Paragua, Pascua remain on top of PSC Chess
MANILA, Philippines – Grandmaster (GM) Mark Paragua and FIDE Master (FM) Haridas Pascua toppled their respective rivals to remain on top after eight rounds of play in the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Cup International Chess Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
Paragua bested Mongolian International Master (IM) Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa, while Pascua upset countryman GM Richard Bitoon.
Thus, Paragua and Pascua, both tallied 7.0 points going to the final round on Sunday in the $30,000 SMART-sponsored tournament.
"Inaasahan po natin madugo ang laban sa final round sa Sunday. Mabigat na kalaban si kuya Joey [Antonio] pero malaking tulong rest day ngayong Saturday," said Paragua.
"Kung may pagkakataon na manalo ay pipilitin natin pero hindi basta basta si John Paul [Gomez]. Kagaya ko ay naghanda din ‘yun," said Pascua, for his part.
The ninth and final round will begin on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the FIDE sanctioned, which offers a $6,000 top prize.
Twelve-time National Open champion GM Antonio and GM Gomez also won their matches to score 6.0 points each for a share of 3rd to 4th place.
The tournament is hosted by the PSC and organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
It is also supported by Puregold, Manila Pavilion Hotel, City State Tower Hotel and the Philippine Olympic Committee. -- By Marlon Bernardino