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Short Beats Roque, Gains Solo Lead

PhilBoxing.com



Short.

Standings After 8 Rounds


7.0 points: GM Short (England)
6.0 points: GM Grigoryan (Armenia), GM Narayanan (India), GM Antonio,
GM Nguyen (Vietnam)
5.5 points: Montoyo,
5.0 points: GM Laylo, IM Yap, IM Tran M. T. (Vietnam), IM Garma, IM
Dimakiling, IM Pimentel, Roque, Salubre
4.5 points: GM Dableo, GM Tran, Mangao, Asuela, Verdun, Mirano, Montoya

BACOLOD CITY--Saving his best for last, 52-year-old Nigel Short of England upended untitled local bet Merben Roque and secured a one-point lead ahead of his closest pursuers in the penultimate round at the Ikthus Osbron Hall here.

Short thus assured himself of at least a tie for first place heading into today's final round, a match against GM Srinath Narayanan of India for the title of the Piaya Network 2017 Negros International Open Chess tournament.

This, after erstwhile co-leader Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. of the Philippines blundered in his match with fifth seed GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam and dropped to a tie for second to fifth places with Nguyen, second seed Karen Grigoryan and Narayanan at six points.

One of three seniors playing here playing with youthful exuberance, Short showed vast experience in winning against the London System of Roque, who tried to move too hasty that spelled defeat after 42 moves.

"So far, so good. We still got one round left but I don't want to rest with just one more round to go," said Short, who recently listed as the oldest player in history to keep a 2700+ Elo rating.

"He missed a lot of chances (Roque) despite the exchange. He could have saved a draw with accurate play but he moved too fast," added Short.

The fourth seed Narayanan beat third seed GM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam and earned the right to challenge Short for all the marbles today.

Grigoryan, the second seed, came out of a cramped and inferior position and beat young and promising IM Tran Minh Thang of Vietnam to catch up with the pack after being stalled in the early rounds with a loss and two draws.

It will be Grigoryan against Antonio, the other senior in the tournament, in the other match-up. Both players hope for a Narayanan upset against Short to gain a chance to tie for the title.

At solo sixth place is unheralded Ted Ian Montoyo who upset sixth seed IM Ronald Dableo who blundered on the 32nd move of a Slav and resigned immediately. Montoyo, who registered a 5.5 points output, plays on third board against GM Nguyen.


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