Gomez keeps solo lead in Battle of GMs
MANILA, Philippines – Grand Master (GM) John Paul Gomez defeated International Master (IM) Richilieu Salcedo III after 30 moves of French defense using the black pieces to keep the solo lead in the 2013 Battle of the Grand Masters at the Philippine Sports Commission in Vito Cruz.
Gomez took his total to 12.0 points after four rounds of competition.
Salcedo, the top player of the Far Eastern University, could have salvaged a draw but committed an error in his 18th move.
Meanwhile, 12-time National Open champion GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. drew with GM Eugene Torre after 31 moves of Ruy Lopez Opening in the fourth round to raise his tally to nine points on two wins and two draws.
After losing to GM Antonio on Monday, International Master (IM) Joel Pimentel toppled National Master (NM) Narquinden Reyes after 28 moves of Benko Gamit defense to improve to 7.5 points on two wins, one draw and one loss.
IM Emmanuel Senador defeated defending champion GM Mark Paragua after 28 moves of Sicilian defense to raise his tally to 7.5 points as well.
US-based GM Rogelio Barcenilla beat Fide Master (FM) Roderick Nava after 57 moves of English Opening to remain in contention with 6.5 points on account of one win and three draws.
GM Oliver Barbosa settled for his fourth straight draw, this time against GM Darwin Laylo after 31 moves of King’s Indian attack to raise his total to 6.0 points.
Also with six points is GM Richard Bitoon, who defeated FM Jony Habla after 24 moves of Caro-Kann defense.
In the women’s division, IMs Janelle Mae Frayna and Beverly Mendoza continued their winning ways, with both players nailing their fourth win in as many assignments.
Frayna, also a top player from FEU, defeated Arvie Lozana after 75 moves of King’s Indian attack, while Mendoza beat IM Catherine Perena after 39 moves of Center Counter game.
NM Jedara Docena defeated Lucelle Bermundo after 28 moves of Modern defense, while IM Bernadette Galas beat FM Rulp Ylem Jose after 56 moves of Queens Gambit Declined.
Villa Mae Cabrera battled Jean Karen Enriquez to a draw after 54 moves of Sicilian defense.
The event is using the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. In the system, a win is worth 3.0 points, a draw is 1.5 points, and a loss is zero. A stalemate will give 1.5 points for the last player to make a move and 0.5 to the player who can no longer make a move.
The tournament is organized by the NCFP, in cooperation with the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission. -- By Marlon Bernardino.