MANILA, Philippines – International Masters (IM) Richard Bitoon and Oliver Barbosa earned their grandmaster (GM) norms in the 9th round of the National Chess Championship: 4th Battle of the Grandmasters.
Bitoon defeated GM John Paul Gomez after 38 moves of Sicilian while Barbosa halved the point with GM Mark Paragua after 31 moves of Slav to collect their respective norms.
Bitoon and Barbosa now each have two GM norms under their belt.
Bitoon got his first during the 2008 Singapore International Open while Barbosa earned his during the 10th Asian Continental Individual Chess Championships last May.
“Nakahinga na ako ng maluwag, at least nakuha na natin ang 2nd GM Norm,” said Barbosa.
“Masayang-masaya ako sa pagkopo ng 2nd GM norm,” said Bitoon.
Bitoon and Barbosa tallied a total of 6 points each after 9 rounds of play.
So draws with Torre
So halved the point with Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre after 35 moves of London System Opening.
He now has a total of 6.5 points.
It was So’s fifth straight draw after clustering 4 wins in the tournament supported by Pilipinas Shell, Manila Pavilion Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, NPC, Remate at Hataw (JSY Publication). – By Marlon Bernardino