.0 points each. Munguntuul drew with WGM Huang Qian of China; Guo bested WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam; Wang nipped WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y of Vietnam. WFM Antoinette San Diego blasted WGM Swaminathan Soumya of India to lead the group of 3.5 pointers with WGMs Huang Qian and Tan Zhongyi and WIM Ni Shiqun of China, WGM Nafisa Muminova of Uzbekistan and IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam.

The event is organized by the GM Eugene Torre Chess Foundation and sponsored by eight-division world boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Cafe Puro, Alaxan, Oriental and Motolite Corp. and held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, Asian Chess Federation and FIDE.

Top games are broadcast live on

Manda Iligan (left) presents a marble chess board from the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation to Manny Pacquiao

Chief Arbiter Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh of Iran (left) presents a decorative chess set from Iran to Manny Pacquiao as NCFP director Louie Ramos and GM Eugene Torre look on

Pacquiao ceremonialmoves
World boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (right) and GM Eugene Torre make the ceremonial moves. Looking on are, from left, Dari Castro, Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo, Eric Pineda, National Chess Federation of the Philippines director Louie Ramos, NCFP President Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. and Midas Hotel and Casino manager Cielo Ortega

GM Eugene Torre presents a Plaque of Appreciation to Manny Pacquiao

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