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Bersamina, Pascua off to good starts in 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships


PhilBoxing.com




MAKATI CITY, Philippines – International Masters (IMs) Paulo Bersamina and Haridas Pascua got off to blazing starts in the opening round of the 17th Asian Continental Chess Championships (2nd Manny Pacquiao Cup) Monday at the Tiara Oriental Hotel in Makati.

Bersamina (elo 2444) defeated Grandmaster Le Quang Liem (elo 2714) of Vietnam after 36 moves of Giuco Piano Opening, while Pascua (elo 2442) halved the point with Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of India (2701) after 36 moves of Neo-Gruenfeld defense.

“Magulo ‘yung laro namin ni GM Le Quang Liem, pero buti na lang sanay ako sa ganitong system ng Giuco Piano,” said Bersamina, top player of National University team manager Samson Go.

Pascua on his part, said: "Nagkasya na ako sa draw kahit quality up ako kasi hindi ko alam na after 40 moves ay mabibigyan ako ng plus 30 minutes," said Pascua who needed to raise his elo rating of 2442 to 2500 to complete his GM title status. "Puede kasing pilitin ang laro sa panalo," he added.
Top-seed GM Wang Hao of China (elo 2730) spearheaded the foreign delegation and is aiming for another chess title this year.

GM Wang split the point with FM Yoseph Theolifus Taher of Indonesia (elo 2454) after 54 moves of Bishop Opening. GM Wang is this year's winner of the 15th Malaysian Chess Festival 2018 last August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

However, GMs John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Rogelio "Joey" Antonio Jr., IMs Oliver Dimakiling, Angelo Young, Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Roderick Nava, John Marvin Miciano, Chito Garma and Ricardo de Guzman are among the Filipino casualties in the first round.

Gomez yielded to GM Wei Yi of China, Laylo succumbed to GM Baskaran Adhiban of India, Antonio bowed to GM S. P. Sethuraman of India, Dimakiling dropped his game to GM Ni Hua of China, Young was beaten by GM Zhongyi Tan of China, Garcia collapsed to GM Lu Shanglei of China, Nava bowed to Alireza Firouzja of Iran and did so Miciano loss to IM Nodirbek Yakubboev of Uzbekistan, Garma against GM Nodirbek Abdussattorov of Uzbekistan and De Guzman against GM Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan.

Other Pinoy woodpushers who dropped their first round assignment are FMs Alekhine Nouri and Stephen Rome Pangilinan, NM Jacutina John Merill, Jerad Docena, Daniel Quizon, Edsel Montoya, Michael Concio Jr. and Rogelio Orio.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines Chairman/President Deputy Speaker Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and top seed Grandmaster Wang Hao of China made the ceremonial moves to usher the start of the tournament (top photo).

They were joined by Asian Chess Federation Executive Director Casto Abundo, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, Asia's First Grandmaster Eugene Torre, tournament director GM Jayson Gonzales, chief arbiter IA James Infiesto, Judge Gonzalo "Boyet" Mapili and Martin "Binky" Gaticales.
“Inaasahan natin na magiging bakbakan at madugo ang laban sa paglahok ng ilan sa top players sa buong mundo na nasa 2700 elo barrier,” Pichay said.

An outright GM title and norms will be given to the champion on top of $10,000.

Meanwhile, country's lone Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna settled for a truce with Sivanesa Nithyalakshmi of Malaysia in the women's class while United States chess master Jose "Jojo" Aquino beat Woman Fide Master Antonella Berthe Racasa in the challenger section to opened its bid in this World Chess Federation sanctioned tournament, a qualifying event for the World Chess Cup. -Marlon Bernardino-


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.


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