RP chessers in Pichay Cup within striking distance
abs-cbnNEWS.com 09/16/2008 7:27 PM

Scores after Round 4: (RP unless stated)

3.5 points – M. Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan), S. Li (China)

3 points – R. Bitoon, S. Luldachev (Uzbekistan), Z. Zhong (Singapore), M. Mchedlishvili (Georgia), M. Paragua, Y. Wen (China), J. Gonzales, E. Ghaemmaghami (Iran), M. Dzhumaev (Ubekistan), K. Shanava (Georgia)

2.5 – J. Gomez, R. Bancod, N.V. Huy (Vietnam), L. Wang (China), W. So, H. Pascua K. Yap, N. dela Cruz, N.N. Truong Son (Vietnam), S. Megaranto (Indonesia), W. Zhou (China), D. Laylo, A. Wohl (Australia), Z. Ziyang (China) D.T. Hai (Vietnam), N.A. Nung (Vietnam)

Top Filipino chessers led by international master (IM) Richard Bitoon are within striking distance against leading foreign competitors at the 4th Prospero Pichay Cup being held at the Duty Free Fiesta Mall in Parañaque City.

Bitoon toppled GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in the third round but lost to top seed GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan.

Two other Filipino campaigners, grandmasters (GM) Jayson Gonzales and Mark Paragua, matched Bitoon’s total output of 3 points.

Gonzales drew with IM Ronald Bancod in the third round and Wan Yunguo of China in the fourth round, while Paragua crushed Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam and split the point with second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore.

Bitoon, Gonzales and Paragua are tied with GM Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan, Zhang, GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia, GM Wen Yang of China, GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami of Iran, GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan, and GM Konstantin Shanava of Georgia.

The group is half a point behind Kazhgaleyev and GM Li Shilong of China.

Kazhgaleyev, the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2641, drew with Iuldachev in the third round before beating Bitoon.

Li, seeded only 15th with an ELO of 2503, drew with Zhang and then pulled the rug from under highly-rated GM Wesley So.

The 14-year-old So, who earned his GM title in the same Pichay Cup tournament last year, dropped into a big group of players with 2.5 points.

The high school student of St. Francis College-Cavite, who will play top board for the five-man RP team in the coming World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, has two wins, one draw and one loss.

Tied with So with 2.5 points are Bancod, GM-candidate Jon Paul Gomez, Haridas Pascua, Kim Steven Yap, Noel de la Cruz and Darwin Laylo,

Bancod, who created a stir by posting back-to-back upset victories in the first two rounds, was held to a draw by Gonzales in the third round and finally lost to Gahemmaghami the following round.

With a report from Sportsnews.ph
as of 09/16/2008 7:48 PM

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