Wednesday, December 22, 2010

YOUNG Filipino chess players Antonio Chavez Jr. of Cagayan de Oro and Kevin Mirano of Bacolod failed in their respective last-round bid to scuttle GM (grandmasters) rivals. But overall, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws–representing the Philippines in the 2010 Grand Asian Chess Championships–did fare well in the week-long international event held at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

While Chavez and Mirano went down in defeat at the hands of GM Amir Bagheri of Iran and super GM Maletin Pavel of Russia on Monday’s 9th and final round, Filipina compatriot WFM Rulp Ylem Jose succeeded in scoring a sensational win over a GM foe in the women’s open division.

Pinay chess Olympian Jose (2038) upset Woman Grandmaster Vera Nebolsina (2377) of Russia then settled for a draw with WFM Tay Li Jin Jeslin in the final round to finish solo third.

Remarkably, only this alluring Pinay dented the single loss of Nebolsina, the eventual champion with 8.0 points, in this international tournament.

As an icing on the cake, Jose’s win over the Russian topseed was impressive indeed–scaling up more than 300 Elo points separating them. Despite the huge Elo rating gap, the beautiful Pinay never showed any form of intimidation and went on to crush the Russian beauty with the heart of a lion.

Six Pinays joined this 50-player international event, with participants coming from six countries namely, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.

Notably, five of the six Pinays who participated in this event landed in the Top 10.

Tagbilaran, Bohol pride Jedara Docena downed Pang Hwei Yih to share four to 8th places with FEU mates Lovelyn Medina and Jenny Rose Palomo at 6 points each. While GenSan daughter, Ronna Reig Ner Se¤ora occupied the 10th place with 5.5 points.

As expected, the men’s field sensation IM Darban Monteza of Iran–facing the lowly ranked Sri Lankan Isuru Alahakoon–played to a safe draw to complete his remarkable run and went ahead of the fancied GMs for the men’s open title with an unbeaten score of 8/9.

Another Iranian, untitled Amin Nasri finished clear second with 7.5/9. Nasri had the distinction of beating the top seed GM Pavel in the penultimate round.

Nasri is the lone conqueror of Cagayan de Oro native Lennon Hart Salgados, formerly with Corpus Christi and now also playing for FEU, who got saddled by a spate of draws.

GM Pavel had to settle for 3rd place after tie break just ahead of FM Yan Dzhumageliev and Filipino John Ranel Morazo who finished 4th and 5th, respectively.

Sheider Nebato, the other FEU find from the Pacman country of Dadiangas, also had 6.5 points after his triumph over Nahim Bin Zahur, but had to skid to 8th spot after the Bucholz tiebreak.

With their last-round debacle, Chavez and Mirano shared nine to 15th places with Cagayan de Oro’s Christian Arroyo and Salgados at 6 points apiece among a total of 92 mens participants.

“Kusog na gyod ang mga Asian countries sa chess. We tried to go all out for a flat-out win in the final round pero majority sa amo taman lang gyod sa draw. At least, it was a very successful stint even nga naka-apil ang Russia ug Iran. Naa sa top ang FEU-Philippines both sa team and individuals rankings and we’re very proud of it,” said Arroyo in a message emailed to this writer.

The soon-to-be educator Arroyo, son of DepEd employee and accomplished chess player Mario “Bebot” Arroyo, is the most senior in the FEU team of coach GM Jayson Gonzales and assistant coach NM Alexander Milagrosa.

GACC Women’s Open

Top 10 (50 players)

Final Ranking

After 9 Rounds

WGM Nebolsina 8.0 pts

WIM Kharashuta 7.5 pts

WFM Jose Rulp 7.0 pts

WFM Tay Li Jin 6.0 pts

Docena Jedara 6.0 pts

Medina Lovelyn 6.0 pts

Saeidpour Mona 6.0 pts

Palomo Jenny 6.0 pts

WFM Salman Mahini 5.5 pts

Señora, Ronna 5.5 pts

Men’s Top 20 (92 players)

IM Darban Morteza 8.0 pts

Nasri Amin 7.5 pts

GM Maletin Pavel 7.0 pts

FM Dzhumagaliev 7.0 pts

Morazo John 6.5 pts

GM Bagheri Amir 6.5 pts

Alahakoon Isuru 6.5 pts

Nebato Sheider 6.5 pts

Crivoi Alexandr 6.0 pts

Arroyo Christian 6.0 pts

Chavez Antonio 6.0 pts

Hu Yang 6.0 pts

Zullkafli Zarul 6.0 pts

Mirano Kevin 6.0 pts

Salgados Lennon 6.0 pts

Nayan Ahmad 6.0 pts

Siah Jun Ren 6.0 pts

Looi Xin Hao 6.0 pts

Nahim Bin Zahur 5.5 pts

Tan Yik Ping 5.5 pts

(Lynde Salgados, with Rusticbull reports)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 22, 2010.