Paragua nabs back-to-back wins in PSC Chess
MANILA, Philippines – Mark Paragua scored his second straight win by beating fellow Grandmaster (GM) Darwin Laylo on Thursday's Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Cup International Chess Championships at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
Paragua improved his total to 5 points after five rounds of play to remain on top in the $30,000 Smart-sponsored tournament.
Earlier, Paragua defeated Mongolian FIDE Master (FM) Gombosuren Munkhgal in the fourth round to grab the solo leadership in the tournament that offers $6,000 to the champion.
"Mahirap ‘yung laro pero pinilit ko talagang manalo," said the Manila-born Paragua, former World Rapid Under-14 champion.
FM Haridas Pascua, meanwhile, nipped FM Randy Segarra to score 4.5 points for solo second place.
“Isa't-isa lang ‘yung laro namin ni Randy at buti nanalo tayo," said Pascua, the pride of Pangasinan Chess Federation.
Top seed Russian Super GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov (ELO 2612) subdued Edsel Montoya to create a four-way tie with three other chess players.
Rakhmanov tallied 4.0 points, the same output of Mongolian GM elect Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa, who beat NM Rustum Tolentino; IM Rolando Nolte, winner over FM David Elorta; and FM Hamed Nouri, who shocked GM John Paul Gomez.
On Thursday's sixth round, Paragua will play opposite Pascua, Nolte goes up against Rakhmanov while Gundavaa will meet Nouri.
The competition is hosted by the PSC headed by it's Chairman Ricardo Garcia and organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
It is also supported by Puregold, Manila Pavilion Hotel, City State Tower Hotel and the Philippine Olympic Committee.
Tournament director is NCFP executive director GM Jayson Gonzales.- By Marlon Bernardino