Paragua a shoo-in for Chess Olympiad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Grandmaster Mark Paragua downed Fide Master Roderick Nava in the 13th round yesterday to gain the solo lead and virtually assure himself of an Olympic berth in the fifth Battle of Grandmasters at the Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.
Paragua raised his total to 20.0 points, overtaking International Master Oliver Dimakiling, in the race for three slots to the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, starting next month.
Dimakiling yielded to GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, who climbed to a share of third, and remained at 18.0 points with only two rounds to go.
The US-based Sadorra improved to 16.5 points, the same total of GM Darwin Laylo, who was held to a draw by GM Richard Bitoon.
Also in the hunt is Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, who bested Italy-based GM Roland Salvador, to climb to 16.0 points, towing GMs Oliver Barbosa and Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, both with 14.0 points.
GM Wesley So has been seeded while the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Prospero “Butch” Pichay has the option to pick the fifth and last member of the men’s Olympic team.
In the distaff side, Woman IM Catherine Pereña is assured of a slot to Istanbul with a pacesetting total of 20.0 points.
Trailing Pereña is Woman National Master Janelle Mae Frayna (18.0), followed by WNM Jedara Docena (15.5). Roy Luarca