So, Gomez share top spot
by Ed Andaya
Sunday, 24 October 2010 18:52

Final standings:

17 points — W. So, J. Gomez
13 — D. Laylo
12 — R. Antonio
10 — O. Barbosa
6 — E. Torre

TOP seed GM Wesley So and GM John Paul Gomez shared the top spot at the end of the 2010 NCFP training tournament for the Asian Games held at the 4/F, LWUA Bldg., on Katipunan Ave., Quezon City.

So, at 17 the country’s highest-rated player with an ELO of 2674, and Gomez finished with identical scores of 17 points on four wins, five draws and one loss in the 10-round robin tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) as part of the players’ preparations for the coming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

GM Darwin Laylo finished solo third with 13 points on two wins, seven draws and one loss.

Comebacking GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr., wound up fourth with 12 points on two wins, six draws and two losses, followed by IM Oliver Barbosa with 10 points on two wins, four draws and four losses and GM Eugene Torre with six points on one win, three draws and six losses.

“This is good training ground for our players, especially for Wesley, in time for next month’s Asian Games in Guangzhou,” said NCFP president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay.

Pichay said the week-long tournament was divided into two parts — standard (long game) and rapid (25 minutes plus five seconds increment) — to give the players enough exposure to the format to be used in the Asian Games.

Pichay also adopted the format being used in the SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) tournament in Lubbock, Texas which discourages quick and uneventful draws by giving three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.

The tournament also served as So’s final tournament in the country before he leaves for the United States on Tuesday to compete in the SPICE Group A tournament scheduled Oct. 28-Nov. 7 at the Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Actually, So led in the early part of the tournament, but back-to-back draws against Laylo and Antonio in the eighth and ninth rounds and an upset loss to Barbosa in the 10th and final round allowed Gomez to catch up in the overall standings.

Gomez, who earned his GM title during the 38 th World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany in 2008, beat Laylo in the ninth round and drew with Barbosa in the eighth round and Torre in the 10th round.

Laylo clinched third place by salvaging draws with So in the eighth round and Antonio in the 10th round.

Antonio, who was reinstated to the team following his strong showing in the PACE-Tuguegarao Chess Festival, beat Torre in the eighth round before drawing with So and Laylo in the final two rounds.


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