Paragua, Sadorra, Dimakiling make OlympiadBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT’S on to the Istanbul Chess Olympiad for Grandmasters Mark Paragua, Julio Catalino Sadorra and International Master Oliver Dimakiling.
The 28-year-old Paragua downed Fide Master Haridas Pascua in the 15th and final round yesterday to emerge top finisher in the fifth Battle of Grandmasters at Cabagnot Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan.
Paragua, the first Filipino to breach the 2600 ELO barrier in 2006, wound up with 23.0 points out of a perfect 30, towing the US-based Sadorra (20.5), who tripped Emmanuel Senador, and Dimakiling (20.0), who bested GM Rogerlio Barcenilla.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre actually caught up with Dimakiling after trouncing GM Richard Bitoon, but got only 128.25 tiebreak points against Dimakiling’s 138.
Apart from pocketing the top purse of P150,000, Paragua will be making his fourth appearance in the biennial Olympiad after qualifying for the 2002, 2004 and 2006 editions.
The 25-year-old Sadorra, an applied mathematics student at University of Texas (Dallas), will be in his first Olympiad stint while former La Salle stalwart Dimakiling, 31, will be returning after missing the last two editions.
National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero “Butch” Pichay said he was satisfied with the outcome of the event held to determine three members of the country’s men’s and women’s teams to the Olympiad set Aug. 27 to Sept. 10 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Top-ranked GM Wesley So has been seeded into the men’s team while the NCFP has the option to pick the fifth and last member of the squad out to improve on its worst 50th place finish in the 2010 Khanty Mansiysk Olympiad.
“We’re going to study the players’ performances in the last two years to come up with the best choice (for the fifth slot),” said Pichay.
In the distaff side, Woman International Master Catherine Perena emerged top Olympiad qualifier with 23.0 points, followed by Woman National Master Janelle Mae Frayna (21.0) and WNM Jedara Docena (17.5).
Untitled Bernadette Galas narrowly missed an outright slot with 17.0 points, outperforming Woman Fide Masters Rulp Ylem Jose and Cherry Ann Mejia and WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, who tallied 15.0 points each.