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Short Is Runaway Champion of Negros Open Chess

PhilBoxing.com


Standings After 9 Rounds

1st, 8.0 points: GM Short (England)

2nd and 3rd, 7.0 points: GM Grigoryan (Armenia), GM Nguyen (Vietnam)
4th to 8th, 6.0 points: GM Narayanan (India), GM Antonio, IM Tran (Vietnam), IM Yap, IM Dimakiling
9th to 15th, 5.5 points: Montoya, IM Dableo, Salubre, GM Tran, Montoyo, GM Laylo
16th to 22nd, 5.0 points: Roque, IM Garma, Retanal, FM Pangilinan, IM Pimentel, Roullo, WIM San Diego

BACOLOD CITY--Grandmaster Nigel Short of England stamped four decades of experience and beat Indian GM Srinath Narayanan in the final round of the Piaya Network Negros International Chess tournament at the Ikthus Osborn Hall Thursday here.

Short, at 52 years old, would have been eligible to play in weaker seniors division tournaments. Still, he proved to everyone that he got a strong finishing kick by matching wits with the young guns and ending with a runaway score.

By ending with eight points out of a possible nine and a full point ahead of his closest pursuers, Short took the $3,000 top prize and a glass trophy from Piaya Network's businessman owner Tony Aguirre.

Outstanding after racking up four straight wins, Short's stamina was impeccable and his strength not waning in the face of pressure.

He was stalled with two draws in the early rounds, the last when he offered a draw in an inferior position to local GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr. in the fifth round.

"I am very delighted that I was able to hold my nerves in the end," said Short, a four-time visitor to the Philippines. He promised to come back and defend his title next year. "I love it here."

In his match with Narayanan, Short, playing the black side of the Canal Variation of the Guioco Piano, punished his opponent's dubious moves in the middle game and carefully nursed his material advantage and won on the 53rd move.

Second seed Karen Grigoryan of Armenia dealt Antonio his second straight loss and finished at seven points in a tie with fifth seed GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam. Nguyen upended untitled Ted Ian Montoyo, one of the tournament's revelations.

Narayanan finished in a tie for fourth to eighth with fellow six pointers Antonio, IM Tran Minh Thang of Vietnam and local IMs Kim Steven Yap and Oliver Dimakiling.

The Bernardo brothers of Angeles, Pampanga emerged on top of the Challenger Section. Dale, the younger of the Bernardo brothers, finished solo first with 7.5 points and took the P25,000 top prize.

In a tie for second to fourth places at seven points were Darry Bernardo, FM Nelson Villanueva and Jerich Cajeras.


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