Three Pinoys eye GM status in Malaysia tourney

Posted at 09/16/2012 7:37 PM | Updated as of 09/17/2012 11:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines – International Masters (IM) Ronaldo Dableo, Oliver Dimakiling and Rolando Nolte aim to join the list of elite Filipino Grand Masters (GM) in the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship.

The tournament, dubbed the KL Open Chess, will get underway on September 17-23 at the Olympic Sports Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dableo, a former Asian 3.2a Zonal champion, needs to raise his ELO rating of 2430 to 2500 to complete his GM title status.

“Yung main goal natin dito sa KL Open Chess ay makakuha ng ELO rating points,” said Dableo, who already has his three GM norms. “Kailangan kasi mag-2500 ang ELO rating ko para maging pinakabagong Grand Master ako ng Pilipinas.”

Dimakiling, on the other hand, is aiming to gain his third and final GM norm.

“I hope makapag-perform ako ng maganda at makuha ang GM norm,” said Dimakiling, who earned his first GM norm after finishing as co-champion in the 2006 Malaysian Open.

Nolte, for his part, is also targeting his third and final GM norm.

“Gaya ni Dimakiling ang target ko din ay makuha ang third GM norm sa KL Open Chess,” he said.

According to National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr., a player needs to complete the required three norms and reach the 2500 ELO rating at least once. Dimakiling and Nolte have already accomplished the latter requirement.

“Dimakiling and Nolte need only one grand master norm each to complete their GM title status while Dableo needs to raise his ELO rating to 2500 for his full-fledged GM title,” Pichay explained.

Organized by the Polgar Chess Asia for the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association, with support from the Malaysian Chess Federation, the fifth edition of this event is made possible with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group.

Previous winners of the event are GM Anton Filipov of Uzbekistan (2008), GM Nguyn Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam (2009), GM Hou Yifan of China (2010), and GM Oliver Barbosa of the Philippines (2011).

Also playing in the tournament are GMs Barbosa and Richard Bitoon, Fide Masters (FM) Edgar Reggie Olay, Julius Joseph de Ramos and National Masters (NM) Stewart Manaog, Almario Bernardino Jr., Edmundo Legaspi, and Franz Barreto.

The Filipino chessers are expected to face stiff competition from GMs Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands, Thomas Luther of Germany, Wong Meng Kong of Singapore, Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, Deepan Chakkravarthy J. of India, Cao Sang, Bui Vin and Nguyen Ang Dung of Vietnam.

Also included in the field are Woman GMs Nadig Kruttika and Padmini Rout of India and IM Master Muminova Nafisa of Uzbekistan.

According to tournament director FM Peter Long, the KL Open Chess will be played over nine rounds using the Swiss system. Time control will be the the FIDE standard of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes plus a 30-second time increment for the rest of the game. By Marlon Bernardino