Moscow Open: Barbosa wins, Gomez draws match
Saturday, 05 February 2011 20:12

Standings after seven rounds:

(Russians unless stated)

6.5 points — W. Zhou (China), N. Kabanov, I. Kobalenko (Ukraine)
6 — Y. ,Yu (China), M., Turov, F. Amonatov (Tajikistan), D. Khismatullin, M. Matlakov, A. Demchenko, A. Lenderman (USA), V. Belous, K. Kuderinov (Kazakhstan), A. Pridorozhni
5.5 – K. Cherbyshov, K. Grigoryan (Armenia), S. Voitsekhovsky, P. Kotsur (Kazakhstan), I. ,Bukavshin, Y. Lou (China), D. Obolenskikh, A. Fominyh, S., Volkov, S. Tiviakov (Netherlands), M. Panarin, J. Gomez (Philippines), J. Geller, T. Batchuluun (Mongolia), S. Ftiak, D. Kokarev, E. Sveshnikov (Latvia), R. Jumabayev (Kazakhstan), D. Kryakvin, A. Bezgodov, A. Stukopin, V. Hametevici (Moldova), J. Ulko, V. Usmanov, A. Pugachov, B. Kharchenko (Ukraine), O. Barbosa (Philippines)

MOSCOW, Russia — Former national junior champion IM Oliver Barbosa outwitted untitled Valentin Bobrov of Russia in their seventh-round encounter in the 2011 Moscow Open chess championship at the Russia State Social University here Friday.

Barbosa, one of several talented Filipino IMs still seeking the elusive GM title, marshalled the white pieces to victory over the lower-rated Bobrov (ELO 2236) and raise his personal record to 5.5 points on five wins,one draw and one loss in this nine-round tournament hosted by the Moscow Chess Federation.

The 24-year-old Barbosa, who is best remembered for winning 14 minor league titles during a lucrative three-month stay in the United States two years ago, also made it two wins in a row following his fifth-round setback to second seed GM Alexander Beliavsky (ELO 2634) of Slovenia.

A silver medallist in the 2005 SEA Games and former national junior champion and national 18-under winner in 2004 , Barbosa will now play GM Pavel Kotsur (ELO 2559) of Kazakhstan in the eighth and penultimate round Saturday.

Barbosa’s smashing win came after GM John Paul Gomez was held to a draw by lowly-ranked Vassily Ivanov of Russia despite playing the white pieces.

Gomez, seeded 30 th with an ELO of 2527, saw his two-game winning streak end with the draw against Ivanov (ELO 2215) and blew his chance to make it to the Top 10 in the overall standings in this 528-player field.

Like Barbosa, Gomez also had 5.5 points on five wins, one draw and one loss.

The two Filipino players are now tied for 14th to 40th places.

Based on Buccholz tiebreak scores, Gomez is in 25th place, while Barbosa is in 40th.

Gomez will play IM Vlaidmir Hamitevici of Moldova in the eighth round.

Three players — GM Zhou Weiqi of China, GM Nikolai Kabanov of Russia and IM Ivan Kobalenko of Ukraine — shared the lead with 6.5 point sout of a possible seven.

Zhou, one of seven Chinese players in the field, outplayed Kotsur, to strengthen his bid to win the title.

Kovalenko outclassed FM Karen Grigoryan of Armenia in another crucial encounter.

Kabanov halved the point with GM Maxim Matlakov in an all-Russian showdown.

Ten players, led by top seed GM Denis Khismatullin of Russsia a nd GM Yu Yangyi of China, are tied for fourth to 13 th places with six points.

Khismatullin, the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2649, demolished fellow Russian GM Andrei Kharlov, while Yu settled for a draw with IM Anton Demchenko of Russia

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay expressed confidence that both Barbosa and Gomez will play well in the remaining two rounds and finish in the upper half of the standings.

Pichay and NCFP secretary-general and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino are supporting the two Filipinos’ campaign in the Moscow Open, as well as the coming Aerfolot Open.

Filipino sensation GM Wesley So will join the two Filipino players in the Aeroflot Open scheduled to begin Feb. 9.

Actually, Barbosa opened his campaign with a rousing win over Joel Leost of France. He drew with Vissarion Kondratievb of Russia in the second round and won over Valery Ponomarencko and FM Grigoriy Morozov of Russia in the third and fourth rounds.

Although the Pasig City-born player was derailed with a loss to Beliavsky in the fifth round, he recovered immediately with a win over Evgeny Yamolenko of Russia the following round.

Gomez, on the other hand, swept his first three assignments against untitled Konstantin Stankevich of Russia in the first round, FM Sergey Brjukov of Russia in the second round and WFM Natalija Popova of Russia in the third round.

But the 24-year old mechanical engineering graduate from La Salle-Taft, Gomez lost his keenly-watched fourth-round showdown against Yu.

He bounced back with a pair of victories over lowly-rated Russian players IM Dmitry Losev and Dennis Kutuzov of Russia in the fifith and sixth rounds only to get derailed again with the draw with Usmanov. Ed Andaya

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