Asia’s first Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre showed his old deadly form beating upset-conscious FIDE Master (FM) Anjas Novitas of Indonesia in the 2nd Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Cup international chess championship at the Subic Bay Travelers Hotel in Subic Bay, Olongapo City on Friday.
The 59-year-old Torre, the most prominent local chess figure, had a rook and bishop against the Indonesian’s queen as he managed to squeeze out a victory despite handling the disadvantageous black pieces in a marathon 68 moves of the Guioco-Pianno.
Torre staved off Novita’s attacks and managed to survive a tight middle game encounter despite giving up his queen for a rook and bishop.
“Mahirap yung laban, pero nakuha sa tiyaga,” said Torre, who needed more than four hours in beating his lower-rated but talented Indonesian rival.
The win enabled the 13th-seeded Filipino chess legend from Iloilo to join 14 other campaigners on top of the standings in the 86-player tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) in cooperation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Torre’s third-round opponent is second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore, who eked out a similar hard-earned victory against China’s Zeng Chongsheng.
Asian Zone 3.3 runner-up GM Mark Paragua shared the limelight as he outduelled compatriot Emmanuel Senador in 34 moves of the Tarrasch.
GM Darwin Laylo subdued WGM Irine Khrisma Sukandar of Indonesia in 65 moves of the Caro-Kann while GM John Paul Gomez downed IM Yves Ranola and IM Richard Bitoon crushed Guo Qi of China in 45 moves of the Queen’s Indian.
Newly-crowned Asian Zone 3.3 champion GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia bounced back from an opening-day defeat and subdued WFM Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan to stay alive for the US$6,000 top prize. – JVP, GMA News