Paragua, Garma lead Umali chess
By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:08:00 01/25/2009

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Philippines—National Master Edgardo Garma pulled off a huge upset, crushing International Master Richard Bitoon in 46 moves of the Sicilian to gain a share of the lead with Grandmaster Mark Paragua after four rounds of the Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali Cup Open chess championship at the Sierra Madre Suites here.

“I hadn’t played in quite a while but my moves were pretty OK,” said Garma, the younger brother of IM Chito Garma.

Paragua also nailed his fourth straight victory in the tournament offering a top prize of P200,000, disposing of IM Barlo Nadera in 33 moves of the Slav.

GMs John Paul Gomez, Jayson Gonzales and Darwin Laylo, were within striking distance at 3.5 points, along with GM-candidate Ronald Dableo, IM Ronald Bancod, FM Fernie Donguines, Rolando Andador, Xavier Verdun and Ali Branzuela.

Top seed GM Eugene Torre humbled Eduardo Agagon in only 25 moves of the Dutch to move into contention with three points out of a possible four.

Torre was held to back-to-back draws by Allan Cantonjos and Edmundo Gatus in the second and third rounds.


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